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 Church History

The Beginning

    The first church service in Miller was held on the Sunday after Thanksgiving  Day in 1881.  A.L. McWhorter asked the builders to lay down their saws and hammers while he introduced the Reverend Mr. Pomeroy, a Presbyterian minister from Huron.  The Reverend Mr. Pomeroy conducted Christian services in the partly constructed Miller school building.

    A short time later in 1882, a Sunday School was organized by Reverend J. Kimball of the American Sunday School Union.  In May of the same year Reverend A.S. Foster arrived from Sac City, Iowa, to locate permanently in Miller, and take charge of the missionary work of Hand County under the auspices of the Presbyterian Home Mission.

     On June 25, 1882, the First Presbyterian Church of Miller was organized by Reverend W.S. Peterson, Presbyterian missionary for South Dakota.  The charter members were:  William McMurry, G.A. Gray, Harvey A. Dean, Mrs. Catherine Dean, Mrs. Ella Gardner, and Mrs. Maggie R. Foster.

     In October of 1882 plans were made for a church building with an anteroom over which a steeple and belfry were to be placed.  The lumber arrived the following May, and work was begun at once.  The original cost of the building was $2,050.00,  and was dedicated July 8, 1883, unencumbered by debt.

     The pastors and stated suppliers who served in that church building were:  Alex Foster, A.S. Elliot, James Bristol, LaTheo Iobe, Charles Bell, H. Morrison, Oscar E. Tell, U.G. Lacey, C. Howard Grube, A.P. Cooper., T.J. Simons and Joseph Andrews.

     During the pastorate of Joseph Andrews a second church building was erected on the site of the old one, and was dedicated June 15, 1930. The last mortgage for this building was paid off and burned in a ceremony November 18, 1945.  Anniversary services were held on the 50th, 60th and 65th anniversaries of the founding of the church.

     Important events in the years following the erection of the second building include the entertainment of more than two hundred delegates at Synod in 1931, and the purchase of a Moeller pipe organ, installed and dedicated November 13, 1949.

     L. Hume Ward was called as pastor, and assumed his duties April 15, 1950.  During the Pastorate of Rev. Ward, Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church was organized in the Southern part of Hand County.  Pastors who have served since L. Hume Ward are:  William C. Montignani, Tyra Talley, Donald E. Heeringa, James Smucker, Richard Lounsbery. Michael McCallum, and Brian Jones.

     The building that was constructed in 1928 is the building that has housed our church ever since.  In 2005 the Manse was moved two houses south of its existing location which was right next to the church and an addition to the church was completed in 2007.  The new addition provided a wonderful new kitchen and  fellowship room, which can be utilized for over flow of people for funerals, other services and church fellowship dinners/gatherings.  The basement area was also expanded at this time under the new addition and, in 2013 the existing basement remodeling and the "new" basement area were completed, providing additional and more serviceable Sunday School, choir and meeting rooms along with a wonderful Library Room. 

     Over the years, nearly 2,000 people have become members of this worshipping and praying community.  Many have moved on to other towns, and many have passed on to the next life, but folks still call this church their home.

 

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