Grace United Methodist Church (1843-Present)




From Ford's 1936 History of Moniteau County:

This church, with a membership of 150 and an average Sunday School attendance of about 100, was organized in the early fifties and was formerly called the German Methodist church. Among the charter members are the Gatchet, Less, Bodamer and Schultze families. The church was moved to Jamestown in 1868 when a building was erected there, which was enlarged and modernized in 1927.


From the 1980 History of Moniteau County:

This church was born into the German Methodist Conference in the year 1843 by a colporteur (traveling minister), who traveled about organizing Methodist Churches in this area. There were fifteen Charter Members to this Church namely: Charles Bodamer, Wm. Bodamer, Henry Schulze, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Schulze, Mr. and Mrs. Moog, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Miller, Fritz Neily, Mr. and Mrs. Herrnleben, Mrs. Casserman, and Mr. and Mrs. Schnur.


Before these people could build a church they worshiped in a small home near the present town of Prairie Home. Their first pastor was Sebastian Barth.


Wm. and Chas. Bodamer donated ground about one-fourth mile east of the former Bodamer home (on Route O) and on this site a rough log building, of two rooms, was erected. One of these rooms was used as the parsonage and the other was used as the place of worship.


In 1868, during the pastorate of John M. Dewein, the first Church was built In Jamestown. The land for the Church, the Cemetery and the Parsonage property was donated by Nicholas Less. This building was used until 1891 when during the ministry of Frank Brinkmeier, it was torn down, and the present one erected.


In 1927, when the building no longer proved adequate for the congregation, a room was added on the west and the basement was also constructed.


Shortly after the dedication of the remodeled church, the congregation voted unanimously that the Church be known as the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church of Jamestown and it was known by that name until the unification of Methodism when it then took the name of the Grace Methodist Church of Jamestown, in 1943. In 1954, the name was again changed by the conference to the present Grace United Methodist Church of Jamestown.


In 1966, Prairie Home and Jamestown Grace United Methodist Church formed a two circuit congregation, and in 1967 Splice Creek Methodist joined the two above churches to form a three circuit congregation.


There are two other important contributions to our Church here in Jamestown, they are: the high quality bell in the Church Tower; and the beautiful pipe organ. The bell was another donation of Chas. and Wm. Bodamer, and the organ was purchased in 1901. The members of the church and numerous interested friends in the community took a big step in purchasing the pipe organ from the Hinners-Albertsen Organ Co. of Pekin. III., at a cost of around $650.00. This was during the ministry of the Rev. F. J. Sternberg. From its installation until 1938 or 1939, young people of the congregation furnished the "power" for the organ by pumping. Then, while Rev. Cox was pastor, a motor was installed for about $100.00. Problems developed which made playing the organ very difficult for effective worship services, and in about 1968 a Hammond electric organ was purchased by the congregation; however, in 1978 the .congregation voted to again restore the pipe organ. Mr. Michael Quimby, a pipe organ craftsman, of Warrensburg, Mo. was located and contacted by the church organist, Sam Lucas. Mr. Quimby renovated and restored the historic organ to excellent condition. The organ is registered with the Organ Historical Society of antique pipe organs.


The church has had numerous ministers serving it. They follow in order of their appearance at Jamestown. Brothers: "­Barth, Nulsen, Elsenmeyer, Ringen, Reitz, Haas Klippel, Hausam, Lahrmann, Schreck, Steinle, Hehner, Jansen, May, Dewein, Muhlenbrock, Eichenberger, Kolle, Reitz, Wilhelme, Balcke, Faust, Franz, Schmidt 1880-1882; Rock 1882-1885; H. C. Jacoby 1885-1890; F. Brinkmeyer 1890-1895; Phillip 1895-1900; F. J. Sternberg 1900-1905; David Froeschle 1905-1911; K. F. Krugholf 1911-1914; D. A. Tappmeyer 1914-1917; F. C. Pruel 1917-1921; E. L. Rathert 1921-1926; Eugene Goetz 1926-1931; Witham 1931-1932; O. R. Sides 1932-1935; R. J. Hicks 1935-1937; Ida Klingeberger 1937-1938; Irl Cox 1938-1940; J. W. Borah 1940-1941; J. L. Nickerson 1942-1946; L. H. H. Winter 1947-1950; Don Jacobs 1950-1951; H. M. Andrews 1951-1957; Wm. H. Winter 1957-1960; Robert W. Davis 1960-1964; Alan C. Michel 1964-1966; Floyd Holt 1966-1967; Troy Gardner 1967.  The late Wm. Fullrich Sr. served as a local pastor of this church at times when there wasn't a resident pastor.


From the 2000 History of Moniteau County:

Grace United Methodist Church was founded in 1843 by a circuit-riding preacher, Sebastian Barth, who served congregations in the Osage Mission, later known as the Versailles Circuit.


At first the original fifteen members gathered to worship in a home near where Prairie Home is today. A rough log building was then erected on land donated by the Bodamers. In 1868, Nicholas Less donated land in Jamestown where a church was built. It was town down to make way for the present building erected in 1891. The "side room" was added in 1927.


A beautiful pipe organ, purchased in 1901, was restored in 1978 and is on the register for the Historical Society of Antique Pipe Organs.


Stain glass windows were purchased in 1951.


The congregation continues to use the bell donated by two charter members, Charles and William Bodamer. Katie Less, one of Grace's most "faithful" who died 25 March 1999 and whose "job" it was for many decades to ring the bell once recalled: "I remember when World War II ended. A bulletin came that all bells should be rung. I went to the Methodist Church and rang the bell two hours without stopping. Charley Kirchoff rang the bell at St. Paul's Church also. . . He quit befor I did but I just kept ringing. . . Long ago, on a New Year's Eve, we always rang the bell each year at midnight for a long time, to ring in the New Year. They don't ring the bells now at midnight. . . Long ago, my father, Henry Less, tolled the bell for funerals. The bell was tolled until the family all got in the church. . . Sometimes his son, Eddie Less, helped toll the bell. There was a rope to toll the bell. That tradition is long gone now."


Ministers who have served Grace Church since the publication of the 1980 Moniteau County History book include: Russell Standlee, Travis James, THomas Murph, Lawrence Holt and Marlene Arnold. Jerry Moon of Fayette is the current (2000) pastor.


Also from the 2000 History of Moniteau County:

The church that became Grace United Methodist Church in Jamestown was born into the German Methodist Conference in 1843 as a church on the Osage Mission, with the first pastor being Sebastian Barth. The first church meeting was in a small home near Prairie Home, with fifteen charter member: Charles Bodamer, Wm. Bodamer, Henry Schulze, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Schulze, Mr. and Mrs. Moog, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Miller, Fritz Miley, Mr. and Mrs. Herrnleben, Mrs. Casserman, and Mr. and Mrs. Schurer. Wm and Charles Bodamer donated ground on the present Route D, about 1/4 mile east of their home for a two room log building. One room was the church worship area and the other used as the parsonage.


In 1868, during the pastorate of John M. Dewain, a church was built in Jamestown on land donated by Nicholas Less to be used for a church and a cemetery. In 1891, this building was torn down and the present building erected, during the ministry of Frank Brinkmeier. Due to the growth of the congregation, a room on the west and the basement were added in 1927 during the ministry of Rev. Goetz. At this time, the congregation voted to assume the name of Grace Methodist Episcopal Church of Jamestown. The stained glass windows were purchased in 1951.


The beautiful pipe organ was purchased in 1901 at a cost of $650.00 when Rev. S. J. Sternberg was pastor. From 1901 until 1938 when the electric powered blower was added, the youth of the church furnished the power for the organ. About 1968 the Hammond electric organ was purchased due to problems with the pipe organ. In 1978 Michael Quimby of Warrensburg renovated the historic organ. The organ is registered with the Organ Historical Society of antique pipe organs.


In 1913, the German Methodist Women's Missionary Society was formed, and is still in existence today as a UMW quilting group, providing warmth to people by their quilting, and financial aid to the work of the church. In 1998 Katie Less was awarded a pin for 89 years perfect attendance in Sunday School.


Ministers to the church in order of their time of service are: Barth, Nulsen, Eisenmeyer, Ringen, Reitz, Haas, Kippel, Hausman, Lahrmann, Schrek, Steinle, Hehner, Jansen, May, Dewein, Muhlenbrock, Eichenberger, Kolle, Reitz, Wilheme, Blacke, Faust, Franz, Schmidt, Rock, Jacoby, Brinkmeier, Phillip, Sternberg,Froeschle, Krughoff, Teppemeyer, Pruel, Rathert, Goetz, Witham, Sides, Hicks, Cox, Borah, Nickerson, L. H. H. Winter, Jacobs, Andrews, Wm. H. Winter, Davis, Michael, Floyd Holt, Troy Gardner, James Stone, Russell Standlee, Travis James, Thomas Murph, Lawrence Holt, Marlene Arnold, and Jerry Moon.


In addition, Ida Klingeberger served as a missionary in India for 44 years. Her nephew, Paul Wilbur Schlapbach, is a United Methodist minister, currently serving as assistant to the Bishop in the Missouri East Conference.


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