Welcome to the history of the Canton United Methodist Church. Work for organizing Canton Methodist Church was started in 1869. The articles for incorparation were filed in 1880, when plans were made to build a church building. The first minister, Rev. Thomas Cuthbert came from England in 1870. He stayed here for 2 1/2 years. He also served Eden, Hudson, Beloit, and Sioux Falls. The first services were held in the schoolhouse, though some were held in the old sod courthouse and after 1876 in the new courthouse building.
The property at Third and Dakota was purchased on March 2, 1880 and the first service was held on June 1, 1880.
On May 6, 1965, the church purchased the site at 5th and Grant Streets. March 6, 1966 ground breaking services were held and on August 24, 1966 the conrnerstone laying services were held as Canton began to celebrate the centennial year.
February 5, 1967 was the day to move from the old to the new building. An Exit Service was held in the old building (the site of the current city hall) and the congregation moved as a church to the first service in the new building. The members stood in the old empty building and Rev. Rager handied the alterware to Mr. Urben, while the congregation sang "The Church's One Foundation". The pastor and those carrying the alterware led the congregation out of the old church, along the blocks south and east to the new building where the service was resumed. The education wing as added in 1995.
We have had many ministers to serve us and have sent many people into ministry from our congregation. Photos of these people are hanging in the fireside room at the church.
Cradle rocking was started in our church in 1897 by Mrs. Baysore as a ceremony to welcome new babies to our congregation. Several hundred babies have been rocked in this ceremony as we have continued this tradition to the present; usually the first Sunday of May each year. Babies are rocked in a cradle made by Louis G. Schwartz in 1937. the Cherub Choir and children from kindergarten or first grade say special verses and rock the cradle for each baby.
Music has been an important part of this church. Many ancestors of members today participated in the "Sunday School Orchestra" that played for the opening and closing of Sunday School sessions. We have had children's and adult choirs over the years. Presently, the children sing together at Chi Alpha on Wednesday nights. The Choir (adults) practice weekly and sing on Sunday mornings. The Praise Team, One Way Up, which was started in 1996, plays for worship at couple times a month. We are proud of our organist, Edna Hansen, who has faithfully served our church for more than 60 years.