Winner United Methodist Church

Picture courtesy of the
Tripp County Historical Society Archives

The first Protestant Church in Winner, probably the very first church in Winner, was the Methodist Church. In 1910, Reverend I. P. Potter, a Methodist Circuit Rider, rode into winner to begin the work.

The first class meeting (founding congregation) was organized October 31, 1910, with twenty-five members. Two years later, on October 27, 1912, the first building was dedicated at a cost of $3,809.50 and was built by S. L. Davies, a contractor-homesteader from Ideal, South Dakota. The basement was added later for an additional $10,000.00.

The first Board of Trustees was composed of:
J. T. Trezona, J. A. Edwards, Jr., G. E. Shaver, G. O. VanMeter, A. L. Tawson, and Roscoe Knodell.

The original Board of Stewards included:
J. T. Trezona, Mrs. J. T. Trezona, Mrs. E. M. Backus, G. O. VanMeter and Mrs. G. O. VanMeter.

From the organizational meeting in 1910 to the present, the Winner Methodist Church has steadily progressed. Some of the highlights in the memory of its members are:
In 1912, the first church structure was built with no lighting.
In 1916, lighting was added to the church.
In 1916, the parsonage was built.
In 1920, the basement was placed under the church building.
In 1925, the indebtedness for the original church was retired.
In 1946, the organ and the chimes were installed.

During the ministry of Reverend Payton Loy (1949-1955), the Official Church Board, took action to transfer $3,025.00 from the general fund to a building fund for a new church building. By October 1, 1954, there were $85,835.79 in gifts and pledges to begin the building of a new structure. Construction on the present church building, at the cost of $245,000.00, began in 1956 when the original building was moved to the northwest corner of Winner where it continues to serve God as the Indian Gospel Mission.

During the construction, in the spring of 1956 through May of 1957, the congregation met in the American Legion Hall. In May of 1957, services were moved to the basement of the new church. On Easter Sunday, March 29, 1959, the first service was held in the new sanctuary. The following year an all out effort was made to complete the building in time to accommodate the Annual Conference. They succeeded, and on June 2-6, 1960, the South Dakota Annual Conference met in Winner with 300 delegates and ministers from all over the state in attendance to enjoy the new facility and be about the work of the Lord.

For about fifteen years during the 1960's and 1970's, the Winner Methodist Church was involved in a cooperative ministry with five other churches: Colome United Methodist, Lakeview United Methodist, Ideal Presbyterian, Millboro United Church of Christ, and Wewela United Church of Christ, which comprised the Tripp County Larger Parish.

Thirty-two pastors have served the church as senior pastors during its history, in addition to eight or nine associate pastors, who have served Winner and the Tripp County Larger Parish. The current Pastor is Phil Lint.

The membership of the Winner United Methodist Church has grown from 25 members in 1910 to 443 members in December of 2007. Throughout its history, the church has sought to be faithful to the Lord, responsive to the needs of the people in the community, and to be of service to the world at large. The Mission Statement adopted in 2003 is, "To bring people to Christ; to help people grow deep in Christ."

In the community to serve! Established in 1910, the Winner United Methodist Church has served the community for 97 years. It is located on the corner of 4th and Van Buren Street, two blocks west of the U.S. Post Office. It currently offers Sunday School classes for all ages on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m., a contemporary Sunday worship service at 8:30 a.m., a traditional Sunday worship service at 10:45 a.m., a Wednesday evening worship service at 7:00 p.m., and various Bible Study groups are offered. For further information, please call the church office at 605-842-0854.

Information courtesy of the
Tripp County Historical Society Archives

To make way for a new church building the old Methodist Church was moved to a new location. The building was donated to the Society of Indian Missions and is still in use today on Iowa St. in Winner.

Pictures submitted by
Information submitted by RM

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