Hillcrest United Methodist Church
Our roots date back to the early 1900’s when a community church under Methodist auspices was organized on March 20, 1920. There were 21 charter members. On November 16, 1924, the church was called “The Oxboro Community Methodist Episcopal Church”. In 1949 the church saw a rapid increase in membership due to the growing community of Bloomington, and plans for expansion took place, with two and one-half acres of land was acquired at 92nd and Bryant Avenue South. The intention was that a new church be built at this location.
When Rev. Fred Smith became pastor in 1953, it was necessary to hold Sunday School classes in the parsonage, the church and the roller rink across the street. A parsonage was built, but before the church building started it had become apparent that the needs had already outgrown the plans! It was in 1955 that ten acres of land was purchased at 91st and Russell Avenue South. The Lyndale property was sold in 1956, and construction began on the new site. At this time, the name was changed from Oxboro Methodist Church to Hillcrest United Methodist Church.
The United Methodist Church
The main founder of the Methodist Church is John Wesley, who was born 300 years ago and became the driving force behind the Methodist movement. The fact that this movement is now worldwide would surely have amazed Wesley, who simply saw himself as a servant of the Lord.
Susan Wesley, mother to Charles and John, is today known as the Mother of Methodism. While her husband was absent in London in 1711 attending Convocation, Mrs. Wesley adopted the practice of reading in her family and instructing them. One servant brought his parents and they brought others. They came until the congregations amounted to forty people, and increased until they were over two hundred. Mr. Wesley wrote to his wife that she should get some one else to read the sermons. She replied that there was not a man there who could read a sermon without spoiling it.
Charles Wesley, John’s brother, is often called the poet of the Methodist movement. He composed almost 7,000 hymns, many of which are still sung in Protestant churches. Among the most widely known are “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”.