Information reprinted from
1986 Brooklyn Center Sun-Post supplement.
The Brooklyn United Methodist Church, which celebrates its 132nd anniversary this year, had its beginnings in 1854 when two mothers knelt in prayer for guidance.
Then, gathering their children, they began teaching bible lessons. The rigors of life in the pioneering community made them seek for strength greater than their own. As few families came, other classes were formed—for adults as well as for children.
The first class, which grew into the Brooklyn Methodist Church, consisted of John Ware Dow, Susan Dow, John Plumer, Harriet Plumer, Louisa Durnham and Naomi Johnson, according to the book, “A Church Grows in Brooklyn.”
HARD YEARS FOLLOWED, but the classes of devout people continued to meet. Even though 75 men from the community left for the Civil War, the people who remained kept their meetings and Sunday School alive in homes, granaries and later in the Howe School south of the present church at 7200 Brooklyn Blvd.
As the years passed, the need for a church building became evident. Hiram Bohanon gave the land for the first church building. On July 7, 1856, the first loads of lumber were hauled by Abisha Benson. With the help of others, construction began on a 23 by 40-foot building. The first meeting was held in the new church Sept. 16, 1866.
The Brooklyn Baptist Church was built in 1886, and was located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Brooklyn Blvd. and 69th Ave. N. In 1912, the Baptist Church had 29 members, and the Brooklyn Methodist Church, had 51 members. In an attempt to make ends meet, they experimented to combine the two churches.
World War I took its toll of youth again, and once more a depression came to the community. For economy, the 45-member Baptist Church voted to join the 55-member Methodist church in alternating Sunday services in each building. Finally, the Baptist church was closed, and its members joined the Methodists about 1915, bringing with them their church bell, which is installed in the Brooklyn United Methodist Church sanctuary bell tower.
IN THE 1920’s, the Methodists built a large recreation hall under the direction of the Rev. Henry Soltau, which served as a true community center. Plays, athletic events and the Harvest Home Festivals were held there for many years.
The Harron Methodist Church, 5452 Dupont Ave. N. had its beginning in 1914. Sunday School classes, taught by laymen from North Methodist Church, 44th and Fremont Aves. N., Minneapolis, were started in Brooklyn Center. The classes met at the Earle Brown School and in homes. Before they had buildings for worship, many Brooklyn Center congregations met in schools.
The present site of Harron Methodists was purchased in 1927 and a basement was built. During the Depression, members donated their labor, and some workers, paid 50 cents an hour, returned 10 percent to the church fund. The present church, named for the Rev. Frank Harron, North Methodist pastor, was dedicated Nov. 23, 1941.
After World War II, when young families began to move to the suburbs, more churches were built in Brooklyn Center. Brookdale Covenant, 5139 Brooklyn Blvd., has roots that go back 86 years when the congregation worshipped in the Camden area of North Minneapolis; the Brooklyn Center church was built in 1956.
MEMBERS OF Northbrook Alliance Church, 6240 Aldrich Ave. N., held their first service in 1945 at the Northside Chapel, 3119 Emerson Ave., N. The congregation then purchased the Enga Funeral home, North Minneapolis, where members worshipped until the Brooklyn Center church was dedicated in 1956. Brooklyn Center Baptist, 5840 Humboldt Ave. N., was built in 1952, and Lutheran Church of the Triune God, 5827 Humboldt Ave. N., in 1953.
Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, 5929 Brooklyn Blvd., was dedicated in 1956, and has had the same pastor, the Rev. Carl Groettum, since then. Members of Brookdale Christian Center Assembly of God, 6030 Xerxes Ave. N., started meeting in Twin Lake School in 1956, purchased land in 1958, and built an education wing in 1959. In 1976, the congregation purchased a Presbyterian church next door, which became King’s Academy and now is the Brookdale Christian Center, a school.
St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, 71st and Halifax Aves., N., celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 1984, and Lutheran Church of the master, 1200 – 69th Ave. N., in 1985. The Berean Evangelical Free Church, 6625 Humboldt Ave. N., began in 1962; the Church of Christ, 6206 N. Lilac Drive in 1963 after first meetings were held in the basement of a Fridley grocery store for two years.
Church of the Nazarene, 501 – 73rd Ave. N., began in 1967. Now in a new building in Brooklyn Park, the former Brooklyn Center Evangelical Free Church, 6830 Quail Ave., N., was sold in late 1984, and is now the Korean Presbyterian Church of the Twin Cities.