THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF COLO


Statement of Welcome, Vision, and Mission:

Welcome to (y)our church - The United Methodist Church of Colo! We stand together, united in Christ our Lord, and serve as a lighthouse for the community. With a rich heritage as a strong faith foundation, we look forward to future, with "Open Doors, Open Hearts, and Open Minds," as we are called to shed the light of God upon more people, reach out responding to their needs, and beckon them to become disciples of Jesus Christ.

Background, History, and Heritage:
In June 1969, the United Methodist Church of Colo came into existence when the Colo Methodist Church and the Calvary Evangelical United Brethren (E.U.B.) Church became one body in Christian worship, having worshipped together since 1968 under their own agreement. Both of these two congregations began over 100 years prior to this merger. The following historical information regarding these churches is derived from the 1996 Iowa Sesquicentennial book titled Colo: A Place to Call Home; 1865-1996 (pages 25-27). This book is available at the Colo Public Library.

The Calvary United Evangelical Church (the former name of the Calvary Evangelical United Brethren Church prior to 1946) began with the organization of the Colo class of the Evangelical Association in 1867 with 18 charter members, including the Smith, Gross, Harding, Hemping, Martin, Gressley, and Bumgardner families. This class was a part of the Iowa Center Circuit. In 1874, Colo was made a circuit and was served by Rev. J. Q. Yerger. Services were first held in the homes, the schoolhouse, and the Methodist Protestant Church. In 1892, Lot 6, Block 17, Blairs Addition of Colo was purchased for the location of a new church building. It was dedicated as the Calvary United Evangelical Church by the year of 1894. Through the prayers, resources, and diligent work of its members, the Colo church grew into a homey Christian congregation going about the Lordís work. Following the 1946 national merger of the United Brethren in Christ and the Evangelical churches, the Colo congregation became the Calvary E.U.B. Church. On Sunday, November 5, 1967, members and friends of the Colo E.U.B. Church held a family fellowship to mark their 100th anniversary as a congregation. Beginning in 1968, joint worship services were held with the Colo Methodist Church (catercorner at the Fourth and Voorhies intersection). In June 1969, the 86 members of the E.U.B. Church formally merged with these close neighbors to form the United Methodist Church of Colo.

The Colo Methodist Episcopal Church (the former name of the Colo Methodist Church prior to 1939) began with organized classes in the area as early as 1867. Members in Colo were listed under the pastorate of J. S. Colt (1866-67) and P. H. Early (1867-1868), but this list is not complete with only a few properly dated. George H. Richardson was a class leader in Colo for many years.

The purchase of Block 2 original plot of Colo was purchased from J. L. Dana for the sum of $100.00 on December 23, 1868. The trustees listed on the deed are: W. W. Utterback, Peter Martin, M. J. Hanks, Joshua Cooper, George H. Richardson, G. H. McIntosh, and Abel Hankins. This property was sold in the year of 1886 to I. S. French for $100.00. Therefore, it is assumed that no improvements were put on the land.

The congregation used the town hall, schoolhouse, the Methodist Protestant Church, and Church of God for services until 1886, when they purchased the church building belong to the Church of God. It was on Lot 1, Block 23, the present location of the United Methodist Church. This building was remodeled and used for 16 years.

The Colo church incorporated on September 18, 1886, to become Colo Methodist Episcopal Church. This article was signed by George H. Richardson, S. M. Dayton, Charles Niskern, J. W. Ambrose, and J. H. Shammo as the church board. Following the 1939 merger of the national church bodies of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Protestant Church, and the Methodist Episcopal Church (South), the Colo congregation became the Colo Methodist Church.

A new brick church was built and dedicated on October 28, 1902. As the membership grew, so did the need for more room. An educational annex was consecrated on October 28, 1962. Dedication and burning of the mortgage on the annex was held June 9, 1968, with a special service. Rev. Paul Hasel delivered the message, and Rev. Floyd Newbrough assisted with the service. Rev. Duane Manning was serving the church as pastor at this time. It was through the hard work and ingenuity of the Building Builders that helped bring about the full payment of the $68,000 for the educational annex in less than six years. With the remodeling of the front entrance in 1954 and the sanctuary in 1962, the church has an attractive, ample building to carry on the needs for Christian work. A mural of Christ painted by Erick A. Janders in 1925 has been admired by all and is a memorable part of the church.

In 1898 a new parsonage for the was built on Lot 12, Block 23, Blairs Addition of Colo. In 1971, this frame parsonage was deemed inadequate according to the church conference's checklist on parsonages. An investigating committee felt that it would not be realistic to remodel the present parsonage at quoted prices, and the congregation voted to build a new parsonage on the present site. A building committee was elected as follows: Victor McKinney, Ruth Robinson, Donald Wilson, Phyllis Harper, and Ralph Schnur. A consecration service for the completed brick home containing over 1,800 square feet, with a full basement and an attached garage, was held October 29, 1972. The keys were presented to Rev. James Louk, and an open house was held to view the very attractive, tastefully decorated home. The mortgage was burned and the parsonage dedicated at the worship service on September 8, 1974. Rev. Harold Dellit, District Superintendent, delivered the message. The cost of the completed parsonage, landscaping, interim rent, and miscellaneous expenses totaled $39,202.

New pews and carpeting in the main church building were installed from money netted from serving meals at the Farm Progress Show of 1980--a lot of planning and hard work! Other improvements include tuckpointing the outside of the original church building, re-roofing, and restoration of the stained-glass windows. The space between the main building and the educational annex was finished to house an elevator. The only hired labor for this project was the brick laying and the electrical wiring; the men of the church completed the other necessary work. More recently, in 2003 the bell tower was refurbished and repaired (a joint effort between the Trustees and the Boy Scouts towards earning Matt Schnur an Eagle Scout status).

In 1984 Jeff Dadisman entered seminary. In 1988 Dadisman began the ordination process under appointment as a pastor of a United Methodist Church in western Iowa, and in 1990 he was ordained.

Pastors serving the United Methodist Church congregation include: Rev. Duane Manning (1966-71); Rev. James Louk (1971-77); Rev. Harlan Babcock (1977-82); Rev. James Tener (1982-86;) Rev. Jack Weida (1986-95); Rev. Russ Burnett (1995-2000); Rev. Sung Park (2000-2001); Rev. Lee Williamson (2001-2003); and Rev. Jim Roth (2003-2007), Lewis Flanigan (2007-present).