Raymond Presbyterian Church
The first Presbyterian Church was organized April 30, 1880 and was called Little Salt Church because it stood near the Little Salt Creek three miles east of Raymond. Neither the town of Raymond nor the railroad were in existence at that time.
Two years later on October 22, 1882, the congregation erected a new building in Raymond with the total cost of building and furnishings amounting to $2,000. After an urgent plea from the Rev. E.M. Lewis, the congregation provided the balance and church was dedicated and presented, debt free, to the Almighty God.
The building was located on out Lot No. 1, which is now known as 2nd and High Streets. Later, the congregation bought three lots and moved the building to the location now known as 3rd and Clark Street. When the building was moved it was enlarged and improved, the cornerstone being laid November 9, 1907. The church was dedicated, free from debt, September 20, 1908.
Twenty-four years after the founding of the church, a fine two-story seven room manse was built. It was finished in April, 1904, and, has always had the policy of the congregation to use the pay-as-you-go plan. The manse was also debt free. In October, 1922, work was begun to rebuild the foundation, enlarge the basement and add an annex to the west side of the church. Art glass windows were also attached. Since all the labor on this improvement was donated by members and friends, the congregation saved approximately $1,600. The project was completed by the spring of 1923.
During the depression years the congregation was joined by the congregation from the Raymond Methodist Church. They oft combined activities and services which were held in the Presbyterian Church. The ministers were supplied by the Methodist Conference. They made the the Methodist parsonage their place of residence. The combination of the two congregations contributed to the attendance of a large choir and young people's organization.
The Rev. Francis Aucock served this combined congregation for many years. The two congregations finally went their separate ways during the early part of the 1940's. For several years after this, ministers from "Back to the Bible" filled the pulpit.
The Presbytery resumed charge of the church in 1948 and Presbyterian ministers served the congregation from that time forward. Rev. T.R. Hollingsworth and Rev. Clarence Mattison were two ministers who served the congregation for the longest time period.
Due to the loss of members because of death and people migrating from the community, the church was dissolved on Sunday, December 30, 1979, when the congregation met for the final service, just four months short of serving the community for one hundred years.
Former Raymond Presbyterian Church
Raymond United Methodist Church
14750 North 3rd Raymond, NE.
Among the first settlers in this vicinity were C.C. White, his mother and three sisters, who settled one half mile southwest of the present town of Raymond. In 1864, Mr. White married Olive Johnson. Their home was the location of the first circuit minister held services. Records indicate that the Raymond Methodist Church was organized March 13, 1882. The first Board of Trustees included Edmund Duling, Jacob Plank, Joseph Loses, Malcolm Showers, Herman Reeves, John Harrison, and G.F. Reagan. The Trustees borrowed $250 from the Board of Church Extension of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
On June 24, 1882, the Board of Trustees bought from Charles F. Bowman and wife, for the sum of $50, Lots 1,2,3, in Block 11 of Bowman's First addition to the town of Raymond. At the same time another loan was made from the Church Extension Board and a church building was erected. There is no record of the cost of the original church building. The present church is still located on these lots.
In 1908, the church was extensively remodeled with the addition of a choir loft, Sunday school rooms, and a full basement. The windows in the church were donated by some of the members of the church. These stained glass windows still remain with plaques stating the donators.
At a meeting February 16, 1911, Articles of Incorporation of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Raymond were drawn under chairmanship of J.D.M. Buccaneer. The Board of Trustees at this time were W.J. Weller, H.H. Forke, H.S. Weaver, J.M. Nord, T.W. Van Twyle, J.C. Dueser, S. Youker, J.W. Bennett, and D.L. White.
In 1917-1918, a new modern parsonage was built at a cost of $7,500. The last minister to live in the parsonage was Rev. Richard Kellogg. The parsonage was sold in 1975 to Richard Krone.
The women of the church have always been very active. The first records of the "Ladies Aid" meeting was in 1919, with Mrs. Edward Paswaters as President. In 1940, the Woman's Society of Christian Service, which replaced the Ladies Aid, was organized. In April, 1974, the Society was renamed the United Methodist Women. Their meetings are held the first Wednesday of each month.
On November 4, 1931, a church bazaar supper was held, the cost per meal was only 25 cents which is now unbelievable to comprehend. The first school lunch was February 1, 1946. Prices for this lunch were 15 and 20 cents. Lunches were served occasionally until 1954, when lunches then moved to the first Wednesday of each month.
December 3, 1947, the W.S.C.S. members took ten food boxes to the needy. Christmas boxes were filled and delivered to the elderly and persons living alone since 1954. Presently the women of the church still carry on this tradition. The first Father and Son Banquet was served in the Raymond Women's Club building on February 15, 1950.
In 1964, the church kitchen was remodeled and modernized. In 1962, the church celebrated its 80th Birthday with many former members in attendance. Two members of the Raymond Methodist Church served as foreign missionaries. Miss Jessie Bragg served in India and Mr. Floyd Shacklock in Japan. At the present time Dayne Zachrison is pastor of this congregation.
Sunday services are held at 11 a.m. and Sunday school begins at 9:45 a.m. Raymond United Methodist is one of four churches that make up the Conestoga Parish, along with Malcolm United Methodist, Denton United Methodist, and Pleasant Dale United Methodist. The United Methodist Women meet the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the church basement.
Raymond United Methodist Church
Raymond United Methodist Church