Lake Lotawana Community United Methodist Church
The Establishment Of A Community For Christians
In 1947, Miss Shirley Ousley (now Shirley Schaumer) conducted a religious survey of the Lake Lotawana Community. As a result, Sunday school classes started meeting in August of 1947 at the Lotawana Country Club, and Mason Elementary School. Then on October 17, 1948, the church assigned its first pastor, Rev. Oliver W. Albright, to lead in worship. The Lotawana Community Church's first membership Sunday was the following November. The induction included the following founding members:
Albright, Viola L.
Biechele, Joseph G.
Biechele , Shirley
Felt , Lois
Rankin, R.D. Jr.
Reid, Mary E.
Swinney, William J.
Van Dyke, James C.
Van Dyke, Veva
On the first anniversary, members met for morning services, then gathered in fellowship for dinner and a production to celebrate Christ, Community, and Service.
The following year, plans began to develop for the construction of a building for the Lotawana Community Church, then on September 23, 1951, a Deed for land located next to Gate #1 was presented to the church Mrs. Milton Thompson. The ground-breaking was held on Mother's day in 1953, then construction began with church members contributing both labor and financial contributions. On July 21, 1953, the church became indoctrinated by the United Methodist Church, adopting its procedures and discipline. Then on May 9, 1954, the first weekly worship service was held in the new building.
Boat in service began in 1960, where community members were picked up and shuttled to the church by water by the Missouri Yacht Club. The church also began hosting Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Ten O'clock Teens, Women's Community Circle (Now WSCS). The church also began hosting Community Family Suppers and developed a choir.
Expanding For The Future
As Lake Lotawana community United Methodist Church began to grow, it became clear there was a need for more space to dedicate for educational purposes. On September 28, 1969, the Congregation approved the proposed construction of the lower level of an educational building with most of the labor to be donated by members and friends of the Church. It had an estimated cost of $15,000.00. Then as time went on, the church acquired pews, windows, a desk, and the pulpit, and organ, which were all purchased for the church through memorial donations.
In 1966, Rev. Ingerson was instrumental in the organization of a baseball league in the community when he assisted in the establishment of the Milton Thompson Athletic Field. The field was situated south of the Church building in the open field located on property. The Milton Thompson Athletic Field and baseball league are still running today. Over time, the league has grown and developed to include baseball, softball and t-ball, with teams sponsored by the church and local businesses.
During 1972, a day care center was established at the church to help support the growing need for childcare as the number of families with two working parents increased. Youngsterville provided families from the church and community the option of childcare where their children would receive loving care with the added reinforcement of morals and values through the teachings of Jesus Christ. Throughout the years, the childcare center began to transition into a learning facility where children were taught the skills and knowledge they need to prepare for kindergarten. Today it is operating as Heart & Soul Children's Christian Learning Center and enrolls children as young as newborns all the way to Pre-Kindergarteners, as well as before and after school care for school aged children.
Over the years many persons have contributed to the church in the way of personal service, hard work and financial contributions. One of the strongest features of the church is the thoughtfulness of its members towards others in need or despair, and passion to create an outlet that could provide relief for those suffering. The prevailing doctrine of the church is to Respond to the Calling of Christ, in Serving Him and the Persons in the Local Community. This doctrine has resulted in this church being influential in spreading the Gospel of Christ by showing their love to others. Members have always had a passion for lifting those who have fallen, encouraging those who are broken, nurturing those who are neglected, and fostering an environment dedicated to teachings of Jesus Christ. Their generosity has moved beyond the Lotawana Community to expand across the globe. Never will you find such a caring group of members whose generosity equals that of the love of Jesus Christ.