‘150 years of Marshalltown churches’

Third Thursday program slated for Nov. 16

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO A history of Marshalltown churches is the topic of this month’s History on Third Thursday program, put on by the Historical Society of Marshall County. The program will take place at First Congregational Church (pictured), as it will celebrate its 150th year in existence in 2018. The program will focus on churches constructed locally before 1900.

Marshall County has a rich history of offering its residents a variety of houses of worship, some of which date back to the 1860s. An overview of this history will be given at the Historical Society of Marshall County’s (HSMC) History on Third Thursday presentation, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m., at First Congregational Church (FCC), located at 312 W. Main St.

“Most of the churches we’ll discuss were built before 1900,” said Miriam Bryant, who serves as administrator for the HSMC and as an historian for the FCC.

St. Mary Catholic Church, First Baptist Church, Central Christian Church, the several Lutheran churches in town, and others, will be explored.

“Our church will be celebrating it’s 150th year, in 2018, so we wanted to offer this program,” Bryant said.

FCC members Lynne Maas, Bob McGregor and Pastor Dan Vellinga will conduct the program.

“It’s important to consider our past when we look to the future, so we know where to go,” Vellinga said.

The T-R presented a history of First Congregation Church in the July 2017 issue of Past Times.

“Religion was very important to the people who were settling our community in the 1860s,” Bryant said. “Most churches were started in people’s homes, and as [the congregations] grew, they became interested in building their own buildings. That’s why Marshalltown has so many beautiful churches, especially along Main Street. The churches have been a real foundation for our community.”

The FCC’s current structure was built in 1913. Tours of the church’s newly renovated loft space, which is used as a meeting place for its youth group, will also be available.

Refreshments will be provided. The HSMC’s monthly History on Third Thursday programs are free and open to the public. For more information, the HSMC may be reached at: 641-752-6664.


Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com