Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




     Carlisle United Methodist Church

    Carlisle United Methodist Church, 335 School St., Carlisle, IA 50047, (515) 989-3552, first church was built in 1869, and rebuilt in 1910.

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    Carlisle Methodist Church, written by the Rev. Ray E. MILLS (copied from History of Warren County, Iowa, by Gerard SCHULTZ and Don L. BERRY, The Record and Tribune Company, Indianola, Iowa, 1953, pages 119-151

    The first Methodist class meeting was organized in 1857 as a part of the Fort Des Moines circuit. The first quarterly meeting was held in 1859 when the church was placed on the Hartford circuit. The first meetings were held in the schoolhouse which stood on the southeast corner of Fourth and Main streets on the site now known as the Mrs. Blanch LANNING home. George LANE, Elizah JONES, M. S. RANDLEMAN and S. S. BALDWIN were early class leaders.

    The first church building was erected in 1868 at the cost of $2,500. In 1870 the Carlisle circuit was organized including Bloomfield chapel, Palmyra and Hartford. Later Hartford was removed from the circuit and Farmers chapel was added, making a four-point charge with preaching services every two weeks.

    The Carlisle Methodist church was made a station in 1908. The old frame church was removed to build the present church. This new church was built in 1910-11 at the cost of $12,000. It was dedicated free of debt March 12, 1911. Thomas C. ILLIFF, D.D., of Denver, Colo., assisted by G. W. L. BROWN, district superintendent, and the Rev. C. W. BREWER were in charge of the dedicatory services. The building committee was composed of the following: S. BALDWIN, John H. MILLER, W. L. McKISSICK. L. L. THOMAS was secretary-treasurer. The trustees were S. BALDWIN, M. S. RANDLEMAN, W. L. McKISSICK, Albert PERLEY, J. H. MILLER, George WRIGHT, E. James R. HOWARD 25 years later became the first president of both the Iowa Farm Bureau federation and the American Farm Bureau federation. He is now living (1952) in retirement on his farm near Clemons, Iowa. He was at Ackworth about 1895.

    H. YOUNG, W. H. GARDNER and A. WARNOCK. J. E. DEFORD was secretary. Stewards were A. WARNOCK, Harvey HENRY, L. L. THOMAS, H. S. CATTELL, Albert PERLEY, E. E. LEFTWICK, George WRIGHT and W. A. HARDIN.

    In 1915 the acetylene light plant exploded when the church custodian, Andrew VANSKOY, entered the plant with a lantern. Mr. VANSKOY was killed. None of the members who were attending church services were injured although the explosion broke windows of homes in the vicinity.

    In 1926 Carlisle became a part of the Indianola circuit with Spring Hill and North River. The church was placed on a two-point charge with Fort Des Moines in 1930.

    The church suffered the loss of two parsonages by fire. In 1930 the present five-room modern and convenient parsonage was built. In 1947 the church was redecorated and a new electric organ installed. A nursery, outside steps and church sign are new additions to the church. Carlisle and Palmyra are a two-point charge at the present time.

    Church Ministry

    Throughout the years, the invitation of the Christ is given to all in the community by the ministry of the church. Many have heeded the call to salvation and have come to worship Him Who is their Savior. The Methodist church has provided ministers for the Carlisle Methodist church to preach the gospel, to administer the sacraments and to serve in other ministerial capacities. Thirty-seven ministers have served the church during the past seventy-five years. The church has trained many young ministers and has sent them forth to become great ministers for Christ.

    The Rev. Mr. JOHNSON was the first pastor in the year 1857, with the Rev. Mr. HARDY as the presiding elder. The pastor's salary was $300. Ninety-five years later (1952) it had increased ten times.

    The ministers from 1900 to the present time include: 1900, F. G. CLARK; 1902, J. I. FARLEY; 1903, Paul GARDNER; 1905, C. B. GUEST; 1907, A. H. RUSK; 1908, C. W. BREWER; 1912, A. E. GEORGE; 1915, W. R. MANNING; 1916, W. A. WALBURN; 1917, W. H. MEREDITH; 1918, C. H. MILLER; 1919, E. E. PARKS; 1922, W. C. HILMER; 1923, F. B. MOORE; 1924, A. S. HUESER; 1926, Harold MORGAN; 1927, B. W. McELDOWNEY; 1928, H. M. COOPER; 1931, Fay MARRIOTT; 1933, B. R. VAN DYKE; 1934, C. O. STROBL; 1937, C. S. ARNOLD; 1939, C. E. THEILE; 1941, E. C. SEARS; 1943, E. JOSTENS 1946, Milo MORRIS; 1950, D. E. WOOGE; 1951, Ray E. MILLS, who is the present minister.

    Church Membership

    The charter members were: Mrs. Sophrona SHOEMAKER, Mrs. Eliza PETRE, Betsy BUXTON, Thomas PARKER, Fred and Caroline DUPREY, James CONLEY, Sabra HARGIS, John and Eliza WITEBORN and Mary PORTER. The membership increased to seventy-eight by 1870. In 1910 there were 196 members of the church. The membership for the conference year 1951-52 is 262. Members of the official board for the conference year 1952-53 are as follows: Trustees—Glen PEGRAM, Hugh SCHRIER, Paul WALKER, Harmon LANCASTER, Clarence PRESTON, Ray RUNYAN, Marion GOODHUE, Wilbur GOODHUE and Howard PETRE; stewards—J. V. ELLISON, Earl CANADAY, Marvin RICHARDSON, Mrs. Ray SCHOOLEY, Ben MILLER, Mrs. Francis PETRE, Duane VAN PATTEN, Mrs. Glen MILBURN and Miss Joan MANSON, treasurer; communion stewards—Mrs. Marion GOODHUE, Mrs. Glen PEGRAM, Mrs. Elizabeth McGRATH; church school—Mrs. Ruby EGGERS; Methodist Youth Fellowship—David GOODHUE; Woman's Society of Christian Service--Mrs. C. L. LOVE.

    Church Organizations

    The church school was organized in 1862 by Mrs. Sophrona SHOEMAKER and Samuel MACK. Other superintendents throughout the years include William BUXTON Sr., S. J. Councilman and C. BEAUCHAMP. Recent church school superintendents include Arthur PRALL, Wilbur GOODHUE, Mrs. Earl CANADAY and Glen PETRE. Marion GOODHUE is the present superintendent of the adult department and Mrs. Neal EGGERS is superintendent of the children's department.

    The Woman's Society of Christian Service organized from the Ladies Aid society has always been an important and active organization in the church. The following ladies have served as president within the past few years: Mrs. Matilda CHAMBERS, Mrs. Rose PRESTON, Mrs. Elizabeth PEGRAM, Mrs. Lacella OWENS, Mrs. T. J. PARKS, Mrs. Ida THOMAS, Mrs. Frances ELLISON and Mrs. Lelia LOVE, who is president this year.

    The Women's Foreign Missionary society was another woman's organization in the church. Mrs. Maggie YARNALL, Mrs. Rose PRESTON, Mrs. Ida THOMAS, Mrs. Louise PETRE, Mrs. Lulu BEAUCHAMP and many others were faithful workers. This organization is now a part of the Woman's Society of Christian Service.

    The church is concerned about its young people. The Methodist Youth Fellowship was organized from the Epworth League as the youth organization of the church. It is concerned with missions, Christian living, community service, worship and fellowship. The present officers include David GOODHUE, Edward OWENS, Kay HOLT, Martha WILT, Delores LOCHMILLER and Geraldyne BRENNAN.

    Other activities of the church include choir, Junior Fellowship, fellowship suppers and special worship services. The men and women of the church have been active in giving their best to their Master.

    “Celebration of 130 Years” [Carlisle Methodist Church, 1987], copied from an article in the Warren County Historical Society Library.

    The Carlisle United Methodist Church will celebrate their 130th birthday Sunday, November 22nd. A Proclamation of the 130 years will be made at the morning worship service at 10:30 a.m. Birthday cake will be served at the annual Thanksgiving dinner that evening.

    The Carlisle United Methodist Church had its beginning as a Methodist class organized in 1857, as part of the Fort Des Moines Circuit. The first Quarterly Meeting was held in 1859 at which time the church became a part of the Hartford Circuit. For a number of years services were held in the schoolhouse until a church building was built in 1867 costing $2,500.00. The Carlisle Circuit was organized in 1870 consisting of Carlisle, Bloomfield Chapel, Palmyra and Hartford. Each of the four points had preaching services every two weeks.

    The church building by 1910 was becoming worn and inadequate for the growing needs of the congregation. It was razed and the present one built in its place. The total cost of this church and furnishings were $12,500.00 When it was dedicated March 12, 1911, it was free of debt. The interior has been changed through the years; the latest being in 1979, when the sanctuary was completely renovated.

    The Educational Building was added on in 1965.This houses the Church Office, Pastor’s Study and several Sunday School rooms.When the church was built, it had eighteen beautiful stained glass windows given in honor or memory of loved ones.In 1976 Lexan was put on the outside to help protect and preserve these windows for future generation.Down through the years many loyal workers have been faithful to follow in the footsteps of the founders and carry on the work of the church, which has a place and a part of the community in and around Carlisle.

    Most recent additions to the church parsonage complex has been extensive landscaping around the front of the church and the parsonage and a Memorial Flag pole and rose garden in front of the church office. A beautiful United Methodist cross and flame emblazoned on the front of the education unit gives an unending witness to the community of God’s presence.

    Plans are now being made to install air conditioning in the sanctuary. As exciting as the new physical changes have been, the congregation is even more proud of the fact that, in the last two years, over 100 new members have been added to the current membership to make a total of over 400 members plus 150 constituents for full membership as they celebrate their 130th year.