Our History

Celebrating our 75th year of ministry ~ 1941 – 2016

Recognition of Dorthygene Hoeft who is our longest surviving member, she and David joined the Church in 1943!

History of Oak Hills Wesleyan Church

Sept 1, 1940 a meeting was held to open a work in the city of Rochester.   September 28th Floyd Freheit was appointed supply pastor in charge until district conference.   Then July 11, 1941 Rev. Eldred Cummings was given $8.25 and appointed to purchase chairs for the work.    He also was given $68.00 to rent a place to worship.      Rev. Floyd Freheit and his wife co-preached alternating between the South Troy Church and the Wesleyan Methodist Church.

Charter Members

August 11, 1941 under the leadership of conference president Rev. Clarence Budensick the work was organized with six Charter members:

John & Dorthy Hedeman; William & Marie Damaska; Mrs. Ida Herrick; Charlotte Healley


The first Church was located on the corner of West Center St. and 3rd Ave. N.W. in a small white building.    They had used theater seats for pews and an old coal stove for heat.   John Hedeman Sr. would bring a bag of coal each Sunday in his automobile and donated it so that there would be heat for the Worship Services.   The building was a former Library.

In 1944 the people donated blood for $25.00 per pint and used the proceeds to purchase a different building from the Evangelical United Brethren Church located at 804 East Center St.    Services were held in the afternoon until the E.U.B was able to move in October 1951 when the actual deed was secured.   This building was dedicated on November 4, 1951.
old-churchIn 1960 plans for a new church was underway and in June, 1967 ground was        broken for a new building.    The first services were held in the fellowship hall until November 12, when the first service was held in the new Sanctuary.     The new building was dedicated the following May of 1968 and the name was changed from Wesleyan Methodist Church to “Oak Hills Wesleyan Church”.

We are excited about our future as we anticipate changing the make up of eternity as we minister in and to the City of Rochester

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