History

LIST OF PASTORS

1854 - A.D. Field; 1855 - Samuel Henry; 1856 - T. Cotton; 1857/58 - T. Watson; 1859  - John Grundy & A.C. Frick; 1860  - J.B. Dille & E.H. Penfield; 1861/62 - Allen E. Day; 1863 -  J.M Cosler; 1864 - Samuel Hart; 1865 - Horace Tiffany; 1866 - A.S. Atherton; 1867/68 - S.P. Alford; 1869 - E.N. Bentley; 1870 - Oscar Jennie; 1871/72 - L.V. Webber; 1873/74 - W.W. Wells; 1875 - W.O. Norval; 1876 - W. Evans; 1877 - Wm. Hart; 1878 - O.M. Dunlevy; 1879/80 - W.G. Miller; 1881/82 - J.R. Watson; 1883 - C.E.Rowe & Wm. Wonderwood; 1884 - C.E. Rowe; 1885 - G.I Bailey; 1886 to 1888 - W.R. Warner; 1889 - J. McAllister & A.S. Haskins; 1890 - T.M Harris; 1891/92 - G.L. Taylor; 1893/94 - J.W. Denning; 1895/96 - M.M. McCrieght; 1897 to 1899 - F. W. Imboden; 1900/01 - R.W. Ames; 1902/03 - J.G. Blair; 1904 to 1906 - W.L. Douglas; 1907-09 - A.J. Jolly, 1910/11 - T.J. Wood, 1912/13 - R.J. Vandervoort; 1914/15 - Wm. H. Day; 1916 to 1918 - W.L. Barnes; 1919 - Oscar C. Penticoff; 1920 to 1922 - U.Z. Gilmer; 1923 to 1926 - D.K. Sailor; 1927/28 - Franklin McVey; 1929 to 1931 - Carl W. Gamer; 1932 to 1936 - Victor H. Roberts; 1936/37 - Homer E. DeLap; 1937 to 1939 - John A. Decker; 1940/41 - W.P. Gauer; 1941 to 1944 - E.H. McKee; 1944 - W.W. Haw; 1945 to 1950 - Richard L. Stolp; 1951 to 1954 - Robert Pitsch; 1955/56 - George Baldridge; 1957 to 1960 - Henry Crede; 1961 to 1964 - Byant Keeling; 1965 - Richard Blair; 1966/67 - Robert Brandstatter; 1968/69 - Michael Hurt; 1970 to 1972 - William Ekstrom; 1973/74 - Paul Herrell; 1975/76 - Wayne Fyffe; 1977 to 3/15/79 - Ernie Ray Henson; 4/1/79 to 2/15/81 - Danny Lybarger; 3/22/81 to 1982 - Irving Kenyon; 1983/84 - Rubye Russell; 1985 to 8/15/89 - Leah Pogemiller; 10/1/89 to 1990 - Dorotha Russell; 1991 to 1993 - Ann Champion; 1994 TBS (To be supplied), 8/13/94 to 1997 - David Schultz; 1998 TBS;  8/15/98 to 1999 - Jeanine Reardon; 2000 to 2001 TBS, 9/9/01 to 6/30/15 - Mark Amenda; 7/1/15 to Present - Karen Fabian.

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NOTE: Prior to 1961 the Charge/Circuit/Parish was Mazon, the District was Bloomington, and the Conference was Illinois.  In 1961 the Conference became Central Illinois.  In 1966 the Charge/Circuit/Parish became Verona-Mazon.  In 1978 the District became Pontiac.  And in 1997 the District becamse Vermilion River and the Conference became the IGRC (Illinois Great Rivers Conference).  

 

A Brief History of Mazon Methodist Church

(Written in 1953 for the Homecoming on March 8th)

Before its destruction by fire, it was sold and used as a residence.  Later this building was moved closer to Old Mazon and served as a school as well as a place of worship.  This first Church was built some distance north and east of what is known as Old Mazon.  Early pioneers whose names are associated with this beginning are A.K. Owen, J.C. Murray and Moyer.  In 1844 Methodism was organized here and the first Church was erected.  As early as 1833 there are records of Methodist work being carried on in the Mazon community.              

1856 saw a great revival and the building of a parsonage.  The furnishings consisted of crude benches and kneeling stools with a table for a pulpit.  By fall of the same year the new house of worship, about 18 by 30 feet in dimensions, was finished.  Starting on May 23, the builders used an ox team to haul boulders for the foundation.  A new church was built in 1855 at Old Mazon.               

Names of some families who were prominent in the Church at the time were Murray, Royal, Fuller, Bagley, McKeen, Drake, Staup, Seeley, Huston, and Van Falkenburg.  One of the last notable services held in this Church at Old Mazon was a revival in 1877 with 110 conversions.  Our history tells that the entire Church interior was draped in crepe. The first mention of a Sunday School in Mazon was found in 1873.  Second, a President Lincoln Memorial Service was held here in 1865.  A note is made that $47.37 was received as a Missionary offering.  First, our pioneer Methodist fathers had a concern for Christian Missions. During Civil War days two interesting items are mentioned.                

Thus the third Methodist Church to be erected in this community was started in the present village of Mazon in 1877, and was completed and dedicated by December 1878.  This Board consisted of Zachariah Isham, George Daniels, Salem Irons, Isaac N. Clithero, T.W. Royal, A.F. Drake, Ira Bagley, A. Randall, Matthew Johnson, and David Taylor.  A Board of Trustees was elected to secure and hold property for a new Church in Mazon.  This growth of Mazon meant the decline of Old Mazon, and consequently, the Old Mazon Church was abandoned to build a new Church in Mazon.  This was true for various reasons, among them the building of the Santa Fe Railroad.  By the 1870's the present village of Mazon, then known as Centerville, was beginning to grow and prosper.               

This is now the home of Victor and Anna Laase.  In 1878 the parsonage was built.  The land was deeded by Mr. and Mrs. George Daniels and by Mrs. O.W. Weston.  This new Church stood on the site between the present residence of Dr. W.F. Breisch and Bill Weston's property.               

The builders were Salem Irons and Thomas Garrett.  An inscription over the arch read, "Let us go into the house of the Lord."  Behind the pulpit, painted on the wall, was a fresco representing the interior of a temple with Corinthian pillars, with a black and white tiled floor.  In front of the pulpit was the traditional Methodist altar railing capped by walnut moulding.  The imposing part of the interior was at the pulpit and choir end of the Church.  A tall, graceful steeple adorned the front of the Church.  The high double windows had fan-like grills at the top.  The 1877 Church was an imposing edifice.               

  The building committee was composed of D.P. Taylor, T.B. Hough, and Zachariah Isham.  It was first occupied in February 1904 and cost $2900.  On July 17, 1903 the building of the new parsonage began.  In 1902 the parsonage was sold, with the decision to build a new one beside the Church.  By July 19, 1896 the Church building was moved to our present site.  The nearness of the K and S. Railroad with its traffic made too much noise for quiet, concentrated worship.  1895 found Mazon Methodists dissatisfied with the location of their Church.  Also, a furnace was installed this year.  Benevolences given in 1892 amounted to $174.  In the same year a revival netted 49 new members.  In 1886 the Mazon Methodist Church had a membership of 93.               

The storm destroyed the tall Church steeple.  July 17, 1903 is memorable, not only for the beginning of the present parsonage, but also, for a cyclone that hit Mazon that day.               

On the last Sunday of that Conference year, thirty young people crowded the altar to take the holy vows of Church membership.  A revival that year netted thirty conversions.  All Church indebtedness was wiped out with the burning of a note in a public service on August 29.  1906 seems to have been a year of victory in many ways.               

Members of the building committee responsible for the remodeling program were A.J. Campbell, T.E. Kelly, L.R. Murray, T.B. Hough. E.S. Strong, F.A. Martin, and David Taylor.  March 8, 1908 marked the dedication of this renovation.  Also, a new furnace and a new gallery in the west end were installed.  The change resulted in locating the pulpit in one corner with pews in arranged in a circular fashion around the pulpit corner.  In 1907 the Church was remodeled at a cost of $1900.

Only a few of the many faithful folk who had served many years in that Church were H.E. Pomeroy and daughter, Sadie Isham Clark, Mrs. Eliza Keltner, C.B, Fuller, Alta Viner, John Meecham, Mrs. Carrie Campbell, F.W. Jewett, Eva Murray, and Lizzie Hart.  A note in our record tells that Duane R. Bryant, with others, saved the parsonage from being destroyed at the time the Church was burning.  Thus, the third Methodist Church building in this community was only a memory.  It was totally destroyed in an hour.  On March 31, 1925 a grass fire crept up to the north side of the church and set it ablaze.

On March 28, 1926 the new brick structure, in which we worship today, was dedicated to the glory of God. This is the fourth building to be used as the Methodist Church in Mazon in 109 years of Methodism in this locality.  The new Church cost $25,000 for materials with about $10,000 given in voluntary labor, wagons, teams, and trucks by many different persons.  Ground was broken on August 3, 1925 with the first shovel of dirt being turned by Rev. Howard Leach, the only person ever to enter the Christian Ministry from our Church.  The dream of a new Church building began to grow, and on July 1, 1925 a committee of E.S. Strong, William Carter, Mr. and Mrs. U.G. Taylor, and C.A. Finch began the task of soliciting funds.

Miss Cash died just one month later.  After the worship service that day, a jubilant note-burning ceremony took place.  From her sick bed, Miss Cash called for Mrs. U.C. Taylor to come to take word to the congregation on Sunday, July 17, 1932 that she was surrendering the note to the Church and that the obligation was to be considered paid.  This sum represented the last bit of indebtedness of the Church.  Miss Mary Cash, a member of our Church, held a $500 note against the Church of which $350 was still due.  A thrilling story is told of how in the depth of the depression our Church became debt-free.

  Also, in these years the parsonage was painted and the basement of the Church was extensively rearranged to make possible the full use of the basement for ChurchSchool purposes.  Our historical record shows that Homecomings Services were held in 1935 and 1936 to mark the anniversary of the building of the Church.

Our Mazon Methodist Church is now one of thousands of local Methodist Churches to be found in cities, villages, and open country all across our land.  This historic Church union has made Methodism the largest Protestant denomination in the world.  A significant event in the life of our Mazon Church came in 1939 when the Methodist Protestant Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the Methodist Episcopal Church united to become The Methodist Church.

A printed bulletin of that day's services shows that a fitting service was held to mark this event.  In 1944 the centennial of our Church was observed on December 10.

The interior of the Church upstairs and downstairs, has been painted in the last few years, so that physically our Church building is in good condition.  An electric Hammond organ and new carpeting were installed.  Mazon and Gardner were separated as a circuit and Mazon thus became a full-time station.  Several improvements were made in the years of 1944 to the present.

These gifts enrich our worship of Almighty God and for them, and those who they memorialize, we are grateful.  Under our Memorial Plan, our Church has recently been enhanced in value by gifts of useful equipment and furnishings.

Only the Heavenly Father knows the true spiritual record.  Spiritual intangibles though unseen are nevertheless real.  Of course, much cannot be recorded.  This is a record of past events and achievements in 109 years of continuous growth and service as The Methodist Church.

Now what of the future of Mazon Methodist Church?  That depends upon the service that she can render in the name of Christ.  Our Blessed Lord said, "He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."  What is true of an individual is true of the Church.  Our community needs Mazon Methodist.  Only when the Church serves the spiritual and social needs of the community and the world unselfishly for Christ's sake, can it hope to live.

Let us here rededicate ourselves to serve Christ and His Church with gladness and love.  Thus we shall become a part of the endless line of splendor that is the glory of the Church.