Kremlin Methodist Church History

This history of the Kremlin Methodist Church
was compiled by Donna Purdy Haugen (early history) and
Judi Holsapple Gomke (recent history).

The Nannie Rogers Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church (Kremlin Methodist Church) began around 1911 when many homesteaders filed on acreage in the Kremlin area.

The "Nannie Rogers" in the church's original name came from the fact that some of the money to build the church came from a single woman from the eastern United States, Nannie Rogers, who wanted to help establish a church in the west and gave seed money to do so.

The congregation was served by Charles Sumner Davis who had a homestead north of Kremlin, probably until 1921 when he moved to Mapleton, Oregon.


    Kremlin Methodist Church, 1914
    Photo from 1914 postcard of Kremlin.
Kremlin Methodist Church 1914

R. Montague Bickle served the Hi-Line Parish from 1926-1931 according to Chester's church records.

John B. Stuart was appointed to the Hi-Line Parish for the years 1935-1941, serving Kremlin as part of that parish. Rev. Stuart probably continued to have services during these years as records show that two local couples were married by him in 1938.


    Kremlin Methodist Church, 1916/1917
    Photo courtesy of Judy Holsapple Gomke, dated 1916/1917 in Lutheran 50th Anniversary Book.
Kremlin Methodist Church 1916

George Reid held services at the Kremlin Methodist Church during the time he served the Van Orsdel Church at Havre, until James W. Knorr, Jr. came to the Hi-Line in 1946. Rev. Knorr provided valuable and energetic leadership before leaving in 1948.

Arthur L. Swarerns was then appointed, followed by Clarence E. Drumheller in 1951. The Drumhellers left in January of 1954 and Richard Vick, pastor in Havre then was at our church as well as Donald L. Brown who was serving the Hi-Line/Chester Parish.

The Kremlin Methodist church was transferred from the Hi-Line Parish to the Havre Parish in July 1955 and Rev. Carl and Mrs. Cartwright, Jr. were helpful summer pastors.

Mrs. Vernon E. (Marion) Lewis arrived in January as an associate to Rev. Vick and brought our church her enthusiasm and loving care. In January of 1956 the Vicks left Havre and Owen Arrington replaced him. Mrs. Lewis left in November 1956 on appointment to Richey, Mt. Leroy Cranston took her place, serving the church until June 1957, with Rev. Arrington coming periodically to provide Communion.

The American Baptist minister serving Gildford, Rev. Gene Boggess, filled the pulpit in June and September of 1957. We had afternoon services with Rev. Arrington during 1958 and District Superintendent Gordon Patterson came when he could. The Brethren Church minister Rev. Richard Nolt held services during the summer of 1958.

Arthur R. Peterson was associate pastor at Havre from June 1958 to June 1959 and served our church during that time. We felt a deep sense of personal loss when he and his wife, Mary Lou, were killed in a car crash in Illinois on January 1, 1960.

The new Hi-Line Parish of Methodist churches at Kremlin, Hingham and Inverness was established in May 1959 and Warren P. Smith was appointed pastor, serving until June 1963. A layman from Havre, Charles V. Morris and Howard Hunter, then student, served our church until January 1964 when Sid Coral was appointed to the 3-point Hi-Line Parish.

In June 1967, Donald L. Keefauver came serving one year. Charles J. Nielsen was appointed to the Hi-Line Parish in 1968. The Hingham congregation decided to discontinue their church in 1969 and in July of 1970 Charles Nielsen was moved to the Scobey parish.

On September 19, 1970 Conrad Rhoads of the American Baptist Church, serving at Gildford, began service and served for 13 years before moving to Oregon. Our church was then served by VaunDalee Delong of the Van Orsdel United Methodist Church in Havre. She was the church secretary and then Seminary Student.

In 1986 Kremlin again yoked with Havre for a minister, their youth pastor and our pastor. The three pastors for us were under Senior Pastor Bill William Thomas Jr. They were Gene D. Scarbro, Robert J. Klein and David Greep in the years up to 1989. Scarbro and Klein lived in the parsonage house in Kremlin.

In 1989 Kremlin United Methodist Church yoked with the Big Sandy United Methodist Church. In 1989 to 1991 we again had Donald Keefauver. Then in 1991 to 1995 our pastor was Earl Kainz who had taught school in Kremlin many years before.

Richard Marine was our pastor for three years from 1995 to 1998 before moving to Texas. Connie Cranston came from Colorado to serve us in 1998 to 2001.

Our last pastor was Marvin Eldridge and his wife Betty Jo who were part of our church family from 2001 to 2010 when Marvin's health caused him to leave us. We are currently being served by lay speakers that Van Orsdel is kind enough to share with us.


    Kremlin Methodist Church, 2010
    Photos courtesy of John Inman, who was baptised in this church.
Kremlin Methodist Church, Front View, 2010 Kremlin Methodist Church, Side View, 2010

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