In 1855, Mark Robertson preached the first sermon in Mound City. That service was held in a log cabin at the East edge of Mound City in an area now known as the Van Zants Addition. Pastor Robertson was a traveling elder from the Arkansas Conference.
Early in 1856, Rev. L. H. Nichols organized the Sugar Mound Class as part of the Fort Scott Mission. According to a Lawrence Herald Newspaper article, a church building was dedicated to Almighty God on August 17, 1856 by Rev. A. Still of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This church building is supposed to have been a log cabin and the exact location of that building is not known to any member of the current church body.
The Charter was issued by the General Conference in April of 1859 at the annual Nebraska-Kansas in Omaha, NE. Mark Robertson was transferred from the Arkansas Conference to the Kansas-Nebraska Conference. He was largely responsible for Mound City receiving her charter at this time. Two ministers were appointed to the charge with the Missionary Support of one hundred and twenty five dollars for the year!!!
Sometimes between 1856 when the log cabin was constructed and 1870 when a new church building was built, the log cabin was abandoned and church held in various places around town. In 1870, under the pastorate of Rev. James Murray, the “old” part of the present church was built. Business men of the town helped in contributing funds for the church construction. The church building at that time was located across the street South of the present location. According to the History of Kansas by Andreas, “It was a neat frame building erected at a cost of one thousand, five hundred dollars. And it is the only church in the community to keep regular services throughout history.”
Numerous changes were made to the original church building. In 1877, a cupola and a bell were added and in 1882 an addition of 10 feet were added to the South. In July 1903, Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Mantey deeded 1 lot across the street North to the church. That same year, the building was moved across the street. After the move, the pulpit platform and the L on the West were added. Hardwood floors were laid in 1943 and propane floor furnaces replaced the coal stoves in 1950!!
In 1952 and completed in 1953 the annex was added to the building. The Builder’s Class of the Sunday School consisted of the younger couples in the church. They held many chili suppers and food sales to obtain money for materials. The work was done by the men of the church on nights and Saturdays. The annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner was held to celebrate the completion of the addition and has continued to be held each year since that time.
In 1953 the crocheted picture of he Last Supper was presented to the church by Esther Wood of Mound City. It was presented in memory of her parents Mr. and Mrs. A.D. Wood who had served as pastor of the church two different times and then retired here in Mound City. The piece was made by an older sister of Ester’s. The walnut wood for the frame was donated by Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Wallace. The tree had grown in the yard of Mrs. Wallace and her previous husband Mr. R. Carr. The frame was made by Hal Wigner. All of these people were members of the congregation at that time.
Many improvements were made during the years to our sanctuary. We purchased new pews in 1961. Many were purchased as memorials for family members. In 1962 one of the members gave money to put new stained glass windows in the church. We purchased our first organ 1970. New drapes and some paneling was given in 1972. A new piano was donated in 1974. A public address system was given. New forced air furnaces and air conditioning was installed in 1976.
After much deliberation, it was decided to add a new sanctuary to the North end of the present church building. It was to be constructed with a basement in order to have room for classes and other meeting rooms. A committee was appointed to see about plans for the addition and go ahead with the actual building. Most of the members were in favor but, of course, there were also the dissenters. After the plans were drawn, Arthur K. Williamson, doing business as Williamson Cabinet Shop, was hired to build the church. As much donated labor as could be obtained was utilized. Construction began in late 1976. Some of the timbers used came from the old grade school building which had been razed. The bricks for the West and North sides also came from the old school building. When bought, they still had the old mortar on them. There were many evenings when members of the congregation gathered at the church to “clean brick”. This consisted of men, women, young people and children. They wielded a hammer, carried ones to be cleaned, or stacked the ones already cleaned. A great deal of fellowship came out of “cleaning brick times”.
It was decided that the pews were near new and in good condition. They were moved to the new sanctuary and some adjusting had to be made. New ones were ordered to match the ones we had to fill in where needed.
The first service was held in the church December 11, 1977. That was a day of much celebration and also some sadness to leave our other “home”.
In order to pay for the new addition, there had to be money! Again dinners entered in, both church sponsored and the Women’s Society. As always they came through with extra money from their budgets. Finally, money needed to be borrowed and 10 families in the church signed notes at the bank in Blue Mound for $4,000 each. They were to be paid off in 10 years. However, they were paid off in December of 1984 and a mortgage burning ceremony was held April 14, 1985 with the District Superintendent present.
In 1977, the Methodist Cross and Flame emblem was donated by one of our families. It was installed on the West wall of the new sanctuary and dedicated in May, 1978. A new Allen organ was donated by one of our members in 1993.
We are proud of our actual church structure – and we have a right to be – but we are more proud of our church members and the good they are able to do every day for our God, our Church, our Community and our World.