History of the Lake City United Methodist Church
Methodism in Lake City dates back to the year 1874 when the Reverend John Robinson, a Native American and licensed Methodist Episcopal minister, residing in Grand Rapids, came to Lake City on a fishing trip and preached a sermon in the Court House. It was said to have been the first sermon preached in Lake City.
A number of Methodist Episcopal ministers held services in Lake City during the following 10 years, preparing the way for an organized church and a resident minister. These services were not held every Sunday, and were held in the schoolhouse. The early settlers residing in town, many of whom had traveled to Lake City by wagon from Canada, wanted a full time minister and a church of their own. And due to the gifts of Daniel and Mary Reeder, this was accomplished. Mrs. Reeder wrote to Elder Eldrich requesting Bishop Harris to send them a minister and that they might have a permanent church. The Reverend Irving Eagle was sent for this purpose in 1883, and in 1884 the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Lake City was organized.
The original 18 members of the church were: Daniel and Mary Reeder, John and Mary Couch and their daughter Selina, John and Harriet Pollard and their daughter Lillian, Mr. And Mrs. J.K. Seafuse, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Levi Klingensmith, Mr. and Mrs. Minor and their daughter, Mr. and Mrs. George Wood and John Wright.
During the years 1884-1885, the parsonage was built by John Couch, the other men of the church, and the Reverend J.M. Smith (then serving as pastor). In 1886, the church was erected on Lots 7 and 8, Block 5 of Daniel Reeder’s First Addition in the Village of Lake City. The property was given to the church by the Reeder’s. The church was dedicated on August 1, 1886.
As the membership grew, so did the church building. In 1913 the church was raised and a basement put under it, and a heating plant was installed. An annex was added to the south side of the church. A re-dedication service was held on November 16, 1913, by Bishop Burt.
The basement was remodeled in 1956 and a stone entrance to the church was built.
In 1968, after several years of planning and fund raising, an educational unit was added to the east side of the building. It consisted of a nursery, a kindergarten room, three Sunday School rooms, an office for the minister, several restrooms, a janitor room and a boiler room. Later a small office was made in the corridor for the church secretary. These Sunday School rooms and office were furnished through gifts of love and the memorial fund. The sanctuary was completely remodeled at this time and many of the pews were given in memory of a loved one. The Ground Breaking Service was held on March 31, 1968, and the Consecration Service took place on May 4, 1969. On October 12, 1975, the Burning of the Mortgage was held.
During the early 1970’s, the basement kitchen was remodeled. In December 1974 a new parsonage, located in Forest Twp., was purchased. Several years later, the old parsonage was torn down and a parking lot put in.
The 50th anniversary was celebrated July 29 – August 1, 1936 , with District Superintendent Dr. Rousch preaching the anniversary sermon. And on August 1-3, 1986, Lake City United Methodist Church celebrated its 100th anniversary.
In August 2008, ground was broken for the construction for the new sanctuary and offices. During this time, two Sunday School rooms were made over into a dining facility, and two rooms were used to construct a new kitchen. Air-conditioning was added for the summer comfort of worshipers. The new sanctuary was consecrated on August 2, 2009 with Kalamazoo District Superintendent Reverend Neil Davis preaching the
Throughout the years, the name of the church has changed from the First Methodist Episcopal Church to the First Methodist Church. And in 1969, the name was officially changed to the Lake City United Methodist Church.