OUR HISTORY

 

In 1879, the first religious services of our church were held by the resident Methodist pastor of Freesoil.  Then in 1880, regular services were conducted in the schoolhouse located at Crawley's Corners, the crossroads 1/2 mile north of Scottville.  Quite a few of the congregation were Free Methodists, as there were no other churches in the Scottville area at the time.  They were quite lively in their worship and had very zealous services.

 

History of First Methodist Episcopal and First Methodist Church of Scottville

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Scottville was organized on Feb 27 1884 under the direction of the Rev. Bischop and his brother, Charles.  There were 8 charter members.  During this time, the church held their services in Welch's Opera House (located about where the Landromat was).

 

In 1890, a building was constructed ont he site where the present church now stands.  This brick church was erected in 1924, at a cost of a little over $24,000.  In 1891, resident pastors began to be appointed.

 

The parsonage was purchased in 1890.  It was a 1-story building.  In 1901, it was raised and changed into the current 2-story structure.  In 1911, a basement was dug and a furnace installed.  There was a fire in the parsonage in 1933, at that time the entire interior was refurbished.

 

The Methodist Episcopal Church (South) and the Methodist Protestant Church merged with the Methodist Church (North) forming the Methodist Church in 1939.

 

History of Fern Methodist Episcopal and Fern Methodist Church

In Eden Township Methodists worked diligently with the Native Americans around 1880 but there is no record of a building. There was a great Methodist camp meeting for the Native Americans on the South shore of Lost Lake (now Pleiness Lake). In 1906, Fern Methodist Church was bult across the road North of the school. It was closed in 1955.

 

History of Victory Methodist Episcopal and Victory Methodist Church

In the summer of 1894, the Rev. Benson, A Methodist evangelist conducted a tent meeting in Victory Township. These meetings led to the organization of a Methodist Episcopal Church in September. The Rev. George Millard was appointed as pastor of Victory and Scottville. They constructed a building an on Sept 4, 1898, it was dedicated with windows, pews, an altar and other donations. Volenta Fisher Sinclair was the first organist.

 

History of Grace Evangelical United Brethren Church

In 1872, Mr. Jacob Houk, a member of the Evangelical Church of West Salem, OH, moved to Summit Township in Mason County, Michigan.  Finding there were no religious services in the community, he sent a request to the Michigan Conference asking that  amissionary be sent to Mason County.  The Conference sent the Rev. Samuel Heininger in Apr 1872 who organized missions at Summit, Clay Banks, Ludington, and Riverton.

 

An Evangelical Church was established in Scottville by the Rev. J.J. Marshall in 1885.  Their first church was built on East State Street.  In 1895, the church was sold to the Baptists and the Evangelical Church was disbanded.  In 1901, Rev. D.P. Rumberger started prayer meetings in his home, and in a short time a class of 25 members was organized.  Plans for a new church were made, and a lot on the corner of James and Main Streets was purchased.  The church was dedicated in 1902 and a parsonage was built in 1904.  In 1938, the membership of the church was 85 with a Sunday School enrollment of 90.

 

History of Scottville United Methodist Church

In 1959, the First Methodist Church of Scottville and the Grace Evangelical United Brethren Church of Scottville consolidated.  Fern Methodist Church joined in 1960 and Victory Methodist Church united in 1967.  These churches have had parallel histories, and now share a united history.  Many of the members were relatives or friends for years before the union and now share a common building.  Several members from each of gthe former congregations are still present with us in 1997.

 

In 1964, the social rooms were added to the church.  About 1974, the interior of the santuary was completely renovated under the support of J. Ralph Reeds who did a large share of the work.  The next completed expansion project was the purchase of adjoining property in 1975 which resulted in the West parking area in 1976.

 

The Rev. D. Hubert Lowes was appointed in Jan 1, 1984 as pastor.  In 1985 plans were made to build a new roof over the OLscial Rooms and kitchen.  This was completed in 1987 and a new parking lot was installed in 1988.  The "Old Mack" house to the East of the church was removed and further improvements were made in the land for parking.  During the Lowes' tenure the basement educational area was renovated.

 

The Rev. Merritt Bongard became pastor in 1993.  During his pastorate, construction began on an elevator and atrium.  Handbells were purchased and practice begun for the Handbell choir, directed by Joanne Heintzleman.  The Carillon (a set of chromatically tuned stationary bells, usually hung in a tower and played from a keyboard) was upgraded and the church bought its first computer.  Sally Jenks LaFrance and John Ritter entered the ministry from the United Methodist Church.