First Methodist Church

410 North Main Street
Centreville, IA 5

Builder: Hillgreen, Lane & Co., Op. 176, 1908.
Manuals: 2
Ranks: 15
Compass: 61/21
Chests: 73-note Swell and 42-note Pedal chests
Action: Tubular-pneumatic
Orgoblo electric blower

Notes: Organ price: $4,500. Replaced in 1951 with a Baldwin.

In 1846, the year Iowa became a state, the First Methodist Episcopal Church became the first church to be organized in Appanoose County. In 1903 the church met to approve the quarterly conference decision to build a new and larger building, our present building on the old site. But the pastor had the idea to build a parsonage connected to the church as was common in the East so the lot on the west side of the street was purchased to accommodate a larger structure. The original cornerstone and bell from the first church was placed in the new structure in a special service in 1905. The following year this church was dedicated on June 17. A massive pipe organ costing $4,200 with more that 1000 pipes of varying lengths was installed and dedicated in 1909. The organ was later modified to operate on electricity in 1938. In 1915 the entire church was redecorated for over $5,000, making it ready to host the Annual Conference. The next major change came in 1951 when the two front stairways to the side balconies were removed and the pipe organ was replaced with a Baldwin organ that was a memorial gift. A large cross and altar replaced the pipes and a center aisle was established. The pulpit was moved to one side and a lectern was added to the other to balance the front. The next major renovation came in 1971. The estimated $99,000 six month project included new classrooms, kitchen and narthex. The side balconies were removed and the back balcony was rebuilt. New pews, lighting fixtures, carpeting and air conditioning were added as well as new sidewalks and gutters. The total cost was $140,000. The church members met at the Drake Avenue Christian Church during the project. -Melissa Wehrle, church historican

Bynum Petty and Organ Historical Society as of 2018.