150 years of serving the community

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 11:49 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2021 at 1:20 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The history of the United Methodist Church in Humboldt goes back 150 years, and church members are excited to mark this big milestone.

Church member Jorene Herr says the roots of the church run even deeper than 150 years. “That’s if you consider that most of the churches met in homes and schoolhouses, and even in Dawson at a place called the warehouse before they had church buildings,” Herr said.

The current Humboldt United Methodist Church has a connection in four different congregations. “That includes the German Methodist Church which was here in Humboldt, this the Methodist-Episcopal church, the Pleasant View church which was a church a little bit north of town, and then the Dawson church joined us a little over 10 years ago,” Herr said.

This is the second building on this site. “The first one was a white frame building with a steeple, and then they built this,” Herr said. “Then after the merger, they added on the front part of the church, and dug out the basement to make room for other activities.”

Congregation members are proud of the stained glass windows, the pipe organ, and just the feeling that this place is home. “I’ve been in this church a long time,” Herr said. “My great-grandparents went to the German Methodist church, my grandparents were married in that church, and then my parents here as well. So, this has been my church home forever.”

150 years is a very long time, and as you might imagine, church members have many memories of what went on here through the years. “We moved here in the 50′s, early 50′s,” church member Sandy Stalder said. “I’ve been a member of the church ever since then, and I was confirmed in this church in ‘59.” People like Stalder say music is a big part of the church. “Probably one of the more special things for me is the music. When we moved here in the 50’s, my dad was in choir. Then when I was in junior high, I was in junior choir, and then I became older, and got to be in regular choir. Then, when my kids were old enough, they were in choir with me, and now currently, my grand kids are in choir. So, we’ve got four generations of people who’ve been in our choir.”

You could say that this church is not just a building, it’s more like a family. “They still reach out,” Pastor Dorothy Smith said. “Parishioners ask, what do you need, how can we help you? Just this year, someone moved into town. They hadn’t actually started living here yet, and their grass was tall. They were trying to mow it with a little push mower, and one of my parishioners said, stop, I’ll text my husband and he’ll bring in his big shredder and mow your lawn.”

That’s just one example of what members of this congregation hope to do everyday. “To me church is family, it’s not just a place you go on Sundays, and we are in a small community and we know each other,” Stalder said. It’s a feeling of togetherness that this church plans to continue for the next 150 years.”

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