Louisburg United Methodist Church is a modern church with a historic past. The Methodist Church in Miami County started as a mission for the Pottawatomie Indians in 1837 just east of the present city of Osawatomie. The mission was closed when the Pottawatomie moved to new land northwest of Topeka.
In 1854, Reverend W. H. Goode came to Kansas to select locations for the stationing of ministers for the Methodist Church. One site was the Marias des Cygne Mission, later to be known as Osawatomie. Early pastors would ride a "circuit" on horseback from place to place.
As the county grew, additional churches would be added. The Louisburg Methodist Espiscopal Church was organized in 1873, close to the end of the Civil War. Kansas was a young state at that time. Settlers were moving into the area and established a small church on highway 68 where the current Agape Center stands today.
In the early 1900's, the current location where the church stands would have looked like this image of the early county fairgrounds. The modern-day Timbercreek restraurant would be in the center of the picture with the church directly behind the trees.
In the early and mid-1900's, the church building and the congregation would grow and the building that houses the Agape Center today would become the Louisburg Methodist Episcopal Church. The congregation would worship in that building until April 23, 1968. At that time, the Methodist Episcopal Church would merge with the United Brethren Church to create the United Methodist Church thereby becoming Louisburg Methodist Episcopal Church and then Louisburg United Methdodist Church.
Under the leadership of Rev. Donna Voteau, the congregation purchased land and constructed a new church building where it stands today at 249 N Metcalf. Pastor Donna and brave lay leadership led a faithful congregation into a new age and today their vision of a future with hope continues to draw new people to faith and discipleship.
In the new church, structural pieces of history, such as these old stained glass windows, came along to the new location. Old offering baskets and a small amount of memorabilia would make the journey as well.
The old church building on 68 Highway would be sold and become The Agape Center, housing a thrift store and other valuable community resources. Parishioners still volunteer at the Agape Center today, even though it has no organizational connection to the church other than a shared mission to serve God's people. From that point forward, the building where we stand today would be labeled "Currently" a United Methodist Church, indicating its varied history and service to the community. Over the next few years, the church would continue to grow in numbers in its new location. Today, Louisburg UMC is a vibrant, vital church with over 280 members and lots of additional visitors as well.
Rev. Brad Wheeler moved to Louisburg with his family in 2016 to be the Lead Pastor of the church. Brad is married to Melissa who is a Special Education teacher at Broadmoor Elementary. Brad and Melissa are parents to Alex, Sam, Emma, and their nephew Jackson. Outside of church, you will find Brad coaching his kids in a variety of sports. Brad loves the Jayhawks, Chiefs, and Royals. His life scripture is Luke 10:27. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself."
In 2015, Rev. Karla Woodward joined our team as we began growing more and more. Pastor Karla is an Ordained Deacon, connecting the church to the world and the world back to the church. Under her guidance, the church offers support groups, classes, Disciple Bible Study and ways to connect more deeply. Rev. Woodward retired in 2019.
Rev. Robert Walters was the pastor from July 2014-June 2016. The growth started by moving locations and by visionary leaders has continued. The church has actively pursued a variety of technological updates and continues to grow quickly in membership as well as new visitors.
Are you looking for a place to explore your faith that has the old, small church charm but yet also goes after dynamic, modern ministry? Join us at Louisburg United Methodist Church--a church that celebrates the history as well as dynamic, up-to-date ministry of today!!