I am working on the history of My church. These resources are duplicated on that page.
The History of Cornerstone United Methodist Church
Items in blue are directly related to events of our church.
1720 John Wesley Start university life at Christ Church College, Oxford England.
1725 19 September – John Wesley was Ordained Deacon in Oxford Cathedral by the then Bishop of Oxford, Dr. John Potter, and later that day preached in the village church of South Leigh, near Witney.
1729 “Holy Club” was formed where members were call Methodist because the being so methodical in there studies. The name stuck.
1735 14 October - John and Charles Wesley depart for America (Georgia) During the trip they encountered the Moravians.
1736 6 February – (3 Months, 24 days later) arrived in Georga.
1736 Charles Wesley left America to return to England
1737 22 December – John Wesley left America to return to England
1738 1 February – Arrived at Deal, England (1 Month 9 Days later). In May began preaching “The Love of God for all” in London churches. Was told “Sir, you must preach here no more”
1739 2 April - John Wesley preaches his first open air sermon just outside Bristol, England.
1740 John Wesley and his followers move to “The Foundry” after split-up of the group at Fetter Lane. Home of the movement for the next 38 years.
1741 John Wesley began his traveling ministry which he would do for the rest of his life.
1746 At the 3rd Methodist Conference, John Wesley began organizing a rapidly growing flock. The country was divided up into circuits and each circuit was put under the charge a one preacher known as the assistant superintendent.
1747 Expanded his preaching to Ireland.
1751 Expanded his preaching to Scotland
1775-1783 – Revolutionary War
1784 September - After America declared independence John Wesley agreed to ordain ministers in America. Dr Thomas Coke was ordained as the “Superintendent of the Societies in America”.
1785 He visited 150 different places to preach. (75 years old)
1788 Charles Wesley dies – Wrote over 6000 hymns.
1791 22 February – John Wesley preached his last of42,000 sermons over 54 years.
1791 2 March John Wesley died.
1789, April 30 - 1797, March 4 George Washington, President
1797, March 4 - 1801, March 4 John Adams, President
1798 Jacob(1752–1820) and Katherine Zumalt settle at Fort Zumwalt. Jacob is a Revolutionary War veteran. Methodist circuit riders came to private homes in St. Charles County to conduct services. Rev. John Clark conducted the first service in the log cabin of Jacob Zumwalt, now the site of Fort Zumwalt Park.
1799 July KATHERINE ZUMWALT DIES.
1801, March 4 - 1809, March 4 Thomas Jefferson, President
1804 President Jefferson purchases the Louisiana Territory
1806 First St. Charles Militia was created with 6 companies
1807 Rev. Jessie Walker held services within the walls of Fort Zumwalt and administered the first Methodist communion in Missouri to early Methodist pioneers. (Considered the starting point of our church)
1808 The First Methodist Church was built near Peruque Creek (near railroad Trestle). It was a round one-room log building. This was not permanent because when the creek flooded, the church members could not cross it to get to church.
1809, March 4 - 1817, March 4 James Madison, President
1809 A log church with a strong stone foundation was built near the Zumwalt log cabin. The first stationary minister, Rev. Gray, was engaged for a salary of sixty-four dollars a year. Rev. John Travis organized The Mount Zion Methodist Society.
1810 – Rev Gray – first permanent appointment minister - $64/year. 2 years later was $100
1812 - June to 1815 February -War of 1812
1817, March 4 - 1825, March 4 James Monroe, President
1817 - Major Nathan Heald purchased Zumwalt’s Fort. Jacob Zumwalt moved to Pike county, MO. The Healds were survivors of the 1812 Massacre of Fort Dearboarn. Their only son was born at Zumwalts Fort in 1822. He lived most of his life in the old log cabin which was raided by Union officers during the Civil War. Darius Heald gave land to builed a new Methodist church, Helped starta a school for young woment and serverd in the Missouri legislature in 1856. In 1886 he moved his family into the new hansom brick home he had build on the hilltop overlooking the log house.
1825, March 4 - 1829, March 4 John Quincy Adams, President
1857 Town was laid out and named for Mr. O'Fallon a well-known capitalist of St. Louis.
1829, March 4 - 1837, March 4 Andrew Jackson, President
1835-1836 - Texas Revolution (fall of the Alamo)
1837, March 4 - 1841, March 4 Martin Van Buren, President
1841, March 4 - 1841, April 4 William Henry Harrison, President
1841, April 4 - 1845, March 4 John Tyler, President
1845, March 4 - 1849, March 4 James K. Polk, President
1846-1848 Mexican-American War
1849, March 4 - 1850, July 9 Zachary Taylor[f], President
1850, July 9 - 1853, March 4 Millard Fillmore, President
1853, March 4 - 1857, March 4 Franklin Pierce, President
1853 The Mount Zion Methodist Society built a new church on five acres of the Jacob Zumwalt land grant. The Mount Zion Church was just 1.5 miles south of O’Fallon, east of Highway K. The men and women sat on opposite sides of the church. A “mourner’s bench” was used by a member whose weight of sin moved him to public confession. The “amen corner” across the aisle was for church elders and visiting pastors who had the privilege of accenting the sermons with loud “amens”.
1857, March 4 - 1861, March 4 James Buchanan, President
1857 O’Fallon station founded on North MO railroad (John O’Fallon)
1861, March 4 - 1865, April 15 Abraham Lincoln, President
1861-1865 - American Civil War
1863 Many people blamed the church for the war. When Rev. Joe Pritchett rode to his circuit churches, he carried a gun which he laid across the pulpit when he preached. A female seminary called Fairview was founded. Young ladies from St. Charles and St. Louis attended.
1865, April 15 - 1869, March 4 Andrew Johnson, President
1869, March 4 - 1877, March 4 Ulysses S. Grant, President
1874 – Rufus Gamble (gave an organ) cause of controversy.
1877, March 4 - 1881, March 4 Rutherford B. Hayes, President
1878 Woodlawn Female Seminary founded by Professor Pitman. It had three teachers; it continued until 1900.
1880 The first organized Sunday school was attended by 86 children. It was opened by Professor Pitman at the Masonic Hall on Elm Street.
1881, March 4 - 1881, September 19 James A. Garfield, President
1881, September 19 - 1885, March 4 Chester A. Arthur, President
1882 The church was hit by a tornado and because of the damage and the size of the growing congregation, a new church was needed. Dr. W.C. Willialms, Jacob Keithly, Capt Woods (Building committee for church in O’Fallon) The new Mount Zion Methodist Episcopal Church was to be built at the corner of Church and Wood Streets.
1883 – August 4th 1883 church debt-free – dedicated by Rev J.H. Prichett. As a boy he was a member of Mt. Zion Church. First ordained Minister of Methodist Episcopal Church of O’Fallon. First Methodist Church in O’Fallon - Organization of Womens Aid Society – Mrs. Pulliam (rep)
1885, March 4 - 1889, March 4 Grover Cleveland, President
1885 The church bell was cast and installed in the church steeple.
1889, March 4 - 1893, March 4 Benjamin Harrison, President
1893, March 4 - 1897, March 4 Grover Cleveland, President
1897, March 4 - 1901, September 14 William McKinley, President
1898 Spanish-American War
1899–1902 Philippine–American War
1901, September 14 - 1909, March 4 Theodore Roosevelt, President
1909, March 4 - 1913, March 4 William Howard Taft, President
1913, March 4 - 1921, March 4 Woodrow Wilson, President
1917–1918 - World War 1
1921, March 4 - 1923, August 2 Warren G. Harding, President
1923, August 2 - 1929, March 4 Calvin Coolidge, President
1929, March 4 - 1933, March 4 Herbert Hoover, President
1933, March 4 - 1945, April 12 Franklin D. Roosevelt, President
1939–1945 - World War II
1945, April 12 - 1953, January 20 Harry S. Truman, President
1950–1953 - Korean War
1953, January 20 - 1961, January 20 Dwight D. Eisenhower, President
1953 The Mount Zion congregation purchased the Public School building at Pitman and School Streets for $12,500. Services were held there until a new sanctuary was constructed.
1958 The new sanctuary was completed and The Mount Zion Methodist Episcopal Church became the Williams Memorial Methodist Church in honor of a substantial gift by Miss Marcia Williams and family.
1961, January 20 - 1963, November 22 John F. Kennedy, President
1963, November 22 - 1969, January 20 Lyndon B. Johnson, President
1966 Williams Memorial Methodist Church was formally consecrated following the final payment of indebtedness.
1968 The congregation erected a new education building to provide more classrooms, a fellowship hall, and a kitchen.
1969, January 20 - 1974, August 9 Richard Nixon, President
1974, August 9 - 1977, January 20 Gerald Ford, President
1977, January 20 - 1900, January 0 Jimmy Carter, President
1977 Adjoining property to the North was purchased to provide for an office and storage space.
1979 A mortgage burning was held by minister John van der Graaf.
1980 The sanctuary was completely remodeled and a vestibule was added to connect the sanctuary with the education building.
1981, January 20 - 1989, January 20 Ronald Reagan, President
1989, January 20 - 1993, January 20 George H. W. Bush, President
1993, January 20 - 2001, January 20 Bill Clinton, President
1998 A study committee proposed relocating as the Pitman site did not have enough land to accommodate the desired expansion.
2000 Accepting the Building Committee’s proposed location, the church purchased ten acres of land on Tom Ginnever. Plans for a new facility began. The Fort Zumwalt School District, who had sold us the Pitman property, reacquired it in June 2000 for a price of $1,050,000. In May 2000, groundbreaking was held. While the new facility was under construction, the church met across the street in the Fort Zumwalt North High School Auditorium.
2001, January 20 - 2009, January 20 George W. Bush, President
2001 Phase I of the new facility, renamed Cornerstone United Methodist Church, was completed at a cost of $2,800,000. The first worship service was held on April 21st and Bishop Anne Shearer consecrated the facility on September 9th.
2003 Cornerstone United Methodist Church is poised and ready to enter its third century of service to God and to the community.
2009, January 20 - 2017, January 20 Barack Obama, President
2015 The reconstructed Zumwalt’s Fort opened as a gift to the City from the O’Fallon Community Foundation. It is the only rebuilt War of 1812 historical site in Missouri.
2017, January 20 - Incumbent Donald Trump, President
Thank you for taking time to learn more about the history of Cornerstone United Methodist Church. We begin our tour at Fort Zumwalt Park.
In 1986 when I moved here, we camped most of the summer in Fort Zuwalt Park and watched as a lake was built. On the other side of the lake was a stone chimney and some of the logs from an original log cabin had been stacked to the side. Little did I know this was the home of my future church.
The log cabin you see on the property today is a replica of the one built in 1798 In 1798 Jacob and Katherine Zumwalt settled here at Fort Zumwalt. Jacob was a Revolutionary War veteran. This location was picked to build on because of the nearby creek to the south, the availability of limestone, and the spring just down the hill to the west of the cabin. This spring now feeds the lake that was built in 1986.
It was likely the smaller building was built first and used as living quarters while the main cabin was being built. Later this smaller cabin was used for the cooking. Some sources say a stockade was built around the house that supported as many as 10 other families. References point to the stockades’ use just before and during the War of 1812.
Methodism in America officially began with the Christmas Conference, which met December 24th, 1784 in Baltimore, Maryland. Under the leadership of Dr. Coke and some 60+ preachers. From this came the Methodist Episcopal Church. This was the first religious denomination in the US to organize itself on a national basis.
In 1798, “the hard riding, shouting, long praying sons” of John Wesley came to St. Charles County, as well as other parts of Missouri, to conduct religious services in private homes. These “circuit riders” covered a vast territory. The first of these riders was the Rev. John Clark who conducted the first service in the home of Jacob Zumwalt. While Rev John Clark had visited and held services here, Rev. Jess Walker also visited the Zumwalt’s and held services. These services would probably include other nearby neighbors. Tradition says Rev. Jess Walker administered the first Methodist Communion in Missouri to the early pioneers in 1807 at Fort Zumwalt. This date is the one we traditionally use as the beginning of our church.
Wine for this communion was made by Mrs. Jacob Zumwalt and Mrs. Col David Baily, from the juices of pol berries sweetened with maple sugar, and for bread they used the crust of cornbread.
A scale model of the cabin, which is in the O’Fallon Museum, was made from one of these original logs by Raleigh Jessup (a member of our church). By the time the restoration of the cabin none of the original logs remained. The restored cabin was opened to visitors in 2015 and is open for 2 weekends a month during the summer.
Next on the tour is the location of the first Methodist church building built. In 1808 a Church was built near Peruque Creek. We are not sure where it was but it has been reported to have been near railroad Trestle which on today’s map would have put it just North of the Lake St. Louis dam which did not exist then. The creek runs clear up through Dames Park on the north side of O’Fallon. This building was a round one-room log building. This turned out to not be a permanent building because when the creek flooded, the church members could not cross it to get to church. There are no know pictures of it. It is unclear if this building was abandoned or was washed away in a flood.
The 3rd location. It as soon decided to build a log church near the Zumwalt’s log cabin. I could find no pictures of this church or the exact location. In 1809 a one room log church with a stone foundation was built. The church was called Zumwalt Church and it was often the setting for Sunday dinners picnic style. The worshipers would often spend all day Sunday at the church. It was at the Zumwalt Church that the Mount Zion Methodist Society was organized by Rev. John Travis
It was also at this location that the first stationary minister, Rev. Gray, was engaged for a salary of sixty-four dollars a year. After two years his salary was raised to one hundred dollars a year. As this devout group increased in number it became necessary to build a new church. The Zumwalt Church was later sold to Mr. James Sandord who moved the building and converted it into a school for young men.
In 1817 Jacob Zuwalt sold the house and land to Nathan Heald. Nathan was the commander of Fort Dearborn near Chicago. He and his wife had been captured in the War of 1812 bye the Pottawatomie. They were severely wounded. After their release and healing they moved to Missouri. They lived in the house until about 1884 when the move to the “Heald House” just up the hill from the log cabin. As many as 24 slaves work the farm which was diverse. There was also a loom house where clothing was made for the families use and for sale.
The 4th Location now is known as Mt. Zion Cemetery on the East side of Highway K and south of Mexico road about ¼ mile.
The Mount Zion Methodist Society located their new church on five acres of land which had been a small part of the original Jacob Zumwalt land grant. The deed for this land was dated May 3, 1853. According to records, this land was deeded to the church by a Mr. Heald, a devout Christian who lived near the Fort Zumwalt settlement. The new church was called Mt. Zion Church.
The following is a description of that church as taken from the St. Charles "Cosmos-Monitor". dated May 29, 1942. "The new church was substantially built of stone, with a front porch that offered protection from the muddy road for the ladies when they stepped from their saddle horses or carriages. It stood on Mount Zion Hill. At the foot of the hill was a spring. Behind the church stood the ground reserved to bury the dead.
We have traditionally said the stones shown here were a part of the foundation of that church. That seems unlikely due to size and the fact the ground to bury the dead was behind the church.
Some interesting information is recorded about this church. For instance, when the congregation entered men would set on one side of the aisle and women on the other side. To the rear of the church slave families sat in a balcony. Music was sung by “lining the hymns” Since there were no song books for the congregation a church leader (Tyson Dines at the time) would find the pitch with a pitch pipe and sing one line of the hymn and the congregation would repeat it. Then the next line and so on. The Civil War brought anxious times to this Methodist Episcopal Church in St. Charles County. Some accused the Church of causing this tragic national upheaval. The presiding elder of the St. Charles District, Brother H.B. Spencer, was arrested and banished from the state with no official charges and unofficially for being a Southern Methodist Preacher. During these times, on Sunday mornings, the Rev. Joe Pritchett rode to Mt. Zion and other churches of his circuit with a gun, which he laid across the pulpit. Whether it was because of the gun or not, he-remained unmolested throughout the war.
“The Midnight ride of the organ” It seems that Rufus Gamble had given an organ to the church. This was considered an instrument of the devil by many. How to install it with the least friction was a problem of the young folks. A problem soon solved, when a daring group of the younger members made a strange journey to the church one Saturday night at midnight. The next morning at church, one of the conspirators, Sister Carrie Pitman, sat in front of a new organ ready to start the music. Many of the older members attended church again only after great persuasion.
Early in 1880, the first Methodist revival was conducted by Rev. J. S. Allen on Mt. Zion. With the zeal of a true missionary, Professor Pitman opened the first organized Sunday School in O'Fallon at the Masonic Hall on Elm Street, with an enrollment of 86 children.
The members of Mt. Zion-were faced with a great problem in 1882. The church had been hit by a tornado and was in great need of repairs and, in addition, the membership was growing, and a larger church was needed. Some members felt they should build a new church on the same site as they believed a removal would mean spiritual death to their community. Others believed it would best serve the needs of the people if centrally located in the town of O'Fallon. (the location they were in today is in O’Fallon) When the day of final decision came, every available member was present. After many heated arguments, pros and cons on the question, the vote taken showed a majority of three for removal of the church. But in view of the bitterness of this dissension there was no rejoicing.
The fifth location was at the corner of Church and Wood St in the City of O’Fallon The new church was dedicated on August 4th, 1883 by Rev. J. H. Pritchett, who was eminently chosen because as a boy he was a member of the charge at the old Mt. Zion Church and was the first ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church of O'Fallon, Missouri. Soon after the dedication a mistake in addition was discovered that showed a debt of several hundred dollars. A church may not be dedicated except it be debt free, so there was a dark cloud over the new venture that posed a real problem for the congregation. This debt was taken care of with the special assistance and generosity of David Pitman who had made a special request the day the workman arrived to start construction on the new church. He had requested that no profane word be uttered during the erection of the building. As far as is known, his request was honored. In 1885 the church had a bell cast and installed in the church steeple.
In 1908, a new page was written in the Methodist Episcopal Church history; namely, the building of a parsonage and making extensive church repairs. About 1909, Mr. John Henry bequeathed $1,000.00 to the church. From this a new organ was purchased.
TheEpiscopal Church numbered twenty-five people. Our congregation remained in the church at Church and Wood Streets for seventy years. The building was getting old and had no basement for social functions. In addition, it was poorly heated by two wood stoves and had·no indoor plumbing, nor, did it have rooms for Sunday School. The Sunday School classes would meet with eight classes scattered about the one room. Therefore, the congregation felt it necessary to begin looking for new property.
At about this time the schools in the area were consolidated. A new school building was erected and had been used but was to be sold. It was built in 1948 of modern brick construction. So, at a public auction, in the spring of 1953, the Public School building, at Pitman and School Streets, was purchased for $12,500. When the bidding began, a speculator upon learning that the Methodist Episcopal Church was bidding withdrew and no one bid against us.
Our last service was held in the church on Church and Wood Streets on July 5, 1953. It was conducted by the Rev. Robert Mann, who was our pastor at that time.
In 1953 the Christian Church came to O'Fallon and needing a place to worship, purchased our building on Church and Wood Streets. They remained in that building until June 1958 when the church was hit by a tornado and destroyed. During the cleanup they donated to our congregation the bell from the steeple that had been cast for us some years earlier. This is the same bell that is outside our main entrance today.
The congregation began worship in the school building on July 12, 1953 with the idea of building a new sanctuary when funds became available. Additional property was soon obtained when the congregation bought the adjoining property.
Within a year the school building was paid for and on May 30, 1954 it was dedicated by Bishop Holt and the Rev. L. M. Starkey, District Superintendent and the pastor Rev. Robert Mann. To pay for the church so rapidly took a hard working and devoted congregation. It was at this time the church held a chili supper and bazaar to raise funds and, except for a few years, it has become an annual event.
1958 was another milestone in the life of our church. It was also at this time that we became Williams Memorial United Methodist Church. So named because a Mr. Johnson, brother-in-law to Miss Marcia Williams, a devoted member of the congregation, visited this area and was appalled with services being held in a school. He donated $10,000 for the building of a new church with the request the church be named for the Williams family. Mr. and Mrs. John Williams were members of the Mt. Zion congregation and the Methodist tradition was carried on by Miss Marcia until her death in 1960. After the death of Miss Marcia, the Williams' property was donated to the church.
Construction of the new Sanctuary with a buff brick front began early in 1958 under the ministry of the Rev. John Dinwiddie and was completed in September of that year. A service of consecration was held September 21, 1958 under the leadership of the Rev. Paul Schlapbach, who had been appointed to the work in June 1958. The corner stone for the church was laid June 29, 1958 which contains the following items: The Holy Bible, The Methodist Hymnal, a complete list of the membership, a list of official board members and the members of all commissions and committees, a list of officers - of the W.S.C.S., Methodist Men, and M.Y.F., a list of officers and teachers of the Sunday School, the O'Fallon Methodist Church history, prepared by Mr. Keithly, Church bulletins showing the progress of the building program, various church letters sent out as a part of the building program, pictures of the building under construction, clippings from the newspapers giving report of the building, and a copy of that week's O'Fallon Community News. Williams Memorial Methodist Church was formally dedicated on November 29, 1966. Bishop Eugene M. Frank was assisted in the dedication by the Rev. Gregory K. Poole, District Superintendent, and by the pastor, the Rev. Roland A. Boone.
The old school building became known as the educational building and was used to house the Sunday School classes . However, we continued to grow and needed still more space so plans were made for the erection of Fellowship Hall which would contain some 6,000 square feet. The building was completed in 1968 giving additional facilities for class rooms, a social hall, and a kitchen. These facilities served us well, but, again we grew. Some adjoining property became available in 1977 which was purchased for the purpose of housing our office and supplying needed storage space, freeing up rooms in Fellowship Hall to be used for Sunday School.
In 1979, our congregation was totally debt free so on September 9, 1979, the membership, our minister, the Rev . John van derGraaf, and our District Superintendent, Dr. John N. Doggett, Jr. gathered for the special occasion of "The Burning of the Mortages". With the tradition of growing and building we were not debt free for long. Plans were soon underway for a remodeling and expansion project. Just as the ladies were protected from the muddy roads by building a porch at Mt. Zion, we were soon to be protected from the foul weather by joining our Sanctuary to Fellowship Hall.
The Ground-Breaking Celebration on July 27, 1980 started us on our way. The project was to turn the Sanctuary around, create a new entrance, expand seating capacity, install a new heating and air-conditioning system, and build a connecting vestibule at the cost of $195,000. The first service held in the newly remodeled Sanctuary was Thanksgiving Eve 1980. On January 4, 1981, the Consecration sermon was delivered by Bishop W. T. Handy, Jr. with Dr. John Doggett, Jr., the District Superintendent, and the Rev. George W. Burgin assisting in the service.
In 1999 we began getting ready for our move. There was a hitch. To afford the new land and building we would need to sell the old building. The school district wanted to buy the property but needed to take possession in time to remodel and open the upcoming school year leaving us no building to meet in. As part of the sale the school district allowed us to use the North High School Auditorium for our church services and Sunday school. This was to be a temporary short term location. However due to construction delays took almost a year.
Ground was broken in 2000 and construction began. There were several delays at various stages but as a church, we were anxious to be back in a building we could call our own. The new building was designed to be flexible in purpose. There was additional office space as well as space for a library.
First service held on April 22, 2001 followed by consecration on September 9, 2001 church name changed to Cornerstone UMC. In 2019 we completed an addition to the building adding space for meetings, and expanding the Narthex to include the Zumwalt Café.
Some additional information Our Youth Fellowship was organized in 1951, by Rev. and Mrs. Robert Mann, Mr. & Mrs. Albert Dubach were sponsors.
Our Missionary Society was at first the "Ladies Aid Society" organized by Mrs. Pulliam, the minister’s wife in 1883. It became "Woman’s Society of Christian Service" in 1940. A new organization for women in mission, the United Methodist Women was inaugurated in 1972 following the merger with the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968.
In the later 40's Mrs. Gladys 'Dubach became Choir Director and also played for the choir. The choir consisted of all women. When we purchased the school building on Pitman Street, she still had a group of women. She then induced a man into the choir, hoping to induce other men to follow suit and join. When the new Church was built in 1958 her plan began to work. Releigh Jessup was the bait and through this it enticed John Duvall to join and steadily a few more came into the fold.
In the early or mid-sixties we decided to hold an Annual Night of Music, proposed by Mrs. Dubach. This became an annual event for our church and grew as time went on. At one time we had four choirs, the Cherub, Chapel, Youth, and Chancel, making a total of 80 members. Proceeds from the Special Nights of Music were used to purchase robes, organ, and new hymnals for the church.
The Men's Club of our Church was founded in May of 1954 with 22 members being present. The meeting was held in the basement of the old Educational Building with a covered dish dinner and the election of our first officers.
1857 O’Fallon station founded on North MO railroad (John o’Fallon) Laymen active prior to 1900 Mr. Jacob Zumwalt Mrs. Jacob Zumwalt (helped make communion elements) Mrs. Col. David Bailey (helped make communion elements) Major Nathan Heald (1817 bought Zumwalt place – in family 100 years) Mrs. Marth Heald Johnson 1867 – Leading members (stewards) Levi Smith, Samuel Keithly, R.H. Pitman, David K. Pitman, James Sanford, F.M A(u)drain, Caleb Dunlap Other family names – Smith Ferrell Dorsey, Heald, Williams McCluer, John Henry 1874 – Rufus Gamble (gave an organ) cause of controversy. Will Pitman, George Johnson, Ca??? Heald, Carrie Pitman John Boyd
1885 – Caleb Dunlap (superintendent of Sunday School 1890 – John Keithly, Marvin Keithly, Mr. & Mrs John Williams family, “Aunt” P???k Campbel, Mrs Larey(SP?) 1892 – Pitman & Family moved to California 1908 – 25th Anniversary of building in O’Fallon – Mr. Bramblet, Mrs. Dunlap (outstanding Sunday School superintendent – Dr Palmore of St Louis Ch. Adv. – speaker 1910 – Mrs Rosetta Keithly Brnablet c.1852
Raleigh Jessep – Founder of O’Fallon Historical Society
Religion has played an important role in the O'Fallon community since its origins. While Jacob Zumwalt's log house-the first of its kind built north of the Missouri River-provided protection to neighboring settlers during Indian raids, it also housed the first services of what today is Willlams Memorial Methodist Church. Methodism came to Amer ica from England in 1784. Fourteen years later. itcame to St. Charles County via "hard riding, shouting, long-praying" circuit preachers. The first of these circuit riders conducted the first service in the home of Jacob Zumwalt. The origi-n of today's Williams Memorial United Methodist Church ccngregation began in 1807 at the Zumwalt home when the first Methodist communion in Missouri was administered to the O'Fallon pioneers. The wine for the communion service was made by Mrs. Jacob Zumwalt and Mrs. Col. David Bailey from the juice of wild polk berries sweet ened with mapJe sugar. The crusts of cornbread were used for communion bread. After worshiping for one year in a one-room round log building, the Methodists in 1809 built a one-room log church near the Zumwalt house. It was called the Zumwalt Church and was of ten the setting for picnic-style Sunday dinners after worship services. The Mount Zion Meth- SO<'. . nri:1 t officially at the Zumwalt Church several years later. As the early 1800s passed, .thisdevout group of Christians increased in size.The Zumwalt Church was sold and in 1853 the congregation located their new church on five acres of land which had been a part of the original Jacob Zumwalt land grant. The new church was called Mt. Zion Church and was located 1 1/2 miles south of what is now O'Fallon, to the east of Highway K. Early O'Fallon families who wor shiped there included the Pitmans, Dorseys, Sanfords, Ferrells, Smiths, McCluers, Johnsons, Yates Keithlys, and Healds. The church continued to prosper during the later half of the nineteenth century, and its history was quite colorful. The upheaval of the Civil War brought anxiety to the congre gation. At that time, some accused "The Church" of caus ingthewar.The presiding elder of the Methodist Episcopal Church's St. Charles District was arrested and banished from the state. The circuit preacher wh9 served the O'Fallon congregation at that time rode to the church with a gun, which he laid across the pulpit while he preached. Until the late 1860's, the church had no organ. Older members of the congregation considered the organ an in strument of the devil. After the war, a Rufus Gamble gave an organ to the church. It was left vn 1 f congregation to nguie out a way to get it installed in the church without causing a battle among members. A trip at midnight Saturday by some of the younger members accomplished the task. Church member Carrie Pitman posi tioned herself in front of the . organ the next mom!ng in time for worship services. However, much persuasion was needed to convince some older mem bers to attend church again. After the church was hit by a tornado in 1882, the congre gationdecided to relocate closer to the city. Asite at Church and Wood Streets was selected, where the church remained for 70 years. As the congregation grew, additional space was needed. The church purchased and relocated to the Public School Buildirig at Pitman and School Streets in 1953. In 1958, the brother-in-law of long-time church member Marcia Williams visited andwas appalled that services were being held in a school. He donated money for the con struction of a new church with the request that the church be named for the Williams family. Thefamily donated land at West Pitman and School Streets to the church after MissWilliams' death in 1960. Mt. Zion Meth odist Church became Williams Methodist Church. Since then, the church facilities have been expanded and renovated to accommodate
Tornado 9:26 PM hit Christian church – demolished. Church was 76 years old.
Williams Memorial United Methodist Church dedication had the following clergymen in attendance. – Rev. Gregory K. Poole, Superintendent of St. Louis North District; Resident Bishop of the Missouri Area Eugene M Frank; Rev. Ronald A Boone, Pastor; Rev Robert Hemmerla, Wentzville; Rev. M.G. Joyce, St. Louis; Rev Otto Dvorak, St. Charles; Rev. Robert Core, St. Louis Rev. HH Luetzow St. Louis, Rev. Paul Schlapbach, St. Louis; and Rev. Charles De La Haye. Methodist Church Dedication on May 30, 1954 – Bishop Ivan Lee Holt, Officiating Minister, Rev. L.M Starkey, District Superintendent, Robert L.. Mann Pastor.
Fort Zumwalt "dates back to the pioneer era in the early 19th century, shortly after the Louisiana Purchase, and was the fortification of the Zumwalt Family. In 1798 Jacob Zumwalt (1752–1820), a Revolutionary War veteran, settled on the spot. With the outbreak of the War of 1812 and increasing Indian problems, the Zumwalt's home was enlarged, portholes were added and the compound was enclosed within a stockade fence. It became the fortified gathering place for area settlers during times of Indian uprisings. It is said that the Zumwalt home was the first hewn-log house built on the west side of the Mississippi River. The first Methodist Sacrament in Missouri was said to have been celebrated in the Zumwalt home in 1807
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