Detroit Lakes United Methodist Church
Thursday, June 29, 2017

Celebrating over 130 years of ministry!

 

Detroit Lakes United Methodist Church has a long history of

  • growing with the community

  • caring for its people

     

     One of the first missionaries to Becker County, Father Gurley, was brought here under the auspices of the Methodist Church in 1871 (about the same year the NP Railroad came through this area). In 1872 some Methodists requested permission to become a part of the newly organized Congregational Church until they could form a church of their own. 

"The important fact is that no matter what the name, the work of the Lord . . . shall go on.  May it ever be thus."
 

     A resident Methodist minister, Rev. H.P.Christ, arrived in 1873; under his guidance the Methodists became a more organized group but continued to use the Congregational Church building on the corner of Washington Avenue and Union Street. Over 18 pastors have served the parish since its beginning in 1873.

 

     On January 23, 1879, the first Methodist church building was dedicated at 807 Washington Ave.   At that time the Methodists held services on alternate Sundays, probably sharing their minister with a congregation in a nearby town. But the congregation continued to grow; in 1907 membership had reach 170—the church needed a bigger building.

 

     The next church was built on the corner of Lake Avenue and Frazee Street; dedicated in 1908, it served the congregation for the next 64 years. By that time, however, it was bursting at the seams; even the parsonage, which had been built south of the church, was being used as educational space.

 

     The land on Corbett Road, home of the present church building, was purchased in 1966. On January 29, 1973, the first service was held in the new church. Between the time the Lake Avenue church was sold in 1972 and the new church was finished, the congregation met in the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.  In 1989 an addition was built on the church, and in 2006 remodeling again occurred.


     None of the earlier buildings still exist; even the Lake Avenue church, which had become the home of the Berean Baptist Church, was torn down in 2008. One of the stained glass windows was preserved and now beautifies DLUMC’s fellowship hall.  Also, the front of the altar from the Lake Avenue church decorates the north wall of the fellowship hall.

     History forged excellent relationships with the Congregational and Episcopal churches, with whom DLUMC still collaborates for many events, such as Thanksgiving and Holy Week services and Vacation Bible School.

     “The names change, but our church goes on. It was born the Methodist Episcopal Church, changed to the First Methodist Church, and is now the United Methodist Church. The important fact is that no matter what the name, the work of the Lord . . . shall go on. May it ever be thus.”

 

Much of this information was found in “Our History,” an article written in April 1973 by Frank J. Long, Church Historian, and reprinted in DLUMC’s 1996 Membership Directory.