When Iowa was still a wilderness, the Methodists commenced promulgating their doctrines, and the Iowa conference established what was known as the Anamosa circuit in the year 1849, and Rev. Vail was sent to sow the good seed. Mr. Vail was succeeded by Rev. Harvey Taylor in the fall of 1850. The population of the circuit at that time was small, but a class of ten persons was formed at Anamosa in the year 1851, and in February of the same year a church society was organized. For four or five years, the regular services of the church were held in the courthouse. After that the public schoolhouse was occupied for a time, and then the church edifice of the United Brethren. In the year 1865, it was determined by the society to build a church of their own. The necessary funds were subscribed, when a difficulty arose in regard to the location of the church building, which resulted in a withdrawal of about a third of the subscriptions and several of the members. Those who withdrew formed themselves into a society called the Protestant Methodist church, which organization lasted but for a short time, dying for lack of support.
The building of the church progressed, however, and at the time of the dedication, in December, 1865, there was a debt of two thousand, five hundred dollars. This debt has since been paid, and the society now owns its own parsonage, and is in a very prosperous condition, having a debt of less than two hundred dollars. The society owned other landed estate to the amount of about eight hundred dollars.
The first money raised for building a church was in 1851, but the money was finally expended in building a parsonage. A debt of some two hundred dollars was incurred, which ran along for a number of years, when the society was obliged to sell the parsonage. After paying the debts of the society, a balance of about one hundred dollars remained, and the old Congregational church was purchased, which served as a place of worship until the old brick edifice was erected. The first class organized, as mentioned before, in 1851, consisted of ten persons. The first church record having been lost or destroyed, the historian is under obligations to Mr. D. Cunningham for the names, taking some from history of 1879 which are as follows; Oliver Lockwood and Rebecca his wife; Mr. Sedlers, C. L. D. Crockwell and Mary, his wife; Mary Bass; D. Cunningham and Sarah, his wife and Mr. Vail and wife. From this beginning the church has grown, through many very severe trials, to its present proportions, having a membership at this time, August 1879, of two hundred and thirty members, with a large and prosperous Sabbath school.
The following are the names of the pastors who have ministered to the spiritual wants of the society: Rev. Vail, Harvey Taylor, A. B. Kendig, A. Carey, G. H. Jamison, Otis Daggett, George Larkins, Isaac Soule, A. Bronson, F. C. Wolfe, A. Hill, A. H. Ames, U. Eberhart, Wm. Lease, J. B. Casebeer, S. H. Church, John Bowman and J. M. Leonard.
Rev. J. N. Leonard served his charge with great success until July, 1880, when he went to Europe to spend two years in study and investigation. During this time the old parsonage on North Ford street was sold and after paying the debts against the society the balance of three hundred and thirty dollars was left in the hands of the trustees. In 1880, F. B. Sharington was transferred from Fort Scott, Kansas, to fill out the unexpired term of Rev. Leonard. He remained until October i, 1881. During his pastorate the present parsonage was built on Booth street, at a cost of two thousand dollars. In 1881 J. G. VanNess was appointed to succeed Rev. Sharington and served his full term of three years. In 1884, F. E. Brush was appointed to this charge and continued for a period of three years. In 1887, Rev. A. C. Manwell took charge and served two years.
Since this time the following pastors have served the Anamosa charge: in 1892, L. N. McKee; 1895, Dr. T. W. Heal; 1897, L. L. Lochard; 1905, Rev. Dean C. Dutton ; 1907, Dr. H. White, who is the present pastor.
There had been a great deal of talk and planning for the building of a new church and in 1905, when Rev. D. C. Dutton was appointed to this charge he immediately set out to build a new church that would be a credit to the society and the community. He organized his forces and soon had a new church building planned, erected and dedicated at a cost of about thirty thousand dollars. This new church building was erected at the comer of Ford and First streets, just west of the Congregational church. It is a fine well built and imposing building with all the modern improvements, with separate Sunday-school rooms and a basement fitted up for social entertainments. In addition to the erection of this magnificent church Rev. Dutton raised money and improved the parsonage at the expense of about four hundred dollars. The new church was dedicated June 1, 1907, and Rev. Dutton resigned June 1, 1908. The church is in a prosperous condition and has a membership of three hundred and fifty. The attendance is good and the zeal and interest of the members is to be commended.