From the 75th anniversary publication: Every Sunday in the early 1920s, Arthur Froberg and his brother would walk to New Milford to go fishing. While walking to New Milford, a gentleman by the name of Rev. Storer from Broadway Methodist Church would pick them up. One Sunday he asked them why they were not in Sunday School. They replied that there was no church in the area so he said he would see what he could do about that.
The Brooke Road United Methodist Church owes its thanks to God for sending to us a man such as Rev. E.O. Storer. His attention was called to the need for a place of worship in our community each time as he traveled from his two charges, Broadway Methodist Church and the other New Milford Methodist Church. He was determined to see what he could do about getting a little Sunday School started. April 1921, he presented the plan to a Mother's Club in the community and plans were made to secure a place where Sunday School could be held.
The neighborhood lay between Rockford and Camp Grant, a growing community but inhabited by the hard working class of people tryin to make a living and at the same time purchase their little homes. These conditions made it somewhat harder along financial lines but God never calls us to service without opening a way by which His plans can be carried out.
After a few months, a building owned by a Mr. Lobdell, a realtor, was used by the small congregation on Sunday mornings. It was located on the southwest corner of 11th Street and Brooke Road. Although the building was small, only 10 feet by 16 feet, it was a good start. The first service was held in this building in June 1921. At the first meeting, Rev. E.O. Storer, Horace Kargil, and Percy Downing were present and organized the Sunday School. The little Kinsey office served as a Sunday School for only two or three Sundays due to the Sunday School growing and the building proved much too small. People were hungry for God's word and surely, there must be a way to continue. This was made possible by the kind opening of the home of Robert Ferb and thus the Sabbath School was held there the remainder of the summer.
In the fall of 1921, two buildings were purchased from Camp Grant and moved to a lot donated by Mr. L.A. Kinsey and Mr. V.D. Lobell located at the corner of Brooke Road and 10th Street. These buildings were moved onto the lots one at a time. They were loaded on wagons pulled by two teams of horses, then put together to make one long building, with two rooms for Sunday School and church services. A great deal of work was done by the pastor and church members young and old, to remodel the buildings and put it in a condition to be used.
The interest for God's word was increasing so that by the latter part of 1921, a preaching service was also being held. In the fall of 1922, the community was confronted with a new need, that of a place where the children might get an education and thus the building was remodeled into a two room school house, thus serving the two purposes of a grade school during the week and a Sabbath School on Sunday. However, it was necessary to use this building for a school for only one year, this need being otherwise supplied. In March 1923, the ladies of the community organized what is known as the Ladies Aid with a total of twelve members.
In May of 1924 the church was organized. This was of course a special meeting and the first members were taken in, numbering thirteen. In the fall of 1924, Rev. Storer who had done so much for our small but growing chapel, left us after serving as a messenger of God and a helping hand wherever help was needed. We then welcomed Rev. R.N. Joslyn into our pastorate. His service covered a period of two years.
Pastors who have served Brooke Road Methodist Church include: 1924 Rev. E.O. Storer 1924 Rev. R.N. Joslyn 1926 Rev. Newton Barrett 1927 Rev. Royal Synwalt 1929 Rev. R. J. Bishop 1931 Rev. H.W. Dack 1933 Rev. David Crocker 1936 Rev. Glen Miller 1939 Rev. Farris 1939 Rev. Robert Morelock 1942 Rev. Stanley Matz 1942 Rev. Douglas Henderson 1944 Rev. Fredric Jarman 1946 Rev. Vance Rogers 1946 Rev. Allen Flohr 1947 Rev. James O'May 1947 Rev. Ray Neiser 1948 Rev. O.G. Sandstrom 1951 Rev. Clark Moushon 1961 Rev. Charles Meyer 1969 Rev. M. Gerald Robey 1983 Rev. James O. Davis 1985 Rev. John P. Meyers 1989 Rev. R. Clifton Spaine 1991 Rev. Bradford Wilson 1995 Rev. Dennis Morales 1998 Rev. Charles Sensel 1998 Rev. James Preston 2006 Rev. Cynthia Zolk 2009 Rev. Christopher Druce Jones 2014 Rev. Chung Nam Kwak 2017 Rev. Nancy Vidad 2018 Rev. Violet Johnicker
The laying of the cornerstone for the new building was placed on May 5, 1968. Contents in the cornerstone include: Today's English Version of the New Testament, church bulletins, Methodist hymnal, Together magazine, building fund brochures, Brooke Road visitor, pictures of activities and members, Ken Rock Herald, membership directory, quarterly conference reports, Rockford Morning Star, Paul Tillich's sermon, "You are Accepted"
Brooke Road Center 1404 Brooke Road, Rockford, IL 61109 815-398-8914 email@example.com