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100 anniversary Fun Facts about the downtown church building

Fun Fact #1

The Moline Methodist church met at five locations before making the decision to build a new building at the corner of 7th Avenue and 16th Street. The first Methodist meetings in Moline were held in the cabin of Joel Wells in 1834.   The small congregation then began meeting in 1843 at the “Moline House” Hotel worshiping on alternate Sundays with a Lutheran congregation.   In 1845, meetings were held in the “new brick schoolhouse” at 16th Street and 4th Avenue where services were held on alternate Sundays with the newly formed First Congregational Church.  The first building in Moline used solely as a Methodist Church was erected at the northwest corner of 16th Street and 5th Avenue in 1848.  When the congregation outgrew this building, it was sold to the Swedish Methodists and a new church built in 1871 at the present location on the southeast corner of 16th Street and 7th Avenue.  The 1871 structure was torn down in 1922 to make room for the current building 

Fun Fact #2

Views of the interior of the original 1923 church.  Note the main floor with two aisles and the still existing skylight


A renovation program started in 1948 completely altered the front of the sanctuary to near its present appearance.   An additional remodeling project in the mid 1970's resulted in changes in color and pews, as seen in the lower 2 photos.

Fun Fact #3

The congregation worshiped in the Moline Public Library while the new church was being built.  The cornerstone (located on the north west corner) laying ceremony for the new building was held on April 15, 1923.  It appears that safety railings were not part of the ceremony for this event!

Fun Fact #4

The exterior of the 1923 Church which was built within 18 months of being first proposed.  Early recognizing the need to cultivate the youth of the congregation, a gymnasium was included.  The photo in the lower right shows the south side of the original structure, which isn't seen anymore.  It was hidden by the Education wing which was built in the early 1960's.

Fun Fact #5

The church building has changed over the past 100 years to adapt to the needs of the congregation.  One of the most significant changes after the 1948 sanctuary reconfiguration was the addition of the Education wing in 1960.  The number of classrooms more than doubled to accommodate the "Baby Boomer" generation in Sunday school.  The building was even designed to have a bell tower and a second floor added in the future,.  Only the basement and first floor were built.

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