St. Clair County Missouri
Churches

 

 

Lowry City United Methodist Church
Lowry City, Mo.

History from Lowry City Quasquicentennial Book 1871-1996:

Some of the early settlers of the village, “Pride of the Prairie” were anxious to have a place
to worship. A group of these settlers consisting of William Hook, B.H. Woodbury.
George Houk and son Henry, met in Woodbury Hall in 1865 and organized the
Methodist Episcopal Church.

Shortly after the organization of the church, W.H. Hillegas, Frank Hubbard, John Frances
and other families settled near Lowry City and in 1878 the church was built at a cost of $900.00.

At first they had no musical instruments and singing was led by Henry Houk using a tuning fork.
Later an organ was purchased and Miss Alice Pertle was organist, followed by Effie Hillegas,
Belle Frances and others. In 1908 the church was remodeled with Charles Hillegas and
John Wyland as carpenters.

The Methodist Church, South was organized and deed recorded in Book 21, page 303,
Recorders Office, Osceola, Mo., dated May 18, 1885. John H. Lucas in behalf of
William T. Johnson, G. Whitelow Shield and Susie B. Shield, his wife, gave the deed.

In 1939, the two churches of Lowry City became one in the unification of the three branches
of Methodism and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South building was sold.

Because the church could not adequately serve the people of the community, a building
program was begun in April 1953. This included remodeling of the sanctuary, an addition of a basement, fellowship hall, classrooms and a parsonage.
On January 19, 1956, Bishop Ivan Lee Holt dedicated the building.

As a celebration of the building in 1956, the congregation held its first Ground Hog Supper,
which has become the annual fund raiser for improvement and upkeep of the property,
plus a donation to the Bishop’s Scholarship Fund at Central Methodist College, Fayette, Mo.

In 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist Churches united and the
church is now the United Methodist Church.

Submitted by Mary Zeiler

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