‚ÄčPrevious Ministers of Lonsdale UMC

F. M. Combs                               1901-1902

J. A. Baker                                 1902-1904

S. D. Tuttle                                1904-1907

R. C. Wielder                            1907-1908

M. C. Bruner                             1908-1910

W. C. Miller                               1910-1912

G. A. Crowder                          1912-1913

H. M. Hawk                              1913-1918

C. L. Kirby                                1918-1919

J. S. Sanders                            1919-1922

J. F. Rowe                                 1922-1925

H. M. Hawk                             1925-1928

B. H. Morrison                        1928-1929

M. H. Carder                           1929-1932

S. McNeese                               1932-1936

W. C. Martin                           1936-1943

F. D. Watson                            1943-1945

E. C. Berwanger                     1945-1953

R. Parsons                                1953-1954

F. Mason                                   1954-1956

D. C. Morris                             1956-1959

H. Davidson                            1959-1962

John Y. Bacon                        1962-1966

*Wallace B. Newman           1966-1971

*Robert C. Crouch                1971-1973

William B. Milsaps               1973-1978

Fred Gooden                           1978-1983

*Kent Shrader                        1983-1986

Louis Ketron                          1986-1990

Kyle Overton                          1990-1992

*William C. Stooksbury       1992-2000

*Mark Dowell                        2000-2006

*Aldana Allen                       2006-2011

*Robert H. Bean                    2012-2012

*Elaine Ruth                           2012-2016

*Walter Cross                          2016-present

       * - indicates minister is still living

"A great commitment to the great commandment and the great commission builds a great community."

Lonsdale United Methodist Church

     The Lonsdale community and surrounding area have long been served by Lonsdale United Methodist Church. The church's illustrious history can be traced back to 1897. It was in this year that Charles W. Henderson, a man prominent in our church's history, moved to the Lonsdale community. The community was a small one, consisting of approximately 100 people. Most of this group attended the United Brethren Church at this time. In January of 1899, the United Brethren Church was destroyed by a fire. All that remains of the original structure is the large arched window now located in the front of our present church. Following the time of that fire, the move began by Mr. Henderson and other community leaders to found a Methodist church in the area to serve the people of the community.

     In the summer of 1899, Dr. Malear, who was then the pastor of Trinity Methodist Church, was asked to help organize our church. At first, a Sunday School class was created and began to meet on Sunday afternoons. This led further to the establishment of the church itself, known then to the community as the Lonsdale Methodist Church. The original charter members were Mr. Henderson and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Martin, Mr. and Mrs. T.M. Rankin, and Mrs. W.L. Pulliam. The temporary meeting place was a one-room school house on Connecticut Avenue, known then as Lonsdale School.

     Work began on the church in the fall of 1900 when the excavation was made for the furnace. When winter interrupted the work, the site became known as "Henderson's Hole." However, in the summer of 1901, work on the church was finally completed and the church was dedicated. In August of that year, Bishop Hamilton of California held the formal dedication services for the church. Then, in October, the conference selected Reverend F.M. Combs to serve as the church's first pastor.

     Since that first sermon was delivered, many changes have come about for the church. It was during Reverend S.D. Tuttle's term as pastor (1904-1907) that the church was enlarged and the parsonage was built. In December 1907, the church was re-dedicated by Reverend Olmstead of the First M.E. Church. During Reverend E.C. Berwanger's term as pastor (1945-1953), the church was rebuilt. At the same time, the parsonage was moved to the corner of Katherine Avenue and Johnston Street from its previous site where the church is today. Also, an organ and chimes were purchased for the church during this same time period.

     In 1968, a merger of churches took place.That merger was between the Methodist Church, the AME Zion Church, the United Brethren Church, and two other churches. As a result of the merger, the former Lonsdale Methodist Church became known as Lonsdale United Methodist Church.

     On December 5, 1976, the church structure was severely damaged by a fire. Services were held temporarily at the Lonsdale Elementary School. Rebuilding was completed in May of 1977, during the term of ReverendW.B. Milsaps. With this rebuilding, a new sanctuary was constructed and central heating and air-conditioning was added to the former structure.

     Through all of the changes and all of the time since the idea of a Methodist church for the Lonsdale community was first thought of, the purpose of the church had never changed. This purpose is: "Service to the community through service to God." With this as our goal, the church stands prominently as a Christian reminder in the Lonsdale community.