Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    White Oak Township Pleasant Hill Church

    White Oak Township, Pleasant Hill Church, located in White Oak Township, northeast corner of section 20.  

    Pleasant Hill Methodist Episcopal Church history, copied from the History of Warren County, Iowa from Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, by Rev. W.C. MARTIN, S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1908

    This church was organized in 1852.  The RANDOLPHS, the McCLURES and the BILBOS and others took park in the organization.  At first they worshiped in private houses, and later in a schoolhouse.  The first pastor was E. L. BRIGGS, who made his headquarters in Indianola.  At an early date this became a very prosperous and interesting society.  The society continued to worship in the schoolhouse until 1871, when a church building was erected at a cost o0f $2,000.00 during the pastorate of Michael SHEETS.  The appointment was sometimes in one circuit and sometimes in another.  For the last fifteen years it has been in Spring Hill circuit.

    In 1901 the church was rebuilt at a cost of $2,000.00.  It is a very neat and comfortable building, and answers the purposes for which it was erected.  W. O. FRIER is the Sunday school superintendent.  The Sunday school enrollment is seventy.  The current expenses of the Sunday school is $30.00.  The Epworth League has an enrollment of twenty-three, with Miss Nellie SAYRE, president.  Mrs. Emma HUTT is president of the Ladies’ Aid Society.  During the year past this society has raised over $150.00.  The present membership of the church is ninety-five.  The incidental expenses of this church for the last year were $127.00.  The benevolent collections amounted to $150.00.  Paid on pastor’s salary last year, $150.00.  The present pastor is Benjamin R. VAN DYKE. 

    From - The Indianola Herald, Indianola, Iowa, Thurs., Dec 12, 1901, p.2, col.1

    The old church at Pleasant Hill was built during the summer of 1871.  The contract was let to W. A. Eberman who commenced work about the 25th of May; it was dedicated after harvest of that year by Rev. A. C. Williams, of Des Moines.  Rev. M. Sheets was pastor at that time, and deserves great credit in pushing on the work.  The total cost of the church was $1,739.75; it was a good substantial structure for that day.  There are but few of the old guard left who helped build that church; many have gone to their long home, including the pastor, while others have moved away.  But the good seed of faith and good works planted by these early pioneer veterans of White Oak twp have been the means of bringing forth much fruit and laid the foundation of His living church both broad and deep, the same being the chief pillar of our free institutions.  We are indebted to Mr. E. Bilbo for the above facts, he and his former wife being lifelong friends of Pleasant Hill church.  Since last summer and fall the old church has been undergoing extensive repairs, and Rev. C. W. Proctor and the building committee deserve much credit for their effective work.  Sincere thanks are due the committee from all for what they have done, and their work is fully appreciated by all friends of the church.  It has taken time and labor to keep things moving along smoothly and the committee has had no easy task to perform.  The good people in and around Pleasant Hill church ought to be happy that in 1901 they erected such a beautiful church in which to worship.  J. B.

    Note: Pleasant Hill Methodist Church building was given to Center Chapel by the South Iowa Methodist Conference and razed in 1949.  Some of the salvaged lumber was used for a remodeling program at Center Chapel Church.