The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., June 19, 1924, page 6

(By Mrs. L.A.E. Clark)

     The Methodist Episcopal church, of Odell, was built in the summer of 1911. Plans for the structure as it now stands were drawn by the late J.E. Ferguson and while those interested had expected to build along lines of calling for less outlay in cash and labor the wisdom of Mr. Ferguson's plan has long since been proven and enlarging the building has been seriously considered.
     Rev. T.W. Atkinson gave a lot and this was exchanged for one fronting the main street and owned by Chas. T. Early. Mr. Early also donated one half a lot, the lot and one half being the site upon which the building stands. Finances were provided by popular subscription of cash and labor, to which was added a donation and loan from the Board of Church Extension. J.E. Ferguson, L.A.E. Clark and M. Hawthorne were chosen as the board of trustees and also as a building committee.
     Although not completed the building was dedicated in September, 1911, and from that date has served continuously as a center of religious life in the community. At the time of dedication this church formed a part of the Pine Grove charge of The Dalles district, Columbia River conference. Rev. Walton Skipworth was district superintendent.
     Rev. Chas. Carson was the first pastor assigned. He was followed in turn by Rev. G.E. Heinrick, Rev. E.C. Newham and the present pastor, Rev. W.S. Gleiser, who has been returned to this charge for the fourth consecutive year. Mrs. L.A.E. Clark was the first Sunday school superintendent, J.C. Duckwall second, and the present superintendent, Allison Fletcher, third.
     Since the organization of the church the Ladies' Aid society has always been an active and important branch of the work. To this society much credit is due for material assistance in property improvement and finance. The society has also ranked high as a social factor.
     The following members have served as president of this society: Mrs. E.G. Hagey, Mrs. W.L. Sheirbon, Mrs. Henry Rodamar, Mrs. M. Hawthorne, Mrs. G.A. Weber, Mrs. Allison Fletcher, Mrs. W.O. Mills, Mrs. J.E. Ferguson is now president of the society.
     The steady growth of the church was such that it became evident the interests of the work could best be advanced by setting Odell apart as a separate charge, thus securing a resident pastor whose full-time could be devoted to Odell.
     In September, 1919, this action was taken and the parsonage property purchased.
     A history of this church would be incomplete without mention of the Ferguson Bible class organized soon after the organization of the Sunday school and taught by Mrs. J.E. Ferguson, a class known throughout rural classes of the Northwest for members and activities. To this class must be credited a long list of achievements in the way of liberal contributions toward completion of building, purchase of needed furniture and fixtures and pastor's salary, not forgetting social activities promoted.
     There is also an active and flourishing Epworth League chapter with Lloyd Cameron president.
     While Methodist Episcopal in government this church has followed and now stands for a policy of real community service. This fact has been recognized by its membership which comprises those of at least seven denominations who have become affiliated with this church and are working harmoniously together in true community spirit.
     The following are members of the official board now serving: Trustees, A.H. Weinheimer, J.H. Fletcher, Henry Rodamar, F.E. Gilkerson, W.W. Gilkerson; stewards, J.C. Duckwall, Allison Fletcher, A.H. Weimheimer, Clayton Fletcher, Mrs. J.E. Ferguson, H.C. Johnson, Horace Gilkerson, Mrs. G.A. Weber and Mrs. Algie Weinheimer.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer