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Our History
Celebrating Our Past

In celebration of our 150th anniversary, the Russell United Methodist Church in 2004, we recounted the events of our heritage.

Religious services were first held in private homes during the years 1830- 1851, with circuit riding pastors coming through as often as possible.

In 1852, a log schoolhouse was built at the corner of Fox Hill Road and Akeley Hollow Road. It became the meeting place for the church members with Rev. C. Irons during 1852-1853.

In 1883, the village of Russellburg was renamed Russell, changing Russellburg Methodist Church to Russell Episcopal Church.  During the early years, the church allowed various denominations to rent the building for their services–the church was referred to as the Russell Union Church.

In 1854, the church was dedicated with Reverend S.S. Burton as pastor. The lot on Main St. was purchased on June 18, 1854, from Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Marsh for $100.00. Lumber at this time was $2.00 for 1000 feet.

The Methodist Episcopal Church supplied ministers until 1968, at which time, the United Methodist Church came into being as a denomination. In April 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren Church Conference merged with the Methodist Church Conference, we were renamed the Russell United Methodist Church.

An extensive remodeling project began in 1903. The roof was changed, and a new one put over the old one. The spire was removed and the present steeple was erected.

In 1922, the church remodeled the sanctuary by constructing a balcony and a choir loft.  In 1940, the board of directors authorized the Men’s Bible Class to excavate a space under the church for a new classroom. This portion of the existing basement was dedicated in 1946, at no cost to the church board.  The basement was enlarged in 1954, to provide a kitchen and dining room.  A furnace was also installed.

In 1949, new pews were given in memory of Lieutenant Arthur Lindell by his parents Andrew & Delia Lindell. Lieutenant Lindell was killed in World War II.  The bookracks were donated by his sister Mrs. Alice Branstrom.

A new organ was purchased in 1949, by donations and proceeds from public dinners. The chimes were installed in 1957, in memory of Dr. and Mrs. Charles H. VerMilyea.

The education building, Wesley Hall, was built behind the church in 1964. In 1974, new siding was put on the church, and in 1987, a new entrance porch ramp and steps were built.

Pastors Who Have Served Our Church

Simon S. Burton 1854-1856

James Gilfillan 1856-1857

Edward A. Anderson 1857-1859

John C. Scofield 1859-1861

Samuel N. Warner 1861-1862

Peter Burroughs 1862-1864

David Mizner, Zaccheus W. Shadduck 1864-1865

Warner Bush 1866-1867

Samuel Hollen 1867-1868

Charles W. Reeves 1868-1869

Henry W. Leslie 1869-1871

Joseph F. Hill 1871-1872

Francis A. Archibald 1872-1874

Edward Brown 1874-1876

Abraham H. Bowers 1876-1878

Lucius J. Bennett 1878-1880

Lucian F. Merritt 1880-1882

Clement W. Miner 1882-1884

Cornelius C. Hunt 1884-1887

Jeremiah Garnett 1887-1889

William A. Heath 1889-1890

Louis W. Elkins 1890-1891

Cornelius C. Hunt 1891-1894

Charles R. Thompson 1894-1895

Augustus E. Ryan 1895-1896

John W. Wilson 1896-1897

Arthur B. Wilkinson 1897-1899

Wilfred H. Childs, Samuel L. Todd 1899-1901

S. J. Servoss 1901-1905

L. M Hiller 1905-1906

J. J. Giblin 1906-1907

Herbert H. Clare 1907-1909

Sidney J. Sarver 1909-1913

William A. Thornton 1913-1914

Artland L. Pardee 1914-1919

C. J. Feig 1919-1920

Perry F. Haines 1920-1922

George C. McDowell 1922-1926

Arthur A. Swanson 1926-1929

Harold L. Knappenberger, Sr. 1929-1936

Rueben K. Rumbaugh 1936-1939

Robert S. Naylor 1939-1942

David O. May 1942-1943

Palmer N. Taylor 1947-1949

John Buck 1949-1956

Clifford C. Headland 1956-1962

Arthur F. Hummel 1962-1970

John A. Squires 1970-1974

Lloyd D. Tennies 1974-1979

Timothy M. Storms 1979-1983

Marshall K. Snyder 1983-1992

Gerald Lundeen 1992-1993

John Patrick Lenox 1993-2002

Gary K. Donaldson 2002-to 2010

Dave Heckman 2010 to 2016

Jerome Kennedy 2016 to 2020

Bay Allen 2020 to Present

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