Missouri United Methodist Church
Thursday, May 23, 2013
History of Missouri Methodism
Methodism in Missouri officially began with the appointment of John Travis in 1806. Services were conducted in members' homes or outdoors. In 1836, the Methodist and Baptist congregations joined to build a shared church. A lot was purchased for $150 and the two congregations worshiped jointly in the building for more than ten years. The building also hosted many secular meetings and served as "town hall."
By 1848, the church was too small for the activities of the two groups. After three more buildings and the addition of the Wilkes Boulevard Church, the church authorized another building at the current location.
It was agreed in the early 1920s that the three conferences and the local congregation would share the expense of building a church near the University of Missouri campus. In recognition of the statewide involvement, the church was named Missouri Methodist Church, later named Missouri United Methodist Church.
The first services were held in the chapel on Sunday evening, May 31, 1926. The first public services in the sanctuary were held Sunday, January 5, 1930.
More information: History of the Missouri Methodist Church by Frank F. Stephens; supplements by Harold F. Breimyer
About our Church
The historic Missouri United Methodist Church building was dedicated in 1929. It is one of several downtown church buildings occupied in the long history of this congregation dating back to 1837. The exterior of the church is Indiana Bedford limestone.
The sanctuary faces Ninth Street and will comfortably seat 1,000 people. The choir loft will seat about 45 people. The great arch at the front of the sanctuary depicts 26 different forms of the cross. The beautiful stained glass windows in the sanctuary outline the Old Testament, New Testament and the major figures of Methodist history.
The sanctuary also features a Skinner pipe organ. On the wall at the rear of the sanctuary are plates bearing the names of all the pastors who have served in all four locations of the church.
The education unit has 33 classrooms and meeting rooms. This includes rooms for the Wesley Student Organization on the second floor. Also in the education unit are office space, a resource center, a main kitchen, some kitchenettes and McMurry Chapel, which can seat about 135 people.
One writer referred to Missouri Methodist Church as the "Cathedral on Ninth Street." Missouri United Methodist Church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 4, 1980.