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Church History

Kenwood Park United Methodist Church History
 
The town of Kenwood Park was incorporated in 1886. It had three grocery stores, a drug store, a bank, a post office, a town hall and a school that opened in 1885.  In 1927, Kenwood Park annexed with Cedar Rapids; school districts merged in 1927.
 
The Kenwood Methodist Episcopal church was organized on September 17, 1893 with 14 members. A student from Cornell College served the church as pastor for the first few weeks in the Kenwood public school building which was located at 35th St and C Ave NE.  In October 1893, The Rev. N. A. Mershon was appointed as pastor. It was part of a circuit of Martin’s Creek and Shiloh.  Shiloh Church and Shiloh Cemetery were in the town of Louisa, which was just South of present Hiawatha at the railroad tracks. The first church building was finished in 1894. 
 
On December 2, 1899, the church building was destroyed by fire. The church was rebuilt shortly thereafter and in 1915 a tower and Sunday school rooms were added.   The bell was added to the tower in 1925.  When the church was torn down in 1957, a church member stored the bell.  In later years, a bell stand was built in the front yard and the bell returned.
 
In 1939, the congregation changed the name to the Kenwood Park Methodist Church. In 1968, the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church united. The congregation then changed the name to the Kenwood Park United Methodist Church. 
 
In 1951, it was decided to enlarge the church so a basement behind the church was added in 1953. In 1957 we again met in the Kenwood public school as the old church was torn down and a new one was built and opened on June 29, 1958. 
 
Faceted colored glass windows were added in 1962. Three houses were purchased behind the building on 34th Street and a new parking lot was added in the 1970’s. A handicap elevator was added in 1992. 
 
We invite you to join us and be a part of our church history.   To see some photos of our church, click on the line of interest.
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