Organization of the Bridger Methodist Episcopal Church and the Ladies Aid took place in 1899, pre-dating by one year the founding of the town itself. As in other small Montana communities, itinerant ministers like the Reverend John G. Clark served the early congregation. Services were conducted in the dining room of the Barlow Hotel or in the hall above Hiram Haskin’s hardware store. Land for the church was donated when the townsite of Bridger was platted in 1900, but ground-breaking did not take place until March of 1905. The Ladies Aid raised funds for the building by giving dinners and selling handmade quilts, clothing, and other items. Under the direction of Reverend Clark, stonemason Eric Forsman prepared the foundation, and construction began with donated materials and labor. By December the steeple was ready to receive its 700-pound bell. The community-built Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated on May 27, 1906, the first in the Clarks Fork Valley. The Bridger landmark is a fine example of Methodist Church design, typified by the L-shaped plan, corner bell tower, and simplified Gothic windows. Fretwork in the open bell tower, decorative shingles, and stained glass enrich the basic plan. The adjacent gable-roofed parsonage, now detached from this property, was finished in 1914. Three congregations merged in 1939 to form the Methodist Church, and in 1949 an addition was completed to accommodate growing membership. Renamed the United Methodist Church in 1968, the church today represents the valley’s early religious development, and its continued use is a fitting tribute to the pioneer congregation responsible for its construction.