United Methodist Churches
I was born and raised in South Korea and grew up in a Christian home where my parents have taught the importance of faith not only in the church, but also in my life and respect for others. I studied Theology at Hyup Sung University in Hwasung, Korea, and Global Leadership at Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, TX. I received my Master of Divinity from Drew University in Madison, NJ. My wife, Ruah and I have one daughter: Hael is just 2 years old.
Along the way, I discovered a passion for the local church, Scripture, deep prayer, service, and loving all people. I believe that Christian faith is not just about Sunday morning in a church building; it is all about living fully as God intends in every place at every time in the presence of God.
EVANGELICAL UNITED BRETHREN
The Church was built in the 1897-1898 period at a cost of $1,400.00. In 1900 the parsonage was built next to the Church with a kitchen added in 1910 and a new furnace and storm windows in 1958.
The Church made improvements in 1905 at a cost of $4,450.00 and then extreme remodeling in 1952 at a cost of $18,500.00. The sanctuary was enlarged and a basement was dug. In 1958, a new dossal, lock and outside lighting on the bulletin board were added and the basement was tiled and painted.
In 1951 the United Brethren in Christ Church and the Evangelical Church united on a conference basis to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The union on a National scale took place on November 16, 1946. Therefore in 1952 the Trinity Church became the Trinity Evangelical United Brethren Church until the union with the Methodist Church.
In 1884 the Platte River Conference of the Evangelical Association organized classes in the Cambridge area. Classes were local teaching points and Sunday Schools. Most of the classes were held in school houses, but Cambridge was one of the first to build a church building. Classes were organized in the East Valley, Bartley, Cottonwood, Dry Creek, Cambridge, Fair Hope, Plain View, Sunny Hillside, Pleasant Hill, South Cambridge (Shiloh), Sitt School and Watkins (Garfield) school. The membership was largest at 182.
In 1922 the United Evangelical and Evangelical Association churches united to form the Evangelical Church on a national denominational level on the national level. This continued through the years to the present United Methodist Church union.
The first Methodist Preaching points were held by student pastors coming out from Franklin Academy at Franklin, Nebraska. In 1883 Mr. Mann formed a Sunday School class with six members. In 1884 he formed the first Methodist Episcopal Church with 10 charter members. They were Mrs. James John, (Mrs. Frances Keith’s mother), Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Butts, Mrs. Yoeman and three boys, Mrs. George Wright, Mrs. Welty and Mrs. Mary Cowles (Mrs. Gladys Higgins’ mother).
The Ladies Aid Society was formed in the early ‘80’s. The ladies met in a room above the bank. They helped the downtrodden, the sick, they raised money, paid regularly to the preacher’s salary, held 4th of July picnics, and at one time arranged a political rally. While waiting for the speaker to arrive, the new Superintendent, P.C. Johnson, who was visiting this charge, gave a talk and inspired the people to build their own church.
Services were first held on the second floor of the Republican Valley Bank building. In 1885 a small church was built on the corner of Nelson and Penn Streets. The lot cost $80.00 and the building $2200.00. The church received a loan of $500.00 on June 25, 1885 from the Board of Church Extension of the Methodist Episcopal Church for the building of the church. The parsonage, a partially completed house, was moved on the lot south of the church. In 1907 a new parsonage was built west of the church. The two lots were purchased from Mr. and Mrs. James John and Mr. and Mrs. James D. Cameron for the sum of $1.00. In 1922 it became imperative (with 162 members) that a new church was needed. After 63 years of service, the old church was torn down and a new brick one was built on the same site. With several delays of brick, a two-story plan with a basement was accepted. Services were held in the City Auditorium during construction. The cost was $27,862.21 including the furnishings. Disaster struck in 1947 when the Medicine Creek overflowed its banks filling the basements of the church and parsonage with much damage done and many records lost.
With membership growth in 1950 a need for recreational facilities and classrooms was needed. A 25’ by 80’ annex was built by the church men and financed by donations. In 1953 a new organ given by Mrs. Gallagher Smith was dedicated along with the new addition. At one time the youth had over 100 members, and they sent 8 delegates to conference meetings with all expenses paid.
A 75th Anniversary celebration was held in September 1959 with 300 present. At this time the Sunday School reported records showing 160 members in 1891, 335 in 1939 and 212 in 1959. Twelve different organizations of all age groups were reported in the anniversary booklet. There were twelve Sunday school classes, nursery though adult, meeting every Sunday. Bible study groups met at various times. The United Methodist Women held monthly Unit meetings, and there were five circles which also met monthly. UMW Quilter’s group with 15 ladies quilted every Wednesday, using their talents to raise money for mission projects. The United Methodist Men met for study, fellowship, and work projects for the Church and parsonage. The UMYF, the youth group for junior high and senior high students, met regularly for fellowship and study.
In 1967 the Church purchased Lots 5 and 6 in Block 17 from William H. Case for the sum of $4,333.34.
In 1968, after conference and national union, the Evangelical United Brethren and the First Methodist Church united on the local level calling themselves the Trinity United Methodist Church. They decided to hold services in the larger church and soon the Evangelical Church was purchased by Dean McQuiety and torn down. The Cambridge and Bartley churches began their relationship as a Charge with Rev. Gary Aten as pastor.
In 1976 the Methodist Church building was torn down, and a new church costing $306,000.00 was built on the same location of Nelson and Penn to begin the second century of worship and service in Christ’s name. One of the goals of the membership of nearly 400 was to have the Church paid for by the 100th anniversary celebration on November 11, 1984.
The Church installed a new sound system in 1997 with Memorial monies and special gifts. A Stewardship Fair was held resulting in the desire to fellowship, to offer our commitment of time, talent and finances. It was” A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. The United Methodist Women put together another great cookbook as a fund raiser.
Our Church is healthy and growing. Our members are making the effort to reach beyond our walls to touch our community.