Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    Liberty Center Green Plain Methodist Church

    Liberty Center Green Plain United Methodist Church, 19900 180th Ave, Liberty Center, IA, phone (641) 942-7739, dedicated in 1907.


    History Of Green Plain Church, written by Rita SPEAR, copied from the History of Warren County, Iowa, by Gerard SCHULTZ and Don L. BERRY, The Record and Tribune Company, Indianola, Iowa, 1953, pages 119-151

    Green Plain church was organized about 1870. Mrs. Jane STOREY started a Sunday school meeting in the Green Plain schoolhouse. Preaching services were held on alternate Sundays, Friends, Lutherans and Methodists working together. Sunday school was held during the spring and summer months.

    Among the charter members were Mrs. Jane STOREY, Mr. and Mrs. J. D. GRAHAM, Mr. and Mrs. Lee MONNINGER, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. PROCTOR, and Mr. and Mrs. W. P. GOODE.

    The organization struggled along until 1889 when the Rev. Mr. MAIN, then pastor, assisted by the Rev. Mr. PRATT, held a very successful revival, adding between twenty and thirty new members to the church. With this new life the church began holding Sunday school the year around. Prayer meeting was held twice each week with J. S. DOWNING as class leader.

    The Rev. J. L. JOHNSON, seeing need of a church building, set to work with undaunted zeal and energy and secured the Highland church from east of Milo near Motor. The men of the neighborhood gave their time and labor to tear down and move the lumber to the present site. The land was donated by Francis C. WOLCOTT.

    The building committee was composed of John FRANK, J. S. DOWNING, Joe KIMZEY, J. A. GREENFIELD and O. P. HAMILTON. The church was completed and a dedication service was held January 27, 1907.

    Thirty-two pastors have served. Some of the early ones held services at several other churches. Green Plain has been on Milo charge for many years. John L. BEEBOUT is now the pastor.

    In the fall of 1921 the men of the church dug a basement and the first furnace was installed. A small road team of horses belonging to Byron SPEAR was used on the scraper. This basement was dedicated in February, 1922. Men working at this were Fred KIMZEY, Walter KIMZEY, Joe KIMZEY, J. A. GREEFIELD, Byron SPEAR, Homer DOWNING, Roy KLINE and Frank SPEAR, but all men of the neighborhood helped.

    In 1945 the basement needed remodeling, a new furnace and improved lighting. A friend of Harold OLSON, pastor, Earnest HIGBY of Kellogg, Iowa, gave time and labor to direct the laying of new foundation, and the church was raised twenty-seven inches. A new kitchen and coal room were added. Men of the neighborhood again donated the labor and finances, some spending many, many days to complete the work. All the men helped — Homer DOWNING, Frank SPEAR, Gerald NORRIS, Cyril SPEAR, Robert DOWNING and Leland KLINE were among those who worked especially hard.

    In 1947 our worship center was made with Mr. and Mrs. Homer DOWNING donating the chancel, Mr. and Mrs. Robert DOWNING and Ruth DOWNING the drapery as background, the Rev. and Mrs. Harold OLSON the cross and candlesticks, the Woman's Society of Christian Service the altar and the new kitchen cupboards. The sanding of the floor was provided by Robert, Gladys and Ruth DOWNING. The varnish was a gift of the children's group, youth fellowship and Rita SPEAR. Gerald NORRIS and Gilbert FRIDLEY donated the cost of grading the church lawn and grass seed which was sown.

    In 1951 the interior of the church was redecorated. Nu-wood was installed in the church sanctuary, the work being done by Neil FOUST and Warren DOSS. The exterior was painted by Orville CASHMAN. Again the people of the neighborhood gave their free offerings for the finances necessary. With windows rewired and frames repaired, we have a lovely building which is a truly living church.