6A The Miami County Republican Wednesday June 6, 1984

Congregation in Front of Church
Photo by Pete Wicklund

125th anniversary
Members of the congregation of the Spring Grove Friends Church near Lane gathered Sunday for the annual meeting of the church and to celebrate its 125th anniversary in Miami County. The Quaker Church was founded in 1859 and its first meeting house, which was also used as a school, was built in 1859 and 1860. The present building, as shown, was built in 1876. Additions, not shown, were completed in 1964 and 1973.

Quakers celebrate anniversary

The first Sunday in June of every year is the annual meeting of the Spring Grove Friends Church located in southwestern Miami County on the Lane Road west of U.S. 169.

In conjunction with the annual meeting this year, the 125th anniversary of the Quaker church in Miami County was also celebrated.

An estimated 40 members of the congregation, together with several visitors and guests, gathered Sunday morning for the worship service at 10:45 a.m.

Maurice Roberts of Wichita, superintendent of the Mid-America Yearly Meeting, was the speaker.

A basket luncheon in the church annex followed the services.

The afternoon session commenced at 2 p.m. The ding-a-lings of the Beagle United Methodist Church presented special music. The afternoon was spent sharing memories, stories or experiences, either lived or handed down through the generations of the Quaker families.

Memorabilia was also on display.

Another special guest was Dan Frost of the West Side Fellowship Church, which is newly organized in Kansas City.

The oldest member present for the Lloyd Cook, who is 93 years of age. Charlie Hay Sr., age 80, a member having attended the church the longest period of time, was present and has been going to the church since he was a young man.

The congregation includes families from the Lane and Osawatomie areas.

The committee in charge of the day's festivities were J.C. James, chairman, Charlie Hay, Sr., Blanche Hay, Myrtle Hay, Mary Ellis, Lucy Worrell, Frances Smith, and Winona James.

A church used to be called "meeting house," thus the word "meeting" came to be used to refer to the Quaker church.

The history of the Spring Grove Friends Church tells that there were three monthly meetings set off from Spring Grove - Cottonwood in the spring of 1860, Spring River in the winter of 1866-67, and Edgewood, Mo., in the winter of 1886-87.

The Quakers began to work in the Kansas area in 1854. The Spring Grove monthly meeting was founded in 1859 under the leadership of Richard Mendenhall.

The first meeting house (church) was built in 1859-1860 and that building was used for 17 years.

In 1876 the building was torn down and the present church was built on the property of Simon Jones. Jesse Beals was the pastor then and served until September 1879.

The minutes of the Spring Grove Church show that although the church met at times in the homes of members, the congregation continued to meet regularly. Throughout the 125 years there have been several periods totaling about 18 months when no meetings were held due to weather conditions.

Additions were completed to the church in 1964 and 1973. The first parsonage was moved onto the property in the mid-1940s. It burned during an electrical storm in June, 1977. A new parsonage was built immediately and occupied by the pastor 11 months later in May, 1978.

Spring Grove is the second oldest church in the Mid-America Yearly Meeting, formerly known as the Kansas Yearly Meeting.

Other ministers having served the church through the years include N.C. Averill, June, 1883; Louisa E. Updegraff, 1888; Thomas E. Williams, Feb. 1897; Nellie O. Harris, 1902; Jacob Perry, 1912; C.N. Averill, June 1917; Mary Bowles, 1920, until Nov. 1920, when Vaughn D. Amick was called as pastor; Oscar Thomas, 1930; C.T. Whybrew, 1936; Ferne and Ellis Cook, 1939; Dan Timblin, 1943; Howard McNeice, 1946; Ferne and Ellis Cook, 1948; Freida Craven, 1953; Faye Wheeler, 1951, and June Worden, 1968.

Beth Shapiro has served as the minister since 1983.

The Quaker church does not use the term reverend, but the ministers are recorded.

There were many evangelists and at one time ministers from England came to hold services. People traveled from miles around to attend the church.

The present church officers are Lloyd Cook, Sunday school Superintendent; Mary Ellis, clerk; Penny James, treasurer, and Beth Shapiro, pastor.

sgmm.org  |  springgrovemeeting.org  |  Site Map