Tenth Street Church

 

A federation of the two churches was officially formed in September, 1918. The name of the German M. E. Church was changed to Tenth Street M. E. Church. After a year’s successful operation of the federation the quarterly conference petitioned the Chicago German Annual Conference for the privilege of permanently uniting the Second and Tenth Street M. E. Churches with the request that the new organization come under the jurisdiction of the Wisconsin conference. This permission was granted, pending the final transfer of all interests to the Wisconsin conference by the General Conference Committee on Conference Boundaries, which met in Des Moines, Iowa in May, 1920.

Even before this union was completed, the official board of the Federated Churches extended a most cordial invitation to the members and friends of the Park Presbyterian Church to unite with them in worship and work, since the latter organization was thinking of disbanding. The majority of the membership of that church began attending the Tenth Street Church. On the evening of October 26, 1918, a cordial welcome and reception was accorded all new friends of the church, including both the ones who came from the Second M. E. Church and those from the Park Presbyterian Church.

 

Rev. Wiese stated in 1920 concerning the New Tenth Street Church;

“We are proud of our new church organization. We predict a prosperous and successful future for the New Tenth Street M. E. Church. It should be one of the great factors for righteousness in our community. We predict that it will be, especially since the men have organized themselves into a Club to promote the spirit of brotherhood, and to get back of every uplift movement in the community. God bless the New Tenth Street M. E. Church!”

 

The Second Presbyterian Society was organized in 1895. At first they rented the church of the Wesleyan Methodists, on Knapp Street. Later a building was purchased, and moved to the new location on Ohio Street and South Park Avenue. The name was changed to Park Presbyterian Church. After the merger the property reverted back to the First Presbyterian Church of Oshkosh.

 

The church prospered and grew under the leadership of Rev. Wiese, but there were many challenges that he and the congregation had to experience.

 

Again in the words of Rev. Wiese:

“We had barely entered upon our duties when the flu epidemic hit the country, including Oshkosh. Churches and schools were closed. It seemed as if the smell of death was in the air. The pastor spent most of his time visiting about from home to home, especially where there was illness. It was a miracle that so few of our people died. It seemed as though the pastor and the family was immune, but in January of 1919 it struck us. By the aid of Mrs. Elske and Mrs.

 

Rath, who took care of us in the parsonage and the Buelow family and Schnell families who took care of our children for two weeks, we managed to pull through.” For eight years Rev. Weise faithfully served the Tenth Street congregation in which he shared as being among the happiest in his ministry.

 

It was during the tenure of Rev. Wiese that Bethel Wesleyan Church closed its doors and the majority of the congregation of was integrated with Tenth Street. Bethel for a period of time was under the wing of Tenth Street, consequently the transition was quiet easy for the congregation.

 

Rev Wiese was succeeded in September of 1926 by the Rev. C. Kurtz, who came from Waterford, Wisconsin. The growth of the church necessitated much remodeling which was done in 1926. While the basement was being placed under the church the congregation held its services in the star theater for the four months previous to the Christmas season. That year Christmas held a real meaning to the congregation when they resumed services in the remodeled 10th street church. The renovation project includes not only a new basement, but also an extension to the choir loft and the installation of a new pipe organ. A great part of the funding for this endeavor came from a donation made by Nathan Payne. The C.R. Meyer and Sons Company, who had furnished the German Methodist Church with Sunday School Superintendents for twenty-five years, had also done all the building and remodeling to Tenth Street Methodist Church.

 

Along with being the pastor to the congregation, Rev. Kurtz also became the choir director, which as Mrs. Helen Kurtz related. “His boldness in his presentation of simple gospel messages won admiration of the community and many folds of other denominations had good words to say about him.”

 

Rev. Kurtz pastorate, however, was short lived and in September of 1928, Rev. Authur Bennett became the pastor of the church and served until September of 1931.

 

In September of 1931 Rev. Allen was appointed as the new pastor to Tenth Street Methodist in the heart of the depression. Even with such financial challenges under his leadership Tenth Street Methodist Church was on its way of becoming the largest Methodist congregation in Oshkosh. He was instrumental in setting up several organizations which grew to become an integral part to the growth and vitality of the church. It was through Rev. Allen’s leadership that a youth group was established along with a boy scout troop and young adult fellowship. It was also during his tenure that the front of the church was remodeled, which included the removal of the steeple.

 

In September of 1938 Rev. Douglas Anderson became the new pastor. It was after that the Men’s group became active in the life of the church. In 1942 the church debt was paid in full and a formal service was conducted for the public burning of the mortgage. At that time Tenth Street Methodist became the largest Methodist congregation in Oshkosh. It was known in the community for its “wonderful Tenth Street spirit” and it began gaining recognition throughout the city. It’s outstanding choir under the direction of Mr. Breese, its aggressive program of scouting led by Carl Martin, its wonderful Sunday School program, its active participation in the religious life of the city, its on-going worship, study, and fellowship were evidence of their

vitality. As Rev. Anderson said of Tenth Street Methodist church; “Tenth Street Church was meeting the responsibilities to its constituency while extending its influence as a parish church.”

 

It was also during this time that an event of historical importance for the Methodist church was taking place. Officials of the three major Methodist denominations, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Church South, and the Methodist Protestant Church held a uniting conference in Kansas City in 1939. Through their unifying efforts the Methodist Episcopal Church was now the Methodist Church. The Wisconsin Area of the Methodist Church came into being with its own Bishop in 1944.

 

Before Rev. Anderson left for a new appointment in May of 1946 the church completely redecorated, inside and out. Rev. Marlin Smith became the newly appointed pastor in June of 1946. During his pastorate the three Methodist Churches in Oshksoh were drawn closer together in common ministry. A series of Union services throughout the year gave these three Methodist communities an opportunity to get to know one another. Rev Smith was instrumental in organizing the adult fellowship, which for many years was an active ministry in the life of Tenth Street.

 

In June of 1950 Rev. Clarence Kelly was the newly appointed pastor to Tenth Street Methodist. Rev. Kelly’s focus was on the Christian education of the congregation. Also the Chancel Choir was re-organized with Marcille Simm as the director and H.A. Romberg as accompanist. On March 22, 1952 a special quarterly conference was called for the purpose of naming a building committee to begin a building program. It was evident to everyone that the current Tenth Street Church building was filled beyond capacity. Something had to be done! Roy Moore was selected as the chairperson but was transferred out of the state. Myron Clark was chosen to succeed him. Other members of this committee included Charles Roe, Orie Liechty, Dwight Orr, James Dougherty, Paul Cocharan, and Ronald Cambell. This committee laid the foundation for the constructing of a new church on the corner of Florida and Georgia. But before that the committee made a comprehensive study of Tenth Street and came to the conclusion that something had to be done. It was agreed that if Tenth Street Methodist Church was to adequately serve God and His people in the city of Oshkosh, the congregation had to expand its present facilities in some way. So in 1953 the Church Board voted to conduct a fund-raising campaign.

 

James Dougherty wrote this appeal to the congregation in 1953; “Now is the time as we are the generation selected to build for the future of Tenth Street Methodist. Whatever form it will take, our new building will have in it not only physical materials (brick, stone or glass, but a part of each one of us.” It was with this spirit that Tenth Street Methodist moved forward to purchase property on the corner of Georgia and Florida. Under the new leadership of Rev. Daniel Stahmer (1954-1960) Tenth Street consecrated the new building site with a re-enlistment service on October 2, 1955. Also with a congregational vote the new name for Tenth Street Methodist was now Wesley Methodist Church. During the service Rev. Koeller and Rev Stahmer shared two brief messages.

Over the next several years the members and leadership of Wesley UMC worked diligently to move on the new church building.

A federation of the two churches was officially formed in September, 1918. The name of the German M. E. Church was changed to Tenth Street M. E. Church. After a year’s successful operation of the federation the quarterly conference petitioned the Chicago German Annual Conference for the privilege of permanently uniting the Second and Tenth Street M. E. Churches with the request that the new organization come under the jurisdiction of the Wisconsin conference. This permission was granted, pending the final transfer of all interests to the Wisconsin conference by the General Conference Committee on Conference Boundaries, which met in Des Moines, Iowa in May, 1920.

Even before this union was completed, the official board of the Federated Churches extended a most cordial invitation to the members and friends of the Park Presbyterian Church to unite with them in worship and work, since the latter organization was thinking of disbanding. The majority of the membership of that church began attending the Tenth Street Church. On the evening of October 26, 1918, a cordial welcome and reception was accorded all new friends of the church, including both the ones who came from the Second M. E. Church and those from the Park Presbyterian Church.

 

Rev. Wiese stated in 1920 concerning the New Tenth Street Church;

“We are proud of our new church organization. We predict a prosperous and successful future for the New Tenth Street M. E. Church. It should be one of the great factors for righteousness in our community. We predict that it will be, especially since the men have organized themselves into a Club to promote the spirit of brotherhood, and to get back of every uplift movement in the community. God bless the New Tenth Street M. E. Church!”

 

The Second Presbyterian Society was organized in 1895. At first they rented the church of the Wesleyan Methodists, on Knapp Street. Later a building was purchased, and moved to the new location on Ohio Street and South Park Avenue. The name was changed to Park Presbyterian Church. After the merger the property reverted back to the First Presbyterian Church of Oshkosh.

 

The church prospered and grew under the leadership of Rev. Wiese, but there were many challenges that he and the congregation had to experience.

 

Again in the words of Rev. Wiese:

“We had barely entered upon our duties when the flu epidemic hit the country, including Oshkosh. Churches and schools were closed. It seemed as if the smell of death was in the air. The pastor spent most of his time visiting about from home to home, especially where there was illness. It was a miracle that so few of our people died. It seemed as though the pastor and the family was immune, but in January of 1919 it struck us. By the aid of Mrs. Elske and Mrs.

 

Rath, who took care of us in the parsonage and the Buelow family and Schnell families who took care of our children for two weeks, we managed to pull through.” For eight years Rev. Weise faithfully served the Tenth Street congregation in which he shared as being among the happiest in his ministry.

 

It was during the tenure of Rev. Wiese that Bethel Wesleyan Church closed its doors and the majority of the congregation of was integrated with Tenth Street. Bethel for a period of time was under the wing of Tenth Street, consequently the transition was quiet easy for the congregation.

 

Rev Wiese was succeeded in September of 1926 by the Rev. C. Kurtz, who came from Waterford, Wisconsin. The growth of the church necessitated much remodeling which was done in 1926. While the basement was being placed under the church the congregation held its services in the star theater for the four months previous to the Christmas season. That year Christmas held a real meaning to the congregation when they resumed services in the remodeled 10th street church. The renovation project includes not only a new basement, but also an extension to the choir loft and the installation of a new pipe organ. A great part of the funding for this endeavor came from a donation made by Nathan Payne. The C.R. Meyer and Sons Company, who had furnished the German Methodist Church with Sunday School Superintendents for twenty-five years, had also done all the building and remodeling to Tenth Street Methodist Church.

 

Along with being the pastor to the congregation, Rev. Kurtz also became the choir director, which as Mrs. Helen Kurtz related. “His boldness in his presentation of simple gospel messages won admiration of the community and many folds of other denominations had good words to say about him.”

 

Rev. Kurtz pastorate, however, was short lived and in September of 1928, Rev. Authur Bennett became the pastor of the church and served until September of 1931.

 

In September of 1931 Rev. Allen was appointed as the new pastor to Tenth Street Methodist in the heart of the depression. Even with such financial challenges under his leadership Tenth Street Methodist Church was on its way of becoming the largest Methodist congregation in Oshkosh. He was instrumental in setting up several organizations which grew to become an integral part to the growth and vitality of the church. It was through Rev. Allen’s leadership that a youth group was established along with a boy scout troop and young adult fellowship. It was also during his tenure that the front of the church was remodeled, which included the removal of the steeple.

 

In September of 1938 Rev. Douglas Anderson became the new pastor. It was after that the Men’s group became active in the life of the church. In 1942 the church debt was paid in full and a formal service was conducted for the public burning of the mortgage. At that time Tenth Street Methodist became the largest Methodist congregation in Oshkosh. It was known in the community for its “wonderful Tenth Street spirit” and it began gaining recognition throughout the city. It’s outstanding choir under the direction of Mr. Breese, its aggressive program of scouting led by Carl Martin, its wonderful Sunday School program, its active participation in the religious life of the city, its on-going worship, study, and fellowship were evidence of their

vitality. As Rev. Anderson said of Tenth Street Methodist church; “Tenth Street Church was meeting the responsibilities to its constituency while extending its influence as a parish church.”

 

It was also during this time that an event of historical importance for the Methodist church was taking place. Officials of the three major Methodist denominations, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Church South, and the Methodist Protestant Church held a uniting conference in Kansas City in 1939. Through their unifying efforts the Methodist Episcopal Church was now the Methodist Church. The Wisconsin Area of the Methodist Church came into being with its own Bishop in 1944.

 

Before Rev. Anderson left for a new appointment in May of 1946 the church completely redecorated, inside and out. Rev. Marlin Smith became the newly appointed pastor in June of 1946. During his pastorate the three Methodist Churches in Oshksoh were drawn closer together in common ministry. A series of Union services throughout the year gave these three Methodist communities an opportunity to get to know one another. Rev Smith was instrumental in organizing the adult fellowship, which for many years was an active ministry in the life of Tenth Street.

 

In June of 1950 Rev. Clarence Kelly was the newly appointed pastor to Tenth Street Methodist. Rev. Kelly’s focus was on the Christian education of the congregation. Also the Chancel Choir was re-organized with Marcille Simm as the director and H.A. Romberg as accompanist. On March 22, 1952 a special quarterly conference was called for the purpose of naming a building committee to begin a building program. It was evident to everyone that the current Tenth Street Church building was filled beyond capacity. Something had to be done! Roy Moore was selected as the chairperson but was transferred out of the state. Myron Clark was chosen to succeed him. Other members of this committee included Charles Roe, Orie Liechty, Dwight Orr, James Dougherty, Paul Cocharan, and Ronald Cambell. This committee laid the foundation for the constructing of a new church on the corner of Florida and Georgia. But before that the committee made a comprehensive study of Tenth Street and came to the conclusion that something had to be done. It was agreed that if Tenth Street Methodist Church was to adequately serve God and His people in the city of Oshkosh, the congregation had to expand its present facilities in some way. So in 1953 the Church Board voted to conduct a fund-raising campaign.

 

James Dougherty wrote this appeal to the congregation in 1953; “Now is the time as we are the generation selected to build for the future of Tenth Street Methodist. Whatever form it will take, our new building will have in it not only physical materials (brick, stone or glass, but a part of each one of us.” It was with this spirit that Tenth Street Methodist moved forward to purchase property on the corner of Georgia and Florida. Under the new leadership of Rev. Daniel Stahmer (1954-1960) Tenth Street consecrated the new building site with a re-enlistment service on October 2, 1955. Also with a congregational vote the new name for Tenth Street Methodist was now Wesley Methodist Church. During the service Rev. Koeller and Rev Stahmer shared two brief messages.

Over the next several years the members and leadership of Wesley UMC worked diligently to move on the new church building.

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