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Our History



1926-1929     Rev. Lola B. Carter

1929-1930     Rev. E. A. Voss

1930-1933     Rev. Emmett M. Nelson

1933-1939     Rev. Charles M. King

1939-1943     Rev. M. Estes Haney

1943-1945     Rev. Paul Summerville

1945-1947     Rev. Walter C. Morris

1947-1951     Rev. Wendall Wellman

1951-1956     Rev. Ira J. Hoover

1956-1959     Rev. G. M. Field

1959-1966     Rev. Harold Keeney

1966-1969     Rev. J. L. Garmon

1969-1975     Rev. R. E. Wilson

1975-1981     Rev. Don Gadbow

1981-1990     Rev. Rick Williamson

1990-1993     Rev. Gary Burkhart

1994-1996     Rev. Roger Davis

1996-2001     Dr. David Sorrel

2002-2017     Rev. Michael Lynch

2018-             Rev. Teresa Stecker




History of the Church


The Church of the Nazarene is a world-wide evangelistic organization that takes seriously Christ’s Great Commission recorded in Matthew 28:19-20. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I [Jesus] have commanded you.”


The Iowa City Church of the Nazarene began with a mid-week prayer meeting in 1925. It was officially organized in the summer of 1926 with six charter members. The church met and worshipped in the homes of two of the members until a chapel on Fairchild Street was rented. Still later, services were held in the Lecture Room of the University of Iowa Old Chemistry Building. In time the church purchased permanent quarters on Walnut Street where it met until 1946. At that time the church purchased the First Baptist Church, located on the corner of Clinton and Burlington Streets. They shared the church with the Baptist congregation for a period of 5 years, getting full possession in 1951. In 1952 the church was remodeled and a new Hammond Organ was installed. In 1960 the church building was sold to an oil company and construction of the present church began in December of that year. The new church building, located at 1035 Wade Street, was completed in June of 1961 at the total cost of $67,000. On December 10, 1961, Dr. G. B. Williamson, General Superintendent of the International Church of the Nazarene, assisted by Dr. Gene E. Phillips, Iowa District Superintendent, dedicated the new church. An attached fellowship building was added in 1973.


The church has been blessed with the ministry of 20 different pastors throughout its history. From 1947-1951, under the ministry of Rev. Wendell Wellman, the church aired a live radio broadcast. For many years it supported an active bus ministry. It has spawned many pastors, missionaries, and lay leaders.


In 2002, under the leadership of Pastor Michael Lynch, the church launched a new vision for “embracing our community.” This vision and leadership led to the birth of two new churches, First African Nazarene Church and Camino de Santidad. New mission churches were also started including Unidos en Cristo, Chinese Community Fellowship, Infuse, and Open Door which are all active partners with the Greater Iowa City Church of the Nazarene. In 2005, we launched ICCompassion, a separate nonprofit, to respond to community needs. ICCompassion is a partnering organization committed to serving our community. In 2015, we elected our first corporate board that includes 2 representatives from each partnering church to oversee the Greater Iowa City Church of the Nazarene.


We continue to seek to fulfill the Great Commission in the world that God has entrusted us with. We give Him all the glory!




Mission Statement


Go … make disciples, baptize them, and teach them.

(Matthew 28-19-20)

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