EUMC History

EUMC HistoryThe first beginnings of Evangelical United Methodist Church were in the year 1915 with Mrs. A. H. Hapel, deaconess of the Evangelical Bismarck Hospital, doing missionary work on the Southside of Billings among the German element. Meetings were held in the Presbyterian Church, corner of South 19th St. and First Avenue. Later, meetings were held in the Community Church, corner of South 34th St. Since this church was out of the community where the people lived, and since the church could have but one service on Sunday, a better location was sought. Through special efforts, the only place that could be had was the Taft Public School building. It had never been known that a school building was ever let for religious purposes. Three services a day were held with preaching done in English and German. Services were continued in the school until the church was ordered, by the Clerk of the Schools, not to use German any longer on account of the Great War.

A survey was made for a better located site for the future ministry of the church. Lots were purchased on the corner of Broadwater Avenue and Fourth Street West, which is the present site. The Evangelical Chapel was dedicated on June 2, 1918, by Bishop G. Heinmiller.

Between 1923-27, Rev. Andrew Roukema pastored the church. During this time there was a remarkable growth, both spiritually and numerically, and the need of a real church building was felt. Work on construction of a beautiful, brick structure was started in April 1930 and was dedicated September 7, 1930, by Bishop L. H. Seager.

In 1944, the church was taken off the Mission list and began an independent existence.

June 23, 1948, marked the merger of the United Brethren in Christ and the Montana Evangelical Church. Bishops E. W. Praetorius and Ira D. Warner presided at this important event in the life of the church. At that time, the church became the First Evangelical United Brethren.

The week of April 21, 1968, marked the threshold of a very important change within the church. Formal services in Dallas, Texas, united the Evangelical United Brethren Church with the Methodist Church. At that time, both denominations technically became extinct, creating a new denomination, the United Methodist Church. Thus the church’s official name became Evangelical United Methodist Church or EUMC.

Today, EUMC continues its long tradition of reaching our surrounding community with the message of God’s transforming grace. New ministries, like the Free Store, anchor us in mission to all people. As an open and welcoming community, all are eagerly greeted at any of our activities and worship. Over time, a strong calling towards inter-generational ministry has developed. Generations meet in mission and study, to aid each other in becoming stronger disciples and witnesses.

We strongly affirm the notions that all Christians are called to be the people of Easter. The people of new life. The people of rebirth. As Easter people, we anticipate God’s action in the here and now, and strive to be Christs hand’s and feet in all we do.

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