Forest Mills United Methodist Church celebrates 125th anniversary with worship service and congregational meal

(Editor’s Note: Much of the information in this article was taken from the Forest Mills Church History which was used at their anniversary celebration.)

Forest Mills United Methodist Church, located on Forest Mills Road in rural Postville, celebrated its 125th anniversary celebration Sunday, June 23 with a special service of word and music. Following worship those in attendance enjoyed a celebratory meal.  Current Pastor Kim Gates led the congregation and guests in worship.

A brief history of Forest Mills Church

The year was 1894 when a circuit rider held regular meetings at the West Grove schoolhouse located five miles  northeast of Postville. The name of the congregation was the United Brethren in Christ. Sub congregations included the Bethel, Castalia, Forest Mills churches. The Forest Mills congregation had its individual beginning when the Board of Trustees met and formed a United Brethren Church.

In December of 1897 a United Brethren Church evolved into the Forest Mills United Methodist Church. The first trustees were J. H. Hendrickon, Henry Werhan, C. W. Bender, L. H. McGee an Abe Evans.

Pastors through the years

Since the creation of the current charge in 1993 the following clergy have served at Forest Mills: Dean Shelly, 1993-1994; Carl Giese, 1994-1996; Steve Campbell, 1996-2006; Richard (Dick) Iles, 2005-2014 and Kim A. Gates, 2014-present.

Down through the ages

A lot has changed in the Forest Mills history since its inception.

The Ladies Society, which was first organized in 1912, has gone by various names through mergers, stopped meeting in 2016. A casualty of the disbanding of the United Methodist Women was the long-running November soup supper. They have more recently adopted a family from Northeast Iowa Community Action for whom they buy Christmas gifts.

May Forest Mills Untied Methodist Church  and its congregation continue to thrive as they serve the community and those in need.

Read the full article in the July 3 edition of the Postville Herald.