Over 120 people packed in Ottawa’s United Methodist historic stone church Sunday afternoon, Sept. 15, for a service celebrating the church’s 160th year.
It is one of the three oldest Methodist Church buildings in Minnesota.
The event included an Ecumenical prayer service led by the Rev. Jason Lang of the Word of Life Lutheran Church in Le Sueur. After the service, Bryce Stenzel, as President Abraham Lincoln, recited the “Gettysburg Address.” Outside, the New Ulm Battery fired a couple of rounds before the crowd headed to Bur Oak Park nearby for a potluck luncheon.
The anniversary celebration has continued to take place every year along with the Fall Harvest Picnic in Ottawa, but due to wrangling with the past leaders of the Le Sueur County Historical Society, it was the first time in 10 years that the celebration included a service inside the church.
“Bill Stangler and the new Historical Society Board of Directors made so much progress getting us inside the church, and I really appreciate that,” said Richard Peterson, president of the Ottawa Historians, in his welcome address.