Methodism in Valley City began with services held by John McPherson of Great Britain who arrived with a license to preach in 1879. the first meeting house was a log cabin north of the river near where the Burlington Northern trestle crossed the river on East Main Street. It was formally organized in 1881, and the first church building was built in 1882 in the 400 block of Fourth Street NE. By 1892 a new building was needed and was built in the 200 block of Third Street NW, across from Our Savior's Lutheran and down the block from the Congregational Church.
In 1905 more room was needed so the former building was razed and a larger brick building with full basement and stained glass windows was built on the former location. This building was loved and used for decades and you will still hear it occasionally referred to with fondness as the "old church." While it was a wonderful worship space, both the limited Education space and the parking crunch increasingly became issues. Epworth voted to move to a new location in 1964, and the property was sold. For many years this building was the home of Grace Free Lutheran Church, and has since become the home of St. Paul's Lutheran Church (WELS).
Expansion and Change
For several years, the Epworth congregation worshipped in the City Auditorium while a new building was under construction.
Land had been purchased in what was then a new portion of Valley City, directly adjacent to the then-new Washington Elementary. Consecration of this building was held on January 14, 1968.
Built all on one level (excluding the chancel and choir loft), the new building included many Sunday School spaces, and a new kitchen and fellowship hall, a library, and a sanctuary to seat 300 in worship.
Building for the Future
After celebrating our 125th anniversary in 2006, and celebrating 40 years at our current location in 2008, conversations began about how Epworth could continue to shape its ministry in years to come. This led to the creation of a building committee, with an extensive expansion and renovation of the facility from 2009-2011, with completion marked with a service of re-consecration. Changes included moving the offices toward the main doors, which now face the parking lot, renovating our fellowship hall into a gathering space, completing "the square" of Sunday School rooms, adding a brand-new kitchen, and turning our former offices into a great youth room. We invite you to join us for worship!
This picture, which is on our homepage and Facebook page, was taken on May 6, 2006 as part of our 125th Anniversary Celebration