Oak Grove Methodist Church

from the records of the Des Moines County Historical Society
Compiled by Vivian Setterberg in the 1970s
Transcribed by
Robin Schneiderman in 2017

Oak Grove Methodist church was in Union township Section 33 Tract No 7 T-68N R-3W. It had its beginning in April 1869 when the "Union Township Church Association" was organized. Nine charter members expressed their aim in the following words: into have in the neighborhood an order of Divine worshipers. Naturally, the next step was to secure a building in which to worship. They chose a piece of ground near the farm of Mr. Wagner and Mohnike and started to build. At that time, however, the C. B. & Q. railroad received grants of land through that very location and moved the building away. To relieve this situation,   Mr. George Hilleary donated a plot of ground on which the present building stands. The railroad company then erected a church edifice on this spot in the fall of 1869. At its completion the building was dedicated and opened for use of any denomination who would care for it. During the thirty years that ensued the following souls used the church: Baptists, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Carmelites, Methodists, and Seventh Day Adventists.

In 1907 the Rock Springs Church united in a body with this congregation and the church was changed to Oak Grove M.E. Church. In 1910 it was remodeled but in January 14, 1917 the church building burned to the ground, but were able to rebuild and November 4, 1917 the new church was dedicated.

In 1940, when the Shiloh church was closed on account of the government buying the land for the Iowa Ordinance Plant, Oak Grove and Spring Grove churches shared in the substantial payment made by the government, also received some of the furnishings.   Nevertheless, time took its toll and oak Grove Methodist eloped its doors in June of 1974. The picture above was taken in 1976 Just prior to its being torn down.

And so another attractive church, such as this oak Grove Methodist church, situated in a beautiful setting is nothing but a memory in the minds of its people and a page in the History of Churches of Des Moines County, Iowa.

Sylvia Pfeiff of Burlington described it so well in her poem below.




The obituary of a Church

Though there is none

It was located in a grove of oak

Gave solace, comfort and hope

To farm families who regularly

Spoke on Sunday of going to Church


Most have gone to their reward

The remaining transferred to another

The physical structure of this Church

Is gone forever

Those who do not know

If they were to look

Would not find the Church

There is no sign of one





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