Conference Historical Museum
|Historic Postcard||Museum Today|
One of the best-kept secrets in our Conference is the existence of our Conference Museum, located on the grounds of the Greenfield Memorial UMC, in the greater Milwaukee area. The historic building was erected in 1858 by the first Evangelical congregation in Wisconsin. Below is a time line of the history of this building that serves as a memorial to those that labored among the first settlers in Wisconsin.
- Greenfield was the site of the first Evangelical Association Class, organized by the Rev. John Lutz in 1840.
- In 1848, the congregation built a log church, the first Evangelical Association church in Wisconsin.
- In 1858, the original log church was replaced by the Cream City brick building that serves as our museum today.
- The brick church served the Greenfield Zion congregation as a worship space until 1929, when the present Greenfield Memorial Church was built nearby.
- In 1939, the Wisconsin Conference of the Evangelical Church formally dedicated the old brick church as their Conference Museum.
- An expansion of the Greenfield Memorial Church in 1963 necessitated a slight move and relocation of the original brick church to its current spot just north of the cemetery.
- In 1969, following the union forming The United Methodist Church, the building was formally designated as the Conference Museum.
- The Greenfield Memorial congregation has continued to use the small church for special services and weddings, including a Christmas Eve and Easter service. The church also served as a parsonage at one time, and hosted a local basketball league at another.
- Over the years, the Commission has mounted several displays in the museum, highlighting various aspects of Evangelical, United Brethren, Methodist, and United Methodist history.
- Funding for displays and maintenance of the building has been possible thanks to a generous bequest made by Leah L. Weiler, a long-time member of Memorial Church. We all thank her for her foresight that has ensured that our museum has been preserved for all of us.
Currently the Commission is in the process of revisioning the museum space to include permanent and interactive and video displays that lift up and illuminate the history of our Conference. Watch for updates here.
Museum contact information: Archives@wisconsinumc.org. 608.837.7328
Museum Location: The Wisconsin Conference Historical Museum is located adjacent to the Greenfield Memorial UMC just off West Forest Home Avenue at 3450 S. 52nd Street in Greenfield, WI. (view Google map).