Ronan United Methodist Church

The first circuit-riding Methodist ministers, “the Lord’s Horsemen,” arrived in Montana in the 1870s to establish congregations among the territory’s early population. Settlers came to the Flathead when reservation lands opened to homesteading in 1910. An itinerant minister, Reverend Welch, held services in Ronan twice a month. In December 1910, the Ronan Methodist congregation purchased the land and members began building this Gothic style church; services were held five months later. The First Ladies Aid raised money for furnishings with numerous fundraisers including a colonial dinner, a Japanese tea, and a play at the opera house. When they ran out of ideas, the women challenged each other to earn a dollar and tell the group how she did it. They carpeted the aisle, bought lights, and paid the minister’s salary. The stained glass windows, installed in 1911, and the original ornately carved organ are part of their legacy. Construction of the annex enlarged the church in 1918 under Pastor W. I. Greer. During his tenure from 1929 to 1940, Reverend Joe “Little Joe” Ashworth saw the addition of the sidewalk, lawn, and bell tower. Today the charming simplicity of this sturdy homestead-era house of worship, the oldest continuously used Methodist church in Lake , symbolizes the faithfulness of early Methodism in the Mission Valley.

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407 Adams Street Southwest, Ronan, Montana ~ Private