Seward County, Nebraska Churches

Congregational, Methodist, Lutheran and Catholic were the earliest denominations to organize in the county. After the initial push, however, the Congregational churches seemed to fade, giving way to the latter three. Another thing to keep in mind is the evolution of the demonination itself. As an example, the Methodists started out as Methodist Episcopal. In the early 1900s, it became the Methodist Church. In the 1960s, a merger with the Evangelical United Brethern, changed the name to United Methodist Church. In the Lutheran church, new synods have formed changing the organizational and theological structure of a congregation.

As for record keeping, some denominations are better than others. Lutheran, Catholic and Episcopal churches probably keep the best records.

Generally, Seward County has several areas that are predominately one religion. The northeastern part of the county has a strong Catholic presence. Lutherans are the major denomination in Seward and the western part of the county. A number of the Lutheran churches, both town and rural, have and had schools. The Milford area has a number of Mennonite congregations. Methodists have churches in Utica, Beaver Crossing, Seward and Milford.

To serve rural congregations, in the early days of the county when roads were less than ideal, there were a number of rural churches serving localities. While there are still a couple, most congregations have either consolidated or disbanded.


The following table lists most of the congregations in Seward County. The first column is the location - town or rural. The second column is the name/denomination of the church. The third column is the year of organization, if known. The fourth column includes notes about the church. The fifth column lists whether the church is active or has disbanded.

Location Name/denomination Date of Organization Notes Status
Beaver Crossing Sacred Heart Catholic 1890 Constructed a church Active
Beaver Crossing Christian Church 1882 Organized with the help of the Nebraska Christian
Missionary Society. In 1883 the congregation moved
to Walnut Creek. The Walnut Creek church
was moved back to Beaver Crossing. It is now
Disciples of Christ.
Beaver Crossing Zion Evangelical Church 1882 It combined with other churches in 1885 and formed
the Friendly Mission. In 1946, it affiliated with the
Evangelical United Brethern. In 1963,
it merged with the Methodist Church.
Active, Methodist
Beaver Crossing United Evangelical Church 1890 Disbanded about 1903
Beaver Crossing United Methodist Church 1888 It organized as the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1963, it
merged with the Friendly Mission.
Beaver Crossing The Little White Church 1978 The church is now known as Beaver Crossing Christian
Fellowship Church.
Beaver Crossing Congregational 1871 Closed about ten years later in 1881. Disbanded
Bee St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church built in 1910 Active
Bee Evangelical United Brethern 1889 Joined Seward congregation. Disbanded
Cordova St. Johns Lutheran 1883 Active
Cordova Our Savior's Danish
Evangelical Lutheran (UELC)
1883 1960 merged with St. John's Evangelical Lutheran
to form Trinity Lutheran.
Active as Trinity Lutheran.
Cordova St. John's Danish
Evangelical Lutheran (AELC)
1894 In 1894 a group left the original church over
theological differences. In
1901, the new name was adopted. In 1960, the
congregation merged with St. John's to form
Trinity Lutheran Church. St. John's records from
1889-1954 are on microfilm at the Nebraska
State Historical Society in Lincoln.
Active as Trinity Lutheran.
Garland Zion Lutheran 1886 Active
Garland/Germantown Congregational Church Abt. 1893 The record book has be microfilmed and can be
found at the Nebraska State Historical
Society in Lincoln.
Disbanded abt. 1915
Goehner Holy Cross Lutheran 1933 UAC Active
Goehner United Church of Christ 1902 Also known as Friedens United Church of
Christ. It was formed to serve the German
speaking community and affiliated with
Evangelical Synod of North America. Denomination
mergers brought it into the United Church
of Christ fold in 1957. Records from 1902-1974
have been microfilmed and can be found at the
Nebraska State Historical Society in Lincoln.
Goehner St. John's Lutheran 1897 Disbanded 1922
Johnson Creek Fresers Danske Evangeliske
Luthrska Menighed
Organized about 1880. Microfilmed records can be found at the
Nebraska State Historical Society in Lincoln.
Disbanded about 1932.
Marysville Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church 1870 Located about 3 1/2 miles west of Staplehurst
on Lincoln Creek, it merged to form Our Redeemer Lutheran
Church in Staplehurst in about 1966. Microfilm records,
1872-1970, can be found at the Nebraska State
Historical Society in Lincoln.
Active as Our Redeemer.
Milford East Fairview Mennonite Church 1875 Active
Milford Milford Mennonite Church 1925 Organized as Amish Mennonite Church. The name
was changed in 1955.
Milford Beth-el Mennonite Church 1959 Active
Milford United Methodist Church 1874 1968 the Milford Methodist Church and the Evangelical
United Brethern Churches merged to form the
Milford UMC.
Milford Emmanuel Evangelical Church 1880 Merged with Zion Evangelical Church in 1922 to
form Immanuel Evangelical Church. In 1946, the
United Brethern Church and the Evangelical Church
merged to form the Evangelical United Brethern (EUB)
Church. In 1968, the EUB and Methodist Churches merged
to become the Milford United Methodist Church (UMC).
Active as Milford UMC.
Milford Zion Evangelical Church 1880 Located five miles northeast of Milford, Zion merged
with Emmanuel Evangelical Church in 1922. See above.
Active as Milford UMC.
Milford Bellwood Mennonite Church 1957 The congregation was organized in Beaver Crossing,
but built in the Milford area the following year.
Milford Milford Missionary Church 1890 The congregation was officially organized in 1894
as Pleasant View Mennonite Brethern in Christ and
located three miles west and two miles south of
Milford near Pleasant View School. In 1918, the
congregation moved into Milford. The name was changed in
1947 to United Missionary Church. The current name
was adopted in 1969.
Milford United Church of Christ, Milford 1874 It was organized as Evanglische Friedens Gemeinde
am West Blue - Peace Evangelical Congregation of
West Blue. Microfilm records, 1874-1970, can be
found at the Nebraska State Historical Society
in Lincoln.
Milford First Congregational Church 1869 Microfilmed records, 1874-1959, can be found at the
Nebraska State Historical Society in Lincoln.
Milford Assembly of God Active
Milford Good Shepherd Lutheran Church LCMS Active
Milford Grace Missionary Active
Ruby Immanuel Evangelical
1889 Located in J Precinct, the church closed in 1949. Disbanded
Seward Calvary Baptist 1963 Active
Seward St. Vincent DePaul Catholic 1878 Active
Seward Church of Christ 1960 Active
Seward St. Andrew's Episcopal 1952 Active
Seward Hillcrest Evangelical Free 1973 Active
Seward Faith Lutheran Church 1964 ELCA. St. Paul's Lutheran of rural Milford and Our
Savior's Lutheran of Staplehurst, voted to
combine congregations forming Faith Lutheran
in Seward in 1964.
Seward Grace Evangelical Lutheran 1969 WELS Active
Seward Living Word Lutheran Active
Seward Might Fortress Evangelical Lutheran AFLC Active
Seward The Rock Lutheran LCMS Active
Seward St. John Lutheran 1877 LCMS Active
Seward United Methodist 1867 Merged with EUB in 1967 Active
Seward Congregational 1887 Disbanded
Seward Faith in Christ
Bible Church
Seward Lighthouse United Penticostal Active
Seward Friedens United Church
of Christ
1878 In about 1938, the Evangelical Synod and
Reformed Church was formed. In 1957, the
Evangelical and Reformed Churches merged
with the Congregational Church to become the
United Church of Christ. Microfilmed records 1878-1973
are located at the Nebraska State Historical
Society in Lincoln.
Seward Presbyterian 1868 Due to dwindling membership, the church closed
in about 2012.
Seward Seventh Day Adventist 1875 The congregation was organized near Ruby, but moved
to Seward.
Seward Evangelical United Brethern 1872 Organized about four miles northwest of Seward. In 1880,
the church was built in Seward. In 1968, the denomination
merged with the Methodist Church.
Merged with UMC
Staplehurst Immanuel Lutheran 1888 In 1966, Immanuel Lutheran and Zion Lutheran of Marysville
merged using the church in Staplehurst. The name was changed
to Our Redeemer. Microfilmed records, 1889-1966, can
be found at the Nebraska State Historical Society
in Lincoln.
Active as Our Redeemer
Staplehurst Our Savior's Lutheran 1877 The original Danish congregation was affiliated with the
United Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1964, the congregation
merged with St. Paul's Lutheran of rural Milford to form
a new church in Seward.

Merged to Faith Lutheran
Staplehurst First Presbyterian 1882 Merged with Tamora Presbyterian Church in 1888. Disbanded
Tamora Presbyterian Church 1880 In 1917, the building was struck by lightning and was
not rebuilt.
Tamora Methodist Episcopal 1882 Closed in 1967. Disbanded
Utica United Methodist 1872 Active
Utica St. Patrick's Catholic 1882 Active
Utica St. Pauls Lutheran 1899 Missouri Synod Active
Rural Trinity Lutheran 1872 Located in H Precinct on Elk Slough near
the Seward-Lancaster county line. Last
services 1957.
Rural Prairie Grove
Methodist Protestant
1872 Located in L Precinct, the congregation united with
Goehner in about 1930.
Rural Immanuel Lutheran 1870 Also known as Middle Creek, the church is located
on Highway 34 east of Seward several miles.
Rural St. Paul's Lutheran 1890 More completely known as The Evangelical Lutheran
St. Paul' Congregation of the Unaltered Augsberg
Confession, on the Table Prairie, the congregation first
met in PS 71 in I Precinct. The congregation voted
to merge and build Faith Lutheran in Seward in 1964.
Merged to Faith Lutheran
Rural West Blue United Church of Christ 1874 The church was located in the southwest corner of
Section 36 in O Precinct. It was active in the 1970s.
Rural Salem United Methodist 1882 The church is located in K Precinct a couple of
miles west of Highway 15. The congregation started
meeting in the 1870s, about a mile north of
the current location. Church closed after 2010 and
has reopened as a community church. Records are at the
Methodist Archives on Wesleyan University campus
in Lincoln.
Rural West Fairview Mennonite 1903 The church is located one-half mile south and two
and a half miles east of Beaver Crossing in N Precinct.
Rural Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran 1873 The church was located in Section 5 of D Precinct
in the northwest part of Seward County. Also known
as Meyer's Church. The church closed in 1976. Microfilmed
records, 1873-1976 are located at the Nebraska State Historical
Society in Lincoln.


History of Seward County, Nebraska & reminiscences of territorial history, by William Wallace Cox, published 1905.
Seward County Nebraska History Supplement 1983, by The People of Seward County, copyright 1983, published by the Seward County Genealogical Society.
General History of Seward County, Nebraska, by John Waterman, published 1914-15.
Nebraska State Historical Society online record of resources.

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This page was created 5 February 2016 by Joan Shurtliff.