Original Church Building


Article on Trinity & Methodism in Post Register on January 6, 2008, sponsored by Melaleuca, Inc.


The Golden Jubilee Edition of the Post Register in 1934 recorded “The firest sermon preached west of the Rocky mountains was delivered by Jason Lee, Methodist missionary, on his travels from Boston to Salem, Ore., where he preached on the banks of the Snake river in 1834, 100 years ago, long before there was any settlement here.”

The first Methodists in Eagle Rock made their presence known as early as 1883, but were not formally organized until 1886 by a group of faithful under the leadership of the Reverend J. P. Morris of Blackfoot.  Reverend Morris purchased ground at the present church site for $285, but was chastened by the local newspaper, the Idaho Register, “We thought a church was built to sere the community, then why did the Methodists go out in the country to buy a building lot?”

Members would have to continue to meet in an old frame school building and then in a two-story parsonage for several years before the present remarkable building was completed.

Dan Sweeney, a local contractor, built the church at a cost of $47,000 and it was dedicated on October 7, 1917.  John Visser was the architect of the building that is now on the Historical Register for its outstanding design, recognized as the best example of Tudor-Gothic architecture in the state of Idaho.  The stone for the building was quarried in the Ririe area, and when many years later an education wing was added, the same contractor again oversaw the construction with the very same stone. (Note:  The stone is rhyolite which was quarried near Ririe)  

Idaho Falls saw the first  pipe organ installed in the Methodist church sanctuary, a Hilgreen, Lane and Company electropneumatic organ with 1,000 pipes, one of the most outstanding of its period in all of Idaho.  Sacred music is important to the members of the Methodist faith, especially those in Idaho Falls, and the entire community will tell you what a blessing it has become to everyone.

Currently there are two Methodist churches in Idaho Falls, the Trinity United Methodist Church described above, and the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on St. Clair & 17th. St.  Both fall under the governing organization of The United Methodist Church.

A radio ministry, begun in the 1940s, continues to this day to spread the love of the gospel and love of their fellowmen, a clear indication that the members of the Methodist Church feel a responsibility to share with the larger community of believers.  The year 2008 will se local Methodists celebrating 125 years as a congregation.

 

     Trinity United Methodist Church; 237 N. Water Ave. Idaho Falls, ID 83402                                  208-522-7921; office@tumcif.org or webmaster@tumcif.org