History

We are a community of everyday people on a sacred journey to experience and share the unconditional love of God as we daily follow in the life-giving ways of Jesus.

The year is 1889. Benjamin Harrison is sworn in as the 23rd President of the United States. Mark Twain publishes “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” Columbia Record releases the first catalog of recordings, consisting of ten pages worth of cylinder recordings intended primarily for jukeboxes. Across the sea, the Eiffel Tower opens and, believe it or not, Nintendo in Japan is founded (think Mario Brothers).

With the coming of the railroad on October 31, 1861, the town of Lincoln swarmed with saints and sinners alike. They came from all points of the compass, from Civil War veterans seeking good farmland, to ranchers looking to raise horses and savvy businessmen seeking profit in the mining and pottery industries. 

Lincoln also drew “the people known as Methodists,” a Christian group whose founder, John Wesley, believed that God not only liberates people by grace but also helps them live by grace. These Methodists sought to express this “life of grace” by working toward the common good and establishing schools, hospitals and churches. Lincoln United Methodist church was the fruit of their efforts. These early pioneers possessed a concern that the people in the dry, rolling fields of Placer Valley experience the refreshing streams of grace, love and mercy. Thus, our Methodist chapel was born.

The church was organized in February 1889 with 22 members. The cornerstone was happily laid in 1890, attracting another 70 members (people like to see progress in building projects). The Rev. Henry Montesquie McKnight was pastor during the construction of the building. He named the church McTyeire Memorial Methodist Church in honor of Bishop Holland McTyeire, one of the founders of Vanderbilt University.

In 1938, the Methodist Church South and the larger Methodist Episcopal Church merged nationally; Lincoln joined the merger. Already the nation’s largest denomination, this insured our remaining the largest until the mid-1960’s, when the Southern Baptist Church achieved this distinction.

Our Methodist Church is now the oldest in Lincoln. Constructed in the gothic revival style, it is known for the unique historic stained glass windows surrounding the sanctuary interior. Visitors come from great distances to see the colorful symbolism and inscriptions dedicated to pioneer ministers, circuit riders, and others who contributed dramatically to the pioneer days of religion in our church.

There are 37 stained glass windows in the main building. Each window memorializes a Southern Methodist circuit rider that served in California, but as far as anyone knows, none was ever associated with the Lincoln church. Why these men were selected for this honor remains a mystery. While many of the windows honor various men, the high circular windows in the gable honor women commissioned by the Woman’s Board of Foreign Mission to the Methodist Church South. The combined light from these beautiful windows brightens Sunday morning worship with a prism of rainbow sunshine that cascades into the sanctuary, reminding us of the empowering light of God that shines through the faithfulness of those who have gone before us.

Today, the Lincoln United Methodist church continues its tradition of living in God’s grace and sharing it with others. Our white chapel sits near the downtown boulevard, watching daily progress occur all the while keeping the hallowed secrets of the past in the shadow of its steeple. You can still hear the old chapel bell ring come Sunday morning, amidst the passing cars and buzzing cell phones. It is a sound that rises above the noise of modern life, beckoning us to pause and celebrate the grace of God in days gone by . . . and for the grace yet to come.

 

Written by Rev. Vincent Santanelli, 2019

With source material taken from “The History of Southern Methodism on the Pacific Coast” by Rev. J.C. Simmons, 1886 & Compiled by Will P. Ralph, Berkley, California 1968

We are a community of everyday people on a sacred journey to experience and share the unconditional love of God as we daily follow in the life-giving ways of Jesus.

The year is 1889. Benjamin Harrison is sworn in as the 23rd President of the United States. Mark Twain publishes “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” Columbia Record releases the first catalog of recordings, consisting of ten pages worth of cylinder recordings intended primarily for jukeboxes. Across the sea, the Eiffel Tower opens and, believe it or not, Nintendo in Japan is founded (think Mario Brothers).

With the coming of the railroad on October 31, 1861, the town of Lincoln swarmed with saints and sinners alike. They came from all points of the compass, from Civil War veterans seeking good farmland, to ranchers looking to raise horses and savvy businessmen seeking profit in the mining and pottery industries.

Lincoln also drew “the people known as Methodists,” a Christian group whose founder, John Wesley, believed that God not only liberates people by grace but also helps them live by grace. These Methodists sought to express this “life of grace” by working toward the common good and establishing schools, hospitals and churches. Lincoln United Methodist church was the fruit of their efforts. These early pioneers possessed a concern that the people in the dry, rolling fields of Placer Valley experience the refreshing streams of grace, love and mercy. Thus, our Methodist chapel was born.

The church was organized in February 1889 with 22 members. The cornerstone was happily laid in 1890, attracting another 70 members (people like to see progress in building projects). The Rev. Henry Montesquie McKnight was pastor during the construction of the building. He named the church McTyeire Memorial Methodist Church in honor of Bishop Holland McTyeire, one of the founders of Vanderbilt University.

In 1938, the Methodist Church South and the larger Methodist Episcopal Church merged nationally; Lincoln joined the merger. Already the nation’s largest denomination, this insured our remaining the largest until the mid-1960’s, when the Southern Baptist Church achieved this distinction.

Our Methodist Church is now the oldest in Lincoln. Constructed in the gothic revival style, it is known for the unique historic stained glass windows surrounding the sanctuary interior. Visitors come from great distances to see the colorful symbolism and inscriptions dedicated to pioneer ministers, circuit riders, and others who contributed dramatically to the pioneer days of religion in our church.

There are 37 stained glass windows in the main building. Each window memorializes a Southern Methodist circuit rider that served in California, but as far as anyone knows, none was ever associated with the Lincoln church. Why these men were selected for this honor remains a mystery. While many of the windows honor various men, the high circular windows in the gable honor women commissioned by the Woman’s Board of Foreign Mission to the Methodist Church South. The combined light from these beautiful windows brightens Sunday morning worship with a prism of rainbow sunshine that cascades into the sanctuary, reminding us of the empowering light of God that shines through the faithfulness of those who have gone before us.

Today, the Lincoln United Methodist church continues its tradition of living in God’s grace and sharing it with others. Our white chapel sits near the downtown boulevard, watching daily progress occur all the while keeping the hallowed secrets of the past in the shadow of its steeple. You can still hear the old chapel bell ring come Sunday morning, amidst the passing cars and buzzing cell phones. It is a sound that rises above the noise of modern life, beckoning us to pause and celebrate the grace of God in days gone by . . . and for the grace yet to come.

 

Written by Rev. Vincent Santanelli, 2019

With source material taken from “The History of Southern Methodism on the Pacific Coast” by Rev. J.C. Simmons, 1886 & Compiled by Will P. Ralph, Berkley, California 1968

Lincoln United Methodist Church

Experiencing Love. Sharing Love.