Historical Perspective of the
Delavan United Methodist Church

It began when a group of interested persons organized the Methodist Church in 1850. In 1869, the first floor of the present structure was built and dedicated. The annex was added in 1929.

In winter and spring of 1949-50, in preparation for the celebration of the church’s 100th year of founding, new classrooms were built on the main floor. The annex and sanctuary were completely redecorated.

In 1955-56 the small auditorium located on the ground floor was remodeled into a beautiful Memorial Chapel under the direction of Helen F. Tomm.

In the spring of 1959 the Women’s Society of Christian Service enlarged and remodeled the church kitchen, better serving the church and the community.

Sunday School growth called for a remodeling of the annex, dividing it into two floors with new classrooms added on the second floor and a Fellowship Hall & stage constructed on the first floor. Dr. Dale E. Pitcher, Superintendent of the Peoria District, conducted a dedication service on Sunday, March 5, 1961.

In 1966, a major remodeling of the sanctuary was begun with Rodney Jeckel, chairman.
$43,000 was raised and a mortgage burning held on January 16, 1972.

General Conference of 1968 saw the vote to merge the former Methodist Church and the
former Evangelical United Brethren forming The United Methodist Church.

A new parsonage located on East First St. was purchased from Dr. & Mrs. Adam Slaw in
January of 1974.

A homecoming Sunday was observed on May 2, 1976, marking 100 years of service for the current sanctuary.
Rev. Mosher was the pastor and former pastors Stradley & Stauffer also took part in worship service.

In 1972, the Woman’s Society of Christian Service was changed to United Methodist Women.
A new organ console
was added in 1978.

In 1980, under the pastorate of Rev. George Baldridge, an early morning service in the chapel was begun.
Handbells were purchased in December of 1987 and dedicated on January 22, 1989.

At a special meeting in the summer of 1989, the trustees were given the authority to purchase the two buildings north of the church to be razed and the space to be used as a parking lot. On Sunday, August 27, a “Celebration of Praise” was held on the new parking lot. Approximately 225 members and townspeople attended the ice cream social and musical program.

In the spring of 1992 there was a special pledge drive to tuckpoint the church and to install an elevator. This was one of many changes to make our building handicapped accessible. Other changes have been made to the entrance areas, nursery, restrooms, and doors. Paul Adair, Alan Wertsch, Mary Howard, and Bill Zimmer served as chairpersons of the Trustees during these improvements.

In June of 1998, the Chancel Choir, under the direction of Steve Skinner, had the privilege of singing at the Annual Conference Session in Springfield. The choir also recorded a Christmas CD that everyone enjoyed.

In spring of 2008, with Art Goeken as Trustee chairman, it was decided to install a geothermal system. Hinrichsen Heating & Air Conditioning of Goodfield, IL did the installation at a total cost of $145,000. The loan was paid in full in April, 2011.

On Sunday, July 27, 2008, David Diekhoff donated a wood mural his brother, Rev. Daniel Diekhoff, carved and presented to our church entitled “Let the Little Children Come to Me.” The mural is displayed on the east wall of Fellowship Hall.

In September 2009, our congregation was introduced to the "Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations" which are Radical Hospitality, Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk-taking Mission & Service, & Extravagant Generosity. These values were introduced to make us a more vital congregation.

In the spring of 2011, under the direction of Trustee chairman Wayne Detmers, Paul Adair made and installed new baseboards and wainscoting to cover sanctuary walls where heat registers were removed. New marble window sills were also added.


(Eleanor Sampen, Church Records & History)

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417 Locust St. 
Delavan, IL  61734
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