Methodist Church Dedicated

Rev. Welton and parrshioners knew their fundraising and hard work had paid off.  Enthusiasm did indeed prove to be contagious, and Skidmore’s citizens finally celebrated the dedication of the new Methodist church on a bright Sunday in July 1906.  From the July 19, 1906 Skidmore New Era:

Skidmore Methodist Church, dedicated July 1906.   G. C. Ashbrook’s photograph of the new church appeared in the Skidmore New Era on July 19, 1906.

Dedication of the New M. E. Church

Two years ago last March the Rev. W. H. Welton was appointed pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church at this place.  He found an old fashioned church much the worse for wear of its 25 years of service.  He soon began to agitate the question of a new church more modern in its appliances and better suited to the needs of the congregation.  He did not meet with much encouragement for a time.  Finally his enthusiasm began to be contagious, and one by one the membership fell in line with his leadership.  A new and more eligible site a block east of the old building was secured and on December 14, 1905, the corner stone of the new church was laid by Revs. E. B. Lytle, of Maryville, Mo., and C. W. Abel, of Clarinda, Iowa.  The work was pushed by the untiring energies of the pastor, backed by the building committee and board of trustees of the church, and by July 14, 1906, the building stood complete, ready for dedication.

The Rev. Dr. Thos. C. Iliff had been secured to preach the dedicatory sermon and have charge of the finances.  The death of his brother prevented his coming so that the burden of the work fell upon the Rev. E. B. Lytle, Presiding Elder of the Maryville District.

The accompanying cut gives good representation of the exterior of the building.  In addition to the description given a week ago, the main auditorium is 33×54 feet including the choir recess, and the lecture room is 24×24 feet making the entire dimensions 54×60 feet.  In the basement the Sunday School room is 33×38 feet and the Epworth League room is 24×24 feet.

The report of the treasurer of the building committee showed the entire cost to be $9000.00 in round numbers.  It was decided to ask for $4000.00 in order to meet all claims.

By 10:30 a.m. Sunday, the house was literally packed with people, many being present from the surrounding country and the adjacent towns.  Among the prominent visiting laymen from abroad were, S. H. Prather, of Tarkio, Robt. Wells, of Maryville, and Jonas Whitman, of Mound City, each of whom made substantial contributions toward the debt.

The opening services including a solo by Miss Mary Randall, of Maitland, occupied the first thirty minutes.  At 11 o’clock, Rev. Lytle announced his text as follows: “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.  Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”  Psa. 73.2, 17.  The preacher was at his best and to those who know the ability of Rev. Lytle as a pulpit orator that means a great deal.  The speaker carried the entire sympathies of his auditors and, at the conclusion of the sermon made the financial statement and called for subscriptions.  In less than an hour the gifts aggregated $4,356.70, besides the donation of a good young horse easily worth $100.00.  Different times during the money raising the congregation sung the doxology with great enthusiasm.

Rev. C. H. John, a superannuate of the Missouri Conference residing at Maryville, and the following pastors, Revs. J. W. Anderson, of Stanberry, J. Will Coughlan, of Maitland, and C. M. Bolin, of Graham, were present and assisted in the Sunday morning services.

The church was filled again at night and Rev. J. W. Anderson, of Stanberry, preached an appropriate sermon from the text: “By their fruits ye shall know them,” Matt. 7. 12, after which the building was formally presented by the trustees through their chairman to the Presiding Elder, who proceeded to dedicate the building for the worship of God, carrying out the impressive ritualistic service of the Methodist Episcopal church.

To say that the people called Methodists in Skidmore are jubilant over their success is a very mild putting of their feelings.  One of them caught himself whistling on the street Monday and said, “Today is the first time I have whistled in two weeks.”

Much of the splendid success of the Sabbath day was made possible by the discussions and carefully laid plans made at the business meeting on Saturday in which the Presiding Elder, pastor, and the Revs. C. H. John, of Maryville, and J. W. Anderson, of Stanberry, met with the trustees.

It is impossible to overestimate the work of the pastor in bringing about this splendid improvement to our city.

In making ready for the dedication the church people did not forget to prepare for the entertainment of those who came from a distance, but did all in their power to make their stay as pleasant as possible. In this they succeeded, as we were informed by one who enjoyed the hospitality of some of the homes say that more was done in this line than was at all necessary.

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