History of St. Timothys
Why our name doesn’t have an apostrophe
Our Mission as St. Timothys
Motivated by the example of the first St. Timothy, each of us is called to be a St. Timothy in our age. Paul encouraged Timothy to instruct new followers in a love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. So if each of us is a St. Timothy, then together we are the plural – St. Timothys.
Our Church, St. Timothys, was created in the early 1950’s through the willing hearts and minds of those settling in the “Cedarloo” area, with the organizational efforts of Dr Frank Court, a Waterloo Methodist minister, and the vision and generosity of Waterloo industrialist and realtor Mr. William Galloway. It was, during this period of rapid growth that Mr. Galloway, in a phone call to personal friend Dr Court, pronounced, “We have a property in Cedarloo, on which I am sure the Divine Creator planned to have erected a church in His Honor and Glory. It is our wish to present this property to the Methodist church.” Soon after that call, Dr. Court began to canvass the area, finding many willing to join a new church. Through these combined efforts, the story of St. Timothys begins. As interest grew in a new church, an organizational meeting was held on May 23, 1952 with 43 in attendance at the Cedar Heights School.
The Rev. Edward Meyer was appointed by the North Iowa Conference as the first pastor in June. Reverend Meyer suggested the name given to St. Timothys. The first worship service of St. Timothys was held in the Auditorium of Cedar Heights School on June 29, 1952 and was attended by 80 persons.
Preliminary steps toward a new church building began in June, 1952. Ground breaking for the first portion of the church took place on March 29, 1953. Construction of the new building, which is now our Fellowship Hall, kitchen, and part of the gathering space, began in December that first year. The first service in what is now called Fellowship Hall was held on July 19th of that same year. Membership grew to 82 with 100 children and adults regularly attending Sunday School.
A memorable moment for the growing congregation was Jul 19, 1953, when the first worship service was held in the new building after 14 months of services in Cedar Heights School. On Sept 20, 1953, Bishop F. Gerald Ensley consecrated St. Timothys’ first building. The Pioneer Adult Sunday School class started in April of 1954 and became a tradition that continued through the early 70’s. October saw the approval of a parsonage building project completed in July, 1956.
The Rev. Robert Moss was appointed to take over leadership of St. Timothys in June 1957. Under his leadership, construction of tile present sanctuary was boldly undertaken. The building committee hired architect Keith Lorensen of Waterloo on May 2, 1958. In 1959, plans were approved for a Sanctuary, overflow room, 2 large rooms for Educational space and some remodeling of the existing building to provide offices Almost a year later, on July 17, 1960, the first worship service was held in our present sanctuary. On Sept 25, 1960, Bishop Gerald Ensley consecrated the new sanctuary at morning worship.
The unique layout of our sanctuary is owed in part to the building committee who wanted to create an atmosphere of community and centered worship. The committee explained Jesus’ followers gathered around Him in a circle to worship, where no person was farther than a few rows deep. When remarking on the unusual architecture of the sanctuary, members were heard to say, “The church roof is held up by faith alone.”
The Rev. Roger Russell became the 3rd pastor of this congregation, serving from 1961 to 1967. Plans for a two floor, 6200 square foot addition to provide added educational space were approved in 1964. This new educational wing was built during Rev. Russell’s tenure, and was opened for use on Sunday, April 25, 1965. On January 23, 1966, Bishop James S. Thomas consecrated the new educational facility including the library and Sunday School office.
The Rev. William Green was the fourth St. Timothys pastor from 1967 to 1970. During his pastorate, the mission outreach of St. Timothys became more evident through local support of the urban ministry and use of the building by Head Start. St. Timothys also participated with several other churches to create the Logandale Housing Project in Waterloo for low income families.
The 5th pastor to serve this congregation was the Rev. Donald Carver, appointed in June 1970. During his tenure, the congregation completed full payment of its indebtedness and a consecration service was held September 9, 1973, with Bishop James S. Thomas presiding.
St. Timothys celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1977 under the leadership of a new pastor, the Rev. Paul O. Pfaltzgraff. The Trinity Sculpture, cross, candlesticks and altar cloths were added in 1978. St. Timothys continued its involvement in the community and beyond including UMCOR, Community Meals, and Habitat for Humanity.
The Rev. Robert Leverenz was appointed to St. Timothys in June of 1980. During this period the Appalachia Service Project was in full swing sending youth groups on missions every summer.
The parsonage was renovated in preparation for the arrival of the Rev. Dan Herndon and his family in June of 1987. During Pastor Dan’s tenure, the congregation adopted a Statement of Inclusiveness – taking a first step toward becoming a reconciling congregation.
The Rev. Dennis Gilbert was appointed in 1994. This same year, the congregation responded to a critical need for a new organ to replace the original dating back to 1961. The new organ was dedicated in November during a special evening concert. 1997 saw the first of several Pork Dinner fundraising events held at St. Timothys bringing the congregation together to raise funds for Urban Ministry and other local missions.
In June 1998, the Rev. Dick Clark was appointed to serve as Senior Pastor. In 1999, St. Timothys welcomed the Montessori System school to its facility continuing a history of community support. In that same year, air conditioning was added to the sanctuary. In 2002, St. Timothys celebrated 50 years of ministry in Cedar Falls. Several former pastors accepted invitations to take part in the event, including Reverend Edward Meyer, the very first pastor at St. Timothys.
On the heels of our 50th anniversary, the congregation decided it was time to update our physical surroundings and in early 2005 we completed a major renovation of the sanctuary, offices, and main hallways. As a result we are enjoying new, welcoming, and open spaces that encourage innovations in worship and fellowship.
In 2007, St. Timothys decided to become a reconciling congregation, and formally affiliated with the Reconciling Ministries Network, and committed to working toward full inclusion of all people.
The congregation sent all their best wishes with Dick and Linda Clark as they retired from their positions as Senior Pastor and Director of Music Ministries in June 2010. During their final year with us, a scholarship in Dick’s name at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary was created and fully endowed. And our mortgage for the 2005 renovation was paid in full.
We welcomed the Rev. Linda Butler as our new pastor on July 4, 2010. During Pastor Linda’s time with us, we celebrated our 60th anniversary, and continued our commitment to advocacy to those who are hungry, in need of care, or suffer discrimination.
In 2013, Pastor Linda moved on to Dysart UMC. On July 7, 2013, the Rev. Marilee (Wendi) Gillan accepted and fulfilled her appointment as pastor of St. Timothys. She served until her retirement in 2019, having been a role model for compassion and caring and loving one another.
Rev. Scott Lothe is our current pastor. He is continuing our emphasis of being a welcoming church for ALL people, as we are all children of God. The story of St. Timothys continues as we grow in both in body and spirit…