History - Churches
Along with people came the need for spiritual nourishment. Groups of like believers quickly began to gather and form small congregations—usually with no formal church building in the beginning.
One early settler, Rev. John Lemmons Blakely arrived in Keya Paha County
in 1883 and took a homestead. As soon as possible, he erected a log
cabin with a sod roof and returned to Iowa where he gathered his family
and brought them back to this county to live. He immediately began
Christian work among the early homesteaders by holding Sunday school classes
and worship services in their homes. He was the first Baptist preacher
in Keya Paha County. At one time he ministered in three Baptist Churches
as well as held services in surrounding communities. The original
Baptist Church is now the Eastern Star Hall.
Another presence that brought spiritual light to fledgling Keya Paha County is Rev. C. H. Frady. He was a circuit preacher who headquartered out of Neligh, NE and traveled throughout northern Nebraska sharing the gospel. He was commissioned with the American Sunday School Mission. It is said that all in all he established 419 Sunday Schools, visited 23,234 families, distributed almost 9,000 Bibles, and traveled 215,900 miles. (Figures taken from the Keya Paha County Centennial Book.)
Another early church in Keya Paha County was the Springview Congregational Church. It was organized in September 1888 and continued to hold services until 1939. The Congregational church was located at the south end town on the east side of Main Street. It was sold in January 1947 and became the American Legion home for many years. The building was eventually moved and the lots are now home to Schrantz Welding & Repair. An auxiliary branch of the Congregational Church, the Congregational Ladies Aid continued to lend their services to the community and the Methodist Church for many years. Due to declining membership, the Congo Aid, as it had come to be called, disbanded in December 1980.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized early in Springview’s history with land being purchased for a church in June 1887. After a fire destroyed their first church, another was soon built on the east side of Main Street at the north end of town. This building served the congregation until 1969 when a new church was built at its present site on land donated by the Ripley family. Through the years the Methodist Church merged with several other denominations and is now called the United Methodist Church. Eventually the Methodist Church of Norden merged with the Springview congregation. Currently the Long Pine United Methodist Church shares a pastor with the Springview church.
In the early days of Springview there was a Catholic Church. The building itself was never completed, and the church didn’t last long as the priest came from Valentine. Eventually a Catholic Church was established in Norden and this also served the Catholic residents of Springview.
In later years several churches of different denominations were established. The Seventh-Day Adventist church organized on July 24, 1948. The congregation built a church on land donated by Mary E. Roberts. This building served the congregation until 1998 when a new metal building was constructed. Services are still being held in this building.
The New Hope General Baptist church was organized in 1955 by Rev. Sidney Lloyd. A building was purchased from K. Duane Cook at the north end of Main Street, and the congregation began holding services. In October 1974, the Community Bible Church was organized and began holding services at the Grayton Kurzenberger home west of Springview and later in the basement of the Springview Auditorium. On December 30, 1979 the New Hope General Baptist Church merged with the Community Bible Church creating the newly formed New Hope Community Church. The original church owned by the Baptist church was moved from the property and work began on a new structure being completed in November 1982. The New Hope Community Church is still a vibrant and active church.