In June, 1962, Dr. H. Hughes Dill, a retired member of the North Iowa Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, was appointed to serve as pastor of a new congregation in northeast Cedar Rapids. Following this appointment, worship services took place in the Chapel of Memories at Cedar Memorial Park. As the weeks progressed, the folks who worshipped together discussed a name for this fledgling congregation. Many suggestions were lifted up. Suggestions included Grace, St. John’s, St. Timothy’s, Knollwood, Cedar Lane, Praying Hands, Matthew, Upper Room, Oak Street, and Lockwood.
Ultimately, Dr. Dill mentioned the name, “Lovely Lane,” and this name was chosen. The name connected with the early beginnings of Methodists in the United States. It was at Lovely Lane Chapel in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1784, that our denomination began just after the American Revolution. The event was the Christmas Conference. On September 4, 1962 then, Lovely Lane Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids was officially organized. At this time, thirty-nine members were listed on the membership rolls.
From this point on, Lovely Lane began a remarkable sixty year journey that brings us to our current times. Over the years, this church has had eight senior pastors, several building projects, and numerous mission trips. Additionally, the church has started a preschool on church grounds and birthed another preschool that is missional in nature. This preschool is currently meeting at Asbury United Methodist Church. As much anything, this church has brought hope to so many people with the Gospel message. And through it all, we have been so proud to call ourselves “Lovely Laners.”
This month we celebrate sixty years as a congregation. Each Sunday this month we will have a special celebration time. On September 4th, our focus will be our history. We will lift up mission activity on September 11th. We will welcome back some former pastors on the 18th . The final Sunday in September, the 25th, we will look to the future.
Come and join us this month. All are welcome!
Blessings to you, Scott