Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

History of the First Congregational Church
Sioux Rapids, Buena Vista County, Iowa

On November 4, 1875, a council of pastors and delegates from neighboring churches was held in the public schoolhouse of Sioux Rapids "to consider, and if deemed advisable, to assist in organizing a Congregational church."  Rev. Ephraim Adams, Home Missionary superintendent, Rev. W. J. Smith of Newell, and Rev. W. L. Coleman of Spencer were the ministers present.  It was "deemed advisable" and the organization of the church was effected with twelve members.  The first officers recorded are those serving in 1878; at that time H. H. Gleason, and S. S. Warner were deacons, and A. S. Newcomb was the clerk.


About 1881, during the pastorate of Rev. A. H. Beaman, the first church building was erected, which is described as "an humble chapel, twenty by thirty- six", and it stood across the street, a block south of the present site.  It was afterward removed and converted into the present parsonage upon the construction of the present church building in 1888.


The officers of the society are as follows:  deacons:  Geo. Gate and C. G. Conley; deaconesses:  Mrs. J. P. Farmer and Mrs. C. G. Conley; trustees:  C. G. Conley, T. M, Murdoch, and H. H. Hall; clerk, Susan Parker; treasurer, Geo. Gate. The enrollment numbers at present one hundred and twenty.


The officers of the Sunday school are composed of W. J. Hunt, superintendent; Quincy Boynton, secretary and treasurer, and Mrs. Lucy B. Smith, assistant superintendent.


The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor have a membership of thirty-three; Emily Eade is president, and Oscar Rosell, secretary.


The Ladies have their Aid Society with Mrs. T. M. Murdoch, president, and Mrs. F. H. Helsell, secretary.


The Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society has for its officers:  Mrs. H. H. Hall, president, and Mrs. B. L. Parker, secretary.


There is a Home Department Sunday school, consisting of forty-two members, at the homes of which meetings are held for the study and discussion of the regular Sunday school lessons.  Mrs. B. L. Parker is superintendent.


These ministers have served as pastors in the church:  Revs. Smith, A. M. Beaman, E. P. Hughes, W. C. Hicks, Hand, T. C. Walker, Burns, J. K. Nutting, Fisk, Ira Holbrook, R. T. Jones, and Rev. C. N. Martin, who is the present pastor.


Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole.  "Sioux Rapids."  Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa.  Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 181.