Before the Civil War and before Kansas became a state, the Lyona United Methodist Church was founded with 31 charter members in 1859.

The church, located seven miles south of Junction City on Wolf Road, is known as the first church organized of any denomination in what is now Dickinson County, according to information provided by the church.

At first, the church met in the homes of the charter members or outdoors. In 1863, the first Lyona Church was constructed of logs and mud. A stone building was constructed in 1871. A fellowship hall and classrooms were added to the church in 1963. A ramp for handicapped access was added in 2004.

Part of the ministry of Lyona UMC was to reach out to our neighboring communities and provide them with the resources to start churches in their communities.

As a result, five outgrowth churches started in their respective communities: Junction City United Methodist Church in 1861, Davis Creek United Methodist Church in 1872, Enterprise United Methodist Church in 1873, Woodbine United Methodist Church in 1880 and Clarks Creek United Methodist Church in 1887. Junction City UMC, Enterprise UMC and Woodbine UMC continue to be active congregations today.

Currently, the Lyona United Methodist Church has Sunday School classes for all ages beginning at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. Youth Group (CREW-Christians Ready Equipped and Willing) meets the first and third Wednesday of every month and will be on a work trip at the end of May. United Methodist Women of the church have an active chapter and celebrated 150 years as part of the UMW.

Five years ago, the church began an AWANA program which is a world-wide nonprofit ministry focused on providing Bible-based evangelism and discipleship for ages 2-12. AWANA meets every Wednesday night during the school year and has 27 children enrolled. Vacation Bible School is co-sponsored with Woodbine UMC every summer and will be held June 17-21 at Lyona with a program on 23 June. Men’s group meets the third Saturday of every month for a breakfast prepared by Pastor Kris Brinlee.

A 160th Anniversary celebration will be held on Sunday, June 2. Worship and communion will begin at 10:30 a.m..Bishop Rueben Saenz Jr. and District Superintendent Dee Williamson will be attending. A catered dinner will follow the service. Reservations for the dinner are required.

Following the meal, a worship service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Former pastors and members of Lyona’s outreach congregations will be recognized. Afternoon activities include carriage rides, children’s train rides, an historical display and a cemetery tour.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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