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Pauline Methodist Church

Pauline Methodist Episcopal Church: Serving Christ and Community Since 1884*

Prior to the founding of Pauline, church services from the mid-1870s to 1880s were conducted at area school houses with circuit riders, generally from Hastings, leading the worship. Often, their only payment was a meal. The Methodists congregated at Little Blue School District 26, east of Pauline.

In 1884 Rev. P.N. Hardman organized a Methodist group that met at Pauline School, then located about one-halfThe interior of Pauline Methodist Church, as it appeared on May 23, 1916. Worshippers today will find the church's interior much the same as it was nearly 100 years ago. Photo is from the Adams County Historical Society (194-21, interiors, churches, Met).The interior of Pauline Methodist Church, as it appeared on May 23, 1916. Worshippers today will find the church's interior much the same as it was nearly 100 years ago. Photo is from the Adams County Historical Society (194-21, interiors, churches, Met). mile west of town, north and east of a natural-spring pond. (Hardman was possibly responsible for organizing the group at Pauline.) Later, services were held in the Good Templers Lodge Hall above a store building located across the street from the site of the Hotel Windsor (later Evans’ Store) along Kingston Avenue. When the store building was destroyed by fire the group met at a depot southwest of town, near the site of the current Rolland Post residence.

Under the direction of Rev. T.W. Bean from 1890-91, lots were purchased from James and Carrie McCleery at the corner of Hastings Avenue and Maple Street. Here a 38- by 50-foot frame building was erected. Lucian Dean served as carpenter, with nearly all labor being donated by the men of the congregation. In the summer of 1891 the church was dedicated by Elder Jones. That same year, many who had formerly belonged to other denominations that met in surrounding schoolhouses now joined the Pauline church. Some of the Welsh people joined by letter from their native, overseas church. It was said that at one time the church took in 40 new members! The people of Pauline were very happy to have a church in which to worship, after being buffeted about from place to place.

Congregation Sacrifices for New Building

As membership grew and Sunday school classes became crowded, the decision was made to build a larger church; this was accomplished in 1907. A parsonThe newly completed "First Methodist Episcopal Church" in Pauline, 1907. The partially obscured frame structure seen to the left of the building is likely the old frame church. Photo is from the Bennie Leighfield collection, courtesy of the late Doris Evans Alexander.The newly completed "First Methodist Episcopal Church" in Pauline, 1907. The partially obscured frame structure seen to the left of the building is likely the old frame church. Photo is from the Bennie Leighfield collection, courtesy of the late Doris Evans Alexander.age had been purchased in 1903. Members sacrificed to ensure the erection of the new church building, and practically all of the labor was donated. The new structure was built on the same site as the old one, which was moved west on the block. A Mr. Chambers served as contractor, and Jay Goble was carpenter.

Members came with horses and wagons to help haul materials, such as sand for the making of cement blocks. Sand was hauled from the Avery Quig farm (later the Everett Moss residence) west of town, as well as the T.W. Jones farm east of Pauline. Those helping to haul sand included Ed Anderson, Frank Bourne, Owen Evans, Elmer Jones, Avery Quig and Levi Sherman.

Organizations and families within the church contributed to the purchase of large, stained-glass windows. The King’s Daughters purchased the south window, and it bears the group’s emblem, I.H.N., In His Name. Rev. W. H. Shoaf was featured on a postcard dating to March 10, 1909. Courtesy of Donna Knight.Rev. W. H. Shoaf was featured on a postcard dating to March 10, 1909. Courtesy of Donna Knight.The north window was donated by the community and Sunday school children. No matter how young or how large his or her family, each child made a contribution. Local residents Ernest May and T.W. Jones helped with the purchase of this window. Young people of the Epworth League purchased the Art Glass window in the building’s east League room.

The church was dedicated Dec. 1, 1907 with a newly installed pastor, Rev. W.H. Shoaf, presiding. Building committee members were Ben Sherman, R.O. Slater, T.T. Jones and John Evans.  W.F. McDowell and N.A. Martin respectively served as bishop and presiding elder.

A number of organizations within the church invigorated both church and community life. These included the Sunday school, the oldest organization; King’s Daughters, formed in 1892 and reorganized in 1940 as Woman’s Society of Christian Service; Bible school and Epworth League, which later became Methodist Youth Fellowship.

Milestones Celebrated

The Pauline Methodist Church celebrated its 50th anniversary on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, 1941 (A program from that event may be seen at the end of this page). A large crowd attended both the morning and afternoon services. A noon basket dinner was served to 125 guests. A choir of 25 voices sang under the direction of Cora (Mrs. Alfred) Lofquist. The local girls’ 4-H state-champion singing group presented several selections. The Rev. F.L. Harris was pastor, serving from 1938-1942.

In 1984 the congregation celebrated its 100th anniversary with a special worship service, fellowship dinner, afternoon service and ice cream social. The Rev. Bob Berlie presided, with a special message delivered by Rev. Alvin Trucano, son of the beloved Rev. Peter Trucano. Peter Trucano had served the congregation from 1977-1982. During his tenure he endeavored to visit every household in the Pauline community, attended school programs and reactivated the Methodist Youth Fellowship.

The church was once again the center of activity when the community celebrated its 1987 centennial. A morning worship service; evening speaker, Dr. Robert Manley; and several other activities were based at the church.

In the spring of 2004 Pauline was struck by a tornado that damaged the church roof. Undaunted, the six or so active families in the congregation undertook to raise $40,000 to repair the roof. During the 2006-07 years the congregation held a rummage/bake sale, soup supper and compiled a community cookbook in order to secure the needed funds. A December 30, 2006 article in the Hastings Tribune featured the congregation in their efforts. A new roof was put on the church in 2007. Rev. Marvin Coffey was serving the church at the time.

The congregation currently holds worship services on Sundays at 10:30 a.m., with Bible study at 9:30 a.m.

  
 *Church history prior to 1984 was taken from "Pauline and Community, 1887-1987, 'A Trail in Time' ” and the church's "Historical Record of Permanent Data".

Pauline Methodist Church in the News

Pauline – "Sunday school at 10:00, preaching at 11:00, prayer meeting Wednesday evening. These meetings are made very interesting by Rev. Hill’s weekly talks."
– “Antioch and Vicinity,” Adams County Democrat, Friday Morning, December 12, 1913.

Pauline – "The Xmas doings at the Pauline M. E. church came off Wednesday evening with a full house. A novel feature which took A window in the Epworth League room of the church.A window in the Epworth League room of the church.the place of the Xmas tree was a prettily decorated well with a bucket and lever – the other decorations were very beautifully arranged. The program which was gotten up under the most difficult circumstances on account of the weather, was good in number of recitations, and songs as well as in the way it was rendered. The treats were very generous and a large number of sacks were sent to those who were not present. Taking the event through, it was a credit to the individuals and committees in charge."
– “Antioch and Vicinity,” Adams County Democrat, Friday Morning, Jan. 2, 1914.

"There will be no S.S. or church services at the M.E. church Sunday morning, as they have accepted an invitation to attend these service(sic) in a body at the Ayr M.E. church. Service will be held as usual in the evening at 8:30 p.m."
–“Pauline,” The Hastings Democrat, July 15, 1926.

"Quite a number from here attended the services at Ayr Sunday morning. Dinner was served to all."
– “Pauline,” The Hastings Democrat, July 22, 1926.

"The Fourth Quarterly conference of the Pauline M.E. church will be held here Wednesday evening, September 8th at 8 o’clock. All interested in the church work are invited to attend."
–“Pauline," The Hastings Democrat, Thursday, September 2, 1926.
 
"The Rev. C.B. Piersol, because of the loss of his voice, was unable to preach Sunday. Mrs. Piersol occupied the pulpit in the morning and the Rev. J.W. Lewis, a former pastor, who still resides here, and has charge of the Lawrence Methodist Church, gave the sermon Sunday evening."
–“Pauline News," Hastings, (Nebr.) Daily Tribune, Wednesday, Febr. 2, 1927.

"Rev. J.W. Lewis was unable to go to Lawrence to have charge of the Sunday services because of the condition of the roads."
– “Pauline,” The Hastings Democrat, Thursday, April 28, 1927.

"The church board met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. O.G. Evans Thursday night of last week."
– “Pauline,” The Hastings Democrat, Thursday, April 28, 1927.

"The Pauline United Methodist Church services will be at 11:00 a.m. and Sunday School will be at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. If too cold, it will be held in the Pauline School House. Just go where all the cars are at, either at the school house or the church on Sunday mornings!" 

– “PAULINE and AYR NEWS,” by Lois Gates, Phone 771-2344, Thursday, January 28, 1982, The Blue Hill Leader.

Program From 50th Anniversary Celebration

Program is courtesy of Pauline Methodist Church.Program is courtesy of Pauline Methodist Church.

Morning and afternoon services highlighted the Thanksgiving Day event.Morning and afternoon services highlighted the Thanksgiving Day event.