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The Humboldt United Methodist Church


Kimberly Ash


The Humboldt United Methodist Church just recently celebratedits 75th anniversary. Although this is really how old it is, a strangerwould never think it was that old. Through these 75 years the church hasmade many improvements and had had many ministers.

The church with all its improvements and help of ministersis now really a change from the little church made in Humboldt in 1908.

In 1893, the little church was built near Humboldt withthe help of Rev. J. B. Moore who was the minister here. That same yearthe first Sunday School, under the superintendency of George Matthew, thesecretaryship of Victor Clow, and the treasuryship of Sanford Balderston,was made. At this time, Rev. Moore set sail for a three month trip to theHoly Land. On his return back he had brought some water from the JordanRiver. Also, during his service here, his only child, Dr. John H. Moorewas born. At the Conference in 1899, Reverend George Swinnerton, a nativeof England, took over services. In 1900, a parsonage was built at St. Vincentwith the total of $600. Also, at this time, the first Ladies Aid Societywas organized.

In May of the year 1901, a new pastor, Rev. Charles Flesher,came. He preached at the first recorded baptismal and wedding ceremonyof the congregation. The baptismal service was for Wallace, Florence, Edward,Carrie, John, Saddie, and Marget, children of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cameron. It was held on April 29, 1901. On October 16th, a wedding was held forEmma Kechnie and E. J. Kruse.

During the time of the five years the pastors Johnson,Manly, Smith, Harrington, and Chappels were ministers here.

In 1908, when Rev. Benjamin Colls was pastor, the littleMethodist Church was moved into Humboldt.

In the years 1910 and 1911, Rev. Mason came and gave thechurch his services.

In 1912, Rev. George Fenske came. This year there wasa remarkable increase in the Sunday School.

In 1913, another pastor came, Rev. George Powell. He organizedthe Women's Foreign Missionary and a Junior Missionary. Two stoves thenwere installed in the parsonage and electric lights were made in the church.

The next year, Humboldt didn't have a regular pastor.

The next year, Rev. Robertson came. He encouraged thebuilding of a parsonage here in Humboldt. It was built and the Nelson Finneyfamily, whose home had been entirely destroyed by fire, moved into the parsonage. However, it wasn't until Rev. Ingram came that the parsonage became a hometo a minister and his family. Also, the parsonage in St. Vincent was sold,making the Humboldt parsonage the only one.

The next year, Rev. A. R. Henry of New York came to Humboldt. He established an Athletic Club and a Play Day.

By a mutual agreement, he and Rev. S. T. James, who preachedat Thompson, North Dakota, exchanged pulpits. The next year, Rev. Jamesministered at Humboldt.

In the years 1925 and 1926, Rev. Hart came. His aptitudefor carpentry gave rise to the Church Hall.

The Rev. H. H. Gilbert in 1927 and Rev. Bartholomew in1928 were both from Winnipeg. They would arrive on Saturday night by thetrain and sometime in midweek they would go on the train home.

Rev. D. Stanley McGuire was the next minister. Duringhis services, a bell was placed in the tower, and an electric cross wasinstalled, also a piano was purchased. Along with all this, new hymnalswere bought and forty new members enrolled in the congregation and 26 baptismsand 4 revivals were recorded.

In October 11, 1934, Rev. Wagner and Rev. Engelbretson,the first and only two women in the Church's history, came. They preachedfor 13 years.

During the summer of the year 1940, the church receiveda gift of $500 from Mrs. Congdon of Duluth, Minnesota. This fund completedthe Church Hall. The same year, the church pulpit was refinished, woolcarpeting laid, and flags were also added.

The next minister was Rev. Evertt Hanson. He remaineduntil March 1949. Then they closed down the St. Vincent church and unitedwith the Methodist church of Pembina.

Rev. Richard Holden preached from March 1949 until MissViola Hampshire came in September. She was not ordained but she remaineduntil June of 1950 when Rev. H. Hill came.

Following the flood of 1950, the Methodist Churches ofHumboldt, Pembina, and Joliette joined together.

In 1951, Rev. William D. Collins then came. During hisstay the church interior was paneled and painted. Also, recessed lightingwas installed and new carpeting was laid in the chancel and in the aisle. The pews were sanded and refinished, tile on the floors of the church andfellowship hall was laid, and in the summer of 1955 the fellowship hallwas resided and reshingled.

In the year 1956, Rev. Collins decided to move to anotherchurch. We were again without a pastor until May, 1957. But, through thisyear we were supplied with different ministers and speakers. During thistime, the parsonage was remodeled with a complete interior and a new kitchenwas made.

In 1957, Rev. Ritter came to preach and stayed in the newlyremodeled parsonage.

Now, a parsonage was being made in Pembina so that thepastor could be in the middle of all three churches.

In 1958, during the winter months, improvements in thefellowship hall were made like, a new kitchen, rest room, water and sewersystem, back entry. Also, the old windows and doors were replaced.

Rev. Norman Pilgrim came in 1960. He served as a pastorfor two years.

Rev. Kallweit came and preached here from 1962 till 1968.

Our present pastor, Rev. Edwin H. Werner came in 1968.

More improvements were made in 1968. They consisted ofa newly painted inside of the church and parsonage. In 1972, a new furnacewas installed and in 1973 the walls of the fellowship hall were paneled,new lights were installed in the fellowship hall, and the floor was raisedto be a complete level all through the church.

As organization, the church has regular Sunday services,Sunday School Choir, Youth Group, Women's Society, and a church board.

The church, with all it's improvements and the help ofit's ministers, has been a major part of the Humboldt community since 1908.


Ash, Mrs. Leo, Interview, January 6, 1974

Gill, Mrs. Ernest; Isely, Mrs. Warren; McCallum, Mrs. John;50th Anniversary publishers, 1948

Gill, Mrs. Ernest; Isely, Mrs. Warren; McCallum, Mrs. John;75th Anniversary publishers. 1973

hers, 1948

Gill, Mrs. Ernest; Isely, Mrs. Warren; McCallum, Mrs. John;75th Anniversary publishers. 1973