The Swedish Methodist Episcopal Church, Moline

The church was organized in September, 1849, by Reverend Jonas Hedstrom of, it is said, seven members. Among them was Claus Bengston, the first Swedish settler in Moline. The meetings of the church were held in Mr. Bengston’s home for more than ten years. In 1860 the first church was built on Park Street and Boardman Avenue, now Seventh Avenue and Fifteenth Street or “Five Points.” That building was sold in 1871 and the old American Methodist church was bought and moved to the corner of Henry and Lynde Streets, now Fifth Avenue and Sixteenth Street, where the new church was built in 1889, during the pastorate of Martin Hess. During all these years the church has had a steady growth and progress, so from the seven first members the total number counts to date two hundred and twenty-five. If all the members who have joined and later moved to other places had held their membership here the church would now number more than twice its present membership. About twenty-five pastors have served the church during the past sixty years. Among them many of the pioneers in Swedish Methodism. The present pastor is John P. Miller, who is serving his fourth year. The parsonage was built about thirty-five years ago. The church property is worth today about $30,000.

Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908

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