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First Presbyterian Church - Near Ely, Iowa

The First Presbyterian Church near Ely, founded in 1858, is located in the country about a mile west of Ely, Iowa. Our church was created to fill the need of the early Czech settlers in the area. Originally, the church was called the "First Bohemian & Moravian Brethren Church".

The Rev. Francis Kun was the first ordained minister and accepted the call October 1, 1860, at a salary of $60 a year. Rev. Kun was a pioneer missionary who helped found at least 10 Czech congregations and churches not only in Iowa, but also in surrounding states during his thirty years as our pastor.

The church building originally sat about one mile south of where it is presently located, in what is now our church cemetery. The cornerstone was laid October 1, 1867, and dedicated on July 5, 1868. The orginal structure still exists within our now expanded walls.

As the congregation grew, two additional churches were organized in the area to serve the Czech families. One, the Bohemian Reformed Evangelical Church, was located at the site of the Rogers Grove Cemetry and the other, the Evangelical Bohemian Moravian Reformed Brethren, was west of Swisher. All three churches were served by a common pastor. The three congregations are now merged and served by the mother church west of Ely.

Having been an independent congregation since its beginning, the congregation joined with the Presbyterian Church USA in 1958.

http://www.elypres.org/history.cfm

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  • Uploaded on April 14, 2013
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