History of the Lone Rock Presbyterian Church
The Lone Rock Presbyterian Church was organized in response to a request to the local presbytery on October 19, 1894, although three years passed before the first worship service was held on June 14, 1897.
In the beginning there were nine members and they worshipped in the local schoolhouse, and then in a hall on main street, before eventually sharing, on alternating Sundays, the Lone Rock Methodist Church. Descendants of some of the original members still worship at the Lone Rock church.
At various times over the years the church has shared ministers and moderators with the Presbyterian churches in Lakota, Ringsted, Burt, Algona, and Fort Dodge. Men from Buena Vista University have also filled the pulpit on occasion.
In 1923 the congregation bought the church building from the Methodists and became the only congregation in town. The Ladies Mite Society had been formed earlier in 1904 and the first choir was organized in 1920. A Men’s Brotherhood was started in November 1948.
By 1949 the congregation was on the verge of outgrowing its facility and voted to build a new building. In May of 1949, N.L. Cotton gave the church several lots on the north end of town, the necessary funds were raised, and construction on the new church began on June 1, 1949. The new church was dedicated on October 15, 1950.
This building was used for four and a half decades until extensive remodeling occurred in 1995 and 1996. The dedication of the newly remodelled church took place on September 8, 1996.
In early 1993, Mervin Christenson, a local farmer and long-time church member passed away. He left a bequest to the congregation in excess of a million dollars. Mervin’s gift has enabled the church to be financially secure into the foreseeable future.
Support for the wider mission of the Church has been historically evident as the congregation has never failed to meet its wider church financial obligations and has on numerous occasions gone above and beyond the call of duty in contributing to a variety of ministries, including the Presbyterian Church Camp located at Lake Okoboji.
In the Lone Rock Presbyterian Church to date there have been over 450 baptisms and approximately 100 weddings. Over 160 funerals have been performed, as well. The congregation has been served through the years by twenty various pastors.
A book telling the complete history of the Lone Rock Presbyterian Church written by local author, Gene Miller, and published by Pine Hill Press, is available for purchase at the church.
(Thank you to Gene Miller for sharing this information for the KAPP website!)