150th HISTORICAL SUNDAY
November 4, 2007
Sarah Ann Benner, Church History Chairperson &
150th Historical Sunday General Chairperson
Cathy Fowler; Kathy Lemme;
Marjorie McVickers; Janet Miller; Lee Miller; Dick Piscatelli, Pastor; and
Our church, as we now know it, has gone through many name changes as well as physical changes throughout the years.
Williamsville Methodist Episcopal Church 1857 – 1903
Mary Prather Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church 1903 – 1939
First Methodist Church of Williamsville 1939 – 1968
Williamsville United Methodist Church 1968 – Present
The first church building was erected in 1857. The steeple with belfry was added later to the church building and a separate hall was also added later adjacent to the structure. The parsonage was constructed between 1886 – 1888.
In the late 1890’s – early 1900’s, a new church building was constructed in memory of Mary J. Prather, with the congregation moving into the new building in 1902. This building looked very similar to our current church.
Early in the 1950’s plans were approved for a recreation area, a dining room, and kitchen to be built in the church basement. Excavation was begun under the entire church building to provide these facilities but before the project was completed, a tornado swept through Williamsville, causing extensive damage to the building. Restoration and improvements were celebrated upon completion in 1952.
The educational wing addition was completed April 14, 1964. This area presently contains the church office with areas for the pastor and office assistant, classrooms, restrooms, and a large ground-level entryway as well as an enclosed, roofless area where one can sit and meditate and/or just find a quiet place to enjoy nature. The Green Room, a room that serves as a conference room/ kitchenette where smaller meetings/luncheons can be held, is also a part of this addition.
Construction on the current parsonage was started in 1988 and completed in January 1989. The large old two-story home built in the late 1880’s, where our ministers and their families had called home for over a hundred years, was becoming a financial burden. It was decided to tear it down and rebuild a new home on the same property just west of the church: a beautiful modern 2,000 square-foot brick home complete with a full basement, four bedrooms, three and one half baths, and an attached two-car garage. At the time the new parsonage was built, it was the only one in our Conference that was handicapped accessible.
The large modern kitchen remodeling project along with other basement renovations were finished in 1997. Although not large, the basement has seen many community chicken and fish
Our church, continued.
dinners eaten there, as well as wedding and baby showers, receptions, and memorial dinners served there too. Countless people of the community have fond memories of good food eaten and fellowship being shared in that basement.
In addition to these major building projects throughout the past 150 years, Williamsville United Methodist Church has seen many projects, some large and some small: restoration of the stained glass windows and storm windows installed; painting of the sanctuary and refinishing of woodwork; new pews and carpeting; repairs and/or replacements of all the roofs; purchasing of new organs; furnaces and air conditioners have been repaired or new ones purchased; new altar rails made; new electrical wiring in the sanctuary and basement; new sanctuary front doors; fire alarms, heat and smoke detectors purchased and installed; ramps and a lift to make the church building handicapped accessible; and new front entry steps. These are just some of the many projects that have been completed; some were necessary to keep the building in good repair; while others were done to add to the beauty and usefulness of the church. Many groups use the church for a variety of activities.
We are thankful to have a beautiful church and for the many blessings we, as a congregation, have received. God is Good!
The Methodist Church in the Williamsville, Illinois, area dates back to the 1820s. Rev. Steven England, an elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church, was most likely the first to conduct “religious exercises” in Williams Township. The first Methodist Society in this area was formed two and one half miles northeast of Spaulding, Illinois, at David Riddle’s home in 1821. The minister who preached the first sermon was Rev. John Grandville.
The Methodist Society at Spaulding was a part of the Sangamon County Circuit from 1821 through 1829. In 1829, the society was included in the Salt Creek Circuit. The Salt Creek Circuit reached from Riddle’s home to nine miles south of Bloomington, Illinois.
In 1830, the Salt Creek Circuit was split and the Athens Circuit was formed. The Athens Circuit included Methodist Societies in Dawson, Buffalo, Illiopolis, and Mechanicsburg, Illinois.
In 1843, the Fancy Creek Circuit was formed at the Annual Conference in Quincy, Illinois. This circuit served Williamsville, Sherman, Wolf Creek, and Fancy Creek; it had two stewards, William Yocom and M.M Bramley, and an elder, Rev. W.S. Prentice.
William Fletcher Short was appointed to the Fancy Creek Circuit in 1857. The church property embraced half a block, with one corner where the house of worship would stand and a place for the parsonage on the other. The Williamsville Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1856 and the church built in 1857. The original church structure was a frame building thirty-five feet long and fifty-five feet wide. Sometime after the original building was built, a hall and belfry were erected. The original bell is still being used in 2007. The congregation numbered ninety members and attendance for Sunday school totaled one hundred. W.L. Perce was the Sunday School Superintendent. The church had no indebtedness.
The first Quarterly Conference was held November 27, 1858, at the Fancy Creek Chapel. Ministers present were Rev. W.S. Prentice and William Fletcher Short. At this conference, the following were duly elected to fill the Board of Stewards: Harmonisco Alkin, Wesley Council, Jefferson Perce, and Cornelius Sweet. Wesley Council was elected Recording Steward. The members of the Board of Stewards were W.R. Brassfield, M.W. Ramey, and William Yocom. Leaders were A. Garner and S.W. Lauck.
The first parsonage was located just west of the present parsonage. The date of its construction is debatable. Some records indicate that it was built in 1856 while Rev. Archibald Sloan was the Minister, while other records show the parsonage was not constructed until 1861. Rev. Charles
E. Withrow later purchased the property, and it is presently owned by George Hamrick where he currently lives with his daughter Kathy.
In 1864, the Christian Church and Methodist Episcopal Church held a ten-day discussion relating to the merits of their societies. The Christian Church ministers were Rev. Sweeney and Rev. Davis; the Methodist Episcopal minister was Rev. Leonard Smith.
At this time in the church history (1860s), converts were taken to a body of water for their baptism, and a big picnic was held immediately afterward to celebrate the occasion.
The second parsonage was built sometime between 1886 and 1888 during John Bennett Colwell’s pastorate. It was constructed just east of the first parsonage and was closer to the church. This parsonage was used by our pastors and their families for over one hundred years until 1988 when construction of the present structure was begun and was ready for occupancy by January 21, 1989.
As the congregation grew, the church building became too small for Sunday school and worship services. In 1895, plans were made to build a new building. In 1897, Rev. Armenus Dolan Moon held the last service in the old church building, with J.P. Mountz leading the singing. W.L. Perce was Sunday School Superintendent and Peter Cummings was the Sexton at the time. The original church building was valued at $2,000 and the parsonage at $700. Church services were held in the Bice School until the new church building was completed.
Between 1898 and 1903, when Rev. Walter Aitken was the pastor, Mr. John F. Prather gave the church $5,000 to be matched by the congregation for a new church building. The church was to be named the Mary J. Prather Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church in memory of his mother. The money was raised and the church built for a cost of $12,000. In 1902, the congregation moved into the new building.
Several stained-glass windows in the church were given in memory of past members. William “Will” Council purchased a beautiful pipe organ in memory of his parents, Wesley and Martha (Wiggington) Council. The first wedding in the new building was held March 24, 1903, uniting George Snyder and Lida Lowery by Rev. Aitken.
The old church was sold to John Maxwell, who tore it down and used the lumber to construct a home for his bride-to-be, Jesse Curry. They were married in the new church in 1903 and lived in the house he built until both died.
W.L. Perce was Sunday School Superintendent and Jacob Mountz led the singing during the church worship services. Following Perce as Superintendent was Samuel E. Moore, who held this position for sixty-six years, except for one year when Charles Mayfield was elected.
Rev. E.V. Young started a Boy Scout troop in 1910 and had twenty young boys in the Methodist Episcopal troop. They went camping each year on the Riverdale farm (now known as the Mayfield farm, located just east of Interstate 55 and bordering the Sangamon River on the north) for one week. Rev. Young was instrumental in organizing a quartet consisting of Howard Anderson, “Ernie” Caldwell, George Price, and LaRue VanMeter. They helped in some of his Circuit duties and provided special music when needed.
On April 29, 1928, a ceremony was held under the direction of Rev. Charles E. Liston; this was after the redecoration and reopening of the church. A basket dinner was held in the old Presbyterian Church located on the northeast corner across the street from the Mary J. Prather Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church.
Rev. Jual Raymond Ford, pastor between 1930 – 31, later became the Springfield District Superintendent and held that position for six years.
It was during Rev. Paul C. Wilson’s tenure, 1935 – 39, that the Methodist Episcopal Church merged with the Methodist Protestant Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Following the union of these dominations in Kansas City, April 26 – May 10, 1939, the Mary J. Prather Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church’s name was changed to the First Methodist Church of Williamsville.
Jacob Yocom, a Civil War Veteran, became one hundred years old during Rev. Wilson’s tenure. A community celebration was held honoring Mr. Yocom with Rev. Wilson giving the principal address. A flag pole was erected and a memorial stone placed in Yocom’s yard. The flag pole and memorial stone were later moved to the Samuel H. Jones Park, east of the Williamsville boulevard about three blocks, where they presently can be seen.
Mrs. Sara “Sally” Jones was elected choir leader at about the time of Rev. Ernest H. Duling’s pastorate. She established both the adult and junior choirs. They were the first choirs to be furnished robes.
Rev. Thomas Rieghton (T.R.) Jones, 1941 – 42, left Williamsville to become a Chaplain in World War II. When he retired, he returned here. He died in 1972 and is buried in Walnut Hill cemetery along with his wife.
Rev. Donald R. Lemkau, pastor from 1942 – 44, held a homecoming program on September 10, 1944, with a basket dinner at 12:30 p.m. Rev. Royal Wesley Ennis gave the address in the morning and Rev. Ernest H. Duling spoke in the afternoon.
Rev. Charles Withrow served from 1947-1955. In 1947, Clarence C. Wilcockson was Administrative Board Chairperson and John Thomas Cooper was vice-chairperson. The Nanson and Taylor Fund was invested in Government Bonds. At the October Administrative Board meeting, Rev. Withrow made a motion that a fire be made each week in the church so that the choir members could be comfortable while they practiced. The motion carried.
Plans for a “Methodist movement” were made. Workers were appointed to begin canvassing members of our church. Estill Dickerson was Chairperson and Florence Mickle, Treasurer, with Mrs. John T. Cooper, Cora Fleming, Elmer Lowery, and Clarence C. Wilcockson chosen to complete the committee.
In December 1948, the Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) asked the Administrative Board’s approval before spending money for a rest room to be built in the church. A committee consisting of Rev. Withrow, Robert Cooper, and Elmer Lowery was appointed to work with the women’s committee to investigate prices in Springfield.
At the February 1949 family night, Mrs. Alice Baker was honored for her service as organist in the Church for the past forty years. Mrs. Tracy, the new organist, was paid an annual salary of $100 ($1.00 for playing each Sunday and $1.00 for weekly choir practice).
Charles Mayfield suggested that the Sunday School Department needed more space. His recommendations were to either excavate the basement or build another building. In June 1949, a special meeting of the Administrative Board was called to discuss plans for changing the heating plant and using the basement for Sunday school. Mr. O.H. Wisthuff spoke in favor of this, using volunteer labor and a pay-as-you-go plan. Mr. Clarence Wilcockson said that the costs must be kept under $3,500 (10% of the church value), or it would be necessary to secure church membership approval for the project.
In 1950, a basement was dug by hand under the entire church to expand the recreational facilities, set up a kitchen, and install a new furnace. The basement committee was Melvin Caskey, Ralph Cooper, Robert Cooper, Clarence Miller, and Clarence Wilcockson. Frank Brawner submitted a bid for the contracting work of $4,000 for labor and $6,000 for materials. The work on the basement was done under a contractor’s supervision with volunteer work. A new oil furnace was purchased in September from Black and Sons for $1,525. Also, a new lighting system was installed and a new Allen electronic organ was purchased to replace the old Council organ that was beyond repair. The new organ was installed in May 1951 with plans for an organ dedication recital set for Sunday, July 1, 1951.
Clarence Miller provided a list of people involved in digging the basement: Frank Brawner, Carl Cooper, John Cooper, Robert Cooper, Russell “Curly”” Dennison, Robert Erdmann, Clarence Miller, Cleve Phillips, Oscar Schemmer, Ben Yokley, Harry Lloyd, and W.W. Hill employees. Jesse Moyer disposed of the dirt removed by the diggers, who put it on a conveyor to elevate it out of the hole into a truck. Many of the farmers sent their hired hands in to help when there was time between farm chores. Frank Brawner, James Shaver, and Ben Yokley built most of the basement walls and John Saffer and Clarence Wilcockson did the electrical work. Robert Erdmann donated and installed the tile for the basement floor. Ben Yokley built cabinets for the kitchen and Robert Erdmann helped install them. Ben Yokley built the partitions to separate the basement Sunday school classrooms.
The congregation was eagerly anticipating and planning a fiftieth year celebration of the church building for Sunday, October 16, 1952, when a tornado struck on Wednesday, June 27, 1951, sweeping through the community and damaging about twenty homes. The Methodist Church was the hardest hit. About one fourth of the building was destroyed along with extensive equipment destruction; there was so much damage to the church building that it practically had to be rebuilt. The last couple to be married in the church before the tornado struck was Mary Catherine Yocom and Eddie Marada on June 24, 1951.
Rev. Charles Withrow held worship services in the Williamsville High School gymnasium for about eight months until the church building could be rebuilt. Money received from the insurance claims plus an additional $7,000 was needed to rebuild the structure. The church leaders decided to make improvements in the sanctuary in connection with the restoration program. The pulpit area and choir loft were remodeled, providing a beautiful divided chancel arrangement, complete with a new altar and other chancel furnishings, a lectern and baptismal font. All new paneling, woodwork, and appointments were finished in limed oak, with the carpeting and drapes a deep red color. The total amount spent on the restoration project, on improvements, and on construction of the basement was approximately $40,000. Mark Smith, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Smith, was the first baby to be baptized in the church after the rededication service.
Mrs. Thornton P. Jones was Chairperson of the Music Committee for the dedication service. Publicity Chair, Merl “Spizz” Singer; History and Records Chairperson, Edna Yocom; and
Women’s Society of Christian Service ladies were in charge of the dinner. Rev. Withrow and
Merl “Spizz” Singer were in charge of the program observing the fiftieth anniversary of the building.
On Sunday, October 26, 1952, the Williamsville Methodist Church observed a double celebration: the dedication of the restored and remodeled church building, debt-free, and the fiftieth anniversary of the church building being built. The dedication started with Sunday school and was followed by services at 10:30 a.m. Dr. Raye Regan, Superintendent of Springfield District, was the principal speaker. After the services, a basket dinner was held, followed by the dedication of the new Allen electronic organ. An organ recital was presented by Donald Allured of the First Presbyterian Church.
In September 1952, a contract for $500 was given to G.W. Schanbacher for painting the church building. Roy and Mae Millar were hired as janitors for the church.
Special services were held on a Sunday in December 1954 to mark one hundred years of Methodism in the Williamsville community. Dr. Clifford C. Brown, Springfield District Superintendent, gave the anniversary sermon at the morning service. The Cherub Choir, under the direction of Mrs. Ben (Owena) Hankins sang the anthem at that service. A basket dinner was held at noon, followed by a hymn sing by the congregation and the anniversary program, featuring a reading of the church history by Miss Edna Yocom, Records and History Committee Chairperson.
Rev. Jonathan Drake was appointed to the church as pastor in June 1956 and was pastor at the time of the Centennial celebration. The Williamsville Methodist Church had a membership of 448 with a Sunday school enrollment of 195.
Don Ray Doty, son of Stanley and Mabel Doty, was recommended for a local preacher’s license in 1956. He was enrolled as a pre-theological student at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois. In 1961, he was ordained a deacon, and in 1963, he was ordained an elder with full connection.
D.C. Taylor Company of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was contracted to tuck-point and waterproof part of the four walls of the church. The work was completed in 1961 at a cost of $2,750.
While Rev. Burt McIntosh was pastor, membership and attendance grew, and the need arose for additional space. A planning committee was appointed to study the needs. The committee consisted of John Jones, Chairperson, Wayne Henderson, Jo Ann Holton, Mary Ann Lewis, Ernie Oglesby, and Clarence Wilcockson. The study committee indicated that 4,567 square feet of additional space was needed. An Educational Building was added to the present church building to provide additional space. Groundbreaking was on April 12, 1964 when Jay Dennison turned over the first spade full of dirt. The new addition included five classrooms, a meeting room, pastor’s and secretary’s offices, and two restrooms.
In 1965, Robert Wood Caldwell, son of George Caldwell II and grandson of George Ernest “Ernie” Caldwell I, carved a model of Christ to stand in the entry area of the new Sunday School Building. It was carved from a living walnut tree provided by Campbell “Hap” Holton, III. The figure was not definitely formed, representing the living Christ today contemplating current cares and pleasures of the world. It still stands in that same entryway today.
In 1968, the First Methodist Church of Williamsville changed its name to the Williamsville United Methodist Church. Rev. Harold Simpkins was pastor at this time.
In the fall of 1969, members of the church served lunch during the week-long Prairie Farmer sponsored Farm Progress Show. The Williamsville United Methodist Church was just one of several local churches chosen to provide food for sale to the hundreds who came to observe the latest in farming equipment and harvesting techniques. The lunches were served all day in a large tent located on Jim Cravens’ farm in the Buffalo Hart-Dawson area.
The formal dedication and mortgage burning for the new education wing took place on December 12, 1971. Former pastor, Rev. Harold Simpkins, as well as the current minister, Rev. Arno Hutchinson, were both present for the ceremonies. Willis Boner and George Caldwell, Jr. burned the mortgage.
In 1972, the old curved pews were replaced for a cost of $3,730, with straight dark oak pews, having green cushions. Green carpeting up to the altar was installed, costing $1,850, and new altar furniture was purchased for an additional cost of $1,000. New hymnals were also purchased from memorial gifts. The old ones were sent to Keith Gardner, who was on a tour of the Philippines, in 1974.
The Administrative Board recommended renewal of the license to preach for Caroline Hutchinson, wife of Rev. Arno Hutchinson; they also recommended Lay Speaker’s Certificates for Dr. A.A. “Pete” Bottorff and Anita Kohl.
The church membership was 325 in December 1974.
While Rev. Harold Flessner was pastor (1974-78), there was a Lay Witness Mission of inspirational gatherings, where a team of lay people came from area churches to share their faith in Christ with the congregation of Williamsville United Methodist Church. There were many coffee fellowships, luncheons, and “witness clutches.” Teens had a lock-in at the church during this time, too.
Leonard Dennison was hired as custodian beginning September 1, 1975.
In October 1975, Jim Esslinger, Dennis Hopper, and Phil Hawley did the necessary brick work in preparation for a new church sign.
A church library was started in November 1975. The following year, the Library of Reference Material was established. Louise Flessner was on the Library Committee.
One thousand dollars was approved for the purchase of appliances and cabinets for a kitchenette in the Green Room, a meeting room, located in the Educational Building.
A contract for $1,767.29 was given to Norman Poe and Walt Thompson for painting the sanctuary and main church building.
The Williamsville Christian Church was the host church for the World Day of Prayer, March 1976. This first area ecumenical service included Elkhart United Methodist Church; St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Sherman; St. Patrick Catholic Church, Elkhart; Sherman United Methodist Church; Williamsville Christian Church; and Williamsville United Methodist Church.
During the June 6, 1976, morning worship service, several memorials were reviewed and dedicated. These included communion linens, the Green Room kitchenette, carillon unit and tapes, and chimatron.
The Administrative Board agreed to have a youth minister for the summer. Ron Flessner, son of Rev. Harold and Louise Flessner was selected to be our vocational intern.
The United Methodist Women were asked to provide and serve, when requested, a meal at the church for the families of deceased members.
In October 1976, Ruth Garrison and Clarence Wilcockson were honored at a fellowship with Certificates of Recognition for their devoted service; these certificates were given in appreciation for all they had done through the years for the Church.
The United Methodist Women bought drapes for the Green Room in March 1977.
Anita Kohl was renewed as a Certified Lay Speaker and Steve Buck was recommended to become a Certified Lay Speaker.
During the June 1977 Williamsville Homecoming celebration, a joint worship service with the Christian Church was held on Sunday morning at Samuel H. Jones Park. Following the services, a community picnic was held with the Williamsville United Methodist Youth Fellowship (WUMYF) sponsoring an ice cream social.
Retired Ministers’ Day was observed on July 31 with Rev. Marion L. Sullins presenting the sermon for the morning worship.
There was an exchange of choirs and pastors with Springfield Grace United Methodist Church for the October 30 morning worship. Everyone enjoyed hearing the upbeat music presented by their choir members.
On November 6, 1977, during the morning worship service, Clarence Wilcockson presented a history of the Williamsville United Methodist Church on its seventy-fifth anniversary.
On Bible Sunday, November 20, there was a display of many old Bibles belonging to members of our congregation.
The Central Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church sponsored the Camp and Retirement Emphasis (C.A.R.E.) program again in 1978 under the supervision of Dr. Chester Sheldon, District Superintendent. Williamsville United Methodist Church accepted a commitment of $6,267, to be paid over a three-year period, as our share for C.A.R.E. The purpose of this emphasis is to pay off the indebtedness incurred in the purchase of East Bay Camp, Bloomington, Illinois, and to ensure the proper funding of the ministers’ retirement program.
With the arrival of Rev. Victor E. Ramsey in June 1978, a shared charge with Elkhart United Methodist Church was begun. This combination assignment continued until Rev. Ramsey’s departure in 1983.
Judith Withers was hired for the job as parish office assistant. Her salary would be allocated on the ratio of 75% to be paid by the Williamsville church and 25% from the Elkhart church.
A recommendation was made to accept the offer by Kent’s IGA in Williamsville to donate 1% minus tax of every dollar spent there to local churches. The funds received would go to missions. This practice continued until December 1992.
A Traveler’s Aid Fund was started to help people who might need food or fuel while traveling through our town.
A new initiative for increasing the worship service attendance was started on September 11, 1978. “Pew Captains” invited people to sit with them during the worship services in order to fill an assigned pew. An average of eighty-six was attending during this time.
A community Thanksgiving service was held in Williamsville with the Elkhart Christian Church, St. Patrick Catholic Church of Elkhart joining Williamsville Christian Church and Williamsville United Methodist Church. Father Ernie from St. Patrick’s gave the Thanksgiving message.
In February 1979, a group was formed to construct and study the meaning of Chrismons. This group made enough of these religious ornaments to trim the large sanctuary Christmas tree later that year.
A Lenten School of Religion, led by Rev. Vic Ramsey, was held in 1980 on the four Wednesdays of Lent. Six different subjects were offered and discussed each week.
On Pentecost Sunday, May 25, the Confirmation Class was received into full church membership. This class included: Stephanie Dora Doom, Jennifer Jane Duncan, James Russell “Rusty” Edwards, Jr., Kraig Allan Hamrick, Vincent Paul Lugibill, Lynn Carol MacArthur, and Wendy Jo O’Neal.
Rev. Ramsey hosted a live discussion and “call-in” show on Radio W.P.R.C. in Lincoln throughout the month of May. Rev. Ramsey and selected guests discussed a variety of “issue topics” on each of the four shows.
Although worship attendance and other participation remained normal, the church budget experienced a significant “downturn” in General Church Funds during spring 1980. This condition was attributed to the widespread pressures of simultaneous high inflation and increasing recession in the overall economy.
Golden Cross Day was celebrated on Mother’s Day in 1980. Central Illinois Golden Cross agencies included the Baby Fold, Normal; Wesley Village, Macomb; Evenglow Lodge, Pontiac; Sunset Home, Quincy; and Chaddock Boys’ School, Quincy. The total 1980 goal was $85,000. Local Golden Cross representatives were Mrs. Eldon Behle, Elkhart, and Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Wood, Williamsville.
Also on Mother’s Day of that year, the women of the Williamsville United Methodist Church held a salad buffet, followed by a program presented by the Williamsville Junior High School speech students under the direction of Donna Slavens.
Stained-glass windows behind the choir loft were repaired and new storm windows placed over them for protection. Also, five windows in the old Sunday school area and Library were repaired. Storm windows were put on the south windows of the church building as well. Total contracted cost was $13,211.
A reception was held for Dr. and Mrs. Chester Sheldon, Springfield District Superintendent of Central Illinois Conference at Laurel United Methodist Church, Springfield, June 1, 1980. Dr. Sheldon had been District Superintendent for six years.
The Annual conference of the Central Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church was held June 9 – 12 at Mac Murray College, Jacksonville, in the Gymnasium/Education Complex. Mrs. Ben (Owena) Hankins, Lay Member for Williamsville and Elkhart churches; Mrs. S.L. (LaVerne) Bair, District Lay Member-at-Large; and Rev. Victor Ramsey attended.
Vacation Bible School, jointly sponsored by the Elkhart and Williamsville United Methodist Churches, was held from Sunday through to the following Sunday at the Williamsville United Methodist Church. On both Sundays, VBS was programmed to include morning worship.
Opening Sunday, after regular sessions were held, everyone went to the park shelter at Williamsville’s Samuel H. Jones Park for worship and a parish picnic.
The Youth Fellowship sold ice cream and desserts at the 1980 Williamsville Homecoming. All proceeds from the sales were given to the church to help repair the stained-glass windows.
A worship service was held in July for the combined congregations of the Williamsville and Elkhart Churches. The service was followed by a picnic at Williamsville’s Samuel H. Jones Park. The two churches elected a combined church Administrative Board. Neal Tucker was named Chairperson with Billie Bock, Vice-Chairperson.
The Williamsville and Elkhart United Methodist Churches had a combined parish outdoor worship followed by a picnic at Chapel of the Trees, Funk’s Grove during the summer. Worshipers sat on log pews under the trees in an open-air setting, singing praises to God and listening to his Word being shared.
Dr. Jack Travelstead was installed as Springfield District Superintendent of the Central Illinois Conference on September 9 in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, Springfield.
The “Circuit Rider” plan, which was very effective last year, was again used in 1980 by the Stewardship and Finance Committee, under the leadership of Richard Kohl, Chairperson. Commitments were for two different areas of pledging: the Church General Budget and the Building Fund. The Building Fund contained costs for major repairs to the stained-glass window in the choir loft, new church storm windows over them, storm windows on the south side of the sanctuary, and a new roof on the Education Building for a total cost of $28,169. More than 95% of the congregation cooperated last year and pledges were very significantly increased through the use of this simple spiritually meaningful stewardship program.
Junior Church was started in the fall for all youth in grades one through four. Nursery was provided for kindergarten age children and younger. These two efforts were put into practice to encourage young parents with children to attend Sunday worship service. Anita Kohl developed and implemented this program.
An inter-community ecumenical Thanksgiving service was held at St. John Vianney Church in Sherman. In addition to St. John’s, participating churches were Elkhart United Methodist Church; St. Patrick Catholic Church, Elkhart; Williamsville Christian Church; and Williamsville United Methodist Church.
Dana Caldwell was interviewed and recommended by the Charge Conference for future ministerial studies.
New metal front doors for the sanctuary were given as a memorial to Mary (Mrs. Harvey) Black.
Choir members raised $1,460 for the purchase of new burgundy choir robes.
This year’s Confirmation Class consisting of Beth Ann Constant, Keri Anne Evans, Janna Hickey, DeDe Hopper, Pam Millar, and Christopher Millar was confirmed into the church on June 7, 1981. Rev. Ramsey realized a special moment in his life as he baptized Rebecca Jean Ramsey, his granddaughter.
The Social Concerns work area helped plan a “20% Blood Program” in cooperation with the Central Illinois Community Blood Bank of Springfield. The program provides blood when needed and offers complete blood replacement protection to church members and their families without requiring payments for the blood used. This program went into effect June 1981.
The United Methodist Women made eight new nativity costumes to be used for future Christmas programs.
Due to the extreme winter weather the first three months of 1982, the church’s regularly scheduled meetings and activities were postponed.
Florence Yokley was appointed chairperson of a special committee in charge of Fellowship Teas.
Judy Constant, Sunday School Superintendent, reported a growth in Church School for the first quarter of 1982 of 29.4%.
In 1982, Rev. Ramsey was presented a Bible, commemorating his twenty-fifth anniversary in the ministry of the Methodist Church. Presenters were LaVerne Bair, Steve Buck, and Paul Marshall.
Anita Kohl was the guest minister for the September 26 church service.
The family of Mary (Mrs. Harvey) Black gave her handmade crocheted mural of the Last Supper to the church upon her passing; they requested that it be put on display. It can still be seen hanging at the top of the stairs on the wall of the upper south entrance to the sanctuary.
A loan was negotiated by the Board of Trustees for the immediate major repairs to the belfry and to meet general expenses; i.e. insurance and pastoral support. The work on the belfry was done by Harold Hayward for $5,885 and “Augie” Casson, Sr. for $2,608.
A work day was held to clean the parsonage in preparation of receiving a new pastor. Besides general cleaning, repairs were made to appliances and windows. The parsonage walls were painted and wallpapered; carpets were cleaned and replaced where needed. A new washer and dryer were purchased (per Conference requirements), and the landscaping around the parsonage was cleaned up and given a face-lift.
Revs. Dan and Kelligay Crede each graduated from Boston University School of Theology with a Master of Divinity. Following graduation, they began serving in the Central Illinois Conference. Rev. Dan was appointed to the Williamsville United Methodist Church in June 1983, and Kelligay, his wife, served as an associate at the Douglas Avenue United Methodist Church in Springfield. Rev. Dan enjoyed sharing his musical talents by teaching the congregation many new songs that were included in the new United Methodist Hymnal and playing the organ.
The Williamsville United Methodist Church celebrated its 125th anniversary and the Bicentennial of American Methodism on June 8 – 10. The commemoration began on Friday with a production of “The Backwoods Preacher,” a full-length musical drama recounting the life of the famous circuit-riding preacher, Peter Cartwright, being presented in the church sanctuary. Cartwright was a contemporary of Abraham Lincoln and rivaled him in political power in Sangamon County, Illinois, where he once defeated Lincoln for state representative. Cartwright was a presiding elder for over fifty years, the longest anyone has ever held that office in the history of the United Methodist Church. He had a humorous yet powerful style of preaching and a fire of the Lord in his heart that was infectious. Rev. Joel Catlin portrayed Peter Cartwright, and “The Backwoods Preacher” caught the passion and spirit of that prominent circuit rider as well as the ruggedness of the American frontier.
On Saturday, June 9, the memorable celebration continued when Rev. Gay Crede became Susanna Wesley, the mother of Methodism’s founders, John and Charles Wesley. Susanna shared her beliefs concerning the family, church, discipline, and her famous children. A basket luncheon, sponsored by the Williamsville United Methodist Women, was held in the church basement/fellowship hall at noon. Following the luncheon, a service of worship was held in the sanctuary. Rev. Don Ray Doty, formerly of Williamsville, was guest speaker. The 125th Anniversary Celebration concluded on Pentecost Sunday, September 10. Betty Guffey was chairperson of this event.
A new 80,000 BTU capacity furnace, costing $1,174.75, was installed in the parsonage by
H.N. Black & Sons.
Four new Emerson Premium Series ceiling fans, in an antique brass finish, were purchased for the sanctuary.
The Trustees studied the condition of the parsonage and what it would need to bring it up to Conference standards. The study was presented to the Administrative Board that the repair of the parsonage would exceed $100,000; therefore, it was recommended that an investigation be started as to the cost, etc. of building a new parsonage. A Parsonage Study Committee was appointed by Ben Yokley, Administrative Board Chairperson to study various plans for a new parsonage. The committee was made up of Don Benner, Chairman; John Cooper, Jim Hanson, Fran Hopper, John Jones, Paul Marshall, and Tom Yokley.
The Administrative Board agreed to continue candidacy toward ordained ministry for Dana Caldwell.
After considering bids received from Jim Butler, Don Leonard, and Harold Hayward, Dr. A.A. “Pete” Bottorff moved that the Board of Trustees recommend to the Administrative Board that Harold Hayward be employed to do the brick work at the front entrance of the old sanctuary entry way on the north side of the church on a material, time, and labor rate with a total cost not to exceed $7,500 and that Don Leonard be employed to do the roof repair also on a material, time, and labor rate with the total cost not to exceed $3,500.
Judith Withers recommended the following wedding guidelines to the Administrative Board for approval: Church sanctuary: No fee for member families, $25 for nonmembers; Vestry: No fee for member families; $35 for nonmembers; Organist: $35 for wedding, $10 for rehearsal; (The use of any organist other than the WUMC organist must be arranged with the WUMC organist.)
Soloist: arrangement to be made between individual parties involved; Pastor: The pastor has no charge for performing the ceremony; (If the bride and groom-to-be desire to have any other clergy take part in the ceremony, they must consult with the WUMC pastor.) Custodian: $15 for the wedding, $15 for the reception. White aisle runners and candles are not supplied by WUMC. Payment and/or gratuity to each individual party (church/vestry rental, organist, soloist or other musician, custodian, pastor) shall be presented to the pastor for distribution at the rehearsal.
Two SA 90U 9000 BTU wall air conditioning units were purchased for the church office from Young’s in Springfield at a cost of $400 each.
The IGA tapes provided over $700 during 1983. Funds were distributed to Bourbonnais United Methodist Church, missions in Alaska, and Sunset Home, Quincy.
Bishop Woodie White appointed Kelligay Crede as co-pastor to the Williamsville United Methodist Church with her husband, Dan.
Rev. Dan proposed that the Junior High Confirmation Class be held over a two-year period of thirteen to fourteen weeks of study each year. The first year would take up Bible study and the second year would be on Methodist history and beliefs. Each session would be about one and one half hours in length.
Revs. Dan and Kelligay Crede were ordained as elders at the Annual Conference in Macomb, Illinois, in June 1985. After the ordination, a reception was held for them with many of the WUMC congregation attending.
In 1985, the Administrative Board again appointed a Parsonage Building Committee. This committee met for one and a half years looking into remodeling costs, the possibility of buying an existing house, building a house at the current parsonage site, or building at another site. Their recommendation was that the current parsonage be torn down and a new parsonage be built on that site. The proposed parsonage should contain approximately 2,000 square feet of living area on one floor at ground level, with a full basement, and a two-car garage.
Many Christmas gifts were wrapped and placed under the Chrismon tree for Kumler Neighbor-hood Ministries of Springfield. Thelma Black delivered these gifts of clothing and toys for the unfortunate people of the community.
A Leadership Workshop for Every Member Canvass Workers was conducted by Rev. Roy Adams from the Central Illinois Conference office.
Don Leonard was hired to cover the foyer area with a gable roof and to install a new metal overhang cap along the south side of the Educational Building.
In March 1986, the Circle of Concerns was started. Small groups met on Sunday evenings in the homes of church members for study, prayer, and fellowship.
On Easter Sunday, the Worship Committee created a garden tomb scene in the sanctuary for the morning worship service.
Children in grades one through six presented a musical “Cool in the Furnace” during the worship service on April 27.
Rededication of the Library was held on May 4, 1986. Fran Hopper was the Librarian.
The Board of Trustees approved the complete rewiring of the sanctuary and replacement of the old furnace in the church with several energy-efficient furnaces for a total cost of $27,000.
A weekend camping outing called Camping In and Out was held for the entire church family at Camp CILCA, north of Springfield.
The all-church pizza sale netted approximately $2,200.
On May 18, Stuart Doom, Craig Shuman, and Cathy Tucker professed their faith and joined the Williamsville United Methodist Church.
The Williamsville United Methodist Women had a “Bridal Review of the Decades” at their June meeting. Many wedding gowns and dresses from earlier years were worn by members’ daughters and friends.
An Adopt-a-Family program in conjunction with Kumler Ministries and the State of Illinois Department of Child and Family Services was started in WUMC by adopting a family of five.
A group of United Methodist Youth Fellowship (UMYF) of twelve members and three adult counselors went on a work trip to Jackson Area Ministries at Bainbridge, Ohio. They helped repair homes of the elderly.
Missionary Howard Heiner visited WUMC October 6 – 7. Mr. Heiner is a United Methodist missionary serving in Nicaragua with Peggy, his wife. Our Church contributed $850 toward the support of these missionaries.
Tom Dennison was hired as the church custodian effective August 1, 1986 to replace Leonard Dennison, his father, who served as custodian for ten years.
After the Church Conference was called, another Parsonage Building Committee was selected. The job of this committee was to produce a floor plan, find a way to demolish the current parsonage, find housing for our parsonage family, procure bids for the construction, and recommend a way to raise necessary funds.
The Evangelism Work Area used the names recorded on the Sunday morning worship attendance sheets to identify visitors and set into action the Bread of Life Outreach program. Members of the congregation chose a visitor or visitors, baked a loaf of bread and then delivered it, extending the hand of friendship and thanking them for visiting our church and inviting them to return and to become a part of our church family.
Our Sunday morning worship services have been taped and delivered to shut-ins of our congregation and local community. Thelma Black, coordinator of this project, delivered these tapes to five shut-ins and left two at the Williamsville Senior Citizens Center for others to use.
A new church pictorial directory of our church families was made. The stained-glass window in the north wall of the sanctuary was featured on the cover of the directory.
The Sunday following Easter, times for church school and the worship service were changed — on a trial basis — until fall. Worship service will begin at 9:15 a.m. and church school will begin at 10:15 a.m. After this scheduling arrangement was used for the summer, there was a survey of the congregation, and it was decided that these times would become permanent.
A church smorgasbord and yard sale was held on September 20 at the Williamsville Community Center, showing a profit of approximately $2,200.
A quilting group calling themselves Nimble Fingers was formed in 1987. These ladies are not only from WUMC but from the community as well. Proceeds from the sale of the quilts that they make go to projects for the church or parsonage that are not budgeted for otherwise. As many as ten individuals have worked to finish approximately one quilt a month.
A speaker system was installed in the nursery in February 1988 so that the nursery helpers could hear the worship service.
The Building Committee presented their recommendations to a Church Conference in April 1988. It was voted on and approved that a Stewardship Campaign should be undertaken to raise money for a new parsonage and major church repairs which included repairing stained-glass windows, repairing the Education Building’s roof, purchasing a new organ, replastering the sanctuary, replacing the carpet in the altar area and new altar curtains, remodeling the chancel platform, refinishing woodwork, and replacing a sliding door going into the overflow room. The Parsonage Building Committee proposed securing the services of the United Methodist Office of Finance and Field Service to help organize and guide the congregation through the fund-raising campaign. The new parsonage could not begin nor any other church repairs be made until the fund-raising campaign was over and another Church Conference was held. Mrs. Martin Jones from the United Methodist Conference Office was the Director of Stewardship Campaign which lasted three weeks.
The Administrative Board decided to change from having a smorgasbord to having a chicken dinner with the proceeds being equally divided between the Jesse Rogers Child Development Center, Springfield, and the Heifer Project International.
Tom Benner, John Cooper, Karen Hansen, John Jones, Carol Sims, Barbara Tucker, and Harold Withers were named members of the Parsonage Building Committee.
On June 26, 1988, the final Church Conference was held to determine which building projects were to be undertaken. The Conference voted to proceed with plans to build a new parsonage, including demolition of the old one, landscaping in the yard and around the new parsonage, and temporary housing for the parsonage family at a cost up to $116,000. Also, the Conference voted to hire Melotte-Morse Studio to repair the remaining stained-glass windows at an estimated cost of $21,945. It was approved to replaster and paint the sanctuary and repair the Education Building roof at an estimated cost of $16,400 which included moving the altar rail to provide a permanent location for the piano.
The Stewardship Campaign received pledges committed for $171,253. Jerry VanMeter, contractor for new parsonage, would be paid in increments as the construction progressed: 15% when the house was staked out, 30% when the outside four walls were up, 30% when the dry walls were completed, 20% when the house was trimmed out, and the final 5% when construction was completed.
On June 30, before the parsonage demolition/construction began, Rev. Dan, Gay, Shirley, and Caleb Crede were moved to a duplex in Country Meadows Subdivision. There was a silent auction for parsonage souvenirs from July 1 – 3. Demolition of the old parsonage was July 12; however, groundbreaking for the new one was held following the worship service on Sunday, July 10, 1988. Upon completion, the new parsonage will contain 2,000 square feet of living area and will have four bedrooms, three and one half baths, a full basement, and two-car garage. It
will be handicapped accessible with a high-efficiency furnace, central air conditioning, a dishwasher, garbage disposal, stove and refrigerator, carpeting and draperies, and the exterior will be maintenance-free.
The Food on the Altar program began in the fall 1988 for the benefit of Kumler Neighborhood Ministries, who furnish food for the growing number of hungry people in Springfield and surrounding area.
The Sanctuary Task Force reported to the Administrative Board on January 15, 1989. Their report specified the following expenses: cost estimates for painting the sanctuary, $3,320; painting the overflow room, $2,360; wallpapering the sanctuary entrances, $1,610; moving the altar rail and putting the piano in a permanent location, $363; making new altar rails, $1,200; refinishing all blonde-colored wood trim to match the walnut pews, $210; and carpeting the chancel floor area, choir loft, and organ sections, $1,750.
The Williamsville United Methodist Women donated money for the purchase of an oval-glass front door as well as for new curtains or draperies for the parsonage. The ladies of the Nimble Fingers quilting group bought a new refrigerator. Monies that were collected during worship by passing collection boxes each Sunday during the construction of the parsonage went on the following projects: brick offering, $154.19; tree offering, $83.22; and lawn offering, $146.81.
A grant of $5,000 was received from Wesley United Methodist Church, Fillheimer Trust, Macomb, Illinois.
The parsonage was completed and ready for occupancy by January 21, 1989. Members of the congregation helped the Credes move into their new home. Parsonage Consecration and an open house were held February 26, 1989, with District Superintendent Sharon Neufer-Emswiler as guest speaker. Between the months of March and May, there were twenty-five additional open houses for smaller groups of ten to fifteen people to tour the parsonage.
The sanctuary renovation work was done to provide a permanent location for the piano; the altar rails, pulpit and lectern were fixed so that they be removed and replaced easily for communion, cantatas, etc.; and the existing organ was placed in a space large enough for the new organ when it would be purchased as well in an area where the pianist and organist would be able to see each other well when performing duets. It was recommended that the Administrative Board purchase an Allen ADC2110 Organ from Samuel Music Company (Phil Coates, representative) for the approximate cost of $18,500.
The stained-glass windows on the east side of the Church were repaired and cleaned. The Board of Trustees selected to have a pitch roof put on the Education Building to stop the leaking problems that occur from having a flat roof on a building.
On the first Sunday evening of Advent, the congregation was invited to participate in making Chrismons and Advent wreaths for themselves. A drama skit was presented and every one joined in singing Christmas hymns as part of the evening’s get-together as well.
On May 5, the Confirmation Class was received as full members of Williamsville United Methodist Church. Included in the class were: Liza Alfonso, Katie Johnson, Andy Lemme, Allison Miller, and Debora Sagle.
Red balloons were launched in celebration of Pentecost on Sunday, June 3. One balloon was found the same afternoon in Hamler, Ohio, approximately 340 miles away from Williamsville, east of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
The children who attended Vacation Bible School this year learned about “Ways the Bible People Lived” and related this to their everyday life of “Saving the Environment” by recycling, planting seeds, and spreading the word about Jesus. They also recycled aluminum cans, bottles, and plastic jugs by bringing them from home to the church. Total monies collected through the daily offerings were equivalent to 667 seed packages. These seeds were sent to Henderson Settlement Mission Outreach in Kentucky. At this time, Sally Alfonso was Sunday School Superintendent and Joyce Cooper was Education Chairperson.
Williamsville United Methodist Church had a food booth at the annual Autumn on the Boulevard celebration selling “pippins,” making a profit of $538.10 Pippins are best described as a type of small fried fruit pies.
Four truck loads of mission goods were sent to the Great In-Gathering at Chatham at a value of $700. Bob Tibbs, Coordinator, with help from Wayne Henderson, Gene Sherrock, John Sherrock, and Mike Wise transported the items to Chatham.
“Tis the Season,” a cantata sung by the choir under the direction of Marjorie Cravens, was presented on the third Sunday of Advent during morning worship service. Guest instrumentalists from the Springfield Municipal Band accompanied the choir.
Several people from the WUMC congregation cooked and served food on December 22 to clientele of St. John’s Breadline in Springfield.
Total giving to the Church minus debt retirement in 1990 was $79,712 (an increase of 92% from the previous year). There were 289 full members (199 families) and 529 members and constituents (256 families).
An annual women’s retreat was held at Camp Griesheim Christian Retreat Center located near Hartsburg (just north of Lincoln). The retreat was open to all the women of the church.
A one-act play “Leepers” was presented by the Junior High ACTion (Awesome Christian Teachings) group during a Sunday morning worship service in January 1991. Donations from tapestry bookmarks made by this group were sent to benefit the building of the new United Methodist Church on Springfield’s west side.
A twenty-four hour prayer vigil was held February 16 – 17. It was concluded with a special worship service. A prayer list of the members and friends of WUMC was available for all who came to pray.
The District Superintendent Rev. Sharon Neufer-Emswiler presented the church with $25.00 to multiply and return to help with the expenses of the building of the new church in Springfield. We increased the $25.00 just a little over 9% to $228.25 through the talents of several members of the congregation doing a variety of projects.
This year’s Confirmation Class was received Sunday, May 19 in celebration of Pentecost (the fiftieth day after Easter). The class consisted of: Jamie Benner, Leah Guffey, Betsy Johnson, Crystal Johnson, Tanner Johnson, Tim Leonard, Trevor Loafman, Courtney Wise, and Natalie Wise.
The new Allen ADC2160C organ was installed by representatives of the Samuel Music Company. On June 9, there was an organ dedication. That evening, the choir, a soloist, and instrumentalists joined together for an organ concert with the “King of Instruments.” Rev. Dan played several organ selections as well.
An offer of $15,000 was accepted on the vacant real estate lot located in Price Place Subdivision. This lot had been donated to the WUMC by Sara “Sally” Jones. The proceeds from this 1991 real estate sale were designated toward the new organ expenses.
June 30, 1991, was the first Sunday for our new pastor, Rev. Tom Wilber, who served as Associate Pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in Jacksonville for the past six years. His wife, Edwina, worked in Springfield as a Nurse Practitioner.
Marjorie Cravens resigned as Choir Director after thirty-five years of faithful and dedicated service to WUMC in the fall of 1991.
Williamsville United Methodist Church ended 1991 with a membership of 284; a 4.7% increase over 1990. Our average attendance for the year was 115, a 6.5% increase over last year’s average attendance.
The Board of Trustees borrowed $20,000 to be paid back over a three-year period to pay for the replacement of the roof on the main church building.
Our 1992 Pledge Campaign for the General Fund was successful. There was $63,513 pledged, a 35% increase over 1991 pledges. The increase was attributed to the type of finance campaign that was conducted. During 1991, $8,116 was given to benevolence. The Building Fund received $15,435 in pledges. This amount allowed the Board of Trustees to pay the first year’s installment of the repair and renovation of our church building loan.
The weekend of January 25 – 26, 1992, saw junior and senior UMYF members going on a ski trip to Snow Star Ski Area near Moline, Illinois. Revs. Dan and Gay Crede were hosts to this group for a pizza party and overnight stay at their church, Bethel Wesley United Methodist Church, in Moline.
At the General Conference of the United Methodist Church held in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 6 – 15, the new Book of Worship was approved. This will complement our hymnal that was approved in 1988.
July 31 through August 2, 1992, our junior and senior high youth groups went on their first ever canoe trip. Eleven youth and six adults participated in the camping and canoeing trip on the Black River located in the Missouri Ozarks in southeastern Missouri.
The Board of Trustees named two special committees: the Kitchen Renovation Committee and the Basement Renovation Committee. These two committees were charged with studying possibilities for renovating the kitchen and fellowship area. The renovated basement would include classrooms, restrooms, a kitchenette, storage, and a multi-purpose room. After the basement was completed, work would begin on a kitchen and fellowship area. At the Church Conference, a proposal was approved to develop a plan for a kitchen and fellowship hall. By its vote, the Church asked that the plan locate the kitchen and fellowship hall in an area other than the church basement.
The Kitchen Renovation Task Force included Sarah Ann Benner, Chairperson; Jack Caldwell; Nancy Doty; Kathy Lemme; Lee Miller; Carol Sherrock; and Larry Wise.
The Basement Fellowship Area Renovation Committee consisted of: Bruce Constant and Joe Sherrock, Co-Chairpersons; Jo Holton; Barb Obertino; Mike Wise; and two members from the Education Work Area. Rev. Wilber was involved with both committees.
On October 15, about 9:15 p.m., one or more bolts of lightning struck the WUMC steeple. Norman “Buddy” Doty, Jr., a member of the Williamsville Volunteer Fire Department, was eyewitness to this hit. He immediately alerted the fire department, preventing what could have been a major fire. More than one-third of the steeple was blown off the church. The top rows of the brick on the tower were damaged. Inside the church, a few light switches and electrical outlets were destroyed. A small section of baseboard in the main hall of the Education Building was blown off on both sides of the wall. There was a small fire between the floor of the small class room west of the overflow room and the basement ceiling. The exterior phone wires were destroyed. The organ and the sound system sustained major damage. The carillon and computer
monitor in the office were also damaged. All of the damage was fully covered by insurance. There was almost $18,000 damage to the steeple, organ, and sound system. Dave Knox mended and soldered the holes where the lightning struck the copper cross on the steeple.
Chris Horn was hired as custodian in November 1992.
Church members baked many dozens of cookies for the annual Christmas Cookie Walk held on December 12. This fundraiser raised $745.25 for the General Fund.
It was announced that the average morning worship attendance for December 1992 was 111.
On January 24, missionaries from Columbia, Phil and Judy Harms (Bertha Powell’s daughter and her husband) gave a presentation during the Sunday morning worship service on their work of translating Scripture into the Indian language. They also showed slides to the Sunday school classes.
The May 2 chicken dinner was attended by 531 people and a profit of $1,737.02 was realized.
Four young men and women took their membership vows on May 23 this year: Jo Elizabeth Benner, Melinda Scott, Melissa Scott, and Danny Seman.
Three evenings in August were designated for work and maintenance projects in the sanctuary, educational wing, and basement.
An ice cream social for the congregation was held August 29 at the Williamsville park with the proceeds going to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for flood relief.
During September the Outreach Work Area and Administrative Council jointly approved sponsoring a foster care family through the Kumler United Methodist Church. The family consisted of an older mother who had five to seven children at a time in her home.
A program called God’s Gang was organized in September for children in kindergarten through the fifth grades to help coordinate activities for after school, meeting on the third Wednesday of each month.
The first ever live auction was held on September 11 after a light sandwich/potluck supper. A “strange mystery” auctioneer conducted the auction with the proceeds of over $3,000 going toward reducing the roof loan indebtedness.
Rev. Tom Wilber, pastor; Mark Horn, Administrative Council Chairman; and Carol Sims, Lay Leader, attended this year’s Annual Conference.
A general basement clean up was undertaken on January 15. Walls were painted; inventory was sorted; and all the dishes, Sunday school supplies, and furniture that have been collecting in the basement over the years were organized.
On January 30 upon retiring, Judith Withers was honored after many years as church and parish assistant. Edie Senalik was hired as the new church secretary.
Mary Beth Anderson, a church growth consultant with our conference, met with members of the Administrative Council and the work areas on March 6 to look at our church and consider strategies for growth.
The youth of our church and the Williamsville Christian Church youth joined together and had an ecumenical worship service on Easter Sunday, April 3, at 7:30 a.m. at the Christian Church.
The Outreach Work area and the Administrative Council chose the Navajo Ministry, a mission initiative program of the Conference, and the Kumler Neighborhood Ministries as the recipients for this year’s Lenten offering cards.
April 24 was designated as Visitation Sunday. The Finance and Stewardship Committees and the Administrative Council approved an every-member visitation campaign to help meet the 1994-1995 budget. Last fall, the Administrative Council approved moving to a fiscal year program (July 1-June 30).
The Finance Committee designated the fourth Sunday of each month as “Pop Can Sunday.” Each family was asked to give 35 cents a day toward helping to pay the 1993 bills. By the end of September 1994, $3,419 had been received toward the goal of $5,760; this amount paid all of the 1993 bills and helped pay some of the unpaid 1994 bills.
An all-church wiener roast was held at the home of Roger and Joyce Cooper on October 23 for an evening of fellowship and tasty treats.
JAM, a group for children in kindergarten through fifth grades, met at the church in their Halloween costumes on October 30 to canvas the community for UNICEF, A United Nations Children’s Fund.
This year’s Advent boxes’ receipts were divided equally between two mission programs: Jessie Rogers Child Development Center, Springfield and Hope for the Children, Rantoul, Illinois.
On December 4, the annual Church Conference was a joint conference with the Rochester, Elkhart, Dawson, Riverton, and Williamsville United Methodist Churches, meeting at the Rochester church. At the Charge Conference, Mark Horn was unanimously recommended as a candidate for the ordained ministry in the United Methodist church.
Roots and Wings, a Sunday school group of teens, had to work at the St. John’s Breadline in Springfield or at the WUMC fish fries and also had to have attended Sunday school at least five times to be eligible to go on the January ski trip. This group also placed luminaries on the church property for the Christmas Eve services.
A church fish fry was held January 6 at the Williamsville Community Center. The $645 profit went toward the parsonage and church roof loans.
Members of the congregation have been volunteering as liturgists and reading Scripture passages during worship service.
Two mission programs, Kumler Neighborhood Ministries in Springfield and Central Illinois Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, equally divided the total amount received from the 1995 Lenten “mite” offering boxes.
On January 28, seventeen high school youth, ten adults, and two siblings traveled to Chestnut Mountain in northwestern Illinois for a day of skiing. On Sunday morning, the group attended worship service at Bethel Wesley United Methodist Church, Moline, Illinois, where Revs. Dan and Gay Crede were pastors.
A new church directory of our church family was published.
The Williamsville and Sherman United Methodist Churches will be alternating serving the Friday night Lenten fish dinners beginning this year. OUR share of the proceeds will go toward the retirement of the parsonage and roof loans.
Rev. Victor Ramsey celebrated fifty years in the ministry of God on May 7. Rev. Ramsey served the Williamsville United Methodist Church from 1978 to 1982.
The District Superintendent, at the request of our church, called a special Church Conference on June 28 for the purpose of voting on renovation of the facility for a total amount of $152,800 with the renovations to be completed over a three year period. These projects were to be completed as money came in and by drawing on a line of credit at a lending institution.
At its July meeting, the Pastor-Parish Committee planned a series of coffee klatches/get-togethers for the new pastor, Rev. Howard White. Rev. White came to us from Mt. Vernon, Illinois, where he was an Associate Pastor of the First United Methodist Church. The purpose of these gatherings was to give Pastor White an opportunity to meet everyone in the congregation in a casual atmosphere.
Rev. White began a Disciples’ Bible study group on Sunday evenings to study how to become disciples through the study of the Bible.
An Autumn on the Boulevard ecumenical church service was held at the Williamsville Christian Church on October 8. Rev. White was the guest speaker.
In November, looking ahead to hot weather, the quilting group decided to buy a new air conditioner for the sanctuary. Also during the month of November, an appraisal including all the stained-glass windows in the church was made to determine a replacement cost for the future.
Pastor White along with the United Methodist Women acted as host and hostesses for a Christmas open house held at the parsonage on Sunday afternoon prior to the children’s Christmas program.
The Finance Committee suggested that each member make a special offering to the church during the month of his/her birthday.
A vegetable and chili supper plus an auction was held at the Williamsville Middle School on January 13.
Rev. White was gone from January 15-31 on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
The first of three Lenten fish dinners was held at the Williamsville Community Center on Friday night, March 8.
Steve Flanigan, an inspirational speaker, was the guest speaker for the Palm Sunday morning worship service on March 31. His message was motivational, teaching everyone how to lead a fruitful Christian life but with a practical approach.
Since this was Heritage Sunday, April 28, during the morning worship service, the new Historical Room was dedicated and all fifty-year members of the church and past ministers were honored. The Historical Room was newly renovated with new carpet, light fixtures, shelving, and bookcases. Sarah Ann Benner, Church Historian; Millie Anderson; Florence Yokley; Velma Campbell; Helen Williamson; Marti Loafman; and Marge McVickers were members of the history committee.
With the beginning of the 1996 Stewardship Campaign, members of the Finance Committee took a Sunday of the month and during worship service gave a brief announcement of the importance of Consecration Sunday. They stressed the need for a giver to tithe as a part of his or her commitment to WUMC.
Former pastor Rev. Burt McIntosh spoke to the Administrative Council and their spouses on May 12 about the upcoming Consecration Sunday dimensions of stewardship.
May 12-13 began the start of home visits to those individuals who did not return their pledge cards.
May 19 was Consecration Sunday, and Rev. McIntosh gave the message at the morning worship service. A victory brunch was held afterwards at the Williamsville Community Center.
The Annual Conference of the United Methodist Churches was held at Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, on June 9 – 12.
The J.B. Large Company from Jacksonville, Illinois, was hired to paint the sanctuary. Shades of mauve and ivory were used with accents of gold around the door and windows, etc. A fire and smoke detector system was installed before the painting began.
Shekinah, a youth group, presented a program of music and drama during the morning worship service on July 19. Melinda and Melissa Scott, W.U.M.C. members, are part of this group. Also, Rev. Howard White traveled with this group for a couple of Sundays as they gave their performances.
In August, plans were proposed for the renovation of the basement kitchen. Dave May, acting general contractor, suggested that the east wall in the old kitchen be removed to give more space. There was a work day to clean the basement of old furniture, dishes, etc. in preparation for tearing out the concrete block wall.
Tony Schneider completed the sidewalk project on the west side of the Educational Wing. The quilters group donated the money for this project.
August 25 during the morning worship service, the congregation celebrated the renewal of the church after the completion of the recent renovation of the sanctuary and other projects.
The church had a pie shoppe booth chaired by Teresa and Nick Holton at the October Autumn on the Boulevard celebration.
On November 4, AEC Fire, Safety, and Security, Inc. installed fire alarm equipment costing $2,916. It is a central alarm system with capabilities to be monitored via the phone lines. The system has sensors to detect heat and smoke in many different areas of the church.
The high school youth group held a lock-in at the church on January 10.
On February 2, a special Charge Conference was held to consider Julie Sherrock’s candidacy for the ministry. Pat Brown was hired as choir director. She lived in Greenview.
The high school youth group sold pizzas to help raise money for a group mission work trip that they wanted to take during the summer.
Marguerite Harwood restored her membership with the Williamsville United Methodist Church on March 23.
Donna Slavens and Rev. White led a workshop for liturgists and other public speakers, giving advice and training for anyone in our congregation who was interested.
Rev. Frank Nestler, former District Superintendent of the Springfield district, was the guest speaker for the stewardship program on May 18, Consecration Sunday. A brunch at the Williamsville Community Center followed the morning services.
Baccalaureate service for the 1997 graduating class of seniors was held on May 28 at the Williamsville United Methodist Church.
A prayer chain was started consisting of twenty-nine participants: fifteen individuals as daytime callers and fourteen made up the evening group.
The Field of Dreams Cluster picnic was held on June 22 at Richardson Club House near Buffalo Hart. Williamsville, Riverton, Elkhart, Dawson, Buffalo, Mt. Pulaski, and Illiopolis made up the cluster. The group made plans to participate in a work camp trip to Red Bird Mission in July 1998.
Daily Vacation Bible School’s theme for this year was Circle of Friends Ranch – Being Friends with Jesus; there was an average of sixty “partners” attending. Sheriff Howard made sure all the buckaroos followed the law, and the trail bosses, Cathy Constant and Teresa Benner, assisted by other helpful ranch hands, guided the little “cowboys and cowgirls” along their way.
In August, Helen Williamson; Polly Wise; Larry Wise; Donna Slavens; Tony Kryfka; Karen Kryfka; Lorraine Summers; Carol Sims; Dave Lauchner; and Howard White, pastor and leader of the group, were recognized as graduates of the Disciple Bible study.
On August 10 a reception was held after church services in honor of Joe and Julie Sherrock and their family as they were getting ready to move from their Williamsville home; Julie was also preparing to become an Associate Pastor in Jerseyville, Illinois. An all-church picnic at the Williamsville park followed the reception.
A chicken dinner was held in September at the Williamsville Community Center from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Charge Conference for Williamsville United Methodist Church was held on October 2 with Howard Daughenbaugh, District Superintendent, presiding.
Williamsville United Methodist Church, along with all the churches in the conference, participated in the Great Ingathering, a congregation-wide effort to bring together offerings of money and reusable items to assist those in our church missions who are on meager incomes.
A community worship service was held at the Autumn on the Boulevard fall celebration with both of the local churches participating. Rev. White gave the message and the W.U.M.C. choir sang.
On October 26, the Nimble Fingers Quilters marked their tenth anniversary of quilting with 119 quilts having been completed.
The men of the church met for worship, dinner, fellowship, and a discussion of ideas regarding forming a men’s group similar to that of the United Methodist Women.
The church has paid 100% of the Conference claims, World Service, Ministerial Educational, and Black Funds for 1996.
Basement renovation was finished in time for the District United Methodist Women officers’ training held on November 6. Construction was overseen by Dave May, general contractor; Ron Black, plumber; and Roland Doom, Chairman of the Trustees of WUMC.
On December 13, a cookie walk was held for all those individuals who wanted to get their Christmas baking done early. Shoppers could also enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and visit with friends after getting their cookie boxes filled. A gift-wrapping service was provided as well. The morning’s efforts showed a profit of $800.
December 14 saw the renovation dedication service for the redecorated sanctuary, newly remodeled downstairs kitchen, fellowship hall, and the impressive new outside stairs and ramp. The congregation was joyful to see everything finally become a reality after years of planning and work of many people.
A children’s Christmas program, directed by Nancy Doty Smith, was presented to the congregation during the morning worship service.
A Christmas Eve candle lighting service and evening of singing Christmas songs was enjoyed by all.
Twelve Keys to an Effective Church planning meetings were started in January and met on consecutive Sundays until they were completed on February 15. These meetings involved individual readings, group activities, and Bible lessons that pertained to each person’s characteristics. The next phase was a rating that incorporated the opinions of the sixteen members of the group to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the Williamsville United Methodist Church.
In observance of National Pie Day, January 23, a dessert fellowship was held with participants bringing their favorite pies to share with everyone.
The United Methodist Men met on February 17 at the church for a meal, followed by a business meeting. Officers were elected: President, Dave Lauchner; Vice-president, Larry Wise; and Treasurer, Don Benner.
The Lenten series of fish fries, in cooperation with the Sherman United Methodist Church, began February 27.
Bishop Sharon A Brown Christopher announced the appointment of our new District Superintendent effective July 1. Kathleen McCafferty, pastor of Mossville United Methodist Church, will be the District Superintendent of Sangamon River District. She will succeed Howard L. Daughenbaugh, Jr.
Our congregation presented Bibles to many of the youth in our church on March 22. Fifth graders and those older children who had not received a copy of God’s Word from WUMC before were recipients of these Bibles, having the same translation as our pew Bibles.
In May, the adult Sunday school class had a food drive for Kumler Neighborhood Ministries. Bags were distributed to the entire village of Williamsville. The following week the bags were collected and placed on the altar along with the other nonperishable items donated by the congregation.
The junior high Sunday school class members worked all day May 9 doing housework, lawn work, or any other odd jobs for any of the congregation who might hire them. They were working for donations to go toward summer camp fees.
On May 17, Consecration Sunday, there was a guest minister, John McIntosh, pastor of the Pittsfield United Methodist Church, who conducted the worship service. Lunch was served afterwards to approximately 118 people. John is a son of Burt McIntosh, a former Williamsville United Methodist Church minister, who served this church for six years.
Four young confirmands were received into membership of Williamsville United Methodist church on May 31. This year’s Confirmation Class consisted of: Robert Edmond Smith, mentored by Bill Gaither; Ashley Ann Benner, mentored by Polly Wise; Katherine Elizabeth McFall, mentored by Lorraine Summers; and Nicole Diane Gottfried, mentored by Helen Kohl.
In June, the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference collected more than 78,000 pounds of dry white rice and dry red beans to be sent to the island of Haiti. This collection was a part of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Advance for Christ and His Church (Advance Special) and the Bishop Initiative on Children and Poverty. The beans and rice were sent to Haiti in three large ocean-going shipping containers. The food will go to the hot lunch program in 105 Methodist schools in Haiti
Rev. Howard White performed the role of Jesus in “Godspell” at the Springfield Municipal Opera.
A Weigh Down Workshop was held for twelve consecutive Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. at the church. Heather Hofferkamp and Dave Lauchner were leaders. Also, a walking group called Weight Walkers gathered daily at the church to exercise together.
Sunday school classes started learning new songs on the third and fourth Sundays of the month under the direction of Donna Slavens.
Junior High youth sponsored a rigatoni dinner and car wash to raise money to attend summer church camp.
For the fiscal year beginning July 1998, there was a total of forty giving units who made monetary pledges to the church. Thirty-two of these giving units (80%) either increased their financial commitment above their last year’s amount (24) or were first-time pledges (8).
The Disciple Bible study group, on August 31, began a study covering approximately three-fourths of the Bible. The group met once a week for thirty-four weeks with Dave Lauchner and Rev. White as leaders.
A community worship service was held on October 4 at Williamsville United Methodist Church in conjunction with the Autumn on the Boulevard festivities. Rev. Bob Anderson of the Williamsville Christian Church was the guest preacher.
The annual Charge Conference was held October 18 between the two morning worship services. District Superintendent Kathleen McCafferty presided.
An evening worship service was held at the Williamsville Community Center with Tim Crawford of Henderson Settlement as guest speaker. River Ramblers Blue Grass Band presented a concert. Crafts from Henderson Settlement in Southeastern Kentucky were on sale. The evening’s activities were sponsored by the Field of Dreams Cluster group.
The Williamsville United Methodist Men decided to discontinue their monthly meetings.
National Homemade Bread Day was celebrated by WUMC members on November 14 by sharing homemade bread, jelly and jam, a pot of soup, and fellowship.
A Thanksgiving dinner was served to all Williamsville United Methodist Church families following the second worship service on November 22.
November 29 members of the congregation gathered to decorate the church for the holy holiday season during the Festival of the Greens. Children made ornaments and decorated the tree, while adults and older youth hung greenery and decorated the sanctuary.
A baby shower for Baby Jesus was held in the church basement on December 6. Gifts were donated to the Mini-O’Beirne Crisis Nursery in Springfield.
The annual cookie walk took place in the church basement with the proceeds given to Children in Hunger.
The parsonage Christmas open house was again enjoyed by all.
The congregation observed Christmas Eve with a candle lighting service.
In celebration of National Pie Day everyone brought a pie to share and then spent the evening playing board games.
Tutoring began for fifth through eighth grade students as part of the community service outreach program of the Williamsville United Methodist Women. Tutors were Ruth Moorman, Lorraine Summers, Jeanne Gaither, Donna Slavens, Mary Nell Templeman, and Polly Wise.
We again shared serving the Lenten fish fries with the Sherman United Methodist Church. The first fish fry was held at WUMC February 26. The dinners were then held at alternating churches every other week throughout the Lenten season.
Two homeless shelters were recipients of an underwear collection. Donations of 298 undies, 90 pairs of socks, 14 tee shirts, and 54 other miscellaneous items were collected through the efforts of the WUMC congregation.
In observance of Palm Sunday, March 28, children paraded around the sanctuary, waving palm branches and singing praises, beginning the morning worship service.
April 11 marked the beginning of Ice Cream Sundays being observed at WUMC. Every other Sunday a person can receive a free cone, but for each scoop of ice cream used to fill the cone, it will cost him or her fifty cents a scoop. Proceeds from these Ice Cream Sundays were sent to the Bishop’s Initiative for Children in Poverty, a Conference project.
The Disciple Bible study group purchased and donated twenty-five dozen teaspoons, eleven dozen forks, and three dozen knives to St. John’s Breadline in Springfield. Also, a collection of $170 was given to the Haitian bean and rice project.
A Mother-Daughter Banquet and program was provided for all the women of the church on
May 2. A program, “Roses, Dolls, and You,” was presented by Marilyn Oakes and her sister Jan Bolm.
Consecration Sunday, May 23, was observed during the morning worship service with a victory luncheon immediately following church.
May 30 was Confirmation Sunday. In addition, a breakfast for the high school graduates was held after the worship services.
Grocery sacks were distributed to the residents of Williamsville on June 12 and later collected for the Kumler Food Drive.
Aldersgate, a ministry group of Wesley Foundation members from Western Illinois University, led the worship service with a musical concert of vocals, instrumentals, and drama on June 27.
From July 19-23, members of the Williamsville United Methodist Church joined with other churches in the cluster group to go to Henderson Settlement in Kentucky. Members participating were Katie McFall, Sara Winters, and Kim Hankins.
The new carpet was installed in the sanctuary in August.
Williamsville United Methodist Church is now represented on the World Wide Web with a new web page: WWW.bullets.net/WUMC. Dave Lauchner was the webmaster who created this site; he was in charge of the site’s updating until he and his family moved from the Williamsville area.
On September 26, pictures for a new pictorial directory of the church family were taken.
A bluegrass group from the Lincoln, Illinois, area presented music for the morning worship service October 10. A barbecue chicken dinner followed the service.
On November 14, Dale McFadden was guest speaker at both of the worship services.
Members of the congregation gathered together for the Festival of the Greens and decorated the sanctuary and other areas of the church on November 28.
The worship service returned to one worship time of 9:00 a.m. with Sunday school beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Kumler Neighborhood Ministries received twenty-eight winter hats and thirty-two pairs of mittens as gifts from the WUMC congregation to be distributed to those of the Springfield area in need of them.
The church sponsored a bake sale held on December 3 at the Department of Transportation building in Springfield.
On December 12, “Christmas from around the World,” a service for the churches of the Field of Dreams cluster was held at the Mechanicsburg United Methodist Church. There was a display of nativity scenes collected from around the world.
A pancake and sausage breakfast was served in the church basement on January 15.
On February 27 a vegetable and chili lunch was held immediately following church service to benefit the youth group.
Rev. Howard White and Leah Farrar were married on June 3 in London, England. Howard has been transferred to Bethalto United Methodist Church after serving for five years at WUMC.
Rev. Dr. Kathy Lossau came to minister to the Williamsville United Methodist Church from the state of Maryland. Her first sermon at WUMC was July 2. Rev. Lossau was the first physically handicapped minister to come to our conference.
A platform lift was installed on August 10 for the needs of the disabled. It travels from the social hall (basement) level up to the educational wing level and then on up to the sanctuary level, providing access to all areas of the church. In addition to the large platform for wheelchairs, this lift is equipped with a fold-down seat and a grab bar so that those who walk rather than roll can feel secure. Additions of ramps were built to both the parsonage and the church as well.
A mini retreat for the twelve key study participants met at Camp CILCA to review short and long-term goals for the church. This was held on August 27.
Sherry McKennedy, who lives in rural Sherman, was hired as choir director.
A liturgical dance troupe consisting of Katie McFall, Sara Winters, and Jennifer Schemmer was organized to participate in dance presentations during worship services. There were several occasions when these young ladies performed for the congregation. Liturgical dance is an ancient form of worship that helps to illuminate the meaning of a Scripture or religious song through body movements or dance.
Friends and members of the WUMC congregation gave Rev. and Mrs. Howard White a catered wedding reception on September 9 at the Artisans Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
In November, the Williamsville United Methodist Church After-School Program, led by the United Methodist Women, began a new ministry to young people in our community. Children in the fourth through eighth grades met in the church basement for one-on-one tutoring help.
Some of the projects of the 2000 Confirmation Class were gathering supplies for flood buckets to aid in relief efforts of the Midwest Distribution Center. They also delivered these supplies to the Center where they spent time filling the buckets and putting together school bags for children in Haiti. Another project was ministering to the patients at the Villa Care East facility in Sherman. The class also prepared and served a meal to Inner-City Mission residents in Springfield.
The ecumenical Thanksgiving eve service was held at the Williamsville Christian Church. Attendees donated a nonperishable food item to be given to the Inner-City Mission.
A group from our congregation made a trip to Peoria in November to see the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
The younger children and youth of the church presented their Christmas program during morning worship. Also, the junior high youth presented a traditional nativity scene while other children used American Sign Language to interpret the hymn “Away in the Manger.”
Even though the weather was cold with a wind chill of about minus forty degrees, the WUMC confirmands presented a living nativity scene on Christmas Eve in front of the church.
The Field of Dreams cluster group consisting of the United Methodist Churches of Williamsville, Dawson, Elkhart, Buffalo, and Illiopolis met to seek ways to become more involved together. Lorraine Summers was our Lay Cluster representative.
Williamsville United Methodist Church hosted the meeting of the Northern Clergy Team of the Sangamon County District at our church in January.
On February 18, Rev. Frank Nestler, former District Superintendent, and Carol Sims were guest speakers for the WUMC worship services while Rev. Lossau was on vacation.
The Daisy/Brownie Troop 246 participated in the March 11 morning worship by presenting a program on leadership that they had learned while in the Girl Scouts. This group is sponsored by WUMC.
In conjunction with the Williamsville Christian Church, the April 15 Easter community sunrise service was held in the village park. The WUMC liturgical dance troupe consisting of Katie McFall, Sara Winters, and Jennifer Schemmer witnessed during the church service by presenting a dance performance. Special music was provided by the Prairie Team from the Christian Church; Sherry McKennedy, who played selections on the organ; and Michael Lossau, who played the trumpet. A children’s Easter egg hunt was held after the worship service.
New Age Bibles, appropriate for fourth through sixth grade Sunday school classes, were given to this group of Sunday school students. A special Advent Box offering, individuals’ donations, and the Williamsville United Methodist Women helped to fund this project.
A witness ministry team was organized to call on our shut-ins one Sunday a month in order to bring a kind word, a friendly visit, and the Lord’s Supper to these individuals.
During the April 28 all-town garage sale, the church had a sale and food stand under a huge tent on the boulevard. All proceeds went to our Raise the Roof campaign to help raise money for the repairs needed to our church roof.
WUMC hosted the Aldersgate Singers, a group of college students from the Wesley Foundation at Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois, on Sunday morning, May 20. They led a worship/praise service while standing outside on the church steps. Also, an ecumenical baccalaureate service for the graduating seniors of the Williamsville/Sherman School District #15 was held at the WUMC that evening. Pastor Garry Davie from the Sherman Nazarene Church delivered the message.
During its May meeting, the WUMC Administrative Council voted to align the church budget year with the calendar year (January through December), changing from a fiscal budget year (July through June). This change will allow the church to have our budget year more closely tied to the Conference calendar schedule.
The Confirmation Class led the worship on this Heritage Sunday May 29. Wilson Bock gave the sermon.
The June 2, Pentecost Sunday, service was also a time of confirmation for ten eighth graders: Ryan Benner, Wilson Bock, Nick Constant, Gavin Coonrod, McKenzie Davidson, Kyle Fowler, Brittney Hudgins, Will McFall, Rachel Smith, and Jeff Tobias. A breakfast for the confirmands, their parents, and mentors was held prior to the morning worship, and a fellowship time after worship service was held by the whole congregation to welcome them into full membership.
A group of workers from the congregation spent all day June 13 at the Midwest Distribution Center, located south of Springfield, preparing sewing kits and sorting shoes to go to Liberia.
July 1 was the Igniting Ministries kick-off. Also, that day the Peace Pole, located on the west side of the church building, was dedicated. The Peace Pole was a gift to Pastor Kathy given to her from the congregation of Bethesda United Methodist Church in Sykesville, Maryland, on her last Sunday with them. Peace Poles are handcrafted wooden poles presenting the peace message “May peace prevail on earth” in different languages.
Volunteers met to work on the center courtyard of the Education Building on July 14. They cleaned, raked, added new rock, and planted new bushes and a new dogwood tree. Sponsors of this memorial renovation project were Rev. Burt and Elizabeth McIntosh, John McIntosh, John Jones, and Jo Holton. Benches were added for anyone to come and spend time to meditate.
Son Creek Junction was the theme for the 2001 daily Vacation Bible School, which began on Monday, July 16. Children from preschool through fifth grade attended. Heather Hofferkamp was the director of the week-long activities which raised $537 for Heifer Project International.
United Methodist Women visited Cunningham Children’s Home in Urbana on July 24 and toured the facilities including one of the residence cottages.
A new second service of worship began on Saturday evening, September 1 at 5:30 pm. The church council approved this additional service to reach out to the “unchurched” and to those people who were unable to attend worship on Sunday mornings. This new service would generally run forty-five minutes and would offer communion once a month.
On September 9, the Williamsville United Methodist Church sponsored a Youth Rally for Christ for the junior/senior youth of our church and nearby communities. The event featured God’s Trophies from the Teen Challenge Program, Peoria, Illinois, and Daniel’s Window, a Christian rock/pop band, featuring a light show along with the concert. The Teen Challenge group provided a witness for young people everywhere about what drugs and alcohol can cause in the lives of youth because these young men “have been there and back.”
Williamsville United Methodist Church and several other churches in our area met at Sherman United Methodist Church on November 18 for a joint Charge Conference. The District Superintendent led the conference participants in Bible study.
Our church congregation took part in the Angel Tree program. Those who wished to participate chose an “angel” from the Christmas tree, bought and wrapped gifts for that particular angel, and returned the gifts to the church. The “angels” were children of individuals who were currently serving time in prison.
Junior high youth served a dinner that was prepared by senior high youth members and their mothers to people at the Inner-City Mission in Springfield. The young people also helped the staff by doing miscellaneous jobs while at the Mission. While there, the youth learned about the Mission and how it works, who it serves, and how it reaches out to those in need.
The annual Williamsville community Thanksgiving worship service was hosted by Williamsville United Methodist Church. The Rev. David Beal of the Williamsville Christian Church was the guest speaker. An offering of canned goods and nonperishable dry goods was received to be given to the Springfield Breadline Ministry.
At 7:00 pm on Christmas Eve, there was a family service with the youth orchestra participating. A program filled with extraordinary Christmas music was presented by vocalists Matt Galligan, singing solo presentations, and the WUMC sanctuary choir singing special Christmas music. Also, Sherry McKennedy played the organ and Michael Lossau performed with his trumpet. At
11:00 pm, there was a beautiful candlelight service with the liturgical dancers and a jazz combo performing. Communion was served at this later service.
All the Williamsville/Sherman churches in the ecumenical cluster sponsored a joint prayer for a January 20 Christian Unity Service. The service was hosted by St. John Vianney in Sherman. Prayer for Christian Unity Week is held annually all over the world and is a time for Christians to reach out to one another in love through the common bonds in Jesus Christ our Savior.
March 3 was the third Sunday of Lent, One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday, and Scouting Sunday. To help celebrate Scouting Sunday, Brownie Troop #12, Junior Troop #246, and Cub Scout Dens # 2 & 3 participated in the morning worship service. WUMC sponsors these scout troops and provides a meeting place for them.
Holy Week, March 24-31, had many special worship services that started with the children’s and the sanctuary choirs presenting special music and the children of the congregation marching into the sanctuary waving palm branches. The liturgical dancers and a musical trio performed before Holy Communion was served during the Maundy Thursday service. A Worship of Darkness (Tenebrae) service was observed on Good Friday. The senior high youth had a “Lock-in to the Tomb” from Good Friday until Holy Saturday. The Easter Sunday community sunrise service was held at the Williamsville park with both the Williamsville Christian Church and our church participating. Following the service, there was a community Easter breakfast and Easter egg hunt. The liturgical dancers, both church choirs, the youth orchestra, and Matt Gilligan all performed as part of the Easter morning worship service. Holy Communion was also served.
The Field of Dreams cluster group voted to disband because of the struggle with the wide geographic diversity of the churches that formed the group.
Baccalaureate service for the 2002 graduating seniors was held on May 19 at the Sherman United Methodist Church. Pastor Lossau gave the message.
An old-time gospel sing and musical concert was held on June 2 during the morning worship service. The Possum Holler Pickers, a group of bluegrass/gospel singers from Lincoln, Illinois, performed for everyone’s enjoyment.
A special guest speaker, Jim Byron, owner of the Sports Therapy Center in Sherman, delivered his personal message of witness and God’s grace during our morning worship service June 9.
Sherry McKennedy resigned as choir director and church musician at Williamsville United Methodist Church effective June 30.
Vacation Bible School was held June 24-28 this year. The mission for VBS, “Bug Safari,” was called Wings of Caring. This was an aviation program in the African Congo. A goal of $250.00 was set for this mission. Pastor Kathy agreed to have a tarantula crawl up her arm if this goal was exceeded, and it was; $450.00 was raised! This money was to be used for the children for this mission and the people of Africa who were struggling to survive and needed money for plane repair, maintenance, and fuel costs.
Linda Selinger, of rural Sherman, was hired as the new accompanist beginning July 21. She held the same position at the Buffalo United Methodist Church.
During the Sunday, September 8 morning worship service, all the Sunday school teachers were recognized. Bibles were presented to elementary aged children. Acolytes, ushers, Disciple Bible Study graduates, as well as confirmands and their parents and mentors were all acknowledged at this special service as well.
On Sunday night, the second annual youth rally was held in the WUMC sanctuary and hosted by the youth of the church. Erik Bledsoe, a Christian singer and songwriter from Nashville; Slingshot, a Christian rock band; and Liz and her Gospel dog entertained nearly one hundred youth from WUMC and other nearby communities.
On October 13 Pastor Appreciation Day, Pastor Kathy was recognized for her faithful and dedicated service to WUMC.
Charge Conference was held this year at Athens United Methodist Church. The current Confirmation Class attended along with many WUMC officers.
On All Saints’ Day, a day of remembrance, many individuals of our church family who have passed away were remembered with a special service. April Lauchner sang “Amazing Grace,” accompanied by Dane and Cole Menzel on their guitars.
A children’s Christmas program, “Come to Bethlehem,” was given during the morning worship. There were two Christmas Eve worship services. The first was a family worship held earlier in the evening, and then later a candle lighting service was held at 11:00 p.m. The congregations celebrated these services with music from the sanctuary choir, the children’s choir, the youth orchestra, the Four Angels praise singers, a guitar group, and a jazz combo. Also performing was guest trumpeter Michael Lossau; special guest singers, Roger Cooper and Janna, his daughter; and Matt Galligan, soloist.
On January 26, the worship topic was on stewardship and how to decide the direction of the WUMC mission and ministry and how to make the commitment to be good stewards both individually and as a congregation. After the worship service, there was an all-church meeting, followed by a fellowship brunch.
Rev. Kurt Keller from Deaf Ministries, a global ministry Conference benevolence, was a guest speaker during worship service on February 2. A special offering was received for Deaf Ministries, which helps churches be accessible to the hearing impaired through the use of interpreters using the American Sign Language interpreting during the worship service.
Williamsville United Methodist Church became a partnering church with the Sangamon County Habitat for Humanity program in their effort to raise funds for building homes for people who are in need. The congregation collected used ink/toner cartridges from home lasers and inkjet printers, fax machines, and copy machines to help raise funds for this Habitat project.
Easter sunrise service was held at the Williamsville Park followed by an Easter egg hunt. Music for this Easter worship service was provided by our young guitarists and the sanctuary choir. The Four Angels singing group also provided music.
On Heritage Sunday, April 27, the Confirmation Class wrote and delivered the entire service. Each one of the class contributed a portion of the morning worship service.
Thirteen young people were confirmed and became full members of our church on June 1. Casey Constant, Kelsie Coonrod, Mitchell Davidson, Aaron Felix, Chris Lauchner, Dane Menzel, Corey Moynahan, Jordan Patterson, Megan Plopper, Dustin Schemmer, Jordan Schultz, Taylor Smith, and Kevin Tobias composed the 2003 confirmation class.
On June 29, after worship service, Pastor Kathy conducted a Blessing of the Animals service. All types and sizes of animals were represented and were blessed.
Williamsville United Methodist Church co-hosted a community worship service held on July 6 on the Williamsville boulevard along with the Williamsville Christian Church during the Williamsville Sesquicentennial celebration. Also, the two churches sponsored several community dinners during the special celebration weekend.
The church hosted the Springfield Veterans Center World War II Worship Team at the July 13 morning service for a Day of Appreciation for the Armed Forces. A special collection from the congregation was taken with $138.00 collected for the World War II Illinois Veterans’ Memorial scheduled for construction at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
An American Sign Language class was started for children pre-K through fifth grades. Students learned how to sign hymns along with singing spiritual songs. Carol Galusha and Pastor Kathy were the instructors for this class.
Beginning February 1, the worship team presented a new addition to the worship service — on a trial basis — until Easter. Announcements for each week were offered as a Power Point presentation on the thirty-two inch television before and immediately following each worship service. This new presentation will be in addition to the written announcements and inserts handed out each week. The worship team believes this mode of presenting weekly announcements will allow the congregation to have more time during the worship service.
The Saturday evening worship service was discontinued on March 20 due to lack of attendance.
During this Lenten season, each worship service saw one of the altar sacraments (altar candles, brass cross, offering plates, etc.) removed from the altar. The purpose of removing these sacraments was to focus the congregation’s attention on Christ.
Easter sunrise service was held at the Williamsville Fire House at 6:00 a.m. with the Rev. David Beal, minister of the Williamsville Christian Church, giving the message. An Easter egg hunt was held after the regular Easter morning worship service at the church.
On April 18, Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United Methodist Church had an open house at the new conference center located off Toronto Road and Interstate 55 south of Springfield, Illinois. This center represents a place of welcome and hospitality for all the United Methodists in this Conference. The new building also contains Conference offices as well as meeting rooms that can be made available for all the churches in the Conference to use for special meetings, day-long retreats, etc.
A Mother-Daughter Tea on May 2 was hosted by the Williamsville United Methodist Women in the church sanctuary. The program “I Shall Wear Purple” was presented by Janet Bolm and Marilyn Oaks, who are twin sisters. Donna Slavens was their accompanist. Mrs. Oaks was a teacher in the Williamsville School District for many years until her retirement.
The annual youth rally was held at the Williamsville Junior High Arts Center in partnership with the Sherman United Methodist Church on September 12. The speakers were the men from Peoria Teen Challenge, God’s Trophies, who gave testimony of how their faith in God led them away from drugs and alcohol. Final Quest, a Christian rock band, was the opening act with Falling Down, another musical group, also performing during the evening.
A survey was taken of the congregation about whether to change times for morning worship or keep the schedule the same. One suggestion was made to offer two Sunday morning worship services: 8:15 – 9:00 a.m. first worship service; 9:00 – 9:15 a.m. fellowship; 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. Sunday school; 10:15 – 10:30 a.m. fellowship; and 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. second worship service. Another suggestion was to keep the worship schedule the same without any changes: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. worship, 10:00 – 10:15 a.m. fellowship; and 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Sunday school. The congregation voted to keep the original schedule without any changes.
The annual community Easter sunrise service was held March 27 at 6:00 a.m. in the Williams-ville Fire Hall. Breakfast was served afterward. There was special music by all our choirs, Will Ripka and Mike Lossau were guest trumpeters. Julie Smith, a friend of Pastor Kathy and a certified candidate for ordained ministry, assisted Pastor Kathy in celebrating the sacraments.
Due to the church’s financial crisis, donations from the congregation of office supplies helped defray some of the operation costs of the church. Anonymous donors gave money towards the purchase of a computer for the church office also. These donations helped keep the operating costs down so that the church could meet the apportionment obligations.
Twelve confirmands joined Williamsville United Methodist Church on May 15, Confirmation Sunday: Danielle Benner, mentored by Sandy Moynahan; C. J. Holsapple, mentored by Marsha Menzel; April Lauchner, mentored by Cathy Fowler; Cole Menzel, mentored by Heidi Sherrock; Kyle Moynahan, mentored by Carol Sims; Katherine Ripka, mentored by Gail Lauchner; Craig Ripka, mentored by Michelle Seif; Will Ripka, mentored by Linda Selinger; Colin Ryan, mentored by Lynn Bock; Clay Sherrock, mentored by Lori Benner; Ethan Seif, mentored by Sue Ripka; and Dylan Wood, mentored by Teresa Benner.
United Methodist Women traveled to Cunningham Children’s Home (C.C.H.) in Champaign-Urbana to visit with former pastors Dan and Gay Crede and Howard White. Gay was the Chaplain at C.C.H. where a new chapel was under construction. Dan was the organist at Wesley Methodist Foundation on the University of Illinois campus where Howard White was the minister. Revs. Dan and Gay Crede, Rev. Howard and Leah White and children joined the group for lunch at the Wesley Foundation. After lunch, Rev. Dan gave the group an organ concert in the church on the U. of I. campus.
A children’s hand bell choir for all children of grades two through five was formed under the direction of Carol Galusha and Pastor Kathy.
This year at the Illinois Great Rivers Conference at Peoria, the Williamsville United Methodist Church received a Rural Ministries Witness Award for outstanding creative work with youth. This award was realized due to the successful fall 2004 youth rally.
Beginning September 18, a new schedule for worship was started with two morning worship services: 8:00 – 8:45 a.m. first worship service; 8:45 – 9:30 a.m. coffee fellowship; 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. Sunday school; and 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. second worship.
The congregation enjoyed a Christmas program “The Wisdom of the Pine” as presented by the children’s Sunday school classes and a musical “Hark the Herald Angels” as offered by the bell choir, accompanied by the choir directors. While the congregation sang “Away in a Manger,” they watched the hymn being signed by a group of guest “signers.”
The Christmas Eve worship service was full of special music by the children’s choir; April Lauchner, accompanied by Leonard Dennison, Dane and Cole Menzel, and Nick Martin as a guitar quartet; Roger and Janna Cooper; a combo group; and some trumpeters. A group of signers presented an Old Testament lesson as it would be interpreted for the hearing impaired.
On Saturday, March 28, Sandy Moynahan, Marsha Menzel, and Heidi Sherrock took ten youths to help with cleaning up downed trees and limbs on Springfield’s east side where there was much destruction after the March 12 tornado.
Heidi Sherrock and Michelle Seif graduated from lay speakers’ classes at Sherman United Methodist Church on May 28.
On June 4, morning worship was changed back to only one service at 9:00 a.m.
Our church served barbecue dinners on the village boulevard in conjunction with the town’s June 29th Fourth of July celebration.
Rev. Dick Piscatelli was appointed to the ministry of the Williamsville United Methodist Church on July 2. Pastor Dick and his wife Carole are retired after serving twenty-three years in the Central Illinois Conference, beginning with his first church at Buffalo United Methodist Church. He will be serving our church as a “half-time” pastor. Their home is in Chatham, so the WUMC parsonage will not be occupied by the minister.
Because of storm and water damage, shingles were replaced on the parsonage on August 2. Total cost of the parsonage roof was paid in part by money received from the insurance claim’s settlement ($7,000) and the remainder from the “Buy a Bundle” drive ($3,600). “Buy a Bundle of Shingles” was a congregation contribution program that was initiated for the repair/ replacement of the parsonage roof.
The whole month of August saw volunteers working on the parsonage, cleaning and repairing it in preparation for rental. Since the pastor did not need the home, the decision was made to rent the parsonage.
On November 5, yellow ribbons were arranged on the altar railing in honor of our community military personnel who are serving in the service of our country. Pastor Dick and Carole made a DVD of pictures of our veterans which was shown during the worship service. In the future, additional names and ribbons will be added to the altar rail as necessary.
An all-church goal planning session on November 12 saw fifteen people sharing their dreams for 2006 and the future of WUMC. Some of the goals suggested by the leaders who attended were to have a congregation of over one hundred in attendance at every week’s worship service, revitalize the youth programs, and pay all the Conference apportionments.
The annual cookie walk, bake sale, and craft bazaar was held December 16 in the church basement.
A candlelight Christmas Eve service was conducted with hymns and special readings from the Bible. A special year end gift offering to the church was received at this service with 10% going to Kumler Neighborhood Ministries.
The church celebrates its 150th birthday this year!
It was announced that the second Sunday of each month would be a mission Sunday where food and other nonperishable items would be received on the altar for the Kumler Neighborhood Ministries. A “Noisy Offering,” collected by the small children and other youth of WUMC, would also be collected on that Sunday. Half of the proceeds received would go to the Liberian Student Scholarship program and the other half to either Kumler Neighborhood Ministries or the United Methodist Midwest Distribution Center, both located in or near Springfield.
On January 21, the congregation celebrated National Pie Day by enjoying an evening of fellowship and by tasting many delicious kinds of pastry.
The annual book sale/soup and chili luncheon was held in the church basement fellowship room in February. Books that weren’t sold were donated to the Williamsville Library, Springfield’s Sojourn House, or Goodwill, also located in Springfield.
In March a new prayer shawl/blanket ministry was started with Dorothy Lugibill as a volunteer/
teacher coordinator. The shawls and blankets are for new babies and anyone who lives in our community in need of a comfort blanket.
Also in March, Lee Miller started a website (www.williamsvilleumc.com) for the church. The website created by David Lauchner in 1999 was disbanded after he left the Williamsville area and there was no one to continue with it. Activities of the church, photos of the congregation during worship service, and other church events are included. Also, the church newsletter, calendar, and sermons are available for viewing.
The April 8, Easter sunrise service was supposed to be held outside on the east side of the church, but it was too cold, so services were held inside in the church sanctuary at 7:00 a.m. This service was followed by a delicious breakfast held in the “overflow” room with the regular morning worship service following at 9:00 a.m.
The 2007 Confirmation Class used their gifts of service by helping with Holy Communion and by being ushers and acolytes at morning worship services. Those confirmed on April 22 were Samantha Benner, Kaitlyn Constant, Nick Martin, MacKenzie McCall, Chelsey Nichols, and Skylar Woods.
The first ever “Spud Thud” was held on May 6 right after church service and Sunday school were over. Those attending enjoyed a delicious potato bar with all the toppings. It was a time of good eating and fellowship.
As of June 1, 2007, the parsonage was rented.
At a morning worship service, there was a dedication of the outdoor sign that was built in memory of Don Campbell. All of his family were there for this dedication.
On June 30, the church sponsored a barbecued pork chop lunch at the Williamsville park during the annual Fourth of July celebration. Over $700 was raised with 10% going to missions and the rest helping with building projects.
The United Methodist Women and their guests enjoyed a luncheon in Lincoln on Sunday, July 29 following church worship service. After lunch, they attended a production of “Cinderella” at the Lincoln College Theater.
August 3 saw the appearance of three new Williamsville United Methodist Church signs located on Main Street, directing visitors to our church building.
Photos were taken by Olan Mills’ photographers on August 10 – 11 for a new church family directory. A free directory, along with one 8” x 10” photograph, will be given to each family who participated.
The annual chicken dinner was served in the church basement on Friday, August 24, showing a little over $1,025.00 profit.
On September 23, a church service and potluck was held in the park. There was good food, fun, and fellowship enjoyed by all.
Williamsville (United) Methodist Church Ministers on Record
1858 Rev. William Fletcher Short
1860 Rev. D. Bardick
1861 Rev. J. Slater
1861 Rev. W.F. Bennett
1863 Rev. Leonard Smith
1865-67 Rev. George Stevens
1867 Rev. W.H. Rayburn
1868 Rev. John Barger
1869 Rev. O.H.P. Ash*
1870 Rev. M.M. Davidson
1871 Rev. G.B. Goldsmith
1873 Rev. H.E. Adams
1875 Rev. C.A. Obershain
1878 Rev. W.E. Johnson
1878 Rev. George B. Wolfe
1881 Rev. James W. Sinnock
1881 Rev. Fred Joynt*
1884 Rev. A. Sloan
1886 Rev. J.B. Colwell
1888 Rev. M.B. McFadden
1892 Rev. T.B. Wright
1895 Armenus Dolan Moon
1898 Rev. Walter Aiken
1903 Rev. W.A. Boyd
1905 Rev. W.W. Theobald
1906 Rev. W.G. Lloyd
1910 Rev. E.E. Williams
1913 Rev. E.V. Young
1915 Rev. E.T. Harman
1919 Rev. E.S. Vorbeck
1922 Rev. Royal Wesley Ennis
1925 Rev. J.S. Thorpe
1927 Rev. Charles E. Liston
1930 Rev. Jual Raymond Ford
1931 Rev. L.S. Ellison
1935 Rev. Paul C. Wilson
1939 Rev. Ernest H. Duling
1942 Rev. Thomas Reighton Jones*
1943 Rev. Donald R. Lemkaw
1945 Rev. Marion L. Sullins
1947 Rev. Charles Withrow
1955 Rev. D. Mann
1956 Rev. Jonathan Drake**
1959 John Cavitt
1959 Rev. Burt McIntosh
1966 Rev. James Canny
1967 Rev. Harold Simpkins
1970 Rev. Arno Hutchinson
1974 Rev. Harold Flessner
1978 Rev. Victor Ramsey
1983 Rev. Dan Crede}
1984 Rev. Kelligay Crede}
1991 Rev. Tom Wilber
1995 Rev. Howard White
2000 Rev. Dr. Kathleen Lossau
2006 Rev. Dick Piscatelli
* These ministers are buried in Walnut Hill Cemetery, Williamsville, IL. Mrs. T.R. Jones, wife of Rev. Jones, and Margaret Joynt, wife of Rev. Fred Joynt, are also buried there.
** Stephan Michael Drake, infant son of Rev. and Mrs. Jonathan Drake, died September 10, 1957, and was buried at Walnut Hill Cemetery.
Names in bold type indicate pastors who are still living.
WILLIAMSVILLE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH MEMBERS
WHO HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE CHURCH FIFTY YEARS OR MORE
Compiled August 2007
Member’s Name Date He/She Joined the Church
John Cooper 01-20-24
A. D. Van Meter, Jr. 04-16-30
Mona May (Hastings) Graham 04-16-33
Wayne Henderson 06-23-35
John Jones 04-16-38
Paul Lugibill 39
Eloise (Lugibill) Miller 39
Lawrence “Burr” McVickers 09-30-41
Ben Hankins 04-05-42
Florence (Cogdal) (Mickle) Yokley 04-05-42
Ben Yokley 04-29-45
Harvey Robert “Bobby” Black04-14-46
Jean (O’Neal) Oglesby 04-14-46
Albert Sagle 10-01-46
Carl Claypool 03-30-47
Norman Doty, Sr. 03-30-47
Lowell Beatty 05-15-49
Dorothy (Burton) Lugibill 04-09-50
Leroy (Lee) Miller 04-09-50
John O’Neal 04-09-50
Melvin Constant 03-25-51
Juanita (Fulscher) Henderson 03-25-51
Ron Schemmer 03-29-53
Lorraine (Hartfield) Summers 03-29-53
Betty (Wigg) Guffey 03-14-54
Robert “Bob” Williamson 03-14-54
Sharon (Schroll) MacArthur 04-03-55
Judy (Miller) Evans 03-25-56
Shirley (Davidson) Black 04-21-57
A Musical History
of the Williamsville United Methodist Church,
Including Organists, Pianists, and Choir Directors
In 1902, a beautiful pipe organ was installed in the church as a gift from William “Will” Council in memory of his mother and father, Wesley and Martha (Wiggington) Council.
Fifty years later when the “Council” organ was beyond repair, it was replaced with a new Allen electronic organ in May 1951. A dedication service was planned for Sunday, July 1, 1951; however, just four days before the eagerly anticipated recital service, a tornado struck Williamsville on June 27, seriously damaging the church and much of its contents. After restoring and remodeling the church, including the remodeling of the choir loft, the long-awaited organ dedication and recital was realized on Sunday, October 26, 1952. Mrs. Thornton P. Jones was chairperson of the music committee, and Mr. Donald Allured of the First Presbyterian Church was the organist for this special celebration.
A new Allen organ was installed on June 9, 1991. During the morning worship service, there was an organ dedication. That evening, the church choir, soloists, and instrumentalists joined together for an organ concert. Rev. Dan Crede played several organ selections as well.
On October 15, 1992, during a storm, one or more bolts of lightning struck the church steeple damaging the organ, carillon, and sound system, in addition to doing other electrical and structural damage.
Organists and Pianists:
1892 – 1895: Julie Doty Fishburn
(Organist for 13 years)
1902 Mrs. Polly Winn (Organist)
Anna Ray Bandy
Mrs. E. V. Young
Mrs. Stella (Doty) Hale
Mrs. Effie Prather
Ruth (Taylor) Stitt
Mrs. Alice Baker
(Organist for 40 years)
Ada (Yocom) Hussey
A.D. VanMeter, Jr.
(Organist for 35 years)
Billie Bock (Substitute)
Debbie (Tibbs) Strong
Sherry (McKennedy) Way
Keri (Evans) Johnson (Pianist)
Edwina Wilbur (Pianist)
Linda Selinger (Pianist)
Dan Crede would play the organ on special occasions and accompany the choir during his ministry at WUMC.
Sara (Sally) Jones established both the adult and junior choirs during the tenure of
Rev. Ernest H. Duling (1939-1942). They were the first choirs to be furnished with
In 1980, choir members raised $1,460 for the purchase of new burgundy choir robes.
Marjorie Cravens was choir director for thirty-five years, retiring in 1991.
Pastor Kathy Lossau
Sarah Ann Benner
Donna Slavens (1966-1970)
Owena Hankins (1954-1957)
Roberta McPherson (1957)
Nimble Fingers Quilters History
During the month of October 2007, the Nimble Fingers Quilters celebrated twenty years of quilting. These quilters, past and present, include: Amber Boehm, Judy Constant, Judy Dickey, Nancy Doty, Rosemary Evers, Irene Frakes, Jeanne Gaither, Marilyn Hayward, Rosalie Jones, Verna Knox, Marjorie McVickers, Louise Oller, Ann Shaver, Ila Stone, Mary Nell Templeman, Helen Williamson, Wanda Wood, and Florence Yokley.
This group has quilted 340 quilts; the money they make from their efforts is given to WUMC. Some of the items that have been purchased for the church with these proceeds are an air conditioner, $4,155; a sound system, $850; refinishing of the wooden floor in the overflow room, $1,512; and binding of an area rug and carpet cleaning for the entire church, including the Sunday school rooms, $720.
The quilters have also helped with the renovation of the basement kitchen by purchasing seventeen tables, one hundred chairs, new dishes and other supplies, $5,000; a new refrigerator, $730; a heavy-duty stand mixer, $700; two commercial heavy-duty gas ranges, $2,000; pots and pans and electric roasters for the kitchen and a freezer and shelving for the kitchen storage area, $225.
In addition, a water heater for the parsonage, $460, was purchased and a new sidewalk from the church to the parsonage was built, $988. The Green Room was furnished with draperies, $300; a sink, $375; and refrigerator and cabinets, $1,500, thanks to the Nimble Fingers group.
Commercial fryers for chicken and fish dinners, $750; a water cooler/fountain, and many other items have been paid for through the generosity of the Nimble Fingers Quilters, including monetary donations for Vacation Bible School, $700; and a Christmas Angel Tree gift, $50.
This small group currently meets once a week to work together over the quilting frame; they chat, have lunch, and share a meaningful companionship, all the while quietly helping the church with its many projects.
Thank you ladies for your good work!
Williamsville Methodist Episcopal Church History, 1952.
Miss Edna Yocom, Church Historian
Miss Emma Cooper and Mrs. Mabel Doty, Committee Members
Williamsville United Methodist Church History, 1973.
Mrs. Carrie VanMeter, Chairperson
Mr. Ernest Caldwell, Mrs. Ed Council, Mrs. Mabel Doty, Committee Members
Williamsville United Methodist Church History, 1993.
Sarah Ann Benner, Chairperson
Millie Anderson, Velma Campbell, Marti Loafman, Marge McVickers, Opal Miller,
Ruth Moorman, Robert Williamson, Helen Williamson, and Florence Yokley,
Administrative Board Minutes.
The Current, a newsletter published by the Illinois Great Rivers Conference of the United
Williamsville United Methodist Church monthly newsletters & weekly church bulletins,
1986 – 2007.
Early church history information gathered from data written by:
Caldwell, Sr., George
Wilcockson, Clarence C.
Nimble Fingers Quilters History written by:
Williamsville United Methodist Church
128 East Jones Street
(Corner of Elkhart & Jones Streets)
P.O. Box 79
Williamsville, IL 62693
Church Office Phone: (217) 566-3614
Web Site: www.WilliamsvilleUMC.com/
Current Pastor: Rev. Dick Piscatelli
302 Wagon Wheel Lane
Chatham, IL 62629
Home Phone: (217) 483-7327
Cell Phone: (217) 494-1475