North Bend Eagle



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First United Methodist Church, North Bend 1858-2008

Methodists observe 150th

by Eagle Staff
posted 9/30/08

North Bend Methodists past and present gathered Sunday to celebrate the church’s founding in North Bend 150 years ago.

Ninety-three people filled the pews of First United Methodist for worship Sunday. Bishop Ann Sherer gave the message, telling the congregation that they are the spiritual descendants of the six people who gathered in a home to worship in 1858. Doris Mehaffey read a history of the church and an Alumni choir sang “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.”

Following the morning service, the congregation gathered for a meal in the Doane Room.

At the 1:30 p.m. service, past ministers or their family members and others were given an opportunity to speak.

Rev. Charles Mitchell from Grand Island served the North Bend church in 1963-65. He said he didn’t remember any faces except Leonard Dahlheim’s.

“I’m indebted to all who had gone before me,” Mitchell said, “and all who came after me. They made me a better preacher.”

Carol Beam spoke for the family of Rev. Audrey Scott, the first female minister in the area, saying the church made her mom, and her family, feel very welcomed.

Elizabeth Kwankin of York, widow of Rev. Andy Kwankin, said that the church made their family, coming directly from India, feel very welcomed and accepted in North Bend. The Kwankins were not able to bring anything with them, yet arrived to a warm house with furniture, blankets and even a Christmas tree with gifts under it.

Rev. Fred Andersen gave a short message saying that the challenge of the future is too believe in it.

“It is a gift from God,” Andersen said about the future. “Let’s step up to the challenge and not give up on the future. It is real. It is ours.”
Special music for the service was provided by Vernelle Karsk Werblow and her daughter, Beverly Thomsen.

The day closed with a reception in the Doane Room for visitors to continue their visiting and remembering how the First United Methodist Church had been a part of their life.

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