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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Galva Methodists Celebrate 125 years with dove release

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The congregation of the First United Methodist Church in Galva will host a day of celebration on Sunday, June 4, to mark the 125th anniversary of Methodism in the community. Pastor Ron Johannsen will conduct the 10:30 a.m. service with the sermon presented by Sioux City District Superintendent Rev. James Hanke. A dove release will follow the service. At noon a potluck dinner will be served. Afternoon activities include a group picture, a balloon release by the children and a 2 p.m. service with special music followed by a social hour with refreshments and fellowship.

The Rev. J. W. Lind, with the help of Rev John W. Southwell organized the first Methodist Class of Galva early in 1881. The Methodist Episcopal Church of Galva came into being in 1884. A church building was erected one block east of the present bank corner in September 1885. Thirty-eight members had joined the church by October 1887. During those early years the Women's Home Missionary Society and the Epworth League was organized.

A new church was erected and dedicated in September 1900 at the 300 Crawford St. location. Throughout the following years improvements and renovations were made. The church union of May 1939 changed the official name of the church to the Methodist Church. Ground was broken on October 2, 1966 for an educational building to be attached to the west side of the 1900 building. The Methodist Church was changed to United Methodist Church when the Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist Church merged in 1968.

By 1990 the 1900 church was in need of many repairs. Following news that the church would be one of the beneficiaries of the estate of Iola Wescott, members felt encouraged to proceed with plans for the construction of a new building while preserving the educational annex.

On August 25, 1991 a Reunion Sunday was held to commemorate the many years of service the old church had provided. The following day demolition of the structure began. Oak woodwork, stained glass windows and fixtures were salvaged and much was used in the new building, which was completed in January 1992.

On Christmas Eve, 1991 the traditional candlelight service was held in the still unfinished church. When the church became debt free a Dedication Service was held September 24, 1995.

The congregation extends a cordial invitation to former members and the public to share this special day as they celebrate.

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