St. John’s Episcopal Church

111 N Vine   P O Box 109

Glenwood IA 51534

712-527-2971

 

 

 

The History of St. John’s Episcopal Church

 

The Diocese of Iowa was formed at a convention called by Missionary Bishop Jackson Kemper and held at Trinity Church in Muscatine on August 17, 1853.  On October 7 and 8 of the same year the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America admitted the Diocese of Iowa to membership.  On June 1, 1854 the first annual diocesan convention was held in Davenport, and the Reverend Henry Washington Lee was elected the first bishop.  (this information is from the diocesan web page)

 

This history of St. John’s comes from some very old registers documenting St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church, Glenwood Iowa.

 

There were a number of Episcopalians that met and held services at the Congregational meeting hall in Glenwood.  Their first service was held November 22, 1881 (28 years after the formation of the Diocese of Iowa) and was conducted by G. T. Deger who was then a lay reader.  Following this service there was an informal meeting to discuss establishing a church.  The Rt. Rev. Wm Stevens Perry, Bishop of Iowa made a visit to Glenwood on March 26, 1882 to hold service and advise the members in regard to formal organization.

 

A Sunday school was organized in April of 1882. then on July 4, 1882, these individuals held a meeting at one of the homes and voted to organize under the name of Grace Church.  12 persons signed the request for canonical permission.  This was forwarded to Bishop Perry for ratification.  A woman’s guild was organized on July 14, 1882 and on July 21, the Bishop approved ratification.

 

August 10, 1882.  Articles of Incorporation were adopted and 7 trustees were elected at a meeting held at the home of Wm. Anderson.  Then on August 16, 1882, at a trustee meeting church wardens, clerks and collectors were elected.  At this same meeting it was agreed to secure now Rev. Deger as minister for 2 services a month at $16 each. 

 

The Christian Congregation (some interpretations say Congregational) offered their church for the use for services and this continued until acquiring a building in 1884.

 

On November 12, 1882 a committee offered to raise money to purchase a lot and reported $1428 was raised.

 

On December 10 the first celebration of Holy Communion was held with the Rev. Wolcott of St. Andrews, Chariton officiating.

 

At the annual meeting in April of 1883 the committee agreed to buy a lot and build at once.  At this time a building committee was formed and the members voted to change the name to St. John’s Episcopal Church.

 

Rev. Deger held his last service for St. John’s on June 3, 1883 in the Opera House.

 

On November 12, 1883 a contract for the building of a church was made and work was to be completed by the fall of 1884 at a cost of $1800. 

 

The original location for the church was on the corner of Second and Locust.  In 1891 a new lot was purchased and the church building was moved to the corner of 2nd and Vine.  The reason for the move was because they wanted it in a more centralized and desirable location.  A new chancel, Vestry room and furnace room were added along with 2 memorial windows.  All this was at a cost of over $1800.  All paid, the church was consecrated on April 21, 1891 by Bishop Perry.  A cement walk was laid and the church painted in 1904.  The curbing and walk were done in 1909.

 

On November 1, 1925 the women met at the close of the service to reorganize the women’s auxiliary.  The first meeting was held November 4 and plans were underway for a card and domino party fund raiser.  There are a couple of interesting newspaper articles of the event and it was reported an attendance of 150.  In addition to fund raising, dues were paid and a collection taken up at each meeting.  These funds were deposited in the Glenwood bank to earn interest.  Meetings became infrequent and were of a social nature and by February of 1930, the guild was mostly inactive.  They donated their funds to the church for the purchase a new furnace.  It was noted that the furnace cost $150, but the business did the installation or free and donated the $10 to the church to make the cost only $140. 

 

Six years later, the women met again to reform an auxiliary.  At their first meeting they collected dues and a small offering.  The dues were 25 cents per person and the small offering collected was 90 cents.  They paid 28 cents for the record book, thus beginning with $1.90 for their treasury.  At their next meeting it was decided to purchase a single subscription to the Living Church to be shared with the members and to pay for janitorial service to clean the church.  For a program, each meeting would be a discussion of a favorite Bible passage with members taking a turn at each meeting. Meetings were held in the homes.  In October it was decided to help a needy family by furnishing clothing for a baby and small children.  That family was aided in December. In January of 1937 the auxiliary elected new officers and began a quilting project and started a Sunday school program.  They also decided not to renew the Living Church and save the money for current expenses.  (they had to get a donation to pay for cleaning the church as they only had 18 cents left in the treasury)  The spring and summer meetings were spent piecing the quilt together.  In December they had a pot luck dinner and completed the quilt with an entire day of quilting.  They allowed $1 for batting, thread and needles. 

 

By January of 1938, new officers were elected and plans were made to put $6 toward church expenses.  A suggested fund raiser was for each meeting to be held on a rotating basis at a member’s home.  That person would invite 10 or more guests at 10 cents each and serve tea and cookies.  This evidently took place February-April as the next entry is in May.  The quilt raffle was postponed and plans were made for a card party for the next meeting.  The quilt raffle was held on July 6 and took in $17.30.  This went toward an insurance payment of $18.90 and 35 cents a week for mowing.  In October, plans were underway for another quilt and suggestion of some sort of musical program.

 

In 1940, the auxiliary was still meeting in the homes and working on a new quilt, but in December the project turned to making 5 suits of pajamas for the Red Cross.  The treasury funds were used to pay for ½ of the coal for the church.

 

In 1941 they began sewing children’s dresses for the Red Cross which was completed in March. They also made more pajamas and hemmed dishcloths.  The last entries end with the March meeting.

 

In 1936 new church officers were elected and the priest was paid $8/month.  Note: this was half of what Fr. Deger was paid in 1882.  In the fall of that year, a wind storm broke a window and part of the cross on the outside of the church.

 

In 1937 a canvas committee was formed and it was reported that income would be approximately $10/month and the priest would be paid $5/month.  Plans to start a Sunday school and a choir were discussed.  By march, it was reported that pledges had not been coming in but the treasurer felt sure that would change by the end of the month.  The next few months reported that all bills were paid up, but by September, it was reported that not all the current expenses would be paid in full until more pledges were paid.  It was also suggested that the light company be contacted to see if there could be a reduction in the bill due to the short time the lights are used.  Pledges continued to be short supply and by January of 1937, the rector’s salary was reduced to $3/month.  The last entry is May of 1938, when a new insurance company was used and because the auxiliary paid the premium all current debts were now up to date.

 

Rev. Brainerd was the last resident priest to serve St. John’s.  He died in 1914 at the age of 86.  His service was conducted by the Bishop of Iowa and he is buried in the Glenwood Cemetery.  Since that time there have been a number of rectors and lay readers to serve the church, coming from Shenandoah, Council Bluffs and other communities.

 

In 1946 services were held on Sunday at 4:30 in the afternoon and Sunday school was held on Saturday mornings.  Plans were being made to put on a new roof, new steps and redecorate inside and out.

 

Rev. Henry Robbins began servicing St. John’s in 1947.  The average attendance was between 8-10.  In the summer and fall of 1950, the service of Morning Prayer was celebrated by seminary help and Fr. Robbins officiated the monthly Holy Communion.  Attendance grew a bit by 1958 and fluctuated during the next 10 years.  In the fall of 1966, Fr. Dicks began providing Holy Communion 2 times a month and continued until 1968.  There are many notations regarding the use of a trial liturgy.

 

In 1969, Fr. Ray came on board as supply from Council Bluffs.  He came once a month for Holy Communion and the other Sunday services of Morning Prayer were led by lay readers.  In 1972 &73 the only services recorded are HC at 7:00 in the evening.  Apparently there were no other services other than the once a month.  By 1974, Fr. Ray came more frequently and in September of that year weekly Eucharist began as set forth for mission growth.  This continued until the fall of 1977 when we had to return to supply and lay readers as Fr. Ray had moved out of state.  The next several years were a struggle to keep a full time priest in service.

 

Over the next few decades the members, though few in number have been enthusiastic about their awareness in the community.  We participated in the bicentennial celebrations by hosting special services, participated in the local homecoming parade, took part in World Day of Prayer and held a number of fund raisers.  We were especially noted for our Cookie Walk in December.

 

The Archbishop of Canterbury visited Iowa in 1981 and we sent delegates to the ceremony.  A banner depicting our church was made to be carried in the procession.

 

In 1982 we celebrated our 100 anniversary.  An ecumenical service was held at the Davies Amphitheater in order to accommodate the crowd that attended.

 

As part of restoring the church to its original integrity, we placed a new wooded cross on the roof in 1990.  Bishop Epting was here for a blessing ceremony.  Imagine a small group outside the front of the church singing “Lift High the Cross” as a crane lifted the gold painted cross into place.

 

It was not beyond our limits to feed hundreds of RAGBRAI enthusiasts each time the event began in Glenwood.  We have hosted alumni dinners at homecoming, held bridge tournaments, cookie walk and luncheons.  Our first bazaar was held in the church proper.  (We felt like the merchants in front of the temple that angered Jesus.)  “Coffee hour” was held at member’ homes after church on a rotating basis.  If you needed to use the bathroom during worship, you had to cross the street to the mortuary or to the Christian Church.  (Back then churches did not have to lock their doors) We needed a parish hall!  So in the fall of 1991 and with the help of a loan from the Diocese we purchased a used building from OPPD and had it attached to the back of the church.  With this addition, we now have 2 bathrooms, a fellowship hall and a kitchen, and finally a place for meetings, events and fellowship.  The walkway connecting the two buildings was completed in 1992.  Margaret Altekruse was instrumental in helping to get this going and the hall was dedicated in her memory.

 

In 1991 we became a part of the Southwest Iowa Cluster.  By joining with Red Oak and Shenandoah, we were able to support the cost of a full time priest.  Each church paid and equal portion of the salary and the priest rotated Sundays while lay readers covered the other Sundays.  We even had a priest from our companion Diocese of Swaziland serve for a short time.  In December of 2000, we ordained our first Canon 9 priest, Artis Ferrel, from within our congregation.  Shortly after that the Canon 9 program was replaced by the formation of Ministry Development teams.  In 2004 a Ministry Development Team was formed at St. John’s to train and raise up a priest from within our congregation.  Also, at that time Council Bluffs was added to the cluster.  The Ministry Team, along with the ordained will provide liturgical and pastoral care for the congregation.  Kathy Halverson-Rigatuso was ordained in 2010 under this program and she presently serves St. John’s.  

 

In an outreach program that began when a member read about how our soldiers were looking for something to sustain them while serving in Iraq.  We learned how to make chaplets (Anglican Prayer Beads).  Our first request was to make 1000 in just a few short months to send to the troops overseas.  The initial supplies came from donated used beads.  We also received monetary donations to purchase the crosses.  We managed to make the first 1000 and have continued to make them.  A group meets twice a month and to date have made over 43,000.  In addition to making them for our troops, we have made pink ones for cancer patients and white ones for those in hospitals or nursing homes.  In the past we have said we are the little church next to the library.  Now we call ourselves “The Little Church that Could”.  The chaplets are given freely, but the payback is priceless.

 

In 2009 we began having services at Linnwood Estates on the 3rd Sunday of the month.  We initially provided a Service of Noonday as outlined in our Book of Common Prayer.  A year ago, the Bishop granted permission to serve Holy Communion. 

 

We are actively involved with ecumenical work via the Mills County Ministerial Association.  We love making the noodles for the Soup and Song fund raiser.  We assist the Christian Church with their Care and Share dinners.  This year we are pleased to offer the use of Altekruse Hall for Mills County United created by Kristy Wilson.  This organization offers clothing, household items and misc. to needy families in the community for free.  Plans are to be up and running by the 1st of May.

 

We look forward to our future of serving the Community in spreading the good news of the Gospel.  Our services at present are at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.  On the 3rd Sunday of the month were hold our service at Linnwood at 10:00 a.m.  Won’t you join us? 

 

Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son  Jesus Christ:  Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

 

St. John’s Episcopal Church

111 N Vine   P O Box 109

Glenwood IA 51534

712-527-2971

 

 

 

The History of St. John’s Episcopal Church

 

The Diocese of Iowa was formed at a convention called by Missionary Bishop Jackson Kemper and held at Trinity Church in Muscatine on August 17, 1853.  On October 7 and 8 of the same year the General Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America admitted the Diocese of Iowa to membership.  On June 1, 1854 the first annual diocesan convention was held in Davenport, and the Reverend Henry Washington Lee was elected the first bishop.  (this information is from the diocesan web page)

 

This history of St. John’s comes from some very old registers documenting St. John’s Protestant Episcopal Church, Glenwood Iowa.

 

There were a number of Episcopalians that met and held services at the Congregational meeting hall in Glenwood.  Their first service was held November 22, 1881 (28 years after the formation of the Diocese of Iowa) and was conducted by G. T. Deger who was then a lay reader.  Following this service there was an informal meeting to discuss establishing a church.  The Rt. Rev. Wm Stevens Perry, Bishop of Iowa made a visit to Glenwood on March 26, 1882 to hold service and advise the members in regard to formal organization.

 

A Sunday school was organized in April of 1882. then on July 4, 1882, these individuals held a meeting at one of the homes and voted to organize under the name of Grace Church.  12 persons signed the request for canonical permission.  This was forwarded to Bishop Perry for ratification.  A woman’s guild was organized on July 14, 1882 and on July 21, the Bishop approved ratification.

 

August 10, 1882.  Articles of Incorporation were adopted and 7 trustees were elected at a meeting held at the home of Wm. Anderson.  Then on August 16, 1882, at a trustee meeting church wardens, clerks and collectors were elected.  At this same meeting it was agreed to secure now Rev. Deger as minister for 2 services a month at $16 each. 

 

The Christian Congregation (some interpretations say Congregational) offered their church for the use for services and this continued until acquiring a building in 1884.

 

On November 12, 1882 a committee offered to raise money to purchase a lot and reported $1428 was raised.

 

On December 10 the first celebration of Holy Communion was held with the Rev. Wolcott of St. Andrews, Chariton officiating.

 

At the annual meeting in April of 1883 the committee agreed to buy a lot and build at once.  At this time a building committee was formed and the members voted to change the name to St. John’s Episcopal Church.

 

Rev. Deger held his last service for St. John’s on June 3, 1883 in the Opera House.

 

On November 12, 1883 a contract for the building of a church was made and work was to be completed by the fall of 1884 at a cost of $1800. 

 

The original location for the church was on the corner of Second and Locust.  In 1891 a new lot was purchased and the church building was moved to the corner of 2nd and Vine.  The reason for the move was because they wanted it in a more centralized and desirable location.  A new chancel, Vestry room and furnace room were added along with 2 memorial windows.  All this was at a cost of over $1800.  All paid, the church was consecrated on April 21, 1891 by Bishop Perry.  A cement walk was laid and the church painted in 1904.  The curbing and walk were done in 1909.

 

On November 1, 1925 the women met at the close of the service to reorganize the women’s auxiliary.  The first meeting was held November 4 and plans were underway for a card and domino party fund raiser.  There are a couple of interesting newspaper articles of the event and it was reported an attendance of 150.  In addition to fund raising, dues were paid and a collection taken up at each meeting.  These funds were deposited in the Glenwood bank to earn interest.  Meetings became infrequent and were of a social nature and by February of 1930, the guild was mostly inactive.  They donated their funds to the church for the purchase a new furnace.  It was noted that the furnace cost $150, but the business did the installation or free and donated the $10 to the church to make the cost only $140. 

 

Six years later, the women met again to reform an auxiliary.  At their first meeting they collected dues and a small offering.  The dues were 25 cents per person and the small offering collected was 90 cents.  They paid 28 cents for the record book, thus beginning with $1.90 for their treasury.  At their next meeting it was decided to purchase a single subscription to the Living Church to be shared with the members and to pay for janitorial service to clean the church.  For a program, each meeting would be a discussion of a favorite Bible passage with members taking a turn at each meeting. Meetings were held in the homes.  In October it was decided to help a needy family by furnishing clothing for a baby and small children.  That family was aided in December. In January of 1937 the auxiliary elected new officers and began a quilting project and started a Sunday school program.  They also decided not to renew the Living Church and save the money for current expenses.  (they had to get a donation to pay for cleaning the church as they only had 18 cents left in the treasury)  The spring and summer meetings were spent piecing the quilt together.  In December they had a pot luck dinner and completed the quilt with an entire day of quilting.  They allowed $1 for batting, thread and needles. 

 

By January of 1938, new officers were elected and plans were made to put $6 toward church expenses.  A suggested fund raiser was for each meeting to be held on a rotating basis at a member’s home.  That person would invite 10 or more guests at 10 cents each and serve tea and cookies.  This evidently took place February-April as the next entry is in May.  The quilt raffle was postponed and plans were made for a card party for the next meeting.  The quilt raffle was held on July 6 and took in $17.30.  This went toward an insurance payment of $18.90 and 35 cents a week for mowing.  In October, plans were underway for another quilt and suggestion of some sort of musical program.

 

In 1940, the auxiliary was still meeting in the homes and working on a new quilt, but in December the project turned to making 5 suits of pajamas for the Red Cross.  The treasury funds were used to pay for ½ of the coal for the church.

 

In 1941 they began sewing children’s dresses for the Red Cross which was completed in March. They also made more pajamas and hemmed dishcloths.  The last entries end with the March meeting.

 

In 1936 new church officers were elected and the priest was paid $8/month.  Note: this was half of what Fr. Deger was paid in 1882.  In the fall of that year, a wind storm broke a window and part of the cross on the outside of the church.

 

In 1937 a canvas committee was formed and it was reported that income would be approximately $10/month and the priest would be paid $5/month.  Plans to start a Sunday school and a choir were discussed.  By march, it was reported that pledges had not been coming in but the treasurer felt sure that would change by the end of the month.  The next few months reported that all bills were paid up, but by September, it was reported that not all the current expenses would be paid in full until more pledges were paid.  It was also suggested that the light company be contacted to see if there could be a reduction in the bill due to the short time the lights are used.  Pledges continued to be short supply and by January of 1937, the rector’s salary was reduced to $3/month.  The last entry is May of 1938, when a new insurance company was used and because the auxiliary paid the premium all current debts were now up to date.

 

Rev. Brainerd was the last resident priest to serve St. John’s.  He died in 1914 at the age of 86.  His service was conducted by the Bishop of Iowa and he is buried in the Glenwood Cemetery.  Since that time there have been a number of rectors and lay readers to serve the church, coming from Shenandoah, Council Bluffs and other communities.

 

In 1946 services were held on Sunday at 4:30 in the afternoon and Sunday school was held on Saturday mornings.  Plans were being made to put on a new roof, new steps and redecorate inside and out.

 

Rev. Henry Robbins began servicing St. John’s in 1947.  The average attendance was between 8-10.  In the summer and fall of 1950, the service of Morning Prayer was celebrated by seminary help and Fr. Robbins officiated the monthly Holy Communion.  Attendance grew a bit by 1958 and fluctuated during the next 10 years.  In the fall of 1966, Fr. Dicks began providing Holy Communion 2 times a month and continued until 1968.  There are many notations regarding the use of a trial liturgy.

 

In 1969, Fr. Ray came on board as supply from Council Bluffs.  He came once a month for Holy Communion and the other Sunday services of Morning Prayer were led by lay readers.  In 1972 &73 the only services recorded are HC at 7:00 in the evening.  Apparently there were no other services other than the once a month.  By 1974, Fr. Ray came more frequently and in September of that year weekly Eucharist began as set forth for mission growth.  This continued until the fall of 1977 when we had to return to supply and lay readers as Fr. Ray had moved out of state.  The next several years were a struggle to keep a full time priest in service.

 

Over the next few decades the members, though few in number have been enthusiastic about their awareness in the community.  We participated in the bicentennial celebrations by hosting special services, participated in the local homecoming parade, took part in World Day of Prayer and held a number of fund raisers.  We were especially noted for our Cookie Walk in December.

 

The Archbishop of Canterbury visited Iowa in 1981 and we sent delegates to the ceremony.  A banner depicting our church was made to be carried in the procession.

 

In 1982 we celebrated our 100 anniversary.  An ecumenical service was held at the Davies Amphitheater in order to accommodate the crowd that attended.

 

As part of restoring the church to its original integrity, we placed a new wooded cross on the roof in 1990.  Bishop Epting was here for a blessing ceremony.  Imagine a small group outside the front of the church singing “Lift High the Cross” as a crane lifted the gold painted cross into place.

 

It was not beyond our limits to feed hundreds of RAGBRAI enthusiasts each time the event began in Glenwood.  We have hosted alumni dinners at homecoming, held bridge tournaments, cookie walk and luncheons.  Our first bazaar was held in the church proper.  (We felt like the merchants in front of the temple that angered Jesus.)  “Coffee hour” was held at member’ homes after church on a rotating basis.  If you needed to use the bathroom during worship, you had to cross the street to the mortuary or to the Christian Church.  (Back then churches did not have to lock their doors) We needed a parish hall!  So in the fall of 1991 and with the help of a loan from the Diocese we purchased a used building from OPPD and had it attached to the back of the church.  With this addition, we now have 2 bathrooms, a fellowship hall and a kitchen, and finally a place for meetings, events and fellowship.  The walkway connecting the two buildings was completed in 1992.  Margaret Altekruse was instrumental in helping to get this going and the hall was dedicated in her memory.

 

In 1991 we became a part of the Southwest Iowa Cluster.  By joining with Red Oak and Shenandoah, we were able to support the cost of a full time priest.  Each church paid and equal portion of the salary and the priest rotated Sundays while lay readers covered the other Sundays.  We even had a priest from our companion Diocese of Swaziland serve for a short time.  In December of 2000, we ordained our first Canon 9 priest, Artis Ferrel, from within our congregation.  Shortly after that the Canon 9 program was replaced by the formation of Ministry Development teams.  In 2004 a Ministry Development Team was formed at St. John’s to train and raise up a priest from within our congregation.  Also, at that time Council Bluffs was added to the cluster.  The Ministry Team, along with the ordained will provide liturgical and pastoral care for the congregation.  Kathy Halverson-Rigatuso was ordained in 2010 under this program and she presently serves St. John’s.  

 

In an outreach program that began when a member read about how our soldiers were looking for something to sustain them while serving in Iraq.  We learned how to make chaplets (Anglican Prayer Beads).  Our first request was to make 1000 in just a few short months to send to the troops overseas.  The initial supplies came from donated used beads.  We also received monetary donations to purchase the crosses.  We managed to make the first 1000 and have continued to make them.  A group meets twice a month and to date have made over 43,000.  In addition to making them for our troops, we have made pink ones for cancer patients and white ones for those in hospitals or nursing homes.  In the past we have said we are the little church next to the library.  Now we call ourselves “The Little Church that Could”.  The chaplets are given freely, but the payback is priceless.

 

In 2009 we began having services at Linnwood Estates on the 3rd Sunday of the month.  We initially provided a Service of Noonday as outlined in our Book of Common Prayer.  A year ago, the Bishop granted permission to serve Holy Communion. 

 

We are actively involved with ecumenical work via the Mills County Ministerial Association.  We love making the noodles for the Soup and Song fund raiser.  We assist the Christian Church with their Care and Share dinners.  This year we are pleased to offer the use of Altekruse Hall for Mills County United created by Kristy Wilson.  This organization offers clothing, household items and misc. to needy families in the community for free.  Plans are to be up and running by the 1st of May.

 

We look forward to our future of serving the Community in spreading the good news of the Gospel.  Our services at present are at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.  On the 3rd Sunday of the month were hold our service at Linnwood at 10:00 a.m.  Won’t you join us? 

 

Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son  Jesus Christ:  Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.