AP NEWS

New year means new church merger

February 21, 2018 GMT

CREIGHTON — Faith United — a “new church with a new name” — became official this year here.

The congregations of The Creighton Congregational-Baptist United Church of Christ and the Creighton United Methodist Church have worked together for close to 50 years.

Faith United is operating as a federated church: both the United Methodist and United Church of Christ Conferences continue to receive required reports and the missions of both denominations are being supported by the members.

The Rev. Bev Heib has served as pastor for the parish for the past six years and continues in this service.

A celebration worship service with special congregational music and message was held Sunday. Select members of the Creighton High School Band (three of the youths belong to the now Faith United) performed a melody of songs during the service. Curtis Stevens, Creighton High School band director, directed the youths. A potluck luncheon concluded the celebration.

The Creighton Congregational-Baptist Church was the first Congregational Church of Knox County, organized on Sept. 1, 1872.

For several years, church services were held in a log schoolhouse in Creighton and in private homes. By the time funds were raised to erect a church building in 1882, the town of Creighton had started and the church was built at its current site.

The same frame building was in use until 2017 with some additions and many improvements.

The Creighton Methodist Church was organized in January 1878 as a “class” or “society” of the Methodist Church by a circuit minister, who, at the time, also had classes at Plainview and Walnut Grove, according to historical documents.

After various mergers and buildings, the churches continued. Smaller congregations and increasing financial responsibilities encouraged members to begin setting long-term goals for their individual churches in early 2016.

Conversations were held individually within all three church of the Creighton-Center Parish and a “togetherness” committee was formed.

In 2017, the U.M.C. and the Creighton U.C.C. Churches voted to move forward as one congregation, newly named as the Faith United Church.

The United Church of Christ in Center remains a part of the yoked parish, but continues as a separate UCC congregation.