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Subject: Sd-Faulk Co. History (Chapter XXVIII -)
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2005 21:01:08 -0500

Faulk County, SD History .....Chapter XXVIII - Methodist Episcopal Church 1909
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Joy Fisher January 8, 2005, 9:01 pm

[By Rev. Thomas Simmons.]

By the counsel of his physician in the spring of '84 Rev. Thomas Simmons was
induced to try Dakota ozone for his broken down health. The experiment was so
successful that in the fall of '85 he entered the Dakota Conference to help
build the empire of the Dakotas. He was given the choice between a charge at
$800 and parsonage or to organize Methodism in Faulk county. He chose the latter
and became the first M. E. pastor of Faulk county and January 15, 1886, began
revival work at Eatondale schoolhouse, closing a two week's meeting by
organizing a class of twenty-four members, then went to Hope Center schoolhouse
and in about a fortnight organized another class of thirty-eight members. Next
at LaFoon a class of twenty-six, then to DeVoe where a class of thirty-three was
organized, closing the season with a nine day's meeting at Roanoke (now
Cresbard) organizing with forty-two members. The work of the year embraced one
hundred and twenty conversions, two hundred accessions to the church, nine
Sunday schools with preaching appointments. Rev. Chas. Chapman, a local preacher
from Iowa, rendered good assistance in supplying these appointments with
preaching. There was no possible place to hold services in Faulkton until the
fall of 1886 when the new schoolhouse was secured and the first M. E. church of
Faulkton was organized comprising the following names: J. A. Pickler, Alice M.
A. Pickler, Lula Pickler, Mrs. Clark, Ollie Ireland, Mrs. Dr. Goslee and Anna R.
Simmons. A Sunday school was organized with Mrs. Simmons as superintendent and
J. A. Pickler, bible class teacher, which office he has held with delight till
his present sickness, except during his absence in congress.

From the schoolhouse we went to a new store building, thence to the town
hall and then into an abandoned saloon, after some scrubbing and disinfecting,
we called it Salvation hall and had one hundred conversions in our first revival.

By this time the M. E. swarm had multiplied so we began to provide for a new
hive. Having bought the sheeting and dimension lumber for a new church, we built
with it a temporary building to accomodate the congregation of two hundred, and
when ready put it into the new church, meantime using a tent for church
services. A happy people responded to P. E. Fielder's call for $1100 to meet
full arrears and enjoy Dr. Stafford's dedication sermon on the last Sabbath of
September '88 and the first Methodist church of Faulkton was committed to the
sacred trust of the Board of Trustees, J. A. Pickler, Alice M. A. Pickler, C. E.
Warner, Nora Warner, C. H. Seeley, Mrs. M. M. Johnson.

The three year time limit permitted the pastor but one Sabbath in his new
pulpit. But he went rejoicing over such results—from almost nothing had sprung
into existence—three full charges, seven Sunday schools, three new churches
built and dedicated, besides two preaching appointments given to the Athol
charge. Truly God wrought marvelously in these three short years.

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