Church: Loyal – Methodist (1871
Surnames: McClain, McKibben
Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Abbotsford, WI) 21 Oct 2020
One of the first churches to get a start in the Loyal area was the Loyal United Methodist Church, located today at the corner of Highway 98 and Main Street. The congregation was first established under Rev. Samuel McClain on Dec. 3, 1871. With no church building to start with and with parishioners scattered across the countryside, Rev. McClain traveled on horseback on a circuit to visit groups in Dorchester, Longwood, Greenwood, Christie, Loyal and Riplinger, holding services whenever he stopped.
In 1875, the Loyal Methodists built their first church, which is located on the same site it is at today. This building made by the parishioners themselves was later picked up and relocated to make way for a new brick building that was built in 1895-96. It cost the "parish $3,500 to build and was designed by Rev. H. W. McKibben, who had experience as an architect.
The church building remained the same for many years afterwards, while the church community inside continued to grow and flourish. They established many programs for their members during the mid-1920s and changed their name several times to reflect the changes in their denomination. The church was first known as the First Methodist Episcopal Church, then Loyal Methodist Church and finally starting in 1967 as the Loyal United Methodist Church, which it remains known as today.
After many years of no new construction at the church site, the congregation built a new educational unit for its youngest parish members in 1969. This educational unit was later joined to the church itself in the year 2000 when the old church that had been built more than 100 years before was partially torn down and rebuilt into a more modern facility that was handicap accessible. The fined change to the church occurred in 2012 when the Grace United Methodist Church congregation merged with the congregation at the Loyal United Methodist Church.
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