IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co. Church records
updated 07/08/2017

United Methodist Church of Lansing

Back row: The last two girls on the right are Josey Leppert and Cindy Maust
3rd row: The 3rd boy from the left is Kent Maust, and the 5th boy from the left is Eric Steiber. The minister in the photo is Rev. A.W. Ebert.
~photo contributed by Cindy (Maust) Smith; scanned by Errin Wilker

Church Traces Roots at Lansing to Mid-19th Century

United Methodist Church of Lansing, ca1980, built in 1927

The United Methodist Church of Lansing has a rich and illustrious history. It claims the allegiance of members with a broad and varied heritage. The present congregation is the expression and result of ecumenical cooperation and faith.

The roots of the United Methodist Church reach back to a period of history in the mid-nineteenth century, when Lansing was one of several smaller villages on or near the banks of the Mississippi River. The spiritual needs of people were met by small clusters of people meeting in the homes of their members. Soon pastors came to nurture the small "flocks" that developed denominational ties. Those churches were located on Columbus Ridge at Thompson’s Corner, on Mays Prairie and in the village of Lansing.

In 1972, the most recent merger of congregations of the United Methodist and United Presbyterian churches became known as the United Methodist Church of Lansing. The United Methodists had experienced a change of name when nationally the Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodists became the United Methodist Church in 1968. The E.U.B. congregation had formerly experienced the merger of the Evangelical Association and the United Brethren shortly after the Evangelical Association had built a new church in Lansing in 1927 at Fifth and Center Streets. That congregation had incorporated members from the Columbus Ridge Evangelical Association and the Mays Prairie United Brethren. In 1860 the Lansing church had its beginning and built a church on Fifth Street in 1863. The Columbus Ridge Church had built its first church in 1867 and the Mays Prairie was built in 1904. These were the outgrowth of small groups of people called "classe," not to be confused with Sunday School classes, but rather small groups of people who met for fellowship and spiritual growth.

The United Presbyterian branch of the 1972 merger had its parallel beginnings in the mid 1800s. In 1865 a pastor from Caledonia, Minnesota began services in Lansing, as well as at Mt. Hope Presbyterian Church. In 1966 a brick church was built on North Third Street that was used regularly until that congregation merged in a yoke relationship with the United Methodist Church in 1968. Also back in the 1850s a Methodist Episcopal Church was built at Fifth and Main Streets that served its people until 1920, when it merged into a yoked relationship with the Presbyterian Church. These two bodies formed the Federated Church until 1929, when it resumed the name First Presbyterian Church.

While history is measured in months and years, the heritage of the United Methodist Church is varied and rich, serving hundreds of families and persons in their spiritual journey. So it is today, that God is worshiped, Jesus Christ is claimed as Savior, and people minister and are ministered to on their life journey.

Rev. John J. Hall is pastor of the United Methodist Church. He replaced Rev. Al Ebert about four years ago.

~Allamakee Journal, Lansing, IA, hand-dated 1980
~contributed by Errin Wilker

Farewell Potluck for Rev. John Hall

Parishioners of the United Methodist Church held a farewell potluck dinner for Rev. John J. Hall in the church basement Sunday. Rev. Hall will leave in the middle of this month to take a joint pastorate at Plainfiled and Frederika. Rev. Tom Mattson of Orient, Iowa will succeed Rev. Hall as United Methodist's pastor.
~Allamakee Journal, Lansing, IA, June 1980
~contributed by Errin Wilker

From the Pastor

Dear Friends,
Four years ago I came here following a series of life crises. My broken family relationship was no doubt my heaviest burden. While I didn't see it clearly at the time I now realize the extent of my hurt, anger, frustration and loneliness. I came to carry on life and misiter to this parish, but I had a lot of life to put together again. I take this occasion to thank you all who ministered to me in accepting me where I was and loving me for what I could be. Though I realize that I did minister in Christian caring and loving, it was not with the wholeness and freedom that I would have liked.

I thank you for reciprocating love and ministry to me when I needed it so much. For the past year or so I have felt healed of my hurt and so am now able to go on, to be the person God calls me to be, and you have helped me make it so. I thank God for you and pray that you will be the loving Christian community for one another and for your new pastor.
Pastor Hall
~Lansing-New Albin Parish Newsletter, June 1980
~contributed by Errin Wilker

Note: Pastor Hall passed away before he was able to give his final sermon at the United Methodist church. Obituary

Rev. Thomas E. Mattson & family, ca1980
Rev. & Mrs. Thomas E. Mattson & children

Rev. Tom Mattson is New Methodist Pastor Here

Rev. Thomas E. Mattson has succeeded the late Rev. John Hall as pastor of the Lansing and New Albin United Methodist churches.

Rev. Mattson is a native Iowan, born in Marshalltown. He is a 1968 graduate of Marshalltown High School, and a 1972 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, where he majored in speech and drama. Following his college courses, he did his master‘s work at Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, Ill.

He completed his studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill, when Garrett and Evangelical Theological Seminary merged in 1974. He graduated with his Master’s in Divinity in 1976.

Rev. Mattson and his wife Janet have two children, Andrew, four and a half, and Virginia, eight months. Prior to coming to Lansing, Pastor Mattson served churches in Cedar Rapids, 1974-75, and Orient, 1976-80, serving four churches in Orient.

~Allamakee Journal, Lansing, IA, hand-dated 1980
~contributed by Errin Wilker

Ground is Broken for New United Methodist Church

United Methodist Church groundbreaking, 1983

An impressive ground-breaking ceremony for Lansing’s new United Methodist Church was held on Sunday, May 1, following the 10:30 a.m. service. The church will be 108 feet long and 56 feet wide, featuring two levels. The upper level will house the sanctuary, fellowship hall, kitchen, secretary's office, conference room and pastor’s study. The basement will house the nursery, eight classrooms, a mechanical room, a large fellowship hall and storage areas.

Pastor Tom Mattson led the responsive reading which was answered by the parishioners who had gathered around the site for the new church, just across the street from the present church which was built in 1927.

As members of the church looked on and answered their pastor’s prayer, the ground was broken. First to break the ground were Karen Galema and Sfa Lankford of the United Methodist Sunday School. Ground was broken by various church representatives, including youth representatives, trustees Herb Hageman and Ralph Bartels, worship committee members Bob and Barbara Leppert, church administrative board members Doc Weymiller and Duane Peters, Jan Mattson, Betty Steiber and Debbie Steiber of the United Methodist Women’s group, pastor parish relations committee members Bob Sandry and Laurel Hegy, treasurers Al Schultz and Lyle Peters, architect Dan Stephans, UMC District Supt. Gene Miller and Pastor Tom Mattson.

Construction will take some six to eight months, and it is hoped that the new church will be ready by the end of this year. A number of the congregation and guests enjoyed a delicious potluck meal in the church following the ground-breaking.

~Allamakee Journal, Lansing, IA, May 1983
~contributed by Errin Wilker

The new United Methodist Church

 new United Methodist Church at Lansing - built 1983

Shown above is the new United Methodist Church at Lansing. The church will be consecrated at a 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday, November 20. Conducting the consecration service will be Pastor Thomas E. Mattson and Rev. Eugene Miller, District Superintendant. Former pastors expected to be present for the service are Rev. J. Paul Sevens, Rev. Carl Willemssen, Rev. Tom Balm, Rev. Lloyd Bartholomew, Rev. Ernest Walter and Rev. Donald Iles.
~Allamakee Journal, Lansing, IA, November 16, 1983
~contributed by Errin Wilker

Pastor Builds Window
by Gayda Hollnagel of the Tribune Staff

Building a stained glass window may seem like a big chore to some, but to the Rev. Tom Mattson it’s all part of being a pastor. Mattson, pastor of United Methodist churches in Lansing and New Albin since 1980, recently designed and built a stained glass window to enhance the sanctuary of the Lansing congregation’s new church.

He said he decided to tackle the project after estimates for a commercially built window were too high. "They wanted $6,000 to $8,000 for a window. I was able to do this window for under $600," he said. The 10-by-4-foot window is traditional in theme, depicting Jesus Christ as a shepherd caring for his sheep. "It really turned out very well," said the 33-year-old Mattson, who claims to never have had an art lesson. "I’m a doodler," he said. "I love to just do things." Mattson said he acquired some limited experience in making stained glass when he and some of the women in the congregation leaded and stained windows for the old church. "The other church didn’t have any until we built some," he said.

To make the window for the new church, he drew a full-sized pattern, did the leading over the pattern and used liquid stain on the glass, he said. The window and the rest of the church can be seen on Sunday during an open house from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

The present congregation is an outgrowth of several church mergers, beginning in 1920 when the First Presbyterian Church and First Methodist Church formed a federation of two congregations served by one pastor. The federation ended in 1929 when the two churches united to become the First Presbyterian Church of Lansing. The congregation became United Methodist in 1970, when it merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church.

The old building was built in 1927 to house the Evangelical United Brethren congregation. Construction of the $386,000 new building was started in May and consecration services were held Nov. 20. The first floor contains a sanctuary with seating for 250 persons, a kitchen and a fellowship hall. There are nine classrooms in the basement.

~La Crosse Tribune, La Crosse, WI, hand-dated 1983
~contributed by Errin Wilker

Rev. Tom Mattson with the window he built

The Rev. Tom Mattson stands beside the stained glass window he built for the new United Methodist Church at Lansing, Iowa.
(Photo by Steve Noffke of the Tribune Staff)


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