Early Waterloo Church Growth


Waterloo Sunday Courier, Waterloo, Iowa
June 20, 1954

The following partial list of early Waterloo churches and their dates of organization was compiled by the Centennial Spectacle committee.

1861 - Grace Methodist. Five members of the First Methodist Church organized into the First Methodist Church of East Waterloo and in 1865, built a church at Lafayette and E. Fifth Sts. A larger church was built in 1877 at E. Fourth and Mulberry Sts. on the present site of the WCF&N depot. The congregation adopted the name Grace Methodist Church in 1895 and completed its present building at Walnut and E. Fifth Sts. in 1913

1867 - Universalist. The society was without a church until 1889 when one was built at E. Fourth and Mulberry Sts., the present site of the Strand Theater. In 1915, the Universalists bought the James Black residence at Independence Ave. and Irving Sts. and remodeled it for use as a church and parish house.

1878 - Immanuel Lutheran. First services were held in the Railroad Chapel on E. Fourth St. In the following year a church was built where the Illinois Central depot now stands and in 1890, the church moved to Walnut and Vine Sts. The present church at 215 Franklin St. was dedicated in 1952.

1880 - Church of the Brethren, W. Seventh and South Sts., and First Brethren, W. Fifth and South Sts., both organized. First Brethren later moved to 801 Wellington St.

1881 - Christ Episcopal. After meeting for a time in the Railroad Chapel, the first stone church in the city was built at 610 E. Fourth St.

1892 - First Church of Christ Scientist. First established at 613 W. Fifth St., it is now located at W. Second and Wellington Sts.

1894 - St. Mary's (German) Catholic. This parish was without a church until the building in 1898 of an edifice at Lafayette St. a and Park Ave., now the YWCA corner. What is now the Tribune Press building was the school and in 1922 both church and school were moved to E. Fourth and Parker Sts.

1896 - Central Christian. The first church was built on Grant Ave. between W. Fourth and Fifth Sts., and moved in 1908 to W. Fourth and South Sts. The present structure at W. Fourth and Locuts Sts. was dedicated in 1924. The Walnut Street Baptist Church was founded this year (1954) and the present building replaced the first frame structure in 1908.

1902 - First United Presbyterian. From the YMCA, this parish moved into a tent at Wellington and W. Second Sts. until a church was built there in 1903.

1905 - Westminster Presbyterian. First services were held in a tent on Washington St. opposite the park and later moved to the basement of the west side library until the church at 720 W. Fourth St. was completed in 1907.

1905 - The city's Hebrew Congregation, Sons of Jacob, had fifteen members when it incorporated on Sep. 1, 1905. They purchased the former Christian Science church on W. Fifth St in 1909. The structure was remodeled for a synagogue and served until 1953 when a new synagogue and community center was completed at Mitchell Ave.

1906 - St. Paul's Methodist. Started under the sponsorship of Grace Methodist Church, it was incorporated in 1906 and built a chapel at 506 Broaway St. in 1907.

1908 - Sacred Heart Catholic. The present church was built at 623 W. Fourth St. as the first Catholic church for the west side.

1909 - Calvary Evangelical. The present church at 1624 E. Fourth St. was built in 1925.

1910 - Linden Methodist at Butler and Nevada Sts. and Graves Memorial United Brethren at W. Fourth and Allen Sts. were founded that year.

1911- Burton Avenue Baptist. First named Champlin Chapel, the present building was dedicated in 1914. Northminster Presbyterian at 201 Ballou St. was established.

1912 - African Methodist. Founded at the first Waterloo Negro church, the name was later changed to Payne African Methodist and a church built at 830 Mobile St.

1913 - Antioch Baptist. Also for Negroes, the first church was built at 701 Douglas and later moved to 426 Sumner St.

1914 - St. Demetrius' Greek Orthodox. The present church at 613 W. Fourth St. was built in 1929.