WE WILL MAKE DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST
THROUGH WORSHIP, THROUGH EVANGELISM
AND THROUGH DISCIPLESHIP!
"WE WILL MAKE DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST
BY REACHING UP THROUGH WORSHIP,
REACHING OUT THROUGH EVANGELISM, AND
REACHING IN THROUGH DISCIPLESHIP."
- From our mission statement -
In 1912 our church was moved northeast of Waterman to the Rissman farm, and our present structure was erected at the cost of nearly $20,000. An impressive feature was the Weickhardt pipe organ, still beautifully maintained today. The building committee at that time was David F. Hipple, Carl L. Greeley, D. A. Fuller, R. C. Fay, and Mrs Henry (Grace) Lamb.
1915 - Waterman became part of the Dixon District.
1918 - Men and boys left for military service. Rev. Graeser left as a Chaplain.
1931 - 1942 - Our pastors also served the Suydam Church.
1941 - At this time, women of the church, as well as our men, left to serve in the Military.
1953 - We observed our Church Centennial with morning, afternoon and evening services. A pageant of "Hymns of Faith" was
given. On September 3rd, Bob and Ella Jean (Woods) Davis and their family sailed from New York to Brazil, to the first
Agricultural Missionaries for the Methodist Church.
1958 - On June 29th a groundbreaking ceremony for the Educational Unit was held. The cornerstone was laid on October 26th,
followed by a dinner and Open House.
1963 - A Service of Dedication for both buildings was led by Bishop Charles Brashares, rededicating the sanctuary erected in
1913 to the "Glory of God and the Service of Men."
1968 - The Methodist Episcopal Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged to become the United Methodist
Church; thus, the Waterman United Methodist Church of today.
1983 - On September 25th, we celebrated our 130th Anniversary.
1988 - Open Hands Preschool was started.
1991 - On June 16th, Clara Greeley Day was celebrated, honoring her 50 years as our church organist.
1992-Present - 59 pastors and their spouses, giving of their time, talents, and faith to lead us, have served our church. Our membership serves us well in the various committees of music, finance, Christian Education, and maintenance of our property. Through much hard work by the Trustees and helping members, our buildings are freshly painted. We have new carpet and a lovely remodeled kitchen as a gift, as well as new landscaping and lighting. We take our charge seriously. As we face ever-new challenges in the world today, it is time to rededicate ourselves to Christian service.
In 1853 five devout people joined together to form a Methodist society, which has persevered for 150 years to become the Waterman United Methodist Church, as we know it today. There were Mr. and Mrs. William Fuller, Mr. and Mrs. Ezra Samson and Hiram Greeley. Meetings were held in their homes for years. Their first pastor, Rev. McAusland, had charge of a circuit of pioneer churches, and so it was impossible for him to be at church every Sunday. As the membership grew through the years, the Presiding Elder would preach. About 20 years later, services were held in the new school built north of town.
The first church was built across from the school on land purchased from Robert Humphrey and his wife, deeded March 9, 1866. The deed read "in trust, one acre, to erect a church thereon for the Methodist Episcopal Church, north-east corner of Section 9." By 1868 the church and school became the community center where many spelling bees, box socials, etc. were held, as well as the mid-week prayer meetings and Sunday services. Rev. Frederick Farmiloe served at this time. Members had admission cards for meetings so that no outsiders would be allowed to hear personal testimonies.
With the town of Waterman becoming established, and the railroad built, plans were made to move the church to town. In the fall of 1874, lots were obtained from the Humphrey Roberts family, and the church was moved across the fields and into Waterman to its present location, with only an orchard on the north side of it. Helen Hill's present home, at 220 N. Cedar St., served as the parsonage at that time. The present parsonage at 235 N. Cedar St. was built in 1900.
The first mention of "Children's Day" in the records was in 1889. Rev. Griswold formed a young people's society, and an Epworth League room was added to the building. In 1878 the Ladies Aid Society was formed. The Missionary Society was formed in 1881. They merged in 1940 and are today's United Methodist Women.