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From 1965 to 1980 Click here for Printable version

Chatfield United Methodist Church
1965 - 1980

During this time the name of the church was changed from Chatfield Episcopal Church to Chatfield United Methodist Church. It was also during this time that only three pastor’s were appointed:
George Jacobus 1966-1967 (1 year)
Franklin Christenson 1967-1971 (4 years)
Clinton Becker 1971-1981 (10 Years)

In 1965 there was a D.V.B.S. (Daily Vacation Bible School) that was held June 7-11 from 9AM to 2:30 PM.  It is interesting to note that also during this time Chatfield was a two point charge with Fountain.  It became necessary during this year that Lanesboro be added for one year.  That made for a three point charge which meant it was necessary for someone to help Pastor Quam with the morning services.  Needless to say Pastor Quam was quite busy during that year.

Church Night at the County Fair was also quite a deal.  Many pastors from the area participated in the evening service at the fairgrounds.  In 1965 between 1,500 and 2,000 people were expected to show up for the evening service.  I did not see a follow up article to say just how many did come.  But even 1,000 or more would have been quite a sight.

A sidelight from church events was also the building of a brand new swimming pool for the city of Chatfield. It opened late that summer.

It was in 1965 that a commitment to build near the old church site was made and the lots on the hill were
purchased for a total price of $1,600. Also during this time a new church was proposed. From the drawings and model it was a church to be built on one level with sanctuary, fellowship hall, classrooms, kitchen and study.  For whatever reason that church proposal did not get approved and it would be 10 years before this church would be built.  During that time George Jacobus became pastor for one year. Then in 1967 Franklin Christenson was appointed to now the Chatfield-Fountain Parish.  The seeds for a new church had been planted but again it would take 10 years before this building would be approved in 1976.

During this 15 year period many programs would continue like the Father/Son Banquet which was now making history due to it longevity. The Women’s organizations were very active as was the Men’s organization.  The Youth were very active as well and there was an active Sunday School. The church needed to expand and it became necessary to envision a new facility on the hill.  The white frame church has served well over the years and had seen many a baptism, wedding, funeral, potluck and dinners served. As well many Sunday morning worship services and Sunday evening services had taken place. Many people had come to the communion rail for Holy Communion over the years and many souls had been won to Christ!!   The white frame church had been the focus of worship for over 75 years, but a new beginning was opening up as the congregation made its way up the hill to its new sanctuary and fellowship hall. Pastor Clinton Becker would be the shepherd during the process.  He came in 1971 and helped prepare the way for new ministry and the building of the church.  He was able to stay as pastor until 1981. This is somewhat different for a pastor that goes through a building process with a church usually leaves shortly after the church is built.  I am not sure of all the dynamics of this, but a lot of energy is expended during the process of planning and building.

The new building would be consecrated on January 23, 1977 and was conducted by Bishop Wayne Clymer. The building committee chairperson Paul Denny presented this new building to the Glory of God and to the service of all people. Recognition was given to the Architectural Firm (Ralph Shimmer), the General Contractor (Peter Nelson), the Electrical Contractor (Nietz Electric), Plumbing & Heating Contractor (Larry Hovey. Pews (Ossit Church Furniture) and Carpet (Riley).

And now began a new history of baptisms, funerals, weddings, potlucks, dinners, Christmas Programs and many others activities of the new Chatfield United Methodist Church.

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