Grace UMC's HIstory

The history of the United Methodist Church is tightly woven into the history of the United States, having its beginning in 1784 following the colonists’ victory over the British in the Revolutionary War. John Wesley, a priest in the Church of England, had sent missionaries to the colonies prior to the war. But after Great Britain’s defeat, he had the sense not to send “Anglicans” to the new country. Instead, he sent missionaries to establish a movement called, “Methodists.”

From 1784 that movement spread across the new states, spilled over the Appalachians and flooded the plains. It was 1867 when a horseback-traveling preacher stopped in what is now Spencer, Iowa to gather some people called “Methodist.” This part of Iowa was frontier in those days! But it has now been over 150 years that the people called Methodist have met close to the Little Sioux River in NW Iowa.