Church History
Sunday Worship Service begins at 10:30 AM
Third & Adams Street, PO Box 9774, Moscow, Idaho USA | (208) 882-3715

Our Church History

The official history of Moscow First United Methodist church begins on December 21, 1876 as the Methodist Episcopal Church when seven people organized the first church. In those early years they met in a small school house. Rev. Milton S. Anderson was the first pastor. In 1880 they rented a meeting hall on the corner of 4th and Main and three years later began the construction of the first church building at 6th and Jefferson, which was completed in 1887 for a bit over $2000. 

By 1902 the congregation had outgrown that building and began construction of a new building at 3rd and Adams. Made of basalt mined on nearby Paradise Ridge it took two years to complete for a cost of $35,000. Installed in the clock tower were a Seth Thomas clock and a five foot bell. The clock and the bell are still in use, though an electrical mechanism to run it was added a number of years later. By 1921 there was need for yet more space, including for Sunday School classes and a kitchen. More basalt from Paradise Ridge was used. Thirty some years later, still more space was needed and so the third addition, known as the Education Wing, began. The revision ran into funding and other problems and took seven years to be completed. This addition was done without the original basalt and so is obviously different from the outside.

Over the years, as will happen with a living church, needs changed, the building experienced wear and tear, and so various remodeling projects have taken place. The most recent remodels took place under the pastorate of Rev. Bill Green and began with the creation of a music room from a former Sunday School room, moved on to a complete remodel of the sanctuary, Epworth Hall, and the kitchen. The most recent remodels have focused on the 1932 addition and energy efficiency with replacement of the old single pane windows and other additional insulation to make the rooms more comfortable.


While it is easier to track the history of a church through its building, of greater importance are the people and the programs of the church. Music has long been important and of particular note was the founding of the first hand bell choir in 1990 with two octaves of bells purchased in memory of Nancy Jackson who was killed in a climbing accident in the Himalayas. Under the leadership of music director, Tom Crossler, more bells and then hand chimes have been added until the church currently owns 5 complete octaves of both bells and chimes. It has two adult, one youth, and one children's bell choir.


The education program of the church has long been key to its mission, starting with the first Sunday School organized in 1877 and continuing to this day. Sunday School, youth group, and in the last six years or so a Tween's group for children grade 3-5. Adult classes and Bible studies have also met, and in recent years the church has begun to establish small groups for study, fellowship, and service.


Missions have been another hallmark of Moscow First United Methodist Church. During the 1980's they sponsored a Cambodian family escaping war in their native land. Many international students from a wide variety of countries have found welcome and support at the church. At present that includes four students from Africa and one from South Korea. Africa Month has become a tradition as the church both learns about Africa, celebrates our connection to Africa University (www.africau.edu) and the Jamaa Letu Orphanages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (www.umcmission.org) raising money to support both a girl and a boy at Jamma Letu and to help support Africa University.

In addition, Moscow First United Methodist Church is proud to be a host church for Family Promise of the Palouse. (familypromisepalouse.org)

 

The United Methodist Church traces its roots back to the life and ministry of John and Charles Wesley, Anglican priests in 18th century England. Though neither left the Anglican Church, they began a movement to reform that church which eventually became its own denomination and spread to the United States where it split from the Anglican Church in their lifetime. For more information on the history of the denomination go to umc.org.

Current Church News

  • Family Promise of the Palouse

    Moscow First United Methodist Church is honored to be an active participant of the Family Promise of the Palouse providing temporary, safe housing for families in our community who are facing homelessness. Our next opportunity to host is June 11-18, 2017.

Get Directions

Sunday morning parking at the church is available in the high school parking lot on Third Street across from the church and in the city lots west of the church. These lots are available only on Sunday mornings. A small lot for handicapped parking is available just off of Adams Street on the north side of the church, with an accessible entrance directly into the sanctuary. A lift operates between the Fellowship Hall (3rd Street level) and the Sanctuary . William Sound System Receivers and Headsets are available to assist with hearing problems.

Church Mission

The First United Methodist Church of Moscow, Idaho takes as our mission to be the body of Jesus Christ, ministering to a community which draws strength from its diversity. Our mission centers on the worship of God, expressed through varied forms of prayer, preaching, music, and ritual.  See more...