M. E. Church, Dike, Iowa

The Dike M. E. Church is a part of what is known as the Dairyville Church.

When the Chicago Northwestern R. R. was built and the town of Dike established, the members of the Dairyville Church moved either to Dike or Stout. The church at Dairyville thus disbanded and their building was sold. The members who moved to Dike decided to build the church now in use.

The church was built during the summer of 1901, by R. A. Gage (contractor and builder), of New Hartford, Iowa, and under the supervision of Rev. Miles E. Mitchell (pastor), Rev. J. P. Van Horn (asst. pastor), and the building committee, composed of E. F. Crouse, J. W. Glasgow, C. E. Thomas, Ira Wilson and Donald McBain.

The extreme dimensions of the church are 40x55 feet, the lecture room, 32x40 feet; the study, 8x8 feet; the height of tower, 50 feet. The church has a seating capacity of 300. It is furnace heated, and well lighted with gasoline lights. The value of the church is $4,000. The parsonage, located within a block of the church is valued at $1,500. This church property is clear of all indebtedness, according to minutes of annual Upper Iowa Conference of September, 1910. Dike is in Cedar Falls district.

The church was dedicated Sunday, September 29, 1901, under the direction of Rev. J. B. Albrook the Presiding Elder of Marshalltown district. The evening sermon was preached by the Rev. H. R. Bradshaw of Ft. Dodge, Iowa.

The members of the official board when the church was built and dedicated were as follows: Stewards, M. E. Hunter, E. F. Crouse, Donald McBain, and John Cowie; Trustees, M. E. Hunter (Pres.), C. E. Thomas (Sec'y), M. A. Buchan (Treas.), H. I. Roadman, E. F. Crouse, D. McBain, J. M. Glasgow, Hans Boysen, W. E. Deacon; Sunday School Superintendent, Donald McBain; Epworth League President, Frank H. Crouse.

There were forty-eight members enrolled on church records when the church was dedicated. During the intervening years, since that date, the church has suffered many reverses by the loss of one hundred and thirty of its members (according to church records), through removals by death, by certificate and in other ways. But for all these drawbacks, the church has held its own; and at this writing, has an enrollment of fifty members. Considering the number of members of the church, it has remarkably good church property, well kept.

The list of pastors of Dike M. E. Church to date stands as follows: Miles E. Mitchell, 1899-1901; Carl A. Felt, 1901-1903; Edward A. Lang, 1903-1905; Thomas A. Trimble, 1904-1908; C. C. Casper, 1908-1909; Geo. F. Kelley, 1909-1910; Homer Greene, 1910.

The district Superintendant at this date is the Rev. T. M. Evans, D. D., of Waterloo, Iowa. The present official members of the church are: Stewards, Eli F. Crouse (Dist. St.), Sherman Porter (Rec. St.), J. H. Knudson (also Treas.), Charles Cowie, D. E. Stevens; Trustees, Eli F. Crouse, M. E. Hunter, Frank C. Erickson, Murry Roadman, Matt Miller; S. S. Superintendent, Sherman Porter; E. L. President, Frank H. Crouse; Junior E. L. Superintendent, Mrs. Cora Janney. Ladies Aid Society: Presdident, Mrs. Sherman Porter; W. H. M. S. President, Mrs. D. E. Stevens.

by Rev. Homer Greene

--Atlas of Grundy County, Iowa, 1911, pg 99


A History of Dike Methodist Church

The Dike Methodist Church and the town of Dike were founded in the same year. Together they grew and during the years developed a splendid history. When the Chicago Northwestern Railroad was built and the town of Dike established, the members of the Dairyville Church moved either to Dike or Stout. The church at Dairyville thus disbanded and their building was sold. The members who moved to Dike decided to build the church now in use. Before the church was built, church members met in the Townsend Merrill building and the Hagerman building.

The church was built during the summer of 1901, by R. A. Gage (contractor and builder) of New Hartford, Iowa, and under the supervison of Rev. Miles E. Mitcherr (pastor), Rev. J. P. VanHorn (assistant pastor) and the building committee composed of E. F. Crouse, J. W. Glasgow, C. E. Thomas, Ira Wilson and Donald McBain.

The church had a partial basement and was furnace heated and well lighted with gasoline lights. The value of the church at the time it was built was $4000. The parsonage located within a block of the church was valued at $1500. That house is now occupied by the Kirkpatrick family. However according to the Methodist Journal and Yearbook the present value of the church is $15,000, while the parsonage has a valuation of $8,000.

By 1910 the minutes of the Upper Iowa Conference reported that the Dike church was free of debt. Dike was in the Cedar Falls District. In 1912 colored windows were put in the church by members of the church societies and as memorials.

The sacrifices made by these early church members were many, but their stout faith in "Higher Things" made these sacrifices seem small. They wanted their families to grow up in "the fear and admonition of the Lord."

The church was dedicated Sunday, Sept. 29, 1901, under the direction of Rev. J. B. Albrook, the Presiding Elder of the Marshalltown district. The evening sermon was preached by the Rev. H. R. Bradshaw of Ft. Dodge. There was a good attendance at all services and many partook of the sumptuous dinner provided by the good ladies of the church. The members of the official board when the church was dedicated were as follows: Stewards: M. E. Hunter, E. F. Crouse, Donald McBain and John Cowie. Trustees: M. E. Hunter (President), C. E. Thomas (Secretary), M. A. Buchan (Treasurer), H. I. Roadman, E. F. Crouse, D. McBain, J. M. Glasgow, Hans Boysen, W. E. Deason; Sunday School Supt. Donald McBain; Epworth League President, Frank H. Crouse.

There were 48 members enrolled on the church records when the church was dedicated. During the intervening years, the church has suffered many reverses but always the progress has been slow and steady, giving honor and praise to God who is the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

Pastors
The list of pastors of the Dike Methodist church to date:
Miles E. Mitchell 1899-1901
Carl A. Felt 1901-1903
Edward A. Lang 1903-1905
Thomas A. Trimble 1905-1908
C. C. Casper 1908-1909
Geo. F. Kelley 1909-1910
Homer Greene 1910-1912
William A. Gibbens 1912-1913
John H. Hayward 1913-1916
Bert L. Weaver 1916-1919
Fred A. Smith 1919-1920
A. B. Chamberlin 1920-1927
C. W. Batten 1927-1930
A. R. Coover 1930-1933
Robert Sanner 1933-1935
J. J. Hoffman 1935-1937
R. C. Scott 1937-1939
J. E. Pritchard 1939-1941
Wm. Galbreth 1941-June 1943
B. A. Wendlandt June 1943-Jan. 1945
Chas. A. Luce supplied until June 1945
James B. Bird 1945-1947
Myron Braun 1947-1948
M. Trevor Baskerville 1948-

The first infant to be baptized in the Dike church was Susan McBain on June 9, 1901.

The first marriage solemnized in the church was that of Edward McKun of Dike and Cora Elliott of Morrison. Carl Felt, pastor, performed the ceremony on Dec. 25, 1901. The first death was that of Mrs. A. M. Ranney, which occurred on June 19, 1902.

During the pastorate of John H. Hayward a piano was purchased by the congregation, electric lights were installed to take the place of the old gasoline lamps. New Hymnals were purchased and Rev. Hayward moved to his next charge confident that his years in Dike had been fruitful years, as he added many members to the church as well as making the above mentioned improvements.

It was during the service of B. L. Weaver that the men of the church and friends in the community put their shoulders to the wheel and excavated the remainder of the dirt for the modern basement which was the result of their labors. At that time there was a strong Men's group in the church that accomplished many good things in the way of spiritual blessings, as well as many fine improvements for future generations to enjoy.

It was also during the pastorate of B. L. Weaver that the old horse sheds west and north of the church were torn down, for the congregation had become an automotive one and felt no need for horse and buggy sheds.

In 1935 an appeal went out to the community for funds, as the treasury showed a deficit of $1300. By prayer and hard work, the good people of the church and their friends in the community cleared the debt and once more the church was happy in the thought that the people had such a great interest in the things of the Kingdom. Rev. Galbreth's pastorate was marked by increased membership and spiritual blessings to all.

The ladies of the church have always had a large share in the financial as well as the spiritual progress of the church. Under the Ladies' Aid setup many capable women serving as president of the group came to the aid of the official board and shoulder to shoulder they made improvements, cleared old debts, and paid pastors' salaries.

The first president of the Ladies' Aid was Mrs. Cora Janney.

During the years that Mrs. C. A. Thomas headed the Woman's Home Missionary Society there was a membership of 100 and the missionary work of the church was at high tide.

The merging of the Missionary Society and the Ladies' Aid was accomplished while Rev. Galbreth was pastor of the church. The work of the new W.S.C.S. is going forward nicely under the capable leadership of the officers and various department secretaries. Mrs. Middlekauff is the president of the Women's organization.

F. C. Erickson held the post of Sunday School Supt. for the longest term and his influence in the community and on the lives of the boys and girls cannot be determined.

Chas. E. Thomas must also be mentioned as an outstanding Sunday School superintendent, for one cannot easily forget the eagerness with which the preschool youngsters met him and searched for the candy which his pockets never failed to contain.

The parsonage was changed from the original house to the one now occupied by the Chris Sloth family during the pastorate of F. A. Smith. The present parsonage was secured after Rev. A. B. Chamberlin moved and C. W. Batten became the pastor.

Under the leadership of M. Trevor Baskerville the church is making great strides, a new electric organ has been installed, the heating system has been modernized and the membership stands at active members 199 and inactive 20, making a total of 219 members.

The church is proud of those whom it has sent into Christian work. Floyd Crouse was sent as an agricultural missionary to Chile, Ralph Crouse went as an instructor in Virginia, and Dr. Earl Roadman is president of Morningside college in Sioux City.

Some of the boys answered their country's call, some made the supreme sacrifice and the "little white church on the corner" keeps their memory warm in the hearts of its worshippers and continues to grow and glow and produce good citizens and active Christians.

The Church In Dike
There's a church here in Dike on the corner,
   No homier one can be found;
No place is so dear to my childhood,
   As the little white church in our town.

Chorus
Come to the church that is friendly,
   Oh, come to the church we all like,
No place is so dear to our people
   As the little white church here in Dike.
Oh! come to the church on the corner,
   To the place where our friends all meet,
Where we sing hymns of praise to the Master,
   Where we worship and pray at his feet.

At the end of the journey we're traveling,
   When the gates of The City appear;
May this church here in Dike, on the corner,
   Still inspire those who worship Him here.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 25 May 1950, Dike Golden Jubilee Section of the Grundy Register