Old Redfield Wesleyan Church dismantled after 70 years standing
Compiled by Shiloh Appel, with summary of existing records by Rev.H.W. Cretsinger
Built in 1950, the little white Redfield Wesleyan Church at 102 East 10th Street had been standing for 70 years when it’s time came to be dismantled on Monday, March 2nd, 2020.
The history of the Redfield Wesleyan church actually had it’s beginnings in Crandon, South Dakota eleven miles southeast of Redfield. Rev. L.D. Harris, the Conference Missionary Evangelist in 1917, held a meeting in Crandon in February of that year and several people were saved. It was the beginning of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Crandon. Rev. Harris became the church’s first pastor and a number of families in and near Redfield who were holding cottage prayer meetings in their homes attended services there.
By 1922, many people were interested in having a “tent meeting” in Redfield and permission was given for a tent to be pitched on Main Street. In August of that year, Rev. J.F. Simpson came as an evangelist and Rev. Ellis was the “song evangelist.” Thus, the first Wesleyan Methodist meeting was held in Redfield in a tent on Main Street.
Eventually, the Crandon Church building was moved to Redfield in the fall of 1932 and the Crandon members joined the Redfield members. Rev. F.O. Hunt was the pastor at that time, and it was during his leadership that the first parsonage was purchased.
Nearly two decades later, in April of 1950, under Rev. H.W. Cretsinger’s leadership, the old Crandon church building was dismantled and construction of the little white Wesleyan Methodist Church began. The newly built church was dedicated on October 5,1952. Another decade later, the fellowship hall was built.
Today, Redfield Wesleyan Church members meet in their new building at 38519 174th Street in Redfield. Church attendees and members moved out of the little white church in 2017 after the purchase of their new building, and the little white church stood empty for three years.
“The last couple days have been filled with thoughtful emotion as the old church has been demolished. It was so wonderfully built—and strong! The detail in the craftsmanship you rarely find today,” wrote Redfield Wesleyan Church’s current pastor, Adrian Timmons, in his blog post following the demolition. “The boy in me that loves demolition was excited one moment and the next moment grieving over the arched window above the doorway that no one would take time to build today. You think of the Sunday school lessons taught, the Word of God preached, the people that were saved and nurtured in the faith in that building. Those are the things that remain for eternity.”