History of the Vineyard Methodist Church


Rev. Russell V. Carr, November, 1952

Early in the year of 1866, Dr. A McWright, Methodist minister, 
located in Glencoe as a physician. Almost immediately he began 
to hold services in Glencoe and Hutchinson, continuing to do so 
in Hutchinson whenever the weather would permit. Meetings 
were held in the homes, in the only general store, owned by 
Sumner and Parshalls, and in the small log schoolhouse which 
was also the town hall and general meeting place.

In 1857 the Methodist Conference appointed Rev. John Pugh to 
Glencoe, then a part of the St. Peter District. He and Dr. 
McWright came to Hutchinson that fall and assisted in organizing 
a Methodist Society here. No record has been kept of the 
membership of this first society but we know the Asa Hutchinson 
family was a part of it.

A year later, Rev Henry Elliot was appointed to the Methodist 
Church in Glencoe and Hutchinson and Rev. J.J. Hill to the 
Glencoe Congregational church. These men preached here on 
alternate Sundays. Between 1860 and 1870, the following 
served the church; Rev. Judd, Rev. F. Savage, Rev. Wm. 
Bawdish, Rev. Chas. Fasig, Rev. Chas. Bawdish and Rev. Cobb. 
Part of this time Hutchinson was attached to Cedar Mills and 
Greenleaf, and part of the time to Glencoe and New Auburn. 
During these years at least six revivals were held in Hutchinson, 
the most successful being conducted by Rev. Savage and Rev. 
Chas. Bawdish.

In 1869, W.H. Harrington gave the village of Hutchinson 20 acres 
of land for park purposes setting aside lots for the first church to 
be built in the community and for school purposes. Questions 
about title to the property were settled by a special act of the 
1870 State Legislature with Lewis Harrington as McLeod County 

Early in 1870, Asa Hutchinson purchased a load of lumber and 
work began on the Methodist Community Church. A letter from 
O.D. Hutchinson, 75 year old surviving member of the tribe of 
Asa, received in June 1932 tells of the activities of his family in 
the early church program. Because of depression conditions, the 
Tribe of Asa went East and sang in many of the New England 
states helping to raise money for the building of the church back 
home. Included in this group were Asa, Lizzie, Abby, Fred, and 
Master Dennett. During that summer the family took a cottage at 
Martha's Vineyard and sang daily at the Methodist Camp 
Meeting. At the end of the Camp Meeting at the suggestion of 
the Presiding Bishop, a love offering was taken for our local 
church and in token of appreciation that church has since been 
known as Vineyard Methodist Church. Many gifts were received 
on this Eastern trip besides money, among these was the bell in 
the tower, given by friends in Boston in 1874.

The procession of pastors continues with typical short Methodist 
pastorates of that date. In 1871, Levi Gleason was appointed, in 
1872, Rev. Mr. Windsor. In 1873, Rev. L.P. Foster served and a 
board of trustees was set up with Wilbur Higgins, D.H. Lynde, 
Asa Hutchinson, Herman Dayton and H.B. Goldsmith.

During the earlier years a number religious groups used the 
church, which is now the Youth Chapel. Th e of the building was 
denied to General Putnam who wanted to hold a lecture on 
Spiritualism therein. So he broke the lock on the door and the 
lecture was given, no record was kept of the size of the 

In 1874, Rev. H. Brook was appointed and had a successful 
three year pastorate. Rev. L.P. Smith was appointed in 1877 and 
also stayed three years, Then Rev. Brook returned for one year, 
leaving the ministry at the end of that year to become a 
prominent West Coast contractor, as he was not able to support 
his growing family on ministerial salary. The first parsonage was 
built west of the during his pastorate.

Rev. A. Matson followed him for two years, and then Rev. B.Y. 
Coffin who remained for one year. (We hope to have greetings 
from his daughter, Miss Isa Coffin, who still lives in North 
Minneapolis, at our anniversary). In 1884, J.W. Clapper was 
appointed and remained two years. His son, Horace, graduate of 
an Eastern College, was the first curve ball pitcher ever to come 
to Hutchinson, and baseball was a delight to the home fans while 
he was here.

In 1886, the Presiding Elder, Thos. McCleary preached a 
number of Sundays until Rev. Thos. Chipperfield arrived from 
Central Illinois with his wife who was also a preacher. She 
conducted a number of revivals in neighboring communities as 
well as in Hutchinson and the records indicate that about 400 
were converted under her ministry that year.

Rev. J.L. Farber was here in 1887 and Rev. G.W. Burch began a 
four year pastorate in 1888. During his service, the Epworth 
League was organized.

During the two year ministry of Rev. L.W. Ray beginning in 1892. 
The church was rebuilt to its present size, even in the face of 
nation-wide depression. Several gave up trips to the Columbian 
Exposition in Chicago to give money for the church building. This 
large building program was financed for about $5,000. Memorial 
windows ($800) were installed with the largest one being 
financed by the Epworth League.

Dr. J.C. Shelland followed Rev. Ray and also stayed for two 
years. Rev F.W. Hart was appointed by Bishop Fowler and 
remained four years. During this time the church sponsored 
many lectures and entertainments and in 1898, the Northern 
Minnesota Conference was held here presided over by Bishop 
Joyce. Rev. J.C. Crozier served from 1900 to 1904 followed by 
Rev. E.H. Nicholson for one year and Rev. J.L. Pickard for two. 
Rev. Wm. Hodgson served from 1907 to 1909; Rev. S.S. Farley 
from 1909 to 1912, Rev. J.R. Davies from 1912-1913, and Rev. 
Calvin J. Graves from 1913-1915.

In 1915, Rev. E.A. Cooke (who may be present at the 
Anniversary) came to Hutchinson. During his three year ministry, 
the building was remodeled, raised and a full basement put 
under the entire structure. This made the church the most 
complete church plant in the city. Rev. Cooke was busy not only 
in the church but in various war activities such as Red Cross, 
YMCA and Liberty Loan drives throughout the County.

In 1918, Rev. A.L. Richardson became pastor. During his four 
year pastorate a union revival was held with Rev. Aldrich in 
charge. Five churches cooperated.

In 1922, I.L. Seager began a six year pastorate, the longest up to 
the time. Both he and Mrs. Seager were effective in the church 

In 1928, J.W. Robinson was appointed and served four years.

In 1932, Paul J. Snyder was appointed to Hutchinson, coming 
from Calvary Methodist Church in Minneapolis. During his 
ministry a remodeling job was done on the Parsonage, moving it, 
putting in a full basement and hot water heating plant. 
Unfortunately, Mrs. Margaret Snyder passed away on April 27 of 
1935 and Rev. Snyder asked to be transferred at Conference the 
following fall.

He was followed by James Burns. During his ministry the Lake 
Jennie church was rededicated and the Spring Grove church 
reopened. The Hutchinson church was rededicated in 1936 and 
in 1939 further changes were made at parsonage.

Rev. Floyd Kufus was appointed in June 1940 and served until 
1945. The church continued to show steady growth and some 
repairs were made on the building including a new roof. At the 
close of his ministry, Thomas Barnard entered the full time 
ministry in North Dakota.

In 1945, Russell V. Carr was appointed to Vineyard Methodist 
Church and is now in the 8th year in this pastorate, the longest in 
the history of the church.

During these years a number of changes have been made in the 
church plant: a new Hammond organ, gas heating, and modern 
rest rooms, redecorated basement including sanded and 
refinished flooring. The church attic was insulated and the Youth 
Chapel and church office were constructed, and a Church 
School library set up during the last several years. This past 
summer the auditorium was completely redecorated and several 
new memorials will be dedicated on Anniversary Sunday. During 
these same years a stoker, hot water heater and a number of 
other improvements have been made at the parsonage.

During the past seven and one half years, about 275 members 
have joined the church, with the present membership at about 

Heading the list of officers for the present year are Ben 
Benjamin, Lay Leader; Lay member Annual Conference, Albert 
Sander, Francis Ahrens and Grant Christianson, Pres. and Secy. 
of Trustees; Mesdames Herman Schmidt and Dorothy Sellen, 
Financial Secretaries; Arthur Benjamin, Treasurer; Chas. 
Stocking, Chairman Finance Committee; Mrs. George Tews, 
Pres. W.S.C.S.; Mrs. Lida Rolander, Pres. W.S.G.; Lois 
Christianson, Pres. Youth Fellowship; Ivan Hurt, Head Usher; 
Mrs. L.M. Lerberg, Director of Music and Mrs. H. Felepe, 

The Ninety-Fifth Anniversary program will get under way on 
Sunday, November 2nd with Sunday School at 9:45. At the 
11:00 morning Worship, Dr. Edward Foote, District Supt., will 
speak and dedicate several memorials; at 3:00 the Informal 
Anniversary service: "Looking Backward and Forward" with 
messages from former members, former pastors, etc., and this 
will be followed at 5:30 by a pot luck supper at which out of town 
folks will be guests of the home folks. Dr. Paul Snyder of 
Mankato, pastor here from 1932 to 1935, will speak in the 
evening. Special memorial plates picturing the church with a brief 
history will be on sale throughout the day.


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