Our History


The Sumner Center United Methodist Church celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1994.  The church is located in the center of Sumner township, between the towns of Racine, Spring Valley, Stewartville, and Chatfield in Fillmore County in southeastern Minnesota.

Services were originally conducted in homes in the area by Circuit Riders when the people decided they needed a church building.  The church was incorporated on May 25, 1894 as the Sumner Center Evangelical Church.  “With fear and trembling” recorded Rev. S.B. Goetz, the first pastor; the church was erected in the summer of 1894 for thirty founding families.

Because it was built so close to the road, in 1949 the church fathers voted to move the church several yards north of the original site and place it on a new basement.  Additions were also built on the north, new windows installed, a balcony added and the entry enlarged.

In 1988 another remodeling project was completed.  A 16' x 24' entrance, handicap accessibility, and new stairway to an enlarged basement with remodeled kitchen was added.

At the time of its founding, it was an Evangelical Church.  In 1953 we became the Evangelical United Brethren, and in 1969 became United Methodists.

A pastor was shared with the Racine EUB church until its closing in 1965, then was yoked with the Stewartville United Methodist Church until 1984, when realignment yoked us with the Racine United Methodist Church.

The church has always had a very strong commitment to missions and supports many local and world mission projects.  Some popular fund raising events over the years have been ice cream social, mission teas, and harvest festivals.