Tracing our roots - A time line of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Wisconsin

1826-1849

  • 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

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

1950-1992

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