Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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1405 Pennsylvania Avenue S., Mason City
Mason Township, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa

  The Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Mason City Centennial Issue
Monday, June 01, 1953, Section 7, Pages 26 & 38


As the factory worker went farther and farther from the center of the city to build his home due to the rapid growth of population, he was followed not only by schools, but also by opportunities for religious worship.

The First Methodist Church, with its building paid for and membership growing, became the leader in this decentralization of church activities by sponsoring two outposts in opposite ends of the city, building the Calvary [Methodist Episcopal] at 1615 Delaware N. E. and the Olivet Church at 20th and South Federal.

The Olivet proved [to be] the beginning of the present Wesley Methodist Church, while Calvary is now [1953] the place of worship for the Assembly of God.

Unique in church building campaigns was that of the $50,000 Wesley Methodist Church in 1940. Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Protestant and Jewish Church members participated in an all-community effort to raise the funds for this congregation, which succeeded the Olivet in the south part of the city and the Zion on East State. The congregation this year [1953] added another unit to the church at 1405 Pennsylvania S. E.


[Section 8, Page 11] The Wesley Methodist Congregation has doubled the size of the sanctuary of the church, which it erected a little more than a decade ago.

The addition, which is 41 by 46 feet, increases the seating capacity to 600, while the fellowship hall is enlarged to seat 280 persons.

The new construction, which was completed for dedication April 26, includes the enlarging of the kitchen, additional class rooms and social room. The A. J. Thomas Memorial Chapel was also added, with a seating capacity of 53.

The Wesley Church, a merger of the Olivet and Zion Methodist churches in 1936, broke the ground for its first building May 19, 1940. It was dedicated free of debt Nov. 24, 1940. On May 18, 1952, ground was broken for the new addition.

This entire church building program has been carried out under the pastorate of Dr. Paul Peterson, who has been here since 1940.


[Section 8, Page 11] The Olivet Methodist Church, built in 1913 at 20th and S. Federal, was part of the efforts of the First Methodist Church to provide places of worship in the outlying areas. in 1915 Olivet was organized with its own minister. Later it was merged with the Zion Methodist to form the present Wesley Methodist Church.


[Section 8, Page 13] One of the early congregations in Mason City was the Zion Methodist, which for many years worshipped (sic) in a church at 429 East State.

When the Wesley Methodist Church was organized in 1946 Zion was merged with Olivet and the East State church was sold to the Church of the Open Bible, which later moved the structure to 17th and Carolina S. E.

At the time it was organized the Zion Church was known as the German Methodist Society. The Rev. F. H. Hilmer, first appointed by the Northwest German Conference to the Nora Springs mission, came to Mason City in 1887 and held meetings in the homes of the members and also in the school.

In 1889, the Rev. H. E. Hilmer, brother of the former pastor, was officially appointed to the charge. In 1934 the Zion Church became a part of the Upper Iowa Conference, thus paving the way for the merger two years later.

The merger of these two churches brought about the beginning of a rapidly growing congregation in the south part of the city. Ever since its organization Wesley Methodist Church has continued to grow.

Transcription and Submission by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2011; updated December of 2014


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