Mt. Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa

The remodeled and enlarged M.E. church was reopened for public worship last Sunday, having been closed, except the basement, since last spring. With the stairways removed to side towers and the gallery formerly in the south end of the audience room, taken out, the seating capacity is increased to the extent of about ?150 persons. The woodwork is of hard pine, trimmed in walnut, the walls and ceiling are very tastefully papered, the seats cushioned, floors carpeted, and the room presents a most beautiful and comfortable appearance, and is now one of the finest audience rooms in the west; the great organ occupies space in the north end, a very handsome instrument, which adds much to the beauty of the room. The old shop on the south-west corner of the lot has been removed and the grounds neatly fenced.

The morning services last Sunday were attended by a very large congregation, many failing to secure even standing room, returning home. Mr. Fletcher Wheeler, of Chicago, presided at the organ, and, assisted by the excellent choir, the music was a fine feature of the re-dedicatory services. Rev. Dr. Ridgeway, of Evanston University, a scholarly, cultured clergyman, delivered the sermon, which has been pronounced a real good one by those who were so fortunate as to hear it. His text is found in John 12th chapter, 32nd verse - “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” He also preached in the evening, having a full house.

This, now remodeled church, was first built in 1856, and long known as “Asbury,” and for over a quarter of a century, has been a great central point in Iowa Methodism, whose walls have resounded with the eloquence of many able divines, including the celebrated Dr. Elliot, Dr. Thomas, and others, passed away, or yet famous in different fields.

The remodeling of the building was begun last spring, under the supervision of the church building committee, Messrs. Chas. Snider, Henry Ambler and E. Baines, who have given the work close attention, Mr. Snider especially devoting constant and unremitting attention to the enterprise; and to the attention and taste of the committee the congregation are largely indebted for their present handsome and creditable edifice, as well as to the skill of the mechanics. The entire cost of the remodeling and additions [including that of the organ, $1,325] was $8,236, all of which is about provided for, $315 being received at last Sunday’s collection. – The membership now numbers 450 souls, and with its large Sunday School and other organizations, ought, and doubtless will continue to be, a great power and agency for good.

["The Free Press", October 23, 1884, page 3]

Note: The church building became the Colonial Theater and is currently [2019] the Colonial Apartments. It's located at 115 East Monroe Street in Mount Pleasant.

Transcribed and contributed by Pat White, November 2019.

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