A Brief History
In 1868, the Presbyterian Church was erected on the land where Faith United Methodist Church now stands. The cost was $2,789.19. This church building was used by all denominations until 1873, when the United Brethren church bought the Presbyterians’ interest.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was built across the alley from the United Brethren Church in 1876.
Both the Methodist and United Brethren were served by “circuit-riders”, some living in Viola or Elgin, some further away, all traveling by horses. One had a ‘surrey with the fringe on top’; many rode horseback.
During the ministry of Rev. A.E. Walden, who served the United Brethren Church from 1938 to 1944, a building fund was begun. In 1948 the members of the now Evangelical United Brethren Church, because of the denominational union of 1946, began to farm land to add to this fund and in 1953 the present edifice was built at a cost of $65,000. About 3/4 of the cost of the church and parsonage was raised through farming. The parsonage was built in 1958 at a cost of $20,000.
Eyota Faith United Methodist Church was the first United Methodist Church in Minnesota. The Dallas Conference voted the union of Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren Churches on April 23, 1968. Here in Eyota, the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren congregations had been ‘yoked’ into one congregation on July 17, 1962 by a Service of Federation and served by the Rev. Dale Wordelman. Following this, one service of worship was held in the larger EUB building; also the Sunday School, Youth Fellowships and the Women’s Societies were combined.
The new addition to our building didn’t just happen overnight. It all started in 1962 when the Eyota Methodist Church and the Eyota EUB Church united and the former Methodist building was remodeled for use as an education building. As Sunday School and Church attendance grew during the middle to late 1960’s, this church first began to talk about building an addition to the church. It wasn’t until the early 1980’s that a building committee was formed and began the task of identifying the needs and then coming up with preliminary plans to be approved first by the Southeast District Board and then by the membership of this church. On September 25, 1988 the ground breaking ceremony took place. Construction began immediately and was completed in record time. On January 8, 1989 a Consecration Service was held.
In 2018, Faith UMC celebrated 150 years as a faith community in Eyota. It continues to be a place of faith, fellowship, music, prayer and learning.