Who We Are

Winner United Methodist Church has been in the community of Winner, South Dakota, for over 100 years.  It is a church with a long history and tradition.  If you were to ask someone in the community what we are known for, you would likely hear: “They are the church that marries and buries.”  This is our reputation; this is what we are known for.  Now, to some, this may be said with some negative connotations attached.  That is okay.  This reputation is part of our church’s DNA and we are proud to claim it.  We hope that you too will come to love this about our church and that it will become part of your DNA as a Christian too.

The slogan “Open doors, open hearts, open minds” is one embodied by the United Methodist Church as a worldwide denomination.  From our earliest roots in 18th century England and in the colonial era in the United States, the Methodist church has always sought to bring one and all to the love of Christ.  John Wesley opened wide the doors of the church as he took to the streets, fields, and mines to share the Word of God with those who did not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  The circuit riders that spread the Word during the early history of Methodism in the United States continued that tradition of bringing the love of Christ to the people.  It is in this spirit that Winner United Methodist Church embraces our role in continuing to take every opportunity to share Jesus’ love with all.

Some may still be wondering why we are willing to ‘marry and bury’ so willingly.  It is one thing to welcome folks into our church on a Sunday morning to join us for worship, but it is another to go that step further to serve those who are technically not a member or even ‘a part of us’.  If you are still wondering, let me share a story.  An elderly woman recently passed away and the family asked if it would be okay to have the ceremony at our church.  She had lived with her son out in the country for many years and they were admittedly ‘not church people’.  We met and planned the service with her three children and our church held the funeral.  The next week the eldest son came to church.  He sat in the back row.  He continued to come for the next few weeks.  After about a month, one Sunday he asked for a minute of my time.  He asked if he could be baptized.  This man in his seventies, who never came to church much, has found faith in God through his mother’s funeral.  This is why we are a church with open doors, open hearts, and open minds.

If you would like to be a part of this kind of a church, we hope you will join us on Sunday to worship and praise God.