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Timeline of Methodist Episcopal Church in Wisconsin

1850 | 1900 | 1950

Tracing Our Roots - A Time Line of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Wisconsin

1826 Col. Sam Ryan leads class leader in Green Bay

1828 Aaron Hawley, local preacher active in Wiota

1828 Electa Quinney teaches in mission school, Statesburgh

1829 John Drew itinerants in Southwestern Wisconsin

1832 First permanent Methodist congregations formed, Platteville, Greenbay, Mineral Point

1832 John Clark itinerants in Green Bay

1832 First Methodist Church between Lake Michigan and the Pacific Coast was erected at the Oneida Mission (Smithfield settlement)

1835 John Clark itinerants in Milwaukee

1835 Mark Robinson, appointed to Milwaukee

1835 Alfred Brunson begins work in Prairie du Chien

1836 Wisconsin Territory formed

1837 Alfred Brunson establishes Mission to the Indians of the Upper Mississippi

1837 Milwaukee District formed (Illinois Conference). First to resided entirely in present-day Wisconsin.

1840 Rock River Conference Formed

1848 May 1, Wisconsin Conference was authorized by General Conference.

1848 July12, First Wisconsin Annual Conference, Southport (Kenosha)

1848 Lawrence University charter adopted by first Conference

1848 First camp meetings held on site that would become Camp Byron

1850 - 1900

1850 Sunday School Depository established at Milwaukee

1851 Wisconsin Conference appoints Committee on Slavery

1852 Northwest Christian Advocate begins publishing

1854 Total abolition of slavery called for by resolution at Conference

1856 West Wisconsin Conference was authorized by the General Conference.

1856 August 20, First West Wisconsin Conference, Madison.

1857 Conference declares war as "one of the greatest evils that has ever scourged our race".

1864 Freeman Aid Societies formed

1869 Referendum on proposal for lay delegates from each Annual Conferences at General Conference overwhelmingly passes

1869 Women's Foreign Missionary Society formed

1871 First lay delegates were elected to General Conference (1872) Lay electoral Conference started meeting at the same place and time as ministerial body but didn't participate in decision making

1872 First time conference urged communion stewards to provide only unfermented grape wine

1881 Support for state prohibition amendment (1881)

1880 Woman's Home missionary society formed

1883 First Deaconess home established in Milwaukee

1888 Maxium length of appointment at one charge increased from three to five years

1888 Camp Byron Association formed

1890 Epworth Leagues formed

1891 First vote on the question of women lay delegates to General Conference held. Wisconsin and West Wisconsin supported but lost church-wide

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1900 - 1950

1900 Sunday School Union formed, forerunner of boards of education

1903 First time apportionments were used to endow a ministerial pension fund.

1907 Wesley Foundation begun at the UW-Madison

1908 The name Presiding Elders changed to District Superintendents

1908 First "Social Creed" approved by General Conference

1909 First Daily Vacation Bible School organized in New Richmond

1909 First "Methodist Hospital" started by deaconess in Green Bay. Later Conference supported hospitals in Madison, Rice Lake, Richland Center, Monroe and LaCrosse.

1910 Annual Conference promotes use of weekly offering envelopes and an annual budget

1912 Bishops given residential supervision (mostly for more then one conference). First to supervise Wisconsin, William A. Quayle.

1914 Wisconsin Annual Conference supports Women's suffrage.

1914-1926 The decline of protracted meetings and the rise of visitation evangelism

1914 Daily Bible Schools during Summer become popular

1916 Home for the Aging built in Sparta.

1917 First Black Congregation organized in Beloit

1918 Centenary Campaign begun, would eventually become the World Service program.

1920 Unit of Goodwill Industries (Milwaukee) sponsored

1923 Increased observance of Lent and Easter (borrowed from Lutherans and Roman Catholics)

1924 Women given limited clergy rights in M.E. Church

1925 Home for the Aging built in Milwaukee

1927 Home for single girls built in Milwaukee, Grant Hall

1930 Reserve Pension Plan instituted, involves in the current pension system.

1932 Lay representation at annual conferences approved

1932 New Hymnal published that contained orders of worship. Ritualism on the rise.

1933 Ties with Lawrence College loosened

1933 St. Paul Area seminars held at Hamline University. Marks start of modern pastoral counseling

1935 Conference adopted a system by which reports of boards, commissions and committees are presented to a Committee of Consideration

1936 A manual for confirmation classes prepared by Conference

1939 Lay leader office instituted at the congregation, district and conference level

1939 Uniting Conference combines ME-North, ME-South and Methodist Protestant Church (The Methodist Church is formed)

1939 Board of Mission given power to raise and spend money on projects within conference

1940 Upper Room becomes available

1940 Ladies Aid Society, WFMS and WHMS combined into Woman's Society of Christian Service

1944 First of quadrennial campaigns begun. (Crusade for Christ)

1944 First Methodist Bishop for Wisconsin installed (Schuyler E. Garth)

1947 Conference Coordinating Committee formed (Conference Council)

1948 Quadrennial campaign given name Advance for Christ and his Church

1949 Youth leadership officers elected by youth

1949 Pine Lake Camp opened

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1950 -

1951 Wisconsin Annual Conference calls on General Conference to abolish the Black Central


1953 Whispering Pines and Asbury Acres added

1953 Advance Specials

1955 First "senior" camps organized

1958 General Conference loosened rules to allow black churches to transfer from the Lexington District to Wisconsin Conference

1959 Methodist Manor constructed in West Allis

1961 Northcott Neighborhood House started

1961 Schmidt Methodist Home built in Richland Center

1964 Methodist and EUB churches in Marion merged to form first UM congregation

1964 Chomingwen Pond granted full clergy rights in Methodist Church.

1966 First youth convocation arranged for all conferences

1968 April Uniting Conference in Dallas creates UMC

1968 Oct. Women's Societies unite

1969 UMC Conference Center established in Sun Prairie (Emerald Terrence)

1969 Wisconsin Annual Conference, UMC, formed from East Wisconsin, West Wisconsin and Wisconsin (EUB) Conferences.

1980 Marjorie Matthews is elected Bishop. Her first appointment is Wisconsin

1983 Conference Center moves to Winsdor St., Sun Prairie.

1992 Appointment of Bishop Shareon Rader

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created 2 April, 2003        updated 30 June, 2012

The space for this web site has been provided courtesy The Capital District, Wisconsin Conference United Methodist Church The content of these pages are the responsibility of Sandy Kintner. Please send feedback to