A House of Prayer for All Peoples
This church grew out of a Sunday School which began in the home of Mr. Peter Lloyd on January 10, 1886. During the first four years, there was no installed pastor, services were led by neighboring pastors such as Rev. Griffith Roberts, Rev. John W. Roberts, Rev. Thomas E. Hughes, and Rev. William Machno Jones. On January 27, 1889 the congregation was organized. Rev. John C. Jones of Mankato and Mr. Evan V. Jones of Carmel assisted in the organization. There were 29 charter members. The first installed pastor, Rev. David Edwards, was called in conjunction with the Salem and Jerusalem churches on February 10, 1893. He served the parish for 24 years. The first church building was completed on October 21, 1899. Near the end of Rev. Edwards’ pastorate the membership totaled 252.
In February 1917, Rev. Hugh C. Griffith accepted a call to the three churches, which he served for eight years. During his pastorate it was decided to start alternating English services with the Welsh. In 1920 the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist denomination joined the Presbyterians and from then on we were called the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Crystal.
In November 1925, Rev. Richard W. Owen was called to pastor the three church parish. He served for about four years. On January 12, 1930 the members decided to have only one Welsh sermon a month. On February 18, 1930 a call was sent to Rev. John W. Williams to take charge of the three churches. He arrived in April and served for four years.
On October 31, 1934 it was decided to divide the parish and make our church a one-point field. Rev. John Pugh Jones arrived on June 1, 1935 to serve as pastor. Early on Sunday morning, January 24, 1937, the church building burned to the ground. Within two weeks the congregation voted to construct a new building. On Sunday December 19, 1937 the dedication service was held. The cost of construction was $32,797.66, and the membership at this time was 246. Due to ill health, Rev. John Pugh Jones resigned on March 22, 1946 having served the congregation for eleven years.
Rev. John Rhys Roberts became pastor of the church in October of 1946 and served until his death on April 7, 1950. The pulpit was vacant almost two years until Rev. Paul White arrived in March of 1952. He served for two years during which time a Christian Education Building Committee was established. In February 1955, Rev. William L. MacDuffie was installed and during his four year tenure the Christian Education addition was built and dedicated March 31, 1957.
On April 5, 1959 a committee to build a new manse was organized. The present house at 721 East Blue Earth Street was completed and dedicated on January 31, 1960. Rev. David B. Kachel, who was installed in November 1959, was the first pastor to live in the new manse. During David Kachel’s pastorate the Session was increased to 12 members and the unicameral system that makes the elders also the trustees was adopted. A board of 12 deacons was also instituted at this time. Pastor Kachel served four years and resigned on December 30, 1963 with a membership of 429.
Rev. John J. Munchoff became the pastor in June 1964 and served for three years. During his pastorate the church library was established and the Richard Owen property south of the church was purchased for future development.
In February 1968, Rev. H. Douglas Fowler came as pastor and served until February 29, 1980.
In September 1969 the Carmel Presbyterian Church was dissolved and most (54) of its members merged with us in January 1970. In January of 1974 the Session was increased to 15 members and a new committee structure was instituted. In October 1974 we received 11 members from the Jerusalem Church which was being dissolved. In October 1975 a Building Committee was formed to study and report on a Narthex addition to the building. No action was taken. The all time highest membership was reached in 1975 at 518 members.
The pulpit was vacant from March 1980 through April 1981. Rev. Conrad Hyers from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter filled as interim Pastor. Rev. Clint Patterson began his pastorate on May 1,
More to Come.....