This account of the 125 years of the Spring Hill Methodist Church is written to preserve a heritage for which we are grateful and which we believe should be recorded while there are those who were eyewitnesses to early events or who knew oldtimers who had been acquainted with the early days of the local church. Included in this account are events and writings, teachings and discipline of the Methodist Church.
The spring of 1858 found us without a school or church. Our community had been too small to support either up to that time, but we thought the time had arrived when we might sustain occasional preaching. So we went in search of a minister of the gospel, one who would be willing to preach occasionally at first, with a view to establish a regular stated service for our people. A preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church by the name of Hulbert, who lived about 2 miles from Baldwin City, agreed to come the following Sunday and hold services at my house. . . When Sunday came, he was on time; in fact we were on the lookout for him and saw him coming miles away on the prairie. In those days we could always tell him minister as far as I could reach. . . They always traveled on horseback the horse invariably had a sort of pious regular trot and carried the inevitable ministerial saddlebags. He had no sooner gotten there then the house was filled. The people crowded in from all directions. Some came on horseback and some with ox teams, a few in two horse wagons, but none in buggies, for buggies were scarce as railroads. . . The meeting was such an unexpected success and the preacher so encouraged that another appointment was given out. From that time we had started preaching. . .
Reverend Whitney started a building campaign and in 1869 the first permanent church building of which we have record for the Methodist Episcopal Church was erected on lot 1 block 52 of the original town of Spring Hill. The church was one block east of the town square at the northwest corner of Jefferson and Hale several old timers remember the white frame building.”
So begins the recorded history of Spring Hill Methodist Episcopal Church, which became Spring Hill United Methodist Church in 1968 when the Methodist Episcopal Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren to form the United Methodist Church. The church has been a vital part of the Spring Hill community since 1858, changing lives through doing Christ’s work in the world.
The beautiful building in which the church now worships was built and dedicated in 1911. The stained-glass windows tell a story of the church’s heritage, remembering Jesus’ work on earth, John and Charles Wesley’s influence as the founders of the Methodist movement, and memorialize individuals without whose work the church would not exist today.
Spring Hill United Methodist Church is proud of its heritage as a vital piece of Spring Hill’s history. It continues to value relevancy in a changing culture. The church’s building will be a long-standing monument to the work God has accomplished for over 150 years in a small suburb of Kansas City. The church looks forward to its next 150 years of sharing Jesus with a world and a community in need of grace, goodness and love.
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