The oldest church congregation in Coon Rapids started as the Joyce Chapel, located on the corner of the present Hanson Boulevard and 115th Street. Benjamin Shattuck donated 1.5 acres for a chapel and a small cemetery. Money for the chapel was pledged and donated by Anoka businessmen and neighbors.
Building the Church
The foundation was laid in January 1902. A nail keg was used as a pulpit when James Carter, a lay preacher, presided over the 1st service held in the church. Joyce Chapel was dedicated free of debt on July 17, 1902, by Bishop Isaac Joyce, for whom the chapel was named. Joyce Chapel flourished over the ensuing years and was attended by people of many faiths as it was the only church in Anoka Township for some time.
Painting the Chapel
The picture of the chapel on the mural was taken in 1914, while the picture of the Sunday School class of Joyce Chapel was taken in 1935. The Sunday School class picture includes some long-time residents of the area, including Charlie and Bertha Barney, Leland Sorteberg, and Roland Greenlun. Also included in the picture are several members of the Whitehead family, including 1 member of the 1977 to 1978 Coon Rapids Historical Commission, Jim Whitehead.
Over the course of years since 1902, 29 pastors have served Joyce Chapel. Reverend R. Overmire was the last pastor to serve Joyce Chapel, and the 1st for the new Coon Rapids Methodist Church.