Methodist Episcopal Church of Anaconda

Itinerant circuit riders brought Methodism to this part of Montana as early as 1880. Anaconda’s first Methodist church was built in 1884, but its small band of followers had scattered by the time Reverend Philip Lowry was assigned here in 1889. He and his wife arrived to find no church building, a poorly built two-room dwelling, and a congregation of only seven discouraged members. During their five-year stay, the Reverend and Mrs. Lowry bolstered the congregation both spiritually and financially, increasing the membership to over 100 and raising funds for a new building. Copper King Marcus Daly helped provide the bricks, and the $8,000 church was dedicated, free from debt, on December 14, 1890. By 1896, membership had grown to 553 and the church was overcrowded. Architect Henry Nelson Black drew the plans and contractor Joseph Smith substantially rebuilt the original Gothic style church, adding a tower and widening, lengthening, and heightening the building. Pointed arches, lanceolate windows, and steeply pitched roof further define the Gothic Revival style. At its dedication on August 22, 1897, three wagon loads of flowers decorated the magnificent new church. Bishop Earl Cranston of Helena, Superintendent W. W. Van Orsdel, Reverend W. T. Euster, and many ministers of other Anaconda churches crowded the pulpit platform. Although a rear addition expanded the facilities in 1905, both interior and exterior remain true to the historic design. Among the exquisite stained glass windows is the “Lowry window,” given in memory of the couple to whom, more than to any others, the church is indebted for it permanency and growth.

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Corner of Oak and East 3rd Streets, Anaconda, Montana ~ Public