The Vernon United Presbyterian Church (USA). Its roots however, can be traced back to the former Associated Reformed Church, started by Scottish immigrants who came to this area as early as 1820.
The first church meetings were held in homes, then later in the barn of Robert Weir. When Guthrie School was built, the meetings were held there.
In 1847, our church officially came to be. The first Session record reads as follows: “Vernon, Waukesha County, Wisconsin Territory, September 6, 1847, six o’clock p.m. A number of members and friends of the Associated Reformed Church met in the home of Thomas Howie, according to a notice given, Rev. Bonner delivered a sermon from 1 Chron. 29:15. It was then resolved to organize a congregation of the Associated Reformed Church.”
At this time, the Associated Reform Church became known as the United Presbyterian Church of North America. Over the years, many changes and mergers took place within the Presbyterian church, and in 1983, the United Presbyterian Church of North America merged with the Southern Presbyterian Church to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), causing our church to become Vernon United Presbyterian Church (PCUSA).
The current church building, which is still in use today, was built back in 1859. In 1917, such amenities as a basement, furnace and new pews were added, with much of the work completed by Mr. Robert Stewart, one of the elders at the time. In 1952, an addition was built onto the west side of the existing church building, adding Sunday school rooms, a kitchen, restrooms, an oil heating system, as well as the church tower with steeple.
Construction for a new parsonage began in 1954. Land was donated by John, Tom and Miss Dora Darling, and much of the construction work was done by church members and friends. Pastor at the time, Dr. Charles G. Mann, and his wife, moved into the parsonage in March of 1955, with over 120 church members and friends attending the open house.
In 1962, under the leadership of Rev. William Walton, another educational unit was added to the lower level, giving us four more large classrooms plus a lovely fellowship room designated as the Florence Mann Memorial Room. The Sunday school rooms from the 1952 addition were converted into a Pastor’s study and office.
In 1978, under the pastorate of Rev. Roger Patton, the Child Development Center was established. The parsonage was converted to a day care center, while the pre-school met in the church Sunday School rooms.
On Palm Sunday, 1987, church members broke ground for a what would become the Vernon Child Development Center. Through the effort and dedication of the 200+ congregation, countless hours were spent completing the numerous tasks needed to construct the center, which was completed and dedicated in the fall of 1988.
In 1994, G. Bohvi “Bobby” Musengwa was hired as Director of Christian Education working with both the Child Development Center and the Christian Education programs of the church.
In 1995, the congregation voted to update the facilities, making them handicap accessible. This addition included an elevator, library and three additional classrooms. The Pre-School moved into these facilities, while the School Age program moved to the lower level.
An early morning fire on February 27, 1995 destroyed the 2-year-old classroom, Mann Fellowship Room and surrounding area. Luckily, the building was empty, and no one was injured. Outstanding effort by church members, child care center staff, friends and neighbors allowed the center to open its doors the next day. Repairs were completed within a few months.
In the spring of 1997, the Vernon Active Older Adults (VAA) program was developed. Started as a mission of the church by the late Rev. Patton, the Vernon Active Adults program welcomes community members to join church members in a wide range of activities aimed at keeping mind, body and spirit active.
In 1998, the Session established the position of Co-Pastor for the church. Rev. Bohvi Musengwa was ordained as first Co-Pastor of Vernon United Presbyterian Church. The Vernon Child Development Center established an After School Program, serving children both at the center, as well as schools within the school district.
In 2001, Rev. Roger Patton retires from Vernon Presbyterian Church. The church is served by two Interim Pastors through the end of 2003.
In 2004, Vernon Presbyterian installed their twenty-third Pastor, and first woman, the Reverend Judith Landt, who served until 2014.
Interim Pastor Rev. Glenn Danz serves the church for part of 2014 and 2015.
In 2016, Vernon Presbyterian Church is served by Stated Pastor Rev. William Grimbol.