Gove, Gove UMC
- Created: 1886-2018
Biographical or Historical Information
Gove Methodist Episcopal Church was founded on September 13, 1886. The charter, with eight members, was filed with the state three days later. Services were originally held in a sod building. By 1890 they had moved to the Presbyterian Church, which shared its building with all of the town's congregations. The first Methodist Episcopal Church building was opened sometime in 1890. The Methodist Episcopal Sunday School was formed in 1894.
The second church building, known as the Stone Church, was dedicated in 1916. On June 25, 1950 the third and final church building was dedicated. Shortly after the move into the new building, a tornado destroyed the Stone Church. An education wing with more space for Sunday School classes, a larger kitchen and a fellowship hall was added to the church and dedicated in 1961.
From Our Heritage: Gove United Methodist Church 1886-1986
Gove United Methodist Church held its centennial celebration on August 10, 1986. The celebration included a worship service, basket dinner and pageant. The church festivities were held the same weekend as the town centennial celebration.
The Kansas West Conference Commission on Archives and History, represented by Rev. Mark Conard, presented the Ina Turner Gray Award to the Gove UMC History Committee for the book, Our Heritage: Gove United Methodist Church 1886-1986 on June 2, 1988.
From Our Heritage Volume II: 1986-1996
In 2003, at an unofficial meeting, some members of the Gove United Methodist Church voted to split from the United Methodist denomination and began calling themselves the Gove Methodist Church. This group claimed ownership of the building and corporation which was still in the Methodist, not United Methodist name. They transferred all bank accounts into the Gove Methodist Church name.
After a lawsuit and restraining order an agreement was made for the splinter group to stop using the Methodist name and to donate all of the funds from the bank accounts to Camp Lakeside. They formed a new church in town. Despite this rough period, the Gove United Methodist Church continued on for many years.
On June 3, 2018 the charge conference met and voted to close the church. The closing worship service was held on June 24, 2018. The Great Plains Annual Conference passed a resolution declaring the church closed as of June 30, 2018. Undesignated memberships were transferred to Grainfield United Methodist Church.
Note written by Melinda Rittgers
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