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THE HISTORY OF MESQUITE UNITED
METHODIST CHURCH
1994--2014

As with many churches, it has been a long journey from the inception of Mesquite United Methodist Church to the present time. Of course, it was all made possible by the Grace of God who directed our moves and decisions and allowing us to be at the point we are today.

The journey started in May 1994 when a letter was written to Dr. Nathan Holt, who was the District Superintendent of the North District. It was written by Mrs. Anne McKenzie. In this letter, she suggested that it was time to start a United Methodist Church here in Mesquite Nevada. Dr. Holt had some reservations about this request due to the fact that he had no one in mind that could look over the Mesquite possibility, no funds to start the project and also the population at that time was just 2500.

After several weeks, Dr. Holt became aware of a retired Pastor by the name of Dr. Douglas Harrell, who was traveling from Las Vegas to St. George Utah for Sunday services. He asked Dr. Harrell if he could schedule a meeting with Mrs. McKenzie and ascertain if starting a Methodist Fellowship here in Mesquite would be possible.

This meeting was arranged and Mrs. McKenzie, Dr. Harrell and Jeannie McKenzie, an employee of the Oasis, were present. This meeting proved to be very positive. Dr. Douglas Harrell put Mrs. McKenzie in charge of finding an available meeting room and also to be in charge of advertising. She reported her findings to Dr. Harrell and they settled on the Judges Chamber, which was located in the old Senior Center on Willow and 1st North.

The founding members of the Mesquite United Methodist Church are: Jeannie McKenzie, Ann McKenzie, Marles Hill, Bill and Laura Lilienthal, Jeff and Arlene Stiffler, Al and Blossom Monson, Jerry Wharton and wife, Albert and Addie Leichtle and Art and Nora Palm.

Mrs. McKenzie put an ad in the Desert Echo which was the local newspaper. It stated that the first meeting of the United Methodist Fellowship would take place on November 4th, 1994 at 2:30pm. There were 7 people from Mesquite and 13 from the Advent United Church in Las Vegas, which was the sponsoring church.

The meetings continued to take place in the Judges Chambers through April 1995. At that time, the Methodist Church re-located to the local Baptist Church which was located in the facility of “Charter Cable”. The services were held at 2:30pm each Sunday. It had no Sunday School capability. Dr Harrell was kept quite busy as he continued to serve as Pastor of the newly formed United Methodist Church in St. George Utah as well as providing pastoral duties to the newly formed Methodist Fellowship here in Mesquite.

Through November 1995, the Mesquite United Methodist Fellowship remained a tenant in the Baptist Church. By having the services at 2:30pm on Sundays, Dr. Harrell was concerned that the church growth would be severely curtailed because there were no Sunday School capabilities.  At that time, Dr. Harrell was able to negotiate with the Bunkerville Catholic church and obtained a rental time for church services from 7:00am through 1:00pm, on Sundays only. There were several children who did attend Sunday School from 9:00am through 10:00am. The church did experience some growth with approximately 45 people becoming members and an average attendance of about 35 each Sunday.

The church council concluded that leasing the Catholic Church in Bunkerville was a dead end road as far as optimum growth was concerned. A committee was then formed to locate a building for sale or property for sale in Mesquite proper on which MUMC could have newly expanded life. The committee located the property on which our present building is located. The owner of the property agreed to donate the approximate one and one-half acre site to the church issuing a deadline for construction. The adjacent property was given to the Baptist Church with the same guidelines for construction as the Methodists were given. The Baptist Church failed in securing funds for construction. Mesquite Vistas then offered that parcel, to the south of our existing building, for a purchase price of $180,000.00.

With the help of the Desert Southwest Conference, we purchased that parcel for cash. The architect was Todd Leavitt, and the construction began in late 1998. The ground breaking ceremony took place at noon on Sunday September 13, 1998. The facility was ready for occupancy in late summer 1999.   

The Building Committee for this project was composed of the following individuals:
Dr. Douglas Harrell, Pastor
Pastor Jeri Lee Harrell
Co-chairman---Jayne McKenzie
Co-chairman---Larry Jensen
Art Palm
Bill Lilienthal
Carol Howearth
Jeff Stiffler
Ken Trout

There was an agreement with the DSC on a 3 year graduated funding grant. The first mortgage was in the amount of $596,000.00. As of July 2006, less that $400, 000.00 was left on the note.

It was the hope of the Building Committee that if there was faith, that their building obligations would be met through the growth in membership of this wonderful church.
Mesquite United Methodist Church opened it’s doors for worship service on October 24, 1999.

The first Pastor to serve in the New United Methodist Church in Mesquite Nevada was Rev. Michael Bryant. He was joined by his wife Wendy. The couple was from Yuma Arizona.

In July 2000, the church finally had the outdoor sign. This was made possible through donations by several individuals.

However, as with many things, it was time to say good-bye to Pastor Bryant as he was being moved to a new location. His final weekend in Mesquite was June 29th and 30th, 2002. A large Fellowship was planned to wish them farewell.

Mesquite United Methodist Church now welcomed the new Pastor, Jim Robinson from Sun City Arizona. He held his first service in Mesquite in July 2002. Pastor Jim was an inspiration to many and his energy level was contagious. There were several Sunday School programs including an adult Sunday School. There were also many bible classes each week which were made available to all.

As the weeks and months went by, it was the consensus of almost all that in many areas of the church we were becoming too cramped.

In 2006, a Building Committee was formed to view the options available. The committee consisted of various members from different ministries of the church. It was led by Rev. James Lubach and Diane McClure. After several meetings, it was decided to have 3 Phases of building for consideration.

Phase 1----add on to the Fellowship area, adding 2500 square feet. This would make room for classrooms and office space for the Pastor and Secretary.

Phase 2----to extend the present sanctuary, by going out through the back of the church.

Phase 3----build a new sanctuary on our land next to the present building.

After numerous meetings with the committee and Superintendent Rev. Devereaux and other individuals, it was decided to go with Phase 1 and add on 2500 feet.

Diane McClure started our “Pledge Fund” in July of 2006 for a 3 year pledge from the members. Our pledges came to approximately $180,000.00.

The estimated cost of Phase 1 was $500,000.00. Cliff Jenkins and Bruce Barber (council Chairman) went to various lending institutions and decided on the Bank of Nevada. The loan amount was $350,000.00.

PHASE 1, THE BUILDING PROJECT BEGAN ON DECEMBER 4TH, 2006.
The Historian, Susan Jenkins was at the building site daily and took pictures of the construction. At the end of construction, she collaborated with Jo Fetta and she was able to put all the photos on a disc with graphics added.

Construction was done by Jackson Homes and Tri-force did all the wiring, plumbing, heating and cooling.

During this construction, we had a pair of mobile units placed in the rear parking lot which was for all of the meetings, bible studies, secretaries office, Sunday School classes and Fellowships. 

Construction was completed ahead of schedule. On April 1st, the Men’s Group was able to use the facility for the first time for their monthly breakfast.

On April 29th, 2007, Rev. Devereaux blessed us by dedicating our new addition, complete with a “ribbon cutting ceremony”. The church was filled to capacity.
We, on the Fellowship Committee, then planned a large Fellowship Luncheon after the service with almost 200 attending. Pastor Doug Harrell and wife Jeri Lee were also present for the function.

In June 2009, we said good-bye to Pastor Jim Robinson who was transferred to Henderson Nevada. We were so sorry to see him go. We had a large Fellowship celebration and wished he and wife Marilyn farewell.

It was time to meet our new Pastor in July 2009. Her name was Rev. Lois Hedden. She came from a church in Arizona and was with us until her transfer in 2013. A large Fellowship was planned to wish her farewell.

At this time, we welcomed our present Pastor, Rick Casebolt and his wife Jan. We are very Blessed to have such a marvelous loving and caring Pastor and hope he isn’t transferred for many, many years!  Our church is moving forward in a very positive fashion.

We have been very Blessed in this wonderful church for a great many of our members are involved in one or more ministries and give willingly of their time and talents.
I truly believe that our church is growing by “leaps and bounds” due to the love and kindness that is directed toward others. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and willingly open our hearts to all…………

Our motto is:

TO PRAISE AND GLORIFY OUR LORD AND SAVIOR TILL THE END OF TIME!

 

Wishing you all of God’s Greatest Blessings,
Susan Jenkins, Church Historian

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420 W Pioneer RD
Mesquite NV 89027
Phone: 702-346-4663
For information about our church email us at: Mesquite United Methodist Church     

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