This article is from History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, Volume 1, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, pages 415-416.


On the 8th day of January, 1878, a petition was prepared and submitted to Rev. A. K. Baird, Synodical Missionary of the Synod of Iowa, north, signed by twelve members of the Scotch Grove Presbyterian church, desiring to have a Presbyterian church organized in Center Junction, Iowa. On the 18th of January, 1878, the first meeting was held with the petitioners by Rev. A. K. Baird, at which meeting, the petitioners were duly certified as members of the Scotch Grove Presbyterian church, and at their own request, dismissed to unite as a new organization by a committee of the session of the Scotch Grove church, consisting of elders Alexander McKean, William Clarke, Thomas Lyans.

On the 20th of January, 1878, a communion service was held by Rev. A. K. Baird, assisted by Rev. John Rice, when the petitioners were duly organized into a Presbyterian church in connection with the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of America.

The petitioners who became the charter members of the new church were: Thomas Lyans, Rebecca Lyans, Sophia Jane Lyans, Robert G. Lyans, Joanna Lovejoy, Justus C. Houser, Martha Houser, Mary Jane Espy, Robert J. Espy, Amanda Ella Lyans, Minerva Isabel Lyans, Thomas Lowry Lyans. At the meeting for organization on the 18th of January, 1878, Mr. Thomas Lyans having been a member of the session of the Scotch Grove church, was elected elder, and on the 14th of April, 1878, Mr. J. C. Houser was also elected elder and ordained by Rev. D. Russell. Thomas Lyans was installed as elder. This constituted the session.

The twelve charter members having been members of the Scotch Grove church, the new church might well be called one of the children of the Scotch Grove church. During the year 1878, a number of new members were added, as follows: John Brown, Mary Brown, John Ellinwood Lovejoy, Thomas H. McKelvey, Peter C. Smith, Helen Smith, Casper Knittle, Jane Leech, Sarah Wilson, David C. Wilson, Samuel T. Wilson, Anna E. Wilson, Albert G. Wilson, Amanda R. Hemmingway, Mrs. Eliza Smith.

Those who have been elders in the church: Thomas Lyans, Justus C. Houser, Peter C. Smith, Everett J. Lyans, John H. M. Thompson, Matthew John McNeilly, William S. Pangburn. The last three named, are the present members of the church session.

List of pastors who have served the church: Daniel Russell, 1878 to July, 1882; James L. Wilson, July, 1882—December, 1885; William Gay, January, 1886—October, 1888; A. W. McConnell, January, 1889—October, 1891; Hugh Robinson, October, 1891—October, 1894; J. M. Bolton, February, 1895—July, 1898; from July, 1898 to June, 1899, supplied by students from McCormick Seminary (Chicago) ; Thomas W. Hine, July, 1899—December, 1901; J. C. Orth. September, 1902—September, 1903; J. A. McKay, September, 1904—September, 1905; Robert A. Brough, July 9, 1905, the present pastor.

The present membership of the church is about forty, and among the number are included a number of very loyal and faithful supporters and attendants. A Sunday school is maintained, Samuel G. Thompson, Jr., is the superintendent. The church at the present time is supplied by the same pastor as the Scotch Grove church, the pastor residing at the latter place, and during six months of the year, preaching Sunday mornings at Scotch Grove and the afternoon at Center Junction, and vice versa, the other six months.