The King United Methodist Church at 1608 O’dell in Great Bend, will be celebrating it’s 70th Anniversary on Sunday, Nov. 30, during the morning worship service at 11 a.m., recognizing their past and looking forward to the future.
The first meeting place of King United Methodist Church was in a small two story house located on the comer of 16th and O’dell. The property was purchased by the United Brethren conference on Aug. 10, 1944. Dr. C.V. Priddle was conference superintendent at that time. The interior of the building needed considerable renovating and remodeling to make a Chapel and Sunday School Class rooms. ·
The first public service was held on Oct. 1, 1944, with the Rev. Elmer C. King as the first appointed pastor. The church was formally organized as the United Brethren Church of Great Bend on Nov. 5, 1944, with 16 members. A special offering on that day of nearly $200 was set aside as the beginning of a building fund for a new church building, which was consistently added to each year as the congregation grew in numbers. In 1946, The United Brethren and Evangelical churches merged and became the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
Ground breaking for the new church was on Aug. 7, 1950, at the current location. The new building was dedicated on November 4, 1951 and officially named the King Memorial Evangelical United Brethren Church, in tribute to the Rev. Elmer King, and his family, who served as pastor until the late 1950’s.
The Rev. Eugene V. Solomon was appointed pastor in 1958, and in 1960, a new educational building was added onto the north side of the present church structure. In the mid 1960’s the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren dominations merged and the name was changed to King Memorial United Methodist Church. During this time Albert United Methodist Church was added to the Rev. Solomon’s charge.
In the 1970’s King Memorial UMC became a part of the Triangle Parrish, which included the Albert UMC and the Pawnee Rock UMC. Pastor’s that served the Parrish over the years were the Rev. Berlyn Faulkner, the Rev. Claude McMinn, the Rev. Robert Barrick, the Rev. Mel Cruit, and the Rev. Earl McGinnes.
The Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church was added to the Parrish in the mid 1980’s and the four churches became the Four Point Star Parrish, with the Rev. Bill Salmons being appointed the pastor and the Rev. David Trott associate pastor. Other pastors serving this Parrish were the Rev. Rollin Dillinger, Sarah Dillinger, and Harlan and Darlene Nonhoff.
When the Pleasant Hill Church closed their doors and the Pawnee Rock UMC left the Parrish, the Four Point Star Parrish was dissolved, leaving the King Memorial and Albert United Methodist Churches in a two church charge. When these two churches voted to merge together as one Church in 2000 the name was changed to King United Methodist Church of Great Bend.
The church was served by a number of District Superintendent appointed Lay Speakers over the next 4 years, including Charles Bland, Diana Fox, Mary Ohlemeir, Mr. & Mrs. Chuck Smith, and X Phil Smith.
In 2004, the church voted to replace the old windows with stained glass ones. Long time member, Bill Keener, set up a work area in the church basement and each window was designed and constructed by members of the church in memory, or in honor, of loved ones.
Assigned as local lay pastor of the church in 2005, was Scott Tempero, ministering for 8 years until 2013, when he was appointed pastor to the Waldo and Paradise UMC.
The church is made up of an Interdependent congregation who together serve as God’s hands, His feet, His voice, manifesting reconciliation and salvation to the lost and edification to the believers. “We believe God is present and calling us to minister to this community using His Word as our guide, welcoming and loving everyone as He loves us.”
The current Lay Minister, Laurie White says The King United Methodist Church, although small in numbers, continues to carry out the many local and world Missions of the church.
Their PURPOSE is “With Arms Outstretched, Reaching out to others.”
We invite you to join us for our 70th Anniversary celebration this Sunday.