|The Wiltsie Community Church History
The Wiltsie Community Church was named in honor of:
William Wiltsie (February 12, 1812 - Feb. 12, 1881)
In 1849 Langford Venman establish his family’s homestead on State
Line Road and encouraged other Swedish people to come to this part
of the county to work in the sawmills and to help clear the land. By
1890 some of the men who had families began to purchase property for
themselves. A few of these families came to a place later known as
Swede Hill. These new settlers wanted a school and church. So in
1893, Charles Wiltsie gave the land for a building to be erected and
used as a school and a church. A circuit-riding pastor helped to feed
the spiritual needs of the nearby residents.
For 35 years from 1893 until 1928, the building served as The Wiltsie
School. It closed because of the opening of the Russell School. Since
that time it has been used as a Church being known as The Wiltsie
Community Church. (If you happen to attend one of our services you
can always ask Gertie Schott about the circuit preachers coming in on
horseback on Sunday afternoons. Gertie attended school here until the
Fifth-grade when the school closed, and she has been a member of
Wiltsie Community Church since she was 5 years old).
From 1900 until around 1950 several local Churches help insure that
services were provided to the faithful. Sermons, some two hours long,
were first given in Swedish by pastors from the Swedish Mission
Church in Chandlers Valley. Preachers from the Methodist Church in
Russell, as well as other pastors from Russell would take their turn
preaching on Sundays. Preachers from the Zion Mission in Jamestown,
NY also came down to fill the need.
On Feb. 22, 1953, Pastor Eugene Donelson of the Cable Hollow-
Stillwater United Brethren Churches helped to organize the group into
the Wiltsie Community Church. It was at this time the land, which had
been deeded by Charles Wiltsie for a “school”, was deeded to the
newly formed Wiltsie Community Church by the current owner Virgil
Church Additions and Improvements:
The building was redecorated in 1955
An addition with a new entry was built in 1971
Five Sunday school rooms and a kitchen were added in 1988-89.
Ground breaking for the new Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall,
took place on August 19, 2007.
Today, the church operates as a member of the
Conservative Christian Congregational Conference.