DELANO UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
The United Methodist Church in Delano has its roots back in 1869 when the first religious services were held in the old Powers hotel. In 1870 a Methodist society was then founded under the guidance of Reverend Cressy. Charter members were William and Mary Hawker, Luther and Mary Walter, W. H. Landis, Mrs. Maude Chance, J. W. Powell, Miner Ball and Mother Walter. Worship services were held in Lucas Hall until the church’s own building was erected on Third Street in 1872 or 1873. The architect, Reverend Copp, was paid $20.00 for his services.
Miner Ball sent out an appeal for funds to pay the $500.00 owed on the building so it could be dedicated. The funds were raised and the church building was dedicated in 1875. Reverend McChesney preached the sermon at the dedication.
A Ladies’ Aid Society was formed in 1873, when Reverend F. L. Tuttle was pastor. A Sunday School was formed with William Hawker as superintendent. Before the building was finished, the school met in in a log school house on the river bank at the corner of Elm and River Streets.
Pastors and supply pastors followed one another in rather quick succession for a number of years. The circuit was very large and life was arduous.
The church was remodeled in 1923. At that time the church was called the Methodist Episcopal Church, the name coming from when the denomination was born as a separate entity in 1784 in Baltimore. Before the American Revolution, the Methodists were a movement within the Church of England working for renewal. After the Revolutionary War, the Methodists in America formed their own connection. The word ‘Episcopal’ in the name referred to the fact that the church was led by bishops.
In 1939, the Methodist Episcopal Church united with the Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Methodist Protestant Church. The latter two churches were 19th century break-offs, one because of slavery and the other because of a dispute in church policy.
The three bodies formed the Methodist Church at their union. Later, in 1968, the Methodist Church united with the Evangelical United Brethern Church to form the United Methodist Church. And so, the Delano Church became the Delano United Methodist Church. In 1974 the church had its own pastor Reverend Hugh Stephenson. No longer was the church joined on a circuit with other churches.
Pastors who faithfully served Delano United Methodist Church:
1974-1984 Rev. Hugh Stephenson
1984-1987 Rev. Milton Lentz
1987-1992 Rev. Alan Nyhus
1992-1995 Rev. Becky Sechrist
1995-1996 Rev. Elaine Shelby
1996-2000 Rev. Roger Wolsey
2000-2007 Rev. Jim Beard
2008 Rev. Larry Nielsen
2008-2017 Rev. Matthew Sipe
2017- Currently Rev. Christina and Chad Koppes