About Us

History of Kidder Memorial Church

The Kidder Memorial Church began as a Sunday school on Easter Sunday, April 15, 1906, in the home of Flora and Samuel P. Kidder on South Main Street Extension. There were no churches or Sunday schools south of McKinley Avenue at the time. Flora and Samuel P. were deeply concerned for the children of the south side of Jamestown because many of the families never attended the churches “way up town”.

Fourteen pupils attended the first class, which soon expanded as interesting classes held Sunday afternoon proved popular and successful. Classes were held in most of the rooms and even in a stairway of the house.

By summer, attendance had grown to 37 children. In the summer of 1907, a 24 by 36 foot chapel was built on the farm to accommodate the increasing classes. The chapel was designated as Kidder Memorial chapel in honor of Samuel P.’s father, also named Samuel.

By 1915, there was a definite need for an organized church, but none of the “uptown” churches were interested in establishing a church “way out there”. But, in 1919, the congregation purchased a lot on the corner of Cole Avenue and South Main Street and moved the chapel there from Kidder farm. A new church was built in 1928.

In 1936, Rev. C. Norton Warner became pastor. Under his leadership, membership grew from 149 to 667 people. When the Evangelical United Brethren and the United Methodist denominations merged in 1968, the church became Kidder Memorial United Methodist Church.

Other Pastors who have served Kidder Memorial Church include Rev. C.B. Anderson, Rev. O. E. Shafer, Rev. Loren Townsend, Rev. C.M. McIntyre, Rev. Alvin Willink, Rev. Bertil Peterson, Rev. Dr. H. Ray Harris, Rev. Glen E. Donelson, Rev. Larry Lundgren, Rev. Ardell Gould, Dr. Donald Modisher, Rev. Jerry Ward, Rev. Jacqueline Rhodes, Rev. Rick LaDue, Rev. Carolyn Stow, Pastor Tom LeBeau, Interim Pastor, David Piatt and Pastor Mike Kerzee, our current pastor.

Our Pastor

Pastor Mike Kerzee

Pastor Mike Kerzee is in his 20th year of ministry. He was raised in Copperas Cove, Texas as an army brat. He and his wife, Dianne (a retired elementary teacher) have three children and four grandchildren. Lauren and her husband, Kevin, have two sons, Lawson and Kai, and they live in Buffalo, NY. Zachary and his wife, Kendra, have two daughters, Amberly and Tiana, and they live in Sterling, MA. Benjamin will be living in Jamestown with Mike and Dianne in the parsonage.

Mike loves sharing the good news of love, grace, and mercy found through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His ministry is based on the powerful words of John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” NIV