Kathy Spence Johnson is the archivist for the Minnesota Annual Conference. She works with the Minnesota Conference Commission on Archives and History, which oversees the Minnesota Annual Conference archives and her services connectionally. She maintains the historical archives of the conference office and advises Minnesota United Methodist churches on document and historical archive maintenance.
In May 1837 Methodist missionary Alfred Brunson arrived in Minnesota to preach to the Indians. He and his party settled at Kaposia, a Dakota village at the present-day site of South St. Paul.
The first Methodist congregation, Market Street in St. Paul, was organized on Dec. 31, 1848. Under the auspices of the Wisconsin Annual Conference, more Methodist Churches were founded in Minnesota as the population grew.
In 1856, Minnesota was organized at Red Wing as a separate conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Minnesota Mission Conference of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ was organized at Marion the next year, 1857. Edmund Clow preached to settlers in Winona County after his arrival in 1854 and, with John Fulkerson and John Haney, established the conference.
Andrew Tarnutzer, Minnesota’s first preacher of the Evangelishche Gemeinschaft (Evangelical Association), crossed the Mississippi near Winona in November 1856. He arrived in St. Paul the following February and organized two congregations. After several years of connection, first with the Wisconsin Conference, then with the Iowa, the Minnesota Conference of the Evangelical Association of North America was organized in 1868 at Emanuel’s Church, Castle Rock.
United Methodist historical societies
The United Methodist Historical Society of Minnesota is dedicated to promoting interest in the history of Minnesota United Methodism. Membership is $15 per year and is open to all. If you are a member of the United Methodist Historical Society of Minnesota you may want to join the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church or the World Methodist Historical Society.