Alice Church of God

The Church of God

by E. C. Allen

A pioneer organization of this county was organized in 1867 by Rev. J. M. Klein. For about eight years, meetings were conducted in the Solomon Wilhelm schoolhouse, which was then located one-half mile southeast of where the church now stands.

In 1868, they held in this schoolhouse, what was termed, a great revival, resulting in the conversion of a small army of workers, who immediately set forth with great zeal and earnestness to build up a Christian community, whose influence might go far towards molding the lives and characters of the incoming settlers; and their efforts accomplished great good.

May 30, 1874, the members then numbering about sixty, met in the old schoolhouse and launched the project, which resulted in the erection of the once new Bethel. At this meeting, a building committee was chosen, namely: J. M. Klein, J. H. Lighter and J. R. Lynn. J. H. Lighter and J. R. Lynn, were chosen also, as a soliciting committee; to receive subscriptions and contributions for the new building.

Early in the year 1875, the church was dedicated by Rev. A. X. Sumaker. The first regularly elected officers of this society were: John W. Klein and J. H. Lighter, as Elders, and David Gallagher and Solomon Lighter, as Deacons.

The building has twice been remodeled since its dedication; in 1882 it was enlarged; and in 1906 more than two thousand dollars were spent in modernizing the old building.

--Atlas of Grundy County, Iowa, 1911, pg 101

Historical Record

In the year 1866, Elder Jacob M. Klein, a home missionary of the Church of God, arrived in Grundy County, Iowa. Immediately after his arrival he conducted services in the David Long home near Whitten, Iowa. Some time later the Lighter schoolhouse was erected and became the meeting place of this new mission. Meetings were conducted here a short time, then changed to the Wilhelm schoolhouse. It was here that the Church of God was organized in 1868 under the faithful ministry of Elder Klein.

During this year thirty members were united in this fellowship "Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints." Under the faithful man of God, Elder Klein, a new bethel was erected and dedicated in 1875. This new bethel received its name from Alice (Lynn) Cross whose parents were early settlers in the community, also charter members of the Alice Church of God. She also was a faithful member until death. After five short years the bethel had to be remodeled to meet the needs of this rapidly growing church. God was blessing the church as he will all those who make such sacrificial efforts to extend the kingdom of God. This bethel was again remodeled in 1906, during the pastorate of Rev. E. E. Heltibridle. Rev. M. S. Newcomer officiated at the time of this re-dedication. Under the loyal ministry and laity this church enjoyed much progress.

In 1919 this bethel was again remodeled under the faithful labors of Rev. Heltibridle. This time it was re-dedicated. Rev. Wm. Harris Guyer, president of Findlay college, officiated.

In the early '90s, a missionary society was formed that has done very efficient work. Through the efforts of this society much has been accomplished, both at home and abroad. The present Society consists of thirty-three members and is doing very efficient work. The Bible school also has been a contributing factor toward the growth of the church. At present the Bible school is well equipped in both material and Bible teachers. The class rooms have been redecorated recently as well as the rest of the interior of the bethel. A new heating plant has been installed during the past year.

With no creed but the Word of God, we are looking forward to great things. For 76 years it has stood the test, and we pray that it may continue to do so until Jesus comes.

Alice Church Of God Pastors
J. M. KleinGeorge Elliott
David KepfordJ. S. Miller
L. F. Chamberlain    D. W. Blakeley
A. WilsonE. E. Heltibridle
HolmesJesse Huddle
H. MurrayA. L. Shuey
J. B. SherbonC. A. Byler
J. H. BasoreA. E. Aldrich
J. C. KepfordJ. L. Masemore
C. WilsonPaul Tewell
M. S. NewcomerR. P. Smith

Present Church Board
A. J. KlineW. J. Minnich
P. J. BaaschWm. Veld
L. R. HessDale Bockes
Robert KopsaL. A. Kline
Wm. Veld, Treasurer    O. A. Stover, Clerk

--1866-1942 Homecoming and Anniversary

Celebrates 125th Anniversary

The Alice Church of God, located 6 miles north of Conrad, will celebrate its 125th anniversary on September 5. Regular morning services will be held, with Sunday School at 9:30 and worship service at 10:30. Pastor Snare will preach on "The Church at Its Best."

The afternoon anniversary service will begin at 2 o'clock. A welcome will be given by board chairman, Donald Ralston. Musical numbers will include a trio by Ms. Sue Ladehoff, Mrs. Homer Ross, and Mrs. Jerry Brindle; solos by Miss Melissa Bockes and Ms. Martha Lehman; a duet by Miss Cora Katzer and Mrs. Donald Ralston, and another by Miss Angela Brindle and Mr. Daniel Traeger. There will be historical readings and "Moments of Memory." The congregation will sing a hymn written by Mrs. Minnie Ralston Shirk, who attended the Alice Church during her childhood in the 1880's and is related to a couple of present members. Her grandparents, parents, and other relatives are buried in the Alice Cemetery. A lunch will be served following the afternoon program.

The church was founded in February, 1868, by 30 persons living in the Palermo, Melrose, Felix and Clay township areas. Elder J. M. Klein, who had emigrated from Illinois, was the first pastor. Services were held in the Wilhelm Schoolhouse until January of 1876 when the first church building was completed and dedicated with 60 members. The name "Alice" was from Alice Lynn Cross, daughter of J. R. Lynn, a faithful member of the church.

During the years the church has been enlarged, redecorated, and modern facilities added. Most recent improvements have been central air conditioning, metal siding, enlargement of the vestibule, carpeting, a chair lift, and the addition of an exit to the northwest corner.

The present pastor, Rev. James C. Snare, comes from the Harrisburg, PA, area. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, a Bachelor of Divinity degree in Christian Education, and a Master of Sacred Divinity degree in Church History and Theology. Since 1959 he has served churches in Pennsylvania, and has been on the seminary faculty at the Evangelical Congregational School of Theology at Myerstown, PA. He has served as a missionary on the Navajo Indian Reservation, has had a prison ministry, and served as Chaplain and Counselor at a drug treatment center.

The public is cordially invited to attend the afternoon program. If you would like to attend the morning service and the noon luncheon, please inform Pastor Snare or Mary Ralston by August 20.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 12 August 1993

List of Ministers

NameYears Served
Jacob M. Klein
David Kepford
L. F. Chamberlain
A. Wilson
H. Murray
J. B. Sherbon
J. H. Basore
J. C. Kepford
C. Wilson
M. S. Newcomer
George Elliot
J. S. Miller
D. W. Blakeley
E. E. Heltibridle
Jesse Huddle
A. L. Shuey
C. A. Byler
A. E. Aldrich
J. L. Masemore
Paul Tewell1935-36
R. P. Smith1936-41
N. C. Anderson1944-46
Alvin Mitchell1946-51
H. L. Heim1959-
Tom Craig
James. C. Snare