Hayward United Methodist Church
Sunday, November 19, 2017
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In the Beginning...

Stories from the early days of HUMC

By Lloyd Anderson Jr.

In 1974, we were attending the United Methodist church in Spooner, WI and living on Lac Courte Oreilles, so it was a trip of 33 miles. In early 1983, I started thinking that it would be great to have a Methodist Church in Hayward as it would only be about 11 miles each Sunday. A district meeting was held in Barron where Superintendent Mathews passed out sheets of paper and asked for ideas on how to increase attendance. I wrote “How about a new Methodist Church in Hayward?” My note was never mentioned, so I decided to put an ad in the newspaper asking any Methodist that would like a Methodist Church in Hayward to give me a call. The first week there were no calls, but the next week I received some calls. I still did not know how to start a church! 

Then one day a person approached me where I worked at the Co-op and he asked me if I was Lloyd Anderson. I said “yes” and he said he was a retired pastor. I asked if he wanted a job with no pay and he said “yes!” His name was Pastor Faye Johnson.  
                     
We had taken the first step and now had a pastor, but we still had no place to meet for worship. I did not think that another church would allow us to hold services in their building, but Pastor Johnson learned that the Episcopal Church would rent us worship space for $30 per week. We met with the District Superintendent in Spooner to discuss next steps. There we learned that we could proceed with a United Methodistservice, but could not call ourselves a church.

As we prepared for our first service, the Episcopal church agreed that we could put up a sign as long as we removed it following each service. I called the people who had expressed interest in the church to let them know we were about to begin.

Word began to spread about the coming United Methodist services in Hayward. We were given some older Methodist Hymnals, communion supplies and a mimeograph machine (which no one knew how to operate). Pastor Faye and I shared worship service responsibilities. Finally, with the sign ready, and another announcement in the newspaper, we held our first service on June 26th, 1983.

Our sign of plywood mounted on a garden post simply said:

          United Methodist Service
                         8:30 am
              Pastor Faye Johnson 

Pastor Fay, his wife Dorothy, my wife Mildred and I waited and wondered what to expect.  Then to our amazement, people started arriving!  We excitedly greeted each person that came in.  I don’t remember how many were in attendance for the first service in Hayward; maybe 26 or so. We had a great service.  It was a simple start, but what a blessing God had given us to be able to reach out in our own community.  At the conclusion of the service, I had to remove our makeshift sign until the next Sunday! 

What kind of service was there? It included a gift of hymnals and a volunteer piano player. Some people had read that a Methodist church was going to hold its first service in Hayward. Pastor Faye and I talked about the kind of church we wanted; we agreed that it would be a Bible-based church, giving hope to all in Jesus’ resurrection.

We also wanted to be a friendly church, showing care for one another in prayer and concern.  These principles have guided us for the past 25 years. We want to reach out to the people of Hayward; to invite them to see what only God can do.

Where to meet was a challenge in the first days. We wanted a place where we could have space for Sunday School and a place that would be big enough for our future. In the beginning we met in homes; among the first hosts were Bert and Sully Swanson. After our weekly service, we would gather in a private room at the Moose café for food and fellowship. Someone suggested we call ourselves the “Moosethadists”. After much laughter, we decided to keep the name. We also met for a time at the Sweden House.
 
After some searching, we found a storefront at the junction of Highways B and 27 with enough room for meetings and church services. Once we were chartered by the conference, we would use this building. There was so much to do…a pastor to be appointed, meeting space to find, housing for the pastor and more as we looked to the future of the Hayward United Methodist Church.
  
The people of Hayward learned that there is a new store-front church with Pastor Bill McBride. We traveled from Superior to Turtle Lake to other United Methodist churches to tell our story.
 
We were given a pulpit, baptismal fount, communion trays, and an altar. We even traveled to Madison with pick-ups and trailers to get pews. We knew that we would build some day soon…and we wanted to be ready.
 
We contacted the architect who designed the United Methodist Church in Duluth (the copper-topped church) as we searched for land. It was a very busy time; it was a wonderful time as we looked forward to our future.
  
We have a building site. It is on the east side of town and has been approved by the District building committee. The building committee has been named; now we decide what we want in our new church building.
 
Before we can build, we must clear the property of trees. Thankfully, one of the church members knows how to do this. We work together to clear the land, sending the trees off on a large logging truck. We are ready to build…at least we THINK we are.
                 
After the plans and the location for the new Hayward United Methodist Church were in place, a small group of dedicated people stepped forward to bring those plans to completion.  There wold be a lot of finishing work after the shell of the building was up - painting and staining and moving the rocks that were put around the outside walls (brought in from a farmer's field on sturdy trailers).  We needed to move in the pews and other furniture.  An organ had been donated by a woman who lived 170 miles away.  Someone had to bring it to Hayward.  Thank goodness for a small group of dedicated volunteers who brought a United Methodist Church to Hayward.
   
When I look back on the journey of starting a new church, I didn't think it would take us so long.  When we requested to start a United Methodist Church, the conference was surprised and needed to review long-unused procedures.  To begin, the conference said that we could meet for services, but could not call ourselves "United Methodists."
 
Then, on June 11, 1989, we were officially chartered as Hayward United Methodist Church.  Now we WERE United Methodists!
 
Many of us worked hard to start this church; for many of us it was the church we had grown up in.  I was and am committed to the Hayward United Methodist Church; I am proud to be a member.  We believe in jesus Christ.  We have dedicated pastors, dedicated people in the choir, dedicated people who take care of God's house, and many many others reaching out throughout the community.  We are truly blessed.
 
Many of you know that Pastor Faye Johnson was our first pastor from 1983-1984 and
Pastor Bill McBride was our second pastor from 1984-Jan 1990.
 
Most of you may not know that we had a baseball team, played other churches and had a great time.  We also had quite a group of people who played tennis. We played doubles and singles with people in the church, depending on how many came. We also had a group that would call on new people in their homes, bringing them a loaf of bread and answering questions that they might have.
 
Our new building is up and the church is moving forward.  We are growing.  Pastor Bill McBride had a short radio message and we developed outreach to families and young children.  The challenge was to reach out to all.
 
David Seaton followed as pastor, then cam Marilyn Loken.  I remember her first sermon when she walked onto the stage and announced that she was a really rotten kid.  That got my attention!  She left after a few years to establish a clergy retreat center in Lanesboro, MN.  Currently, Marilyn searves a Methodist church in New Zealand.
 
Pastor Paul Yoder led us for the next eleven years as we grew into the exciting, caring church we have become.  Now we have Pastor Dan Fahs continuing to lead us with Bible study and other goals as we grow as a church.