The Arcadia United Methodist Church

Before the church was built, the first Bible School was organized by Rev. R. A. Shaw and held in a school, probably one of the Arcadia Twin schools. In 1902, after worshipping in the old schoolhouse, a group of Methodist Christians decided to build a church of their own. In September, subscriptions were taken. Members, family, and friends gave their gifts of money, time, materials, and labor.

1902: The Building Is Built

On October 30, Lot # 11 of Block #1 was purchased for $1.00 from the Starke Land and Lumber Co., and construction began. A. H. Stockman razed his barn and hauled the lumber to the site in a wheelbarrow. By December the building was completed. The total cost for materials was $1,376.

The Church Building in 1902

The building was dedicated as the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Arcadia in June 1903. Myles Swinger laid the cornerstone. The first pastor of the new church was Rev. L. D. Youngblood, who served from 1902-03. Worship services were held Sunday mornings and evenings with a prayer service on Wednesday nights.

Trustees of the day included Albert H. Stockman, George Hull, August Kehl, and Luther L. Finch. Other familiar families from those days were John and Bertha Bradley, the Hosea Cadys', T. S. Argue, H. E. Gilbert, Bob Bradley, Olivia Matteson, Amelia Hangfus, Mrs. Stephen Weidman, L. G. Bradford, George Huntington, C. Mathison, R. L. Gilbert, D. Lumley, and William Welch.

Looking North up 4th Street

Division Street and 4th Street 
This photo was taken prior to 1910, when the high school would have been shown in the field on the right.

1911: The Parsonage Is Built

On October 30, 1911, the church trustees -- Stockman, Kehl, H. Wilson, and Peter Shira -- met with Pastor E. W. Wood to begin plans for the construction of a parsonage. Two committees were appointed: One, to study the new parsonages at Watervale and at Pierport. Another, to obtain a lot in Arcadia.

By March 1912, the trustees decided to build the new parsonage on Fourth Street adjacent to the church. More gifts of money and materials plus the labor of many volunteers resulted in the successful completion of the parsonage. Rev. Wood was credited with over 100 days of labor.

The Parsonage Next to the Church
The building on the left was the parsonage. It was the first building north of the church on Fourth Street

1926: The Church Mortgage Is Paid

In 1926, during the pastorate of William Paulson, the mortgage that had been taken out to build the church was finally paid and burned in a special service. That was truly a day of thanksgiving for the Arcadia congregation.

1927: Shared Pastor, The Parsonage Is Sold

By 1927, Arcadia was put on the Frankfort Charge , which meant Arcadia shared pastors with Bear Lake, Pleasanton, Elberta, Pierport, and Frankfort. As the pastor no longer resided in Arcadia, the parsonage was sold and the proceeds were set aside for church repairs. In 1943 the Arcadia Church was reassigned to the Bear Lake Charge and remains there still today.

1949: The Basement Addition Is Completed

Into the 1940's, the congregation needed more space for Sunday School and other special events. Rev. Runyan and the Youth Fellowship earned the first funds to be used. With their money in hand plus the remainder from the sale of the parsonage, planning began for a basement addition.

The Methodist Church in 1953

At first, only the annex, stairs, and coal bin were constructed. Many thought the rest could not be done, but the Women's Society of Christian Service (W.S.C.S.) got busy. After numerous church suppers, bake sales, rummage sales, and rug and quilt sales, the funds grew, and in December 1948 Leo Tondu, a local builder, was hired to complete the basement construction. It was finished in early 1949 at a cost of $1,525.

The Church Today: 100+ Years of Serving the Community

The United Methodist Church of Arcadia continues to be a vital force in the community and beyond.

The Methodist Church in 2002

"Our church is a community of faith. We love our church, this community, and our Pastor Mark Anderson and his family. We face the future with the supreme confidence that only comes from an abiding faith in God and his son, Jesus Christ."
-- Event Pamphlet: "Arcadia United Methodist Church: Centennial Celebration 1902-2002." September 29, 2002. Arcadia, Michigan.

Arcadia 1902
Commemorative  window in the church at 4th and Division in Arcadia, Michigan

Pastors Serving the Church

L. D. Wood 1902-03

E. J. Hawks 1903-04

C. A. Quinn 1904-07

James Turner 1907-08

O. C. Parmeter 1908-10

Milton Benedict 1910-11

E. W. Wood 1911-13

A. F. Collins 1913-14

A. Manship 1914-15

A. F. Jenns 1915-18

Henry Rubingh 1918-19

E. M. Koons 1919-22

A. A. Wall 1922-25

William Paulson 1925-27

Sammuel J. Harrison 1927-28 (Frankfort charge begins.)

Harry M. Smart 1928-36

Kenneth Chubb 1936-38

E. L. Shotwell 1938-40

John G. Sluyter 1940-43

E. W. Tink 1943-47 (Bear Lake charge begins.)

L. V. Runyan 1947-48

Lester E. Priest 1948-54

Howard Moore 1954-57

Phillip Jaquish 1957-63

Eugene Moore 1963-67

John Miller 1966-67

Stephen Hubbell 1967-69

Richard Matson 1969-71

Ken Curtis 1971-75

Raymond Roy 1975

Gordon Spalenka 1975-80

Donald Vaurens 1980-83

Valerie Hill 1983-85

John Backoff 1985-89

William Carr 1989-93

Arthur C. Murphy 1993-99

Mark D. Anderson 1999-2011

Dr. Bobby Cabot 2011-