HISTORY OF THE ESTANCIA UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
1905 - 2005
When the early settlers arrived in Estancia, one of their first missions was to build a church. That was the beginning of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Estancia, New Mexico. Little did they know it would still be an intricate part of the community 100 years later.
This little church with its beautiful architecture has stood as a symbol of Christian love and worship of God. It began with forty men and two women and continued to grow with it's "Ups" and "Downs" and remains firm to this day. It has withstood a fire and flood but with the work and support of it's members, it is still a strong and beautiful church.
It is our hope and prayer that it will be standing as a House of God when it's members celebrate their 200th Anniversary.
We dedicate this history book to Ethel L. Floyd, Chairman of the History Committee, for the many hours she has spent planning and organizing our Centennial Celebration.
Ethel, from your dinning room table where we sat with steaming mugs of coffee, tea or chocolate and plates of your homemade cookies and other “goodies”, you guided each of us in our assigned duties with the patience and leadership so typical of you.
In the fifty plus years of your membership in the Estancia United Methodist Church, you have served your God and your church with a dedication and graciousness that has endeared you to all.
You truly personify Christian Discipleship. God Bless and Keep You.
The History Committee
God’s word in the Estancia Valley area. On Sunday, perhaps twice a month, this particular minister would ride into Estancia. He happened to know that the local bar owner was a Methodist who was open for business seven days a week, so he went into the bar and told the owner to close it down for an hour. During this hour, the minister would hold church services, preaching a sermon, passing the hat and that was the first Methodist Church in Estancia. This building is still standing and was last occupied by the newspaper. If you look closely on the back of this building, which was originally the front of the building as that was the Main Street, you can still see the sign SALOON over the arch.
A Union Sunday School was organized December 13, 1903 by Mr. F. E. Dunlavy. Mr. P.A. Speckmann served as the first Superintendent. This was the first Sunday School organized within the limits of the present County of Torrance to enjoy continuous existence to the present time. Later it was made a Methodist Episcopal Sunday School.
During the summer of 1904, the Rev. A. M. Harkness, then the secretary of the New Mexico Society for the Friendless, visited the people of Estancia every other Sunday and preached. He and Dr. A. P. Morrison organized the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Estancia in October 1904. That same month, at a session of the New Mexico Missionary Conference at Raton, Estancia was joined with Roswell and made an appointment of the conference with Rev. Harkness as the pastor. A report by District Superintendent at the 1905 Conference was: “Santa Rosa Circuit is composed of Estancia and Santa Rosa. Rev. Harkness’ wife, Helma, was recognized as a missionary and was assigned to Santa Rosa.
Plans were made to build a church. Actual work of raising funds and erecting a neat and commodious building was pushed and the larger portion of funds necessary were secured by Rev. Harkness’ endeavors.
The spring of 1905, Rev. Harkness gave lectures at the schoolhouse and the money raised went into the building fund. “Ben Hur,” A Tale of Christ,” “The Passion Play of Oberammergau,” and “A Trip Through Arizona, New Mexico and California” were illustrated with stereophonic slides. The charge was fifty cents for three lectures, twenty-five cents for one lecture and fifteen cents for children.
During Rev. Harkness’ tenure, he secured a valuable Bible for the Estancia Church. It bore the inscription, “ Presented to Rev. H. W. Reed, missionary in New Mexico, by the ladies of the First Baptist Church, New York, for the pulpit of the Baptist Church in Santa Fe.” The Bible was printed in 1847. When the Baptist church in Santa Fe was disbanded, the book was taken in charge by Mrs. William Berger to be given to some new church and was given by her to Rev. Harkness. (This Bible has disappeared and it would be a very valuable service if someone could locate and identify it for the church).
Due to the poor health of Mrs. Harkness, the family was compelled to leave and settle to a lower altitude. Bishop Moore transferred Rev. Harkness to Oklahoma.
Articles of Incorporation were dated January 10, 1905.
Rev. J. C. Ruoff became the pastor, October 1905, and was assigned to the Estancia - Belen Circuit. During the construction of the church building, a tent, 18 feet by 20 feet was donated by Frank Dilbert and dedicated October l, 1906 by Rev. Ruoff. Dr. A. P. Morrison delivered the address when the cornerstone of the church was laid on December 5, 1905. The building contract was let to Frank J. Dye and lumber was furnished by Dow Lumber Company with volunteers doing the work. Rev. Ruoff supervised the building of the church and did most of the work of laying the foundation. The building was not completed until the following year.
The first trustees were: John L. Norris, M.D., J. P. Dunlavy, A. W. Lantz, P. A. Speckmann, Louis McRae, Arthur Milby and Frank Dilbert. Stewarts were: J. P. Dunlavy, P. A. Speckman, Mrs. A. B. Hawkins, Mrs. A. H. Garnett and Mrs. J. P. Dunlavy.
The Estancia Public Library had it’s beginning in a reading room opened in the Methodist Church in January 1906. An organization for the maintenance of the Library was formed. Officers were elected as follows: A. H. Garnett, president; M. B. Atkinson, Vice President; C. H. Hittson, Secretary and Miss Clara Pence, Treasurer. Some books and magazines were donated by the public while others were purchased by the Library Association. The reading room was known as the Garnett Public Library. The library became the Estancia Public Library when the books were given to the Women’s Club. Some years later, the Estancia Business and Professional Club took over the responsibility of the library and it is presently maintained by the Town of Estancia. A new library for the town of Estancia is under construction and is scheduled for completion in 2005.
Dedication of the new church was held on October 20, 1907, under the pastorage of Rev. W. A. Pratt. The building, complete with pews and furnishings inclusive of the lots, was valued at $4000.00 and was the best building of its kind in the Valley.
For a short period between Rev. W. A. Pratt (1907 - 1908) and Rev. B. Summers (1910 - 1912), Rev. A. M. Steele (1908 - 1909) and Rev. T. A. Windsor (1909 - 1910) were pastors for the Estancia circuit.
The Estancia Circuit had the distinction of having the largest circuit in the Mission, and of necessity, pastors were compelled to travel many miles by rail and private conveyance.
From a report by Superintendent Sam Blair, “Estancia is a prospering town in the heart of a productive and fertile valley. Here we own a splendid church building, erected at a cost of $4000.00. This town is greatly handicapped by denominationism. Estancia has less than 500 inhabitants and eight Protestant societies. Eight ministers of the gospel are trying to eke out an existence there. If it were not for the fact that we were the first denomination to enter this field, and had we not our church building, I should recommend the abandoning of this field to others. To this difficult charge, A. M. Steele was sent by Bishop Smith. He has wrought faithfully, doing heroic work, greatly strengthening the membership of the church. Brother Steele reports 80 bona fide members, a most remarkable showing considering the number of denominations in the field”.
Rev. Summers, 1910 – 1912, had the pleasure of preaching to large audiences both morning and evening of every Sabbath.
In 1912, Rev. R. E. Farley served the Estancia-Mountainair Circuit and continued this circuit until 1915. The charge was nearly defunct at the opening of the year. With herculean work by Rev. Farley, the situation was improved. The charge was entirely too large for one man according to Bishop Edwin Hughes.
Rev. Nils W. Bard was here only one year but it was a busy year. The Methodist Episcopal Church at Cedarvale, NM was organized on January 9, 1916, and the church at McIntosh, NM was organized on January 23, 1916 by Rev. Bard. He preached in Estancia the first and third Sundays, at Cedarvale the second Sunday, and at McIntosh the fourth Sunday. He also preached in Progresso, NM and in a schoolhouse ten to seventeen miles SW of Estancia.
During the Conference year 1915 - 1916, a fund was started for a new parsonage and about $500.00 was subscribed. Rev. Bard conducted a series of revival services in November 1915, and again in August 1916 which were blessed by God. From about 1915 until 1929, Estancia shared a pastor with Ft. Sumner and with Mountainair. These churches received a part of their support from the Methodist Mission Board. It is to Rev. Bard that we owe a debt of gratitude for preserving much of our early church history.
Rev. Bard’s wife died June 6, 1916 at the Methodist Episcopal Sanitarium in Silver City, NM.
Again, we found no records covering the period 1916 to 1923. Pastors during this period were: Joseph A. Bretz (1916 - 1917); W. J. Waltz (1917 - 1918); G. H. Newkirk (1918 - short period); John Wilson (1918 - 1920); A. B. Weaver (1920 - 1922); W. N. McBride (1922 - a short period); F. L. Edwards (1922 - a short period); I. L. Ludwick (1922 - a short period); Ray Mathews (1922 - 1923); S. A. Crowder (1923 - 1925); and Jim Fletcher (1925 - 1926).
Rev. J. E. Mumford (1926 - 1928), served at Estancia, Vaughn, Corona (for one year ),and Mountainair for two years simultaneous. (You will find a biography of Rev. Mumford elsewhere in this history book.
In 1928, Rev. G. P. Webb was assigned to Estancia. He served as pastor of the Estancia Church until 1931. The apportionment's at that time were as follows: Superintendent’s Claim - 10% of pastor’s cash claim; Bishop’s claim - 2% of pastor’s cash claim; Conference Claimants - 5 % of pastor’s cash claim; World Services - $112.00.
We also found a letter to NM Mission Conference requesting information on the price of lots in Willard, NM.
From 1931 - 1933, no records could be found. Rev. Ralph Brewer was pastor during that period.
Rev. Walter L. Russell became the Estancia minister in 1933 - 1934. The construction of a parsonage began November 1934 with B. E. Humble as contractor. This building became the Education Building after the new parsonage was completed in 1952. During this time, Fred A. Ayers was president of the Board. In 1934, the Sunday School Superintendent was Robert H. Britton and J. P. Evans was elected Sunday School Superintendent in 1935. The Epworth League’s average attendance was 18. Sunday School attendance was 50. The Primary Department saved pennies to purchase a piano for the basement. (They collected $2.25). In 1934, the church was valued at $5000.00.
In July 1934, a camping trip was enjoyed in the Manzano Mountains.
A letter from the Board of Home Missions and Church Extension in Philadelphia, PA, re: Deed and Abstract of the Estancia Church: In 1906, application was made for $1000.00. It revealed that the church did not hold title to the property but that the deed was held by Frank Dilbert, Assistant Treasurer of the New Mexico Fuel and Iron Company, who were owners of the townsite. They were to turn over the Deed when they received the $1000.00. The contract indicated that the church was to be built within three years, which condition was fulfilled but the deed was never found. The courthouse burned in 1910 along with all records and the Abstract office had gone out of business with records tied up in litigation. On August 25, 1934, a Trust Bond and Mortgage was issued to the First Methodist Church of Estancia for $800.00. The document covers the following real estate: Lots 2 and 3, Block 54 in the Town of Estancia and the parsonage to be erected.
Rev. Raymond E. Pittman served as pastor from 1934 - 1937. The first parsonage was completed March l, 1936. (Some accounts give a date of March 1935).
Rev. Pittman led the church in the observance of it’s 30th anniversary with special commemorative services and a luncheon. Many former members returned for the occasion.
On November 8, 1936, a fire broke out in the basement of the church. Before it was brought under control, the basement was gutted and the Sunday School room and auditorium were badly smoked. The insurance company allotted $1501.44 to cover the damage. With careful stewardship, the church was repaired and the basement improved with concrete walls and metal ceiling. There was enough money saved to re-roof the church. C. M. Milbourn put cedar shingles on the church roof in December 1936 and January 1937. He was assisted by his son, Chester Milbourn.
Trustees in 1934 were: Fred Ayers, Jerome Fish, Robert Ludwick, H.P. Brunell, S.B.Rose, Forrest Mason and E. Hayes. Trustees in 1935 were: Mason, Fish, Brunell, Rose, West and Hayes. The pastor’s salary was $720.00. The pastor also served as Scout Master. The membership at that time was 78. Attendance averaged 75 in the two services on Sunday and prayer meeting on Wednesdays in the homes. There were six Sunday School classes with an average attendance of 50.
Baccalaureate was held at the church on May 17, 1936. Rev. Pittman gave the “Class Sermon” and Helen Terry played the piano prelude.
In 1937, Rev. F. J. Johnston was assigned to the Estancia church. He served from 1937 - 1940. In February 1939, a butane heating system was installed in the church and the parsonage, with financial help of the Mission Board. The total cost was $600.00. The cost of gas was .09 a gallon.
In 1939, The Methodist Episcopal Church, The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and The Methodist Protestant Church united to form The Methodist Church. The Ladies Aide became the Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) and the Epworth League became Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF).
From 1937 - 1940, much work was done on the landscaping and beautification of the church grounds. Seventeen trees were planted and five trees on the west side. An addition to the parsonage provided another bedroom and a sunny workroom. The parsonage interior was generally improved.
Rev. Johnston’s family suffered the loss of their youngest son, Donald Kinley Johnston, on December 14, 1938.
A revival was held for eight nights at the Frontier church.
Through the years, the church has experienced difficulty meeting their financial obligations. But one of the most interesting accounts pertains to a loan of $350.00 from the First National Bank, Amarillo, Texas. The loan was paid by check but the check “bounced”. The bank sent the trustees a letter of “protest”. The situation was cleared up when it was found the banker had made the error but then the bank charged the church $2.84 protest fee. Rev. F. J. Johnston sent the bank a very “scorching” letter concerning the situation and the protest fee since the error was on the part of the bank and they were charging the church a protest fee. Quite interesting reading.
The church received a total of 22 new members during Rev. Johnston’s pastorage and received a “Certificate of Special Recognition” as a loyal contributor to World Service Missionary Program of Methodism from 1938 to 1939. The church gave a total of $130.00. Membership at this time was 101.
Records indicate that Rev. C. O. Galbreath holds the record for the longest tenure as pastor of the Estancia Church - (August 28, 1940 - June 10, 1949). He was a very ambitious man and made many improvements to the church and the church life. Among the accomplishments during his tenure were the following: In 1945 put new (AKLO) glass in the church windows (the following donated one window each: Rev. Galbreath; Amelia Klatt, Mrs. Dean, Myrtle Homan, Mr. Rogers and Mr. Brunell); painted Church in 1943; held suppers in the church basement; WSCS completely redecorated the basement in 1945; sent cookies to the boys in the Armed Services; concrete poured for steps to the church basement by WPA; tennis court and screen were added; purchased new hymnals; concrete steps to the entrance of the church; organized Boy Scouts and was Scout Master, Group #403 with average attendance of 16 members;. Upworth League organized; and offered church facilities for any class of American Defense Organizations. He also organized a group of boys too young for Boy Scouts, called the “Friendly Indians.”
We purchased a Hammond organ in 1946, paying $600.00 down and completing payment of $147.16 in 1947. Mrs. Frances West was the first organist. At that time there was a choir of fine voices and many fine cantatas and anthems were presented under the direction of Doris Parker.
The two-story Saiz building was purchased. Rev. Galbreath wrecked the building (falling off the roof in the process), and the material was used to build the second parsonage. Rev. Galbreath and volunteers built the parsonage, poured the cement for the tennis court and sidewalks, built fence and planted trees. Rev. Galbreath did most of the work.
In 1942 the membership was 94 and we shared the pastor with Moriarty. His salary was $1500.00. Mr. Frank Rogers organized a men’s group in 1946. In 1947, Doris Parker directed an Easter Cantata.
When Rev. Galbreath moved to Colorado, the committee on Boy Scouts recommended Everett Earnest be named Scout Master.
Rev. C. F. Ault was assigned to the Estancia Church in 1949. He served for two years. He had not realized the high altitude of Estancia and found it necessary to move to a lower altitude due to health reasons.
During his tenure, the coal stove was removed from the room back of the Sanctuary and a gas heater was installed.
A loan of $3000.00 from the Board of Church Extension was granted and a new building called “The Methodist Cottage” was completed. The Women’s Society of Christian Service was appointed as the parsonage committee. A set of rules was adopted for use of the building. A movie projector was purchased for the Sunday School.
Earnest Ayers was elected Chairman of the Board and the trustees were: J. H. Wiggins, Fred H. Ayers, E. B. Wiggins, H. P. Brunell and Everett Earnest. The pastor’s salary was raised to $2700.00 a year.
In May 1951, Rev. J. J. Spurlin was assigned to Estancia and had served only four months when he was appointed to the Melrose Church. While serving here, the Education Building was changed to the parsonage and the parsonage became the Education Building.
Gene Newman, owner of Newman’s Gas Company gave the church a new propane tank and Charlie Nicholson filled it at no charge.
When Rev. Spurlin was assigned to Melrose, Rev. L. E. Menefee was sent to Estancia. He served this parish from 1951 to 1956.
The parsonage was completed and furnished for the new pastor in early 1952. The Education Building was redecorated. Stoves were installed in the Education Building at a cost of $35.00. Earl Parker Jr., and Ethel Floyd gave a musical concert, resulting in a collection of $71.00 to be used for painting the interior of the Sanctuary. The church was repaired, the ceiling, gutters, bell tower, roof and the vestibule were painted as well as replacing the east window. In 1952, Rev. Menefee held a successful revival meeting with Rev. John Kassen of Harwood, Albuquerque, preaching. In 1954, night services were held on “Alcohol and Christian Responsibility.”
The first Quarterly Conference was held in Mountainair, a joint meeting of five churches: Estancia, Mountainair, Socorro, Moriarty and Belen.
The basement was flooded during Rev. Menefee’s tenure.
In preparation of the 50th Anniversary, the following projects were proposed: redecorate the interior of the Education Building, replaster walls in the basement, applied sealer coat to basement floor, rebuild a retainer wall around the back basement entrance to deflect possible future flood damage and remove unsightly buildings. The church was also connected to the main gas line.
The church celebrated their Golden Anniversary in August 1955, with District Superintendent R. L. Willingham preaching the morning service. A number of “old-timers” attended and shared their recollections. Among those attending were Mrs. Harry Dills, Mr. and Mrs. E. L. Molten, Miss Annie Porter, Mr. and Mrs. Forest Mason, Mr. and Mrs. H. P. Brunell, Dr. and Mrs. James Wiggins and Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ayers. Earl Parker read the history of the church. A basket dinner was served at noon. Everyone was introduced at the afternoon service.
Other activities during Rev. Menefee’s pastorage in Estancia were: Mother and daughter banquet, - 1952; Vacation Bible School - June 1955; Evangelistic Services with Rev. Stoup, Santa Rosa, preaching; Christmas Pageant, sponsored Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts; contributed funds to rebuild churches in Korea and contributed to the Waco Children’s Home. Doris Parker was elected Board Chairman. The total budget - $6288.00. The pastor’s salary was $3600.00. The church was insured for $10,000.00. One hundred twenty five dollars was needed weekly to cover church program expenses
Rev. F. E. Curry arrived in Estancia in 1956 and served as pastor of the Estancia Methodist Church until 1960. Mrs. Curry was an artist and organized an art class.
There is always maintenance to be done and Rev. Curry’s tenure was no different. The partition in the Education Building was removed, the pews were sanded and revarnished for the purpose of “stopping women’s hose destruction”.
Other improvements consisted of painting and partially re-roofing the church. Also purchased were a communion table, material for an altar rail curtain and curtains for the back windows.
Other activities were Vacation Bible School with attendance of 42, and a Junior Choir, which was organized and directed by Everett Earnest. The Guild, under the leadership of Marcella Reynolds, painted all but two rooms of the parsonage.
The MYF purchased chimes at a cost of $300.00 by selling pens, doughnuts, having bake sales, and serving a dinner for the Farm Bureau. Their sponsors were Kathy Hall and Ethel Floyd. Eunice Earnest was president of the MYF. At one point, the MYF sold over 100 dozen doughnuts. The MYF members took the orders, delivered and collected sixty cents a dozen for the raised and glazed doughnuts. Kathy and Ethel made the doughnuts. Chuck Thompson played the chimes every Sunday morning. In 1978, the chimes were expanded to a PA system.
In 1958, Kathleen Dean furnished the paint and boarded the artist, Ted Schuyler of Albuquerque while he painted the church windows with beautiful religious scenes. This was his form of Christian service. The windows were dedicated on May 7, 1960. In 1975, Jane Powers restored the windows and added her own painting to the east window. Since that date, they have been maintained by Ray Darnell.
The Estancia Methodist Church hosted the first community Sunrise Easter Service. Chairman of the Board in 1956 was Doris Parker. Board members were Jim Hall, Bob Himes, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Thompson, Laverne Earnest, Richard Ireland, Bill Mattingly, Myrtle Homan, Flossie Elliott, Everett Earnest, A. H. Brandenberg, Bob Bourlier, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Ayers, and Mr. and Mrs. Jack Dean. In 1958, Jim Hall was elected Chairman of the Board. The total budget for 1957 - 58 was $6245.00. Insurance cost was raised to $240.00 a year. The pastor’s salary was raised to $4000.00 a year plus $120.00 for mileage. Church membership was 140.
Rev. J. W. Gray served as pastor from 1960 - 1961. Marguerite Crisp was elected Sunday School Superintendent. Bob Boulier was chairman of the Board and the Board members were: Frances Wiggins, Patsy Ireland, Mr. and Mrs. Bill Thompson, Jim Hall, Ben Brandenberg, Doris Parker, Jack Dean, Kathleen Dean, Laverne Earnest and Flossie Elliot.
It was determined that more space was needed. Bible School Average attendance was 56. MYF attendance averaged 25 each meeting. The MYF hosted the District Meeting in November 1960 with approximately 125 attending. A “Youth Week” was held with forty youth participating under the leadership of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Julian.
There was a need for an organist and in 1962, Mrs. David King was given permission to use the church organ to instruct Sue Mattingly and Morrow Hall. Sue and Morrow were also given permission to practice on the church organ. In 2005 Morrow is still our organist after serving the Estancia Church as organist for many years.
The church was experiencing financial problems and it was necessary to decrease the pastor’s salary from $4000.00 to $3200.00 annually with $400.00 travel allowance. However, the church was able to make a first mortgage payment. January 1960 was designated as “Stewardship month” and Rev. Gray preached a sermon stressing tithing.
On January 3, 1961, a men’s club was organized. In April of that same year, eighty persons were served breakfast on Easter Sunday morning. In 1961, the Rotary Club requested use of the Education Building.
Rev. Joel Birdwell became our minister in May 1961. Bob Boulier was chairman of the Board with the following members: Frances Wiggins, Phyllis Brandon, Laverne Earnest, Beth Crisp, Jim Hall, Ben Brandenberg, Kathleen Dean, Mrs. Bernie Wallace, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Thompson, Jude Schmitz and Bob Himes. Rev. Birdwell served the Estancia Church one year. Trustees were: Kathleen Dean, Jim Hall and J. B. Milbourn. Sunday School Superintendent was Mrs. Robert Crisp.
The Board discussed plans for better attendance. Sunday School teachers were needed. In September 1961, the Board approved a motion to publish a bimonthly newspaper, “The Estancia Churchman”. An attendance campaign “Roundup Day - All Western Day” was planned for October 22, 1961. The attendance campaign motif was based on the Western Style of living and the final Sunday of the campaign ended with a church dinner with 90 to 100 attending. The program resulted in an increase in membership.
The total budget was 6388.00; pastor’s salary $3200.00 annually plus $400.00 travel expenses. Total value of the property was $25,948.15, which covered Lots 1-6; Blk. 54, in the Townsite of Estancia. The furnace and stove were repaired in January 1962. A sunrise breakfast was served by the men on Easter Sunday. Sue Mattingly was president of the MYF.
Rev. O. L. Knowlton became the pastor - 1962 - 1964. His salary was raised to $3600.00 annually plus $400.00 travel expense. Trustees were: Kathleen Dean, Jim Hall, J. B. Milbourn. Mrs. Robert Crisp remained Sunday School Superintendent. In September 1962, Jim Hall was elected Sunday School Superintendent. William Thompson was chairman of the Board. The membership had increased to 156 with average attendance of 57 to 69.
Mrs. Knowlton opened a Thrift Shop. In September 1962, Sunday night services on a six weeks trial bases was begun. Acoustics in the Sanctuary was discussed.
In April 1963, the trustees purchased an altar from St. John’s UMC in Albuquerque for $5.00. In August, 1963, Homer Norris gave a course on “Survival in case of an atomic attack”. In November 1963, the MYF purchased hymnals for the church. Two children’s choirs were organized by Kathy Hall and Rachel Palmer.
Gene Newman donated paint for the outside of the parsonage. The new basement entrance was completed.
Rev. L. L. Nichols joined us in 1964 - 1966. The pastor’s salary was $3000.00 plus benefits and travel expenses. Jim Hall was elected Sunday School superintendent but resigned and Rachel Palmer was elected. Chairman of the Board was Wm. Thompson.
During Rev. Nichol’s tenure, the parsonage was painted. The Sanctuary roof and foyer were repaired; partitions were put in the basement and the floor in the Education Building was tiled.
A refrigerator and stove were purchased for the parsonage and a new stove was installed in the Education Building. The church tower was repaired. New hymnals were also purchased.
Activities during this period were: Teacher’s reception, to be a community project; Revival services were conducted from March 8th to through the 12th, 1965. Mr. and Mrs. Kelley Haiman sponsored the MYF. The MYF was later separated into two groups with 15 young people in each group. Marcella Reynolds and Phyllis Brandon were sponsors of the Junior MYF and Mr. and Mrs. Haiman the senior group. More space was needed for Sunday School but there was a lack of teachers and no Vacation Bible School was held due to the lack of teachers.
In 1966 - 1967, Rev. Walter Stroup was assigned to the Estancia Church. Julian Schmitz was serving as Board Chairman. Communion Steward was Flossie Elliott. A “receptionist” was in charge of the guest book and was stationed in the foyer each Sunday. The head ushers were Wm. Thompson for June, July and August and Jude Schmitz for October, November and December.
A new washing machine was purchased for the parsonage.
A fire occurred in the study of the Sanctuary. Shortly after the fire, Rev. Wm. Harris became the minister (1967-1968). A recommendation was read commending Dean Smith’s bravery and his heroic action in connection with the fire in the study of the church. Due to Dean’s prompt action and personal bravery, loss of church property as well as a possible loss of life was averted. This recommendation was given special recognition at the City Council Meeting.
Rev. Harris came to the Estancia UMC from the Peralta Memorial MEC. Jude Schmitz was Chairman of the Board. Head usher was Perry Daniel. Perry also served as lay leader. Rachel Palmer was Education Commission Chairman. Candy Daniel was choir director. Quarterly Conference was scheduled for mid-September. .
The weekend of August 14, 1967, twenty-five MYF young people attended camp in the mountains. Attendance at Bible School was thirty-five. Funds from the Ayer’s Memorial were used to purchase an altar and carpeting on the platform and isles of the Sanctuary. An appropriate plaque and a dedication service were held on December 10, 1967.
A community Christmas service was held at the church and was well attended. During Rev. Nichol’s tenure, twenty new members were added to the church membership.
Many improvements were made on the church premises. Eighteen feet was cut off of the Sanctuary platform to give more room for chairs and the pulpit. One new chair was purchased. The pulpit was sanded and refinished light oak to match the altar. Custom-made drapes were purchased for the communion railing and choir loft. Wire was put around the church loft to keep the pigeons out. A new stove was installed in the back room of the Sanctuary
In 1968, the Methodist church united with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to become the United Methodist Church. The women’s group was renamed United Methodist Women and the Methodist Youth Fellowship became the United Youth Fellowship.
Rev. Wm. J. Hughey was assigned to the Estancia charge in 1968-1971. His salary was $2400.00 annually plus benefits. The Board chairman was Jack Dean. The treasurer was Gene Kamerzell. Lay Leader was Perry Daniel. The Sunday School Superintendent was Waynette Burnett.
Rev. Hughey conducted six confirmation classes. Five young people attended Arrowhead and Sacramento Camps. Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts were given permission to meet in the church basement. The MYF was revived. The Education Building was being used by the Rotary Club.
A Thanksgiving dinner was enjoyed by the members on November 20, 1968. At Christmas, a cantata was performed by the choir and special music was also performed at Easter.
The church was experiencing money problems and at Christmastime red Christmas stockings were sent to members as a finance project. The budget for 1969 was only $2985.00; however, many improvements were made to the church property. Improvements included: a total of eight glass windows repaired in the Sanctuary and Education Building, replaced the basement door, purchased twenty steel folding chairs, upholstered the parsonage living room sofa and one chair, repaired the church chimes, installed a furnace in the parsonage, changed from butane to natural gas, purchased a new hot water heater and stove in the Education Building and purchased new hymnals. And in addition, we were able to give financial assistance to the Navajo Mission in Farmington. Maureen Reynolds was hired as nursery attendant.
Rev. Lealand Graben served as minister in Estancia from 1971 to 1974. His circuit consisted of Estancia and Moriarty and he resided in Moriarty. The parsonage was rented out. Starting June 13, 1971, church services began at 9:30.
Trustees in 1971 were: Wm. Thompson, Chairman, Jude Schmitz, R. T. Floyd, Jack Davis and Gene Kamerzell. The Council of Ministries chairman was Jack Davis and Larry Burnett served as chairman of the Administrative Council. Rachel Palmer was Sunday School Superintendent. Floyd Lee Richardson was recommended for license to preach and was assigned to Dexter, New Mexico.
The Charge Conference was held on December l, 1971. A successful youth choir was organized. In 1971, the church filed for Incorporation with the State Corporation Commission. The budget in 1972 was $6857.40. Three new members were added to the membership, making a total of 80 members. Sunday School Promotion Sunday was held in September 1973 and Bibles were presented to those going from Primary to Junior classes. A Lay Witness Mission was held which resulted in a more effective church. Rev. Graben presented a study on wills and special gifts.
Projects completed were: painted the Education Building and parsonage, refinished the floor in the parsonage and other repairs completed. We also purchased a new washing machine, dryer and vacuum cleaner for the parsonage.
In 1974, Rev. Bryan Peterson was assigned to the Estancia Church. He served until 1978. Membership for 1974 was 83. In 1975 the membership increased to 9l and in 1977 the membership was 113. The organist and Director of Music was Morrow Hall. The Board of Trustees for 1976 was Jude Schmitz, Earl Parker, R. T. Floyd, Gene Kamerzell and Jack Davis. The trustees for 1977 were: Jack Davis, Larry Burnett, Ethel Floyd, Morrow Hall and Scott Shaffer. Trustees for 1978 were Larry Burnett, Ethel Floyd, Morrow Hall, Scott Shaffer and Cecil Koppers. The Sunday School Superintendent in 1978 was Marcia Fitzner. In 1976, Woodrow Clements served as Administrative Council Chairman. Chairman of the Council of Ministries was Kenneth Moore. Vacation Bible School attendance was 28. In 1975, a Christmas Program was presented.
Many improvements were made during Rev. Peterson’s tenure. Jane Powers repaired the paintings on the church windows and painted the window in the back of the church with her own painting. In 1977, with a generous bequest from the Jack Dean estate, the Education Building was enlarged and modernized with a complete kitchen. The church basement was carpeted, paneled and painted and needed repairs were made to the church. All this was done under the expert guidance and work of Cecil and Marie Koppers and with the help of others. The PA system was improved Directive signs were put up.
In 1975, the Finance Chairman, Ethel Floyd used the Circuit Riders Program for pledges. It was a very successful program and that year the church was able to pay all the apportionments.
Rev. Peterson and wife, Lillian left September 9th, for a trip to the Holy Land. Layman from Moriarty and Estancia conducted the services during their four-week absence.
Rev. Gene Ferrell assumed the position as pastor during 1978 and 1979. His circuit was Estancia and Moriarty.
Woody Clements continued as chairman of the Administrative Council. Morrow Hall continued as organist and Director of Music. Lay Leader was Carl Nicholas and the trustees were: Larry Burnett, Ethel Floyd, Morrow Hall, Schott Shaffer and Cecil Koppers.
The Education Building was dedicated in November 1978. Cecil Koppers was presented a plaque for his work on the Education Building.
The Administrative Board voted to put a full-page history with pictures in the Torrance County History book, which was published in 1979.
Vacation Bible School was held the first week in August, 1979. A community Thanksgiving service was held at the Estancia United Methodist Church. A Christmas program was performed in 1978. An ice cream social was held in July 1979. The Boy Scouts were allowed to meet at the church at no charge. The MYF donated $200.00 to Four Corners Native American Ministry. Larry and Waynette Burnett and Milton and Linda McLain were their counselors. Revival services were led by Dr. Charles Thigpen.
Following Rev. Ferrell’s tenure, Rev. Terry Anderson was assigned to Estancia. He served this church from 1979 to 1983. Rev. Anderson and family moved into the parsonage in May 1979. The pastor’s salary in 1982 was $7920.00 with $600.00 for travel. Kenneth Moore was chairman of the Board. The trustees were: Milton McLain, Cecil Koppers, Jean Howell, Chet Mariner, Stanley McNatt and Ethel Floyd. Trustees for 1980 were: Chet Mariner, Don Fitzner, Woody Clements, Don Shirley, Lee Straley and Corrine McNatt. In 1980 and 1981, Chairman of the Council of Ministries was Ethel Floyd. In 1982, Chairman of the Council of Ministries was Linda McLain. Organist was Morrow Hall and Charles Hughes was choir director.
The 75th church anniversary was celebrated on Sunday, October 14, 1979, with a salad luncheon at noon and at 2:00 P.M., the congregation spent time singing hymns and reminiscing. .
The total budget for 1979 was $9,474.00. In 1981, it was raised to $18,579.00, a 50% raise. The church had increased it’s membership to 106 with an average attendance of 73. All apportionments were paid. Plastic banks in the form of loaves of bread were distributed to the membership. Forty percent of the money received went to world hunger and the balance to Dr. Job Ebenezer’s Africa and World Hunger Project. The Love Loaf Mission project was initiated in June and July for a six-week period. The church received an award for 100% payment for the World Series and Conference Benevolence in 1979.
Many improvements to the church property were realized. A new water system was installed for the lawn and new storage sheds were built. The parsonage furnishings were upgraded with new carpeting, a new bed, washer, swamp cooler, insulation and plumbing fixtures. Phones were installed for the Education Building and parsonage. Fire extinguishers, metal shelves for the Sunday School and new locks on the doors were purchased.
An active MYF was sponsored by Milton and Linda McLain. The youth delivered twelve Easter baskets. The Moriarty - Estancia youth groups did a “Treat or Treat” for UNICEF on October 28, 1979. Dottie Fitzner was president of the MYF. The MYF also sent $28.00 to World Vision International for two months to support a mother and child. They went caroling at Christmas time in 1981.
On May 13, 1983, a group of EUMC men traveled to Shiprock to work, fellowship and worship with members of the Shiprock UMC. Work was done on a Battered Women’s Shelter, which the Shiprock Church provides and supports. The men also delivered clothes, toys and dishes for the shelter.
Other activities included: Bibles delivered to the jail and the Administrative Board approved the Boys Scouts meeting in the Education Building on Thursday nights. Vacation Bible School was held the week of September 13, 1980; the Methodist choir joined with the Baptist choir and performed for the Easter Sunrise Services followed by Easter breakfast at the Methodist Church.
Rev. Anderson was ordained as Elder on May 28, 1981. He was transferred to Las Vegas UMC at Annual General Conference in 1983. At that time, Rev. Crandall was assigned to Estancia UMC, and served for one year. We had 104 members at that time. The 1983 budget was $25,982.00.
A vacation Bible School was held July 18 - 22nd with 38 enrolled. In May 1983, a jug band was organized by Ethel Floyd and played for many church services. A family campout was held at the IOOf campground in the Manzano Mountains on July 8 and 9, 1983. The jug band performed at this event. Eight campers attended the Albuquerque District Camp at Sacramento.
Other observances included: World Communion Sunday and Laity Sunday..
Following Rev. Crandall’s ministry in the EUMC, Rev. Bob Brooks was sent to Estancia and served from 1984 - 1986. Trustees in 1984 were: Lee Straley, Corrine McNatt, Roy McConkey, Charles Hughes, Jim Young and Jim White. The trustees in 1985 were: Jim Young, Chairman, Marcia Fitzner, Roy McConkey, Jim White and Bill Neish. Trustees in 1986 were: Marcia Fitzner, Kenneth Moore, Ray Darnell, Bill Neish, Jim Sours and Waynett Burnett. Morrow Hall was organist and Charles Hughes was Choir Director. Walter Glazewski was Administrative Council, Chairman and Linda McConkey was Sunday School Superintendent.
On October l984, one of the Sunday School classes visited a Jewish Synagogue. Also in 1984, Charles Hughes was directing a children’s choir and the Christian Jug Band was going strong. Vacation Bible School was held June 18-22nd. The adult choir presented the cantata, “No Greater Love”, under the direction of Charles Hughes. The MYF continued their Christmas caroling and Easter baskets were delivered to the elderly. A family camp was again observed on August 3-5th in the Manzano Mountains.
A four-day Preaching Mission was held with Dr. Richard Chaffin as guest speaker. The membership was 121 with average attendance of 71.
In 1985, Rev. Fred Yazzie and several other members of his church came to the Estancia United Methodist Church from Four Corners Native American Ministry and witnessed for Christ. A couple of weeks later, members of our church visited their church in Shiprock. Also in 1985, we hosted the Chanters from McMurry College.
In 1985, we celebrated our 80th anniversary with Bishop Schowengerdt bringing the morning message.
Property improvements in 1985 included installation of a wall heater at the cost of $311.00.
In 1986 - 1990, Rev. Gregg Armstrong and family arrived to administer to the Estancia Circuit. More space in the parsonage was needed and Rev. Armstrong and his father with help from church volunteers, enlarged and remodeled the parsonage from plans furnished by Ray Darnell. This was accomplished by Rev. Armstrong applying and receiving a grant of $800.00 from the New Mexico Community Foundation in Santa Fe, NM, to be spent “only on building material to be used by April 30, 1991, on a matching basis”.
Other improvements consisted of removing the false ceiling in the Sanctuary and exposing the decorative beams which had been covered for many years. The project included insulating and replastering the ceiling, removing paint and refinishing the decorative wood. The Sanctuary was also painted. Following this tremendous task by volunteer members, an “Old Fashion Barn Raising” was held the weekend of March 23-24, 1990.
A community Food Pantry for needy families was organized by Rachel Palmer and Rev. Armstrong, which has continued to the present time. Circuit Riders Bible Study was held on Sunday evenings. An adult Sunday School class for parents of school-aged children was organized and a confirmation class was held.
The MYF was quite active. In 1987, they had a “Lock-in” for 27 youth. In May of 1987, the group traveled to Albuquerque and visited the Albuquerque Museum of Natural History. They also cleaned out the basement and had a flea market event. In August 1987, the youth conducted the church services in Estancia and Mountainair. .
The budget for 1986 was $30,501.00. The pastor’s salary was $10,825.00 plus benefits.
A study of Social Principles of UMC was conducted. Acolyte training for children was offered. New hymnals were purchased. A campout in the Manzano Mountains was held. Church directories were ordered from Church Directories. This directory covers both the Estancia and Mountainair churches.
Five candidates were recommended for the ordained ministry: Sue and Charles Hart, Raquel and Gregg Armstrong and Terry Ann Moore. Raquel Armstrong was a member of the Mountainair UMC.
Membership was registered as: 1986 - 121; 1987 - 132; 1988 - 130; and 1989 - 125. Trustees for 1988 were: Ray Darnell, Bob Walton, Roy McConkey, Sue Hughes, Sue Hart and Chet Mariner. Administrative Council Chairman was Ethel Floyd. Organist was Morrow Hall and Lay Leader was Francis Winn. Trustees for 1989: Sue Hart, Agatha Garrison, Charles Hughes, Bob Walton, Roy McConkey and Mark Riley. Administrative Council Chairman. - Laverne Earnest. Organist - Morrow Hall. Trustees for 1990: Roy McConkey, Marky Riley, Glenn Ewing, Agatha Garrison, and Charles Hughes and Tish McMichael.
Rev. William Constantine served as pastor from 1990 to 1992. Trustees for 1991 were: Marky Riley, Charles Hughes, Glenn Ewing, Tish McMichael, Roy McConkey and Francis Winn. Morrow Hall continued as church organist. Lay Leader was Kenneth Moore. Laverne Earnest was Administrative Council Chairman.
Renovation of the parsonage was completed. Work on the church was also completed. Dedication services were held on June 4, 1990. The Education Building was extended sixteen feet and was financed with Ozella Young Memorial funds.
Church activities were a revival October 25-27, 1991; the Finance Committee sponsored Ethnic dinners as fund raisers as well as good fellowship; a weekend campout was held jointly with Mountainair at the Darnell apple orchard; Bible study was conducted on Sunday nights; Vacation Bible School had an average attendance of 18. Joint Thanksgiving Services were held at the church with four churches participating; several young people attended confirmation classes and became full members. Membership was 92.
From 1993 to 1995, Rev. Kim Kinsey served as the pastor. Trustees were: Kathy Martinez, Chairman, Tish McMichael, Charles Hughes, Francis Winn, Jim Young and Glenn Ewing. Elaine Darnell served as Chairman of the Administrative Council. Morrow Hall was church organist and Charles Hughes was choir director. During this time Bishop Norris came and preached at the 90th anniversary celebration.
Directive UMC signs were put up on both ends of Estancia. We continued with the Food Pantry. Vacation Bible School was conducted. World Communion Day was observed. Candlelight services were held on Christmas Eve. Lent and Advent workshops for preschool and elementary aged children were offered. Two work days, with assistance by the youth of St. John’s UMC, Albuquerque, were held for the purpose of maintenance work on the church property. The church nonprofit status and incorporation papers were updated.
Rev. Dave Blackwell and family arrived in Estancia in 1995 and continued serving our congregation until 2000.
In 1995, the membership was 95. In 1996, the membership increased to 117 with attendance of 55 to 75. The pastor attended St. Paul’s Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri in July and August 1995. Fundraising Ethnic dinners were continued. The budget was $35,278.25. Rev. Blackwell served as pastor of Estancia and Mountainair until 1999 when the Estancia Church became a full-time ministry.
The LOGOS program was instituted in 1995. Susan Wilson, Julianne Welch and Julie Griffo were instrumental in getting the LOGOS program started. The program was very successful!
Other activities were the “Prayer Partners” seminar, which was led by Pastor Ann Maddon and Zoe Dean Middleton. We hosted the community Easter Sunrise services which was followed by a breakfast. Members contributed to the “Angel Tree” for children of prisoners. The prayer chain was continued. Fourteen food baskets were delivered to needy families on Thanksgiving. A candlelight Community Service was held on Christmas Eve.
We were awarded four of the five awards from the district: (1) double digit increase in “fair share”. (2) Increase in membership. (3) Increase in attendance. (4) Increase in Sunday School (200%). Dr. John Barrett conducted “On the Rock Ministries”, an evangelistic revival in April 1998. Rev. Blackwell conducted three healing services during his tenure in Estancia. Eleven members attended the “Walk to Emmaus.” In 1999, we hosted a gathering of Emmaus groups. Approximately 100 people were in attendance, which was a record.
An Outreach Committee member or the Pastor visited and delivered loaves of fresh, homemade bread to new visitors and new people in the community, welcoming them to Estancia and to our church. A second Sunday School class was organized in 1997, with Jeff Gorum as teacher. In 1996, the church took a stand and signed a petition against gambling casinos in New Mexico. In 1997, Bibles were given to the new confirmands. On June 20, 1999, thirty-nine youth conducted the church services. A pageant was presented by the young people in 1997.
Rev. Blackwell conducted after school study classes for children from the Elementary School. Sue Hughes took over the responsibility of the food pantry. Barbara and Bill Simms edited the publication “Newsletter” in 1998 and have continued to the present time. The chimes were repaired in 1996 and are working again.
Cokesberry hymnals were purchased in 1996 as well as a badly needed vacuum cleaner. Other purchases in 1996 were a copier and computer. In 1997, a new Technic, microchip, digital piano was purchased. A badly needed roof on the Sanctuary was contracted and financed by the Helen Mattingly Memorial. Tapes of the church services were delivered to shut-ins.
John Hughes was instrumental in getting a new parking area on the east side of the church and parallel parking on the north. The Highway Department put up two signs, one at the intersection of Hwy 41 and 6th street and one at the edge of town providing directions to the church. Chet Mariner and Dr. Fredrikson reinforced and repaired the pews and installed racks for the hymnals. The UMC sign in front of the church was refurbished by Susan and Sam Wilson. A fund raising community picnic netted $560.00.
In 1999, the pews in the Sanctuary were upholstered with beautiful red cushions, thanks to Ethel Floyd, and new carpeting was laid in the Education Building.
Trustees in 1997 were: Roy McConkey, Susan Wilson, Charles Hughes, John Hughes, Kenneth Moore, Carolyn Hill and Jim Young. Elaine Darnell served as Administrative Council Chairman from 1994 - 1999. In 1999, John Hughes was elected Administrative Council Chairman. Trustees were: John Hughes, Charles Hughes, Elaine Darnell, Jeff Gorum, Mark Lambert, Mike Hughes and Waynett Burnett. Organist was Morrow Hall, Choir Director was Charles Hughes and Lay Leader was Marcia Fitzner.
The budget in 1996 was $37,238.45. In 1997 the budget was $40,139.95 and in 1999 it was raised to $47,958.20. All apportionments were paid. The pastor’s salary in 1999 was $23,513.00 plus benefits..
Other activities were: New Year’s Eve Watch Services, Maundy Thursday Services with a Seder dinner, Memorial Day Services and an Easter Cantata.
Rev. Blackwell was ordained May 26, 2000 at Annual Conference with several members of our church attending. In 2000, Rev. Blackwell transferred to the Peralta Memorial UMC. In the interim between pastors (Rev. Blackwell and Rev. Neethling) the parsonage was painted, new carpeting laid and other repairs made.
. Rev. Johann Neethling and family arrived in Estancia in June 2000 and remained here until May 2002. Ann was an accomplished musician and a registered nurse. Morrow continued as organist and Ann played the piano, which added to the music in the church.
Trustees for 2001 were: Mark Lambert, Chairman, John Cramer, Vice Chairman, Marcella Reynolds, Cyle Sharp, Michael Calhoun, Ron Reynolds, Pat Rogers, Mike Hughes and Waynett Burnett. Administrative Council Chairman for 1999 -2002 was Ethel Floyd. Lay Leader - Nick Griffo. Organist - Morrow Hall and Pianist - Ann Neethling. Choir Director - Ethel Floyd.
A very successful LOGOS program continued with 77 to 100 plus attending and with 30 to 35 adults from various churches assisting. An ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) was established offering English as a second language to the Spanish speaking community in the area. The pastor worked with the local school system to develop the “Jacob’s Ladder” reading program within the Elementary grades. A prayer walk to the school campus was made one Sunday.
The men of the church reorganized and are having men’s prayer breakfasts once each month. They are helping financially with support of Waco Children’s Home. Members are also participating in an Emmaus reunion group. The Outreach Committee delivers cookies to visitors to our church and welcomes them to come back to church. The food bank is active ministering to needy people in the community. Rev. Neethling took communion to shut-ins the first Sunday of each month.
A successful Stewardship program was initiated whereby we were able to meet all apportionments. The pastor met weekly with other local pastors to gather support, prayer and shared ministry.
Other activities: In partnership with the Mountainair UMC, hosted a summer missionary project with two missionaries from the Methodist Seminary in Monterrey, Mexico. They did a six weeks study in our area, ministering within the Spanish speaking community. .
Rev. Neethling set up an Estancia United Methodist Church web site on the church computer on June 17th, 2001. We were grateful to the General Board of Global Ministries for hosting our site and giving us the opportunity to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ beyond Estancia. The web site covers each phase of the church activities. A spreadsheet of all membership statistics from 1905 to 2005 is on the church computer as well as all financial records.
Ten men from the church attended “Promise Keeper’s” event in Albuquerque on August 19, 2001. The day and one-half conference dealt with issues of marriage, sexuality, parenting, racism, pride, abuse and how to finish life’s race well. More than 300 men made formal decisions to live the Christian life.
Our church hosted the Ecumenical “Harmony in Jesus” - a musical program furnished by local churches. In 2001, the Administrative Council Chairman conducted an orientation meeting and presented “how to” booklets to each committee chairman.
When Rev. Neethling and family first arrived in Estancia, they invited three or four families at a time to meet in their home (the parsonage) for a “Bring and Share” lunch to become better acquainted with the church family. This event included fellowship and the presence of Christ sharing of the Lord’s Supper with communion following the lunch.
Another “get acquainted” project was name tags on a cord to be worn by each member or visitor during church services. A church calendar was made up reflecting committee meeting dates.. This calendar was distributed to all committee chairmen.
The first Father’s Day picnic was held June 16, 2001 at the Mora Ranch in Escobosa. A short worship service was held, followed by games, food and fellowship.
On August 5, 2001, the time for the Sunday morning services was changed from 9:00 - 10:00 to 10:00 - 11:00. It was changed to allow Sunday School prior to church services. Rev. Neethling revived an adult Sunday School class and they studied Max Lucardo’s Book on Revelations.
Improvements were made to all church properties including the installation of a new sewer line for the Education Building. A church directory was published. The sewing group made gifts of new altar cloths. Bibles were given to the comfirmands, Jacque Creamer, Ashlee Stewart and Jett Sharp. A revival meeting led by Evangelist Philbobb Borman was held. Full membership is 18l. Vacation Bible School was held July 12-15, 2001, with forty-five children attending.
Trustees for 2002 were: Mark Lambert, Chairman, Marcella Reynolds, Mike Calhoun, John Creamer, Ron Reynolds, Kathleen Long, Mel Stephenson, Allen Avery and Tracy Hemke. The Administrative Council Chairman was Roy Daniel. The organist was Morrow Hall, the pianist - Anne Neethling. Ethel Floyd was Choir Director. The EUMC newsletter was published by Barbara and Bill Simms. The pastor’s salary was $24,513.00 plus benefits..
Plans are being made for the 100th anniversary celebration of the Estancia United Methodist Church. The celebration will be held the last weekend in July, 2005. A complete history of the church from 1905 to 2005 has been compiled and is published in a spiral book for each family who attends the celebration. Extra copies have been made for future use.
In May 2002, Rev. Neethling and family left Estancia and moved to Washington State. In the absence of a minister, the United Methodist women conducted the service on May 19, 2002. Their service consisted of a pantomime narrated by Marcia Fitzner and written and directed by Ethel Floyd. The theme was “God’s Bodacious Women” and was a story of women in the Bible. Several members of the church, men, women and children, were the actors. This pantomime was repeated at the annual Ecumenical Luncheon which the UMW holds each year.
Rev. Linda Mizell was assigned to the Estancia charge and she and her husband, Paul, moved into the parsonage in May 2002.
A Pastor’s Fellowship Fourth of July picnic was held in the City Park at which time our pastor delivered the sermon followed by fellowship and the picnic.
Vacation Bible school was held July 15-19, 2002, with Cheryl Chavez in charge. On August 14th 2002, part of a movie was shot at the Estancia United Methodist Church. The church received $750.00 for the one day they were shooting the church scene.
A prayer group was organized on September 10, 2002.
Charge Conference was held in Estancia on October 10, 2002. Trustees for 2003, are John Creamer, Chairman, Caroline Moore, Vice Chairman; Francis Winn, Secretary, Members: Mel Stephenson, Ray Darnell and Marcella Reynolds, Mel Stephenson, Chairman of the Administration Council and Morrow Hall continues as Organist. Pastor’s salary - $27,599.00 plus benefits.
LOGOS began again on October 14, 2002. A Community Thanksgiving Service was held November 24, 2002, at the Estancia UMC with the Baptist Church minister giving the message.
A Project, “Faith Comes by Hearing” was initiated by Rev. Mizell at which time 44% of the congregation accepted the challenge to listen/read through the New Testament” within 40 days. This project was led by Francis Winn. Also, during the Christmas Season, a candlelight communion service was conducted by our pastor, Linda Mizell. Caroling was enjoyed, especially since Lowell and Gail Clark furnished a wagon drawn by horses for the carolers to ride in while caroling.
United Methodist Youth reorganized in January 2003, with the following officers: President - Alice Daniel; Vice President: Brian Wilson; Secretary - Ashley Welch and Treasurer - Jacque Creamer. On January 13th, the Mizell’s hosted a Potato Extravaganza at which time they honored the LOGOS Volunteers. The evening was in appreciation for the work done by EUMC members and included members from other local churches who helped make the LOGOS program a success. The Mizells cooked very large potatoes and had a wide variety of condiments. They also had a guest speaker, Ann Edenfield. She has traveled world wide bringing the LOGOS program to different countries.
“Weighdown Workshop” began January 29, 2003 in the home of Angela Creamer with Angela and Pam Lambert instructing. The Weighdown Workshop is a Christian based weight loss program that is leading thousands away from the slavery of food and dieting to a true relationship with God.
Palm Sunday was observed by the traditional waving of Palms and special music by the choir. We observed the Lord’s Last Supper on April 17th, 2003, and Easter Sunrise Sunday was a community service in the park. It began at 6:00 A.M., followed by a continental breakfast. Our pastor, Rev. Mizell, delivered the message. At the Sunday morning services, three Confirmands were presented and a reception was held in honor of them following the morning services. An Easter egg hunt was also furnished for the small children.
Praise music, led by Julie Griffo, has been added to the church services.
Silvia Levy and Marilyn Seddon made new altar cloths. Oil candles have been purchased for the altar.
Record of Pastors
100 Year Celebration
In July 2015, Pastor Terry Ann Moore made this discovery:
A hidden gift....
Have you ever had someone put a box in a box in a box for Christmas and put your present in the biggest or smallest box? When you finally saw it you were surprised? That is how I felt one day this summer when I had been on the internet looking up some historical events for the area. I found out that the first County Fair was held in 1905 and that P.A. Speckman, editor and proprietor of the "Estancia News”, wrote some fun and interesting articles for this event. Mr. Speckman, for those who do not know, was a Trustee at our church and I believe the first Sunday School Superintendent. He is also the grandfather of Susan Samuels, who serves as our communion steward.
As I was reading the information on a site the UNM Library has for maintaining small town newspapers, I see a picture that looked familiar… It looked like our church! The picture is right in the top middle center of an edition dated Sept., 1905. (see drawing)
I copied it off and some other items and put it away for a couple of days. Then when I looked at it again, bells rang and I got so excited. As long as I could remember, no one could tell us who the original architect of the church was and lo and behold, there on the picture were the initials of B.D. Price, Architect. I did some work on Wikipedia and realized that we needed to know this gentleman’s story. Mr. Price, whose real name is Benjamin Detwiler Price, was born in Pennsylvania. A census taken listed him not only as an architect, but a farmer as well. (see Wikipedia) In the 1870s, he set up an office in the Philadelphia area and within a few years was selling his architectural plans to catalogs, like Sears and Roebuck. The Methodist Episcopal Board of Church Extension hired him to draw affordable plans for small churches. By 1907 it is reported that he had sold plans to over 6,000 churches.
Our church was built in 1905 and we had often heard the term a "kit" church. Many including myself, thought the kit might have had something to do with the materials used to build the church. Instead it was part of the interchangeable floor plans Mr. Price put together in a book titled "Church Plans" and sold to the churches for their use through the catalogs. Hence, we are a kit church but in a different way.
Take a close look at that original drawing. Was the church built like that drawing? Let us know what you see.
Back to my having fun reading old newspapers.
Vaya Con Dios!
Rev. Terry Ann Moore
The Rev. A.P. Morrison, D.D.,
Superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal Mission in New Mexico, visited Estancia on October 27, 1903, and preached his first sermon here in the old news office of P.A. Speckmann, which was then only partially under roof. Seats were made of nail kegs and boards and a stove was put up. Two ladies and forty men comprised the
congregation. That night the preacher slept on a counter and the sheriff slept on a second counter. He had a prisoner chained to the counter on which he slept, whose bunk was the floor.
Another account of one of the first ministers: A Methodist Circuit rider was making his rounds, preaching at early make-shift buildings, or anywhere people gathered to hear