History of Spider Lake Church
A Brief History of the Little White Church in the Vale
In 1915 a group of Spider Lake and Twin Lakes area families saw the need for religious experience and fellowship. They organized a Sunday school, which met in the Twin Lakes Schoolhouse.
First preaching services at the Twin Lakes Schoolhouse began in the spring of 1919 and continued through 1920. Visiting preachers were provided by the Presbyterian Home Missions Board, out of Waukesha, WI.
In 1921 it was decided to form an organized church. There were 30 members that met in what was the Spider Lake Schoolhouse and later the old Spider Lake Town Hall. The name of the new church was Spider Lake Presbyterian Church.
Through the twenties and early thirties, traveling ministers served the church. As time went on there was increasing talk about putting up a church building. In 1938, when an infant Harold Waddell, died, his parents deeded several acres of their farmland to what eventually became the Spider Lake Cemetery. Later the Waddell’s suggested that part of this land be put aside as a building site for a church.
In 1933 a group of churchwomen formed the Spider Lake Women’s Club. Their main objective was to buy a better organ for the services at the Spider Lake Schoolhouse. Together the women earned enough to accomplish their goal. Encouraged by their success, the women decided to concentrate on a bigger project, raising money for a new church building. Over the months, income from bazaars grew. On August 10, 1939 the Spider Lake Women’s Club turned over the first $500 to the church building fund. Due to the generosity of many people the building fund grew large enough, and the construction of the new church started. Many local people donated their time, skills, materials, labor and trucks.
Work on the new church building neared an end. One of the last projects was installation of the new rooftop bell, donated by the Presbyterian Church of Beaver Dam, WI.
Another unexpected donation arrived years later. The lifelike tri-dimensional artwork, which had been part of the old Park Falls Congregational church altar, was given to the Spider Lake Church after the old church was razed to make way for a new one.
With the passing years, because of increasing responsibilities, the missionary ministers were finding it difficult to serve the out-of-the-way Spider Lake Church. In 1964 the United Church of Christ officials agreed to provide preachers for the church, even though the church retained its Presbyterian affiliation. This lasted about five years. In 1970 the church petitioned the Presbytery for a transfer to the UCC. It was granted and the church became Spider Lake United Church of Christ.
A fellowship hall was built to meet the needs of the congregation. The church remained the Spider Lake United Church of Christ until December of 2005 when the congregation voted to end it’s affiliation with the UCC and became a nondenominational Independent Church. The congregation has maintained the church and has done numerous remodeling projects to update it.
At present, July 2006, Gary Hilgendorf is the Pastor of the Little White Church. Sunday worship services are offered every Sunday of the year. Activities offered are Bible studies, Women’s Fellowship and Men’s Fellowship.
Note: Condensed from an article written by Gene Dailey.
A more detailed history is available from a church council member.