(4 pages total [17-20] - link for next page at bottom of each page)


          Churches have played an important role in the life of the Dallas Center community through the years.  Dallas Center is known for it's large number of churches.  Before churches were constructed, services were held by several denominations in the first depot or in homes and rural schoolhouses.  There are seven church organizations in the Dallas Center community with six well-kept church buildings in town.  Five of the above organizations are Brethren with common beginnings, very similar beliefs and practices of immersion baptism, feet washing and communion.  All have experienced separations and divisions which have resulted in the various groups of Brethren churches.


         The first church in Dallas Center, the Presbyterian Church, is 100 years old.  A small group of pioneer settlers began to hold services during the summer of 1868 in the Whitman schoolhouse, (Grant township school No. 9, northeast of town.)


          From the sessional record we find that pursuant to previous action and agreement a meeting was held at the Whitman schoolhouse on the eighth day of August, 1869, at which time a Presbyterian church was duly organized by Rev. Wm. Campbell, District Secretary for the Synod of Iowa.  The nineteen charter members were:  Mary Whitman, Samuel Scott, Sr.,  J. O. Strong, Mary Strong, John Smith, Mary Smith, John Scott, Sarah Scott, Mary L. Faulkner, Julia Slaughter, Henry Jennings, Catherine Jennings, Nathan Jennings, Elizabeth Jennings, Sarah Jennings, Jacob Jennings, Mary Jennings, Rachael Jennings and Jane Warrington.

          The congregation continued to meet in the schoolhouse, in various homes and also in the railroad depot in Dallas Center until 1871, when a suitable place of worship was erected on the site of the present church.  It was a white frame building with a tall steeple and a bell which is still in use.  The total cost was about $3000.  In 1894, a furnace was installed and an addition built on the east which provided rooms for Sunday school classes and group meetings.  The present manse was built in 1906.


          Many problems faced the new congregation in it's early years.  During the second decade the annual receipts were less than $1000.  This had to pay the pastor's salary as well as other expenses.  Even so, there was progress.  In 1889, there were 61 communicant members and by 1902, the number had passed the 100-mark.


          Early in 1913, plans were made to replace the original frame building.  The cornerstone of the new church was laid October 9, 1913, and it was dedicated on February 8, 1914, free of debt and with a 10-year guarantee that the roof would not leak.  The Rev. E. N. Prentice (1908-1916) was pastor at this time and under his leadership the church had a steady growth in membership and finances.  He served on the building committee with Charles Rhinehart, chairman, Horace Rathburn, Henry M. Schamel, and Wm. Sehman with Grace M. Cramer as treasurer.

(click on photos for larger views)



    Dr. R. L. Gutafson and Evelyn Fruiesz                                                          Lilly Realty                         

Fitz Electric Co.                                                          Silkebaken Food Store - Since 1912

Page #18 of Chapter VI.


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