Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    Browns Chapel Methodist Church

    Browns Chapel Methodist Church, near Milo in Otter Township, was built in 1871 as the Pleasant View Methodist Episcopal Church in Belmont Township.In 1880 it became the Fairview Methodist Episcopal Church, until 1891 when it became the Fairview Baptist Church. In 1894 it was purchased and moved to Otter Township to become the Browns Chapel Methodist Church. The Chapel was rebuilt in 1895. It burned down on Feb 3, 1929 and a new church was built the same year.


    History of Brown’s Chapel is copied from the The History of Warren County, Iowa, compiled by the Warren County Genealogical Society, Curtis Media Corp., Dallas, Texas, 1987, written by Thelma PEHRSON

    Browns Chapel is a county church located about five miles south of Indianola on Highway 65. It is a non-denominational church with members from all areas of Warren County.


    The Fairview Church north of Milo, Iowa was purchased by the people of Browns Chapel and was moved to land owned by James BERRY. This was in 1894 following a revival conducted by Charles FLESHER. The first minister was Rev. GRANTHAM. This original church burned on February 3, 1929. The congregation immediately made plans to build a new church, and the cornerstone was laid in September 1929. The services were conducted by Dr. Walter A. MORGAN. Among those present was Charles COZAD, grandson of Thomas BROWN for whom the church was named. Services were held until 1952, when lack of attendance caused the church officers to suspend Sunday meetings.

    On July 9, 1970, the church resumed holding services. Extensive repairs were made to this building and there was a remodeling of the building in 1974. In 1979 a large new building connected to the old church was added. Since services were resumed in 1970, the following pastors have served Browns Chapel: John LONG, John R. JANNINGA, Davis BROWN, and currently [1987], Pastor Gene ARNS.

    From a 1970 advertisement (no newspaper title or exact date given), at the Warren County Historical Society Library:

    For the first time in 19 years, a worship service will be held at Browns Chapel Church, Sunday at 7:30 p.m., followed by refreshments. John LONG will be in charge of the service. The church is located on the north side of highway 65, a mile east of the junction of highways 65-69 and 349 south of Indianola. It was built in 1929, replacing an older structure that was destroyed by fire. The church had been served by student ministers from Simpson College from 1945 until February 1951, when the last service was held.