The STR United Methodist Parish is made of up two churches: the United Methodist Church of Steele, and the Tuttle United Methodist Church. In June 2018, Pastor Marv Winstryg became the new old Pastor, having served these churches from 1992 to 1999.
Address: 102 2nd Street SW, Steele, ND
The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Steele, Dakota Territory (now the state of North Dakota) was organized in the year 1883. Church services were held for several years in the south room on the second floor of the school house in Steele for lack of a church building.
The first church building was obtained by purchase of the building occupied for some years by the Baptist Society of Steele. This building was purchased for $500, and was located at the corner of Broadway and 1st Ave SW in Steele. After being used for services until 1905 the church was sold to the publisher of the Steele Ozone and used as a newspaper printing office. He paid $500 cash for the building and lots.
After the sale of this building, steps were taken immediately for the construction of a new church building in Steele. For a few weeks services were held in the courthouse in the district courtroom. A new location for the church building was secured at the corner of Mitchell Ave and 2nd St SW, the present location. The church was built in 1905 at the cost of $3700 and was dedicated March 18, 1906. In 1913 a bell from the Woodlawn Township School was installed in the church tower. Various improvements were made throughout the years, which include a remodeled front and rear entry and enlarged basement.
In 1893, a parsonage was purchased. In 1912, the Padgett house was purchase for a parsonage which was the parsonage for many years. The parsonage was sold in 1964 and the present one was purchased in 1980, when it was decided to move the parsonage back to Steele from Tappen. The parsonage is located at 302 3rd St. SE.
Through the years the church flourished and grew with members deciding a larger building was needed. The proposed building project began with an estimated cost of $85,000 which had been received as pledges before the building began. The new addition which consisted of a sanctuary, nursery, pastor’s office and foyer was begun in September 1990. The project was brought to fulfillment by the time and talents of many parishioners. The new addition is graced by a wooden cross, oak cupboards and stained glass windows all designed and crafted by dedicated members. The pews from the old sanctuary were moved into the new church with the first service being held on January 6, 1991. The old sanctuary is now the fellowship hall. The Steele Methodist church has been blessed with the service of 46 pastors.
Address: North Main, Tuttle, ND
In 1905, the first services of the Evangelical Church in the Tuttle area were held at the farm home of the John Scherbenske Sr. family. The minister, Fred E. Wagner of Washburn came for the first services.
The first services were conducted in German and held at the Scherbenske's until the crowd became so large that the Dan Weisenburger hayloft was cleaned out and used as a church.
1910, the Rev. August Rux was appointed to the now established congregation and the first church building was constructed. The general title given to the Evangelical work in the area was the "Tuttle Mission."
In 1914, the church work expanded to include the Thieling settlement 14 miles Northwest of Tuttle.
In 1917, a church building was erected in the settlement and was known as the Pleasant Hill Church which was later served by Pastors from Goodrich, Chasley, and Tuttle.
By 1915, the church built in 1910 was too small and a new church was built and dedicated debt free with a total cost of $4,000. It was given the name Immanuel.
In 1914, with the help of the Dakota Conference, a grant of $1000 was received to purchase a parsonage in Tuttle.
Shortly after the parsonage purchase, a suitable church was found and purchased in Manfred, ND, and moved to Tuttle. It was named the Salem Church.
With the drought in the late 1920s and the "dirty thirties," many families were forced to leave the area. By 1941, all of the previous churches were closed and the remaining members consolidated with the Salem Church in Tuttle. In 1948, the Salem Church was remodeled and services were changed to English.
The Evangelical Church united with the United Brethern in 1946 and the church was known as Evangelical United Brethern until 1969 when it merged with the Methodist Church.
A new church was completed on Main Street in 1963 and in 1974, a new parsonage was built just north of the church. The pastor residing there served both Robinson and Tuttle until 1992.
In 1992, the Tuttle church became part of the United Methodist Parish of Steele, Tuttle, and Robinson (STR Parish) and is currently served by Pastor Steve Behrens