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[Nemaha County Genealogical Society]

United Methodist Church

Seneca, Kansas

The United Methodist Church of Seneca, Kansas was organized 12 July 1858 in the home of Mrs. Burgraves on Turkey Creek, Nemaha County, Kansas. This congregation was on the circuit of the Kansas-Nebraska unit of the Holton Mission, Topeka. By 1870, services were being held in Seneca. During 1870 and 1871 the congregation met in the Universalist Church of Seneca. From 1872 through 1874, the congregation met in the Old Van Loan public school building in Seneca. In 1875, the congregation began building its own church at 6th and Castle streets. This building was dedicated on 10 June 1877. A new church (the current building) was built at the corner of Seventh and Main and dedicated on 18 May 1893.

The majority of the records for this congregation have survived intact. The congregation has established an historical display in the choir room off of the sanctuary which includes most of the older record books for the church.

The oldest of these books was begun by Rev. John A. Amos in 1874. In this book, he records the names of the various circuit ministers along with the early history of the church. In addition, he transferred information into this book from some earlier records. These transfers are noted as such with each record. Besides this historical summary, the information found in this book includes the following sets of information: Record of Members in Full Connection, Record of Marriages, Record of Baptisms, Probationer's Record, and Class Records. This book includes records up through 1884. The Record of Members in Full Connection is arranged alphabetically and contains the name of the individual, the date they joined the church and remarks about their membership. The Record of Marriages is arranged chronologically and contains the date of the marriage, the names of the parties, their residence, their ages, the place of the marriage, the minister and remarks. The Record of Baptisms is arranged chronologically and contains the date of baptism, name of subject, whether adult or infant, the names of parents (infants only), date of birth (infants only), place baptized, minister and remarks. The Probationer's Record is arranged chronologically and contains the person's name, state in life, residence, when received, by whom received, when baptized, and when and how disposed of. The Class Records are arranged by register (number) and include the name of the individual, state in life, residence and remarks.

A second record book contains similar information covering 1884 through 1911. A third book titled, Ideal Church Record of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was published by Hunt and Eaton of New York. The earliest record in this book is for a baptism on 5 Dec 1897. The majority of records cover the years 1900 through 1913. It appears that these two record books may cover overlapping time periods.

A fourth book has an entry dated in 1917 in the "Historical Record" section recorded by the new pastor indicating that the "pastor's names have either been omitted or records lost since Rev. J. A. Swaney of 1900" signed by Arhie J. Morton, pastor. It is possible that one of the earlier books was lost for a time and since returned to the church. Even though this information was recorded in the front of the book, the Record of Members in Full Connection contains entries dating from 1902 through 1926 indicating some overlap with previous books. Like the previous books, this book contains the Record of Members in Full Connection, Record of Probationers, Record of Marriages and Record of Baptisms. In addition, this book contains a Record of Funerals. This funeral record contains the date, name, age, place of internment, and minister's name for each entry. These entries date from 1919 through 1924.

Records since 1924 are kept in the church office. These records contain similar information to the older records with the addition of information regarding the confirmation of the youth into full membership in the church. This record contains the name, date of confirmation and minister.

Oct. 1995

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