The Wheatland United Church of Christ will hold a 100th celebration of their church building on Sunday, Nov. 11. (Courtesy photo)
WHEATLAND - The Wheatland United Church of Christ (WUCC) was originally known as Union Congregational Church (UCC). The congregation was established on March 3, 1895. In 1957, the UCC merged with the Evangelical Reformed Church (ER) and became known as the WUCC.
This local merger reflected the national merger of the Congregational and Evangelical Reformed Church (ER)
The first UCC building at Walnut and 11th Streets was dedicated on July 7, 1895. The ER church was located at Oak and 13th Streets. In 1912, the UCC moved the old building and built the main church building.
According to Platte County Public Library Archives, the construction contract was awarded to Goodrich and Windom. Construction started in the fall of 1912.
The upper walls are 13 inches thick and constructed from Cheyenne pressed brick. Unique stained glass windows adorn the west, east and south walls of the worship space. The American Seating Company built the wooden pews.
Over the decades, the congregation made changes to the altar and added an addition on the north side for offices and classrooms.
In celebration of the new church home, in 1913, the UCC held an evening service, a public reception and a home gathering. Before the regular Sunday morning service, the Sunday School group marched from the old building to the new location. Rev. W.B.D. Gray served as minister
The newspaper, Wheatland World, reported in 1912 that the congregation waited a long time for its new home. The UCC said in the article, “we are thankful for the generosity which has made it possible. This beautiful building stands in the center of town, the admiration of all who see it, and honor to the town and people where it shall make good. The building can do nothing of itself, the people must make use of it”.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the church building. On November 11, 2012, the WUCC will celebrate with a special worship service (10:30 AM) and an open house immediately following (11:30 AM).
The public is invited to join us for worship and/or the open house, where the WUCC will offer tours and refreshments.
The WUCC is an active and growing congregation. It is proud to still make use of the church to serve the community by operating the Wheatland Food Bank. The WUCC has an active music ministry, puppet ministry, and Stephen Ministry program. The congregation also owns the Platte Manor Senior Housing complex. Joyce Nolan serves as Music Director and Reverend Jane Willis (307-331-3992) serves as minister.
The current Moderator is Alden Prosser and Kellie Preuit is the Sunday School Superintendent. Dr. Zane Nevins is Chairman of the Trustees and Ken Pasley is Chairman of the Diaconate.
Lauren Wyndham is Chairwoman of the Food Bank Board, and Pam Goertz serves as Chairwoman of the Platte Manor Board.
Shelley Marker and Stacey Reichardt lead the Stephen Ministry program and Sherilyn Prosser leads the Fellowship Committee. Laurie Moede leads the Puppet Ministry. A number of members also participate in a prayer shawl ministry.
All the members and friends of the church work together to support the church and it’s programs. The national motto for the UCC is, “no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here”. Regular Sunday worship is at 10:30 AM .