Many, many years ago the Sac and Fox Indian tribes resided where our church now stands. The United States government came into the picture when they took the land from the Indians and placed it up for homesteading. In 1870 the Stephen and Phoebe Burkdoll family moved here from Indiana. Phoebe’s family, the Marion Richards, moved here at the same time. At that time Stephen Burkdoll gave the land where our church building now stands to a group of believers to build a church.
According to records, the body of believers were united and joined into membership of the United Brethren Church in 1871. The Burkdolls were among the charter members. One record we have has Marion Richards as joining as early as 1870. We have no records as to where the group met, but do have information suggesting they met in a schoolhouse one and one- quarter miles east of where Mt. Pleasant stands today. Land was given for the school house in 1882 where they probably held services before the building of the church in 1884. Rev. J. B. Deever was pastor when the first building was erected.
The Lyndon Circuit in the 1880’s and 1890’s was composed of Mt. Zion and Mr. Pleasant with several other points in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. February 7, 1892, nine members of the Mt. Pleasant Church were granted letters to the Lyndon Church when the class there was formed. The records show the Tequa Class, consisting of members from Quenemo, Williamsburg and Rosemont areas, was discontinued November 12, 1897. The Lyndon Church was discontinued February 13, 1889, only six years after its start. The Bethel and Diamond Classes ceased before 1909. The post office address of the members was Pomona for both of these classes. The Mt. Zion Class, three miles north of Vassar, was closed October 5,1907. It seems to have been the most abiding of all but the Mt. Pleasant Church. The residue of membership from all these classes was assigned to the Mt. Pleasant Church.
Beginning with the call of 1909, Mt. Pleasant was placed with Mt. Herman and Osage City United Brethren Churches and made a part of the Osage City charge. Rev. P.M. Herrick was the pastor and lived in Osage City. The assignment lasted but two years. From the fall of 1911, until the fall of 1916, Mt. Pleasant seems to have existed alone. M.A. Follet was pastor when Mt. Pleasant was again placed with Mt. Herman. During the 1918 – 1919 conference year, the Osage City Church ceased to function as a part of the Quarterly Conference. In 1921, the Osage City parsonage was sold for $1000 and the property at 302 West 6th in Lyndon was purchased for the same figure. This became the pastor’s residence. After that the Lyndon Circuit consisted of just Mt. Herman and Mt. Pleasant churches.
During the 1909 – 1911 arrangement, Mt. Herman appeared to be the stronger of the two churches, according to the Quarterly Conference records. But with the beginning of their life together in 1916, Mt. Pleasant reports show it to be the stronger church. It consistently held this position thru the years as shown by the Local Conference records (formerly the Quarterly Conference).
Through these years the Mt. Pleasant United Brethren Church leavened the life of the people of this community. For some sixty years the class existed, first in homes, then in the school building and eventually in their own building. In 1934, under the pastoral leadership of Rev. G.B. Clay, the church celebrated fifty years of service in the original building. There has been a Sunday School all these years.
In 1946, the Evangelical and United Brethren in Christ denominations united to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. This changed the denominational name of Mt. Pleasant, but not it’s local name. It was still the church God was using to minister to the spiritual needs of the community.
The sanctuary was redecorated in September of 1953. The Ladies’ Aid Society paid for materials. The following summer the ladies paid for the new hardwood floor to be installed. For many years the ladies would hold a fall bazaar to raise monies for church improvements and programs. Many ladies of the community would participate. People for miles around would come to the Mt. Pleasant Fall Bazaar to shop for homemade crafts as well as a good meal and baked items to take home. During the years of the 40’s and 50’s we had as many as 45 members of the Ladies’ Aid. The Ladies’ Aid existed many years and we have records through the 1970’s showing ladies working in the church.
In May of 1958, the Lyndon Circuit and the Vassar Church were placed under the pastoral care of Harold and Pearl Megill. Vassar had a nice parsonage and since the Lyndon parsonage was in bad repair, it was sold. The money, $1900, was divided equally between the Mt. Herman and Mt. Pleasant Churches.
In the spring of 1959, Mt. Pleasant took the money from the sale of the parsonage and began building the Educational and Social Annex. The trustees bought the Asbury Methodist building located eight miles north of Lyndon for $400. The building was torn down and transported to the Mt. Pleasant Church yard. This material was used in the building of the annex, which was dedicated on October 18, 1959. This annex cost a total of $1700 and was dedicated with scarcely any debt. Over 1200 hours of labor were donated for the project. Alvin Miller and Henry Behrens put in more time and work than anyone.
In the summer of 1968, under the leadership of Rev. Bob Baer, Mt. Pleasant Evangelical United Brethren Church became the Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church. Once again the denominational name had changed, but the body of believers was still the same.
In May 1976, the church bell was mounted in native stone in memory of L. K. Williams. From that point to the present time, we ring it every Sunday morning to announce the time for Sunday School.
In June of 1977, Mt. Pleasant Church became disassociated with the United Methodist denomination. Four families of the Mt. Pleasant Community, the Dean Burkdolls, Kenneth MeCreights, Donald Dehns and Ralph Varners, were determined not to let the church doors close simply because they were no longerassociated with a denomination. With much prayer, a delegation traveled to the United Methodist Conference that spring to ask to purchase the property. At the same time another church was also seeking to purchase property the Methodist Church no longer used. The other church was given their church for the cost of $1. After much discussion, it was decided Mt. Pleasant would be sold for the price of $2000. The doors of Mt. Pleasant Church were only closed for one Sunday morning. The second Sunday of June, 1977, we opened our doors as the Mt. Pleasant Community Church. (See list in back for Charter Members.)
By the fall of 1979, we had begun thinking of adding on restrooms and a nursery. Under the directions of our pastors, Rev. David Jellison and Rev. James Johnson, we not only built on the addition to the south of the church, but we also purchased new pews and carpeted the sanctuary. On Rally Day of 1980, Rev. Johnson dedicated these new additions.
October 13,1980, we moved Rev. Johnson and his family into the newly purchased parsonage on the corner of Highway 68 and the Melvern county road. Wepurchased this double wide mobile home for $6500. Less than one year later, after we had called Rev. Larry and Cindy Jones as our pastor, we began efforts to enlarge our classroom and fellowship areas. That fall we began by rewiring and insulating the existing building and by adding ceiling fans in the sanctuary. The next spring we began work on the new Fellowship Hall. We also installed central heating and air conditioning. By May, 1983, we dedicated the finished hall. Cost of the addition was $45,425. At the time of the dedication we owed only $6000. This was paid off by September of 1983.
Early in 1984, discussion was on purchasing a more substantial parsonage. The trustees began looking and by October of 1984, we took possession of the property at 522 East 6th St. in Lyndon. We were able to purchase the property without borrowing any money. Cost of the property was $37,000.
In October of 1984 at our Rally Day meeting, we celebrated 100 years of service in the church building. The fall of 1986, under the leadership of Rev. David Gordeuk, we added the addition to the north of the sanctuary. We dedicated the Lockhart-Green addition on January 4, 1987. As the congregation was growing and we were overflowing into the annex on a regular basis, we decided to build our new and present sanctuary. On May 5, 1982, Dean Burkdoll had deeded the property where the church stood to the Mt. Pleasant Community Church and on August 20, 1988, he added more to the property so we could expand our facilities. In July of 1989 we broke ground, deciding to build without borrowing. The present sanctuary was built at a cost of $245,658.03 and many hours of donated labor. The present facilities on the hill at Mt. Pleasant are appraised at $500,650 and we are debt free!
We began meeting in the new sanctuary in 1993 on folding chairs and completed the facility to have our first service by Easter of 1994. We now have the facilities and can concentrate on the building of God’s kingdom through Sunday School, Sunday morning and evening services, Pioneer Club, Teen Ministry, Adult Bible Studies and Prayer Meetings.