Our History

Westward expansion across the plains of Kansas usually followed the development of railroads, and Newton was fortunate to become a rail center for central Kansas. Along with the railroad came many people, and with the settlers came Christian missionaries. Milton M. Haun came as Methodist missionary to Sedgwick City and Newton in 1870. Originally from Tennessee, he converted to Christianity in Indiana. He settled in the untamed city of Newton in 1871.
According to a city newspaper article, Rev. Haun preached his first Newton sermon at the Golden Rule Saloon from a beer barrel pulpit. Following the final hymn several cowboys drew their six-guns and took off their hats. They used the guns as persuaders to get the “congregation” to contribute to the collection-plate-hats. The minister accepted the collection, to which everyone had contributed, politely refused a second offer for a drink, and left the saloon. The church was officially organized and recognized when a charter was filed and approved on March 15, 1872 with the State of Kansas