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FUMC offers church tours as 150th anniversary approaches
Tribune photo First United Methodist Church, 2123 Forest Ave. The public is invited to take a tour of the 99-year-old First United Methodist Church at 2123 Forest Ave. and attend the congregation’s 150th anniversary celebration this month.

First United Methodist Church, 2123 Forest Ave., will offer tours of its 99-year-old church building as part of the church’s 150th Anniversary Celebration. The tours are set for 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday, June 10. The public is invited. Those coming for a tour should enter the northeast doors for Noah’s Ark Preschool. 

The tours led by Justin Engleman, Linda Jerke and Janis Link will include the church’s spacious sanctuary, Noah’s Ark Preschool, Fellowship Hall, classrooms, office area, library, chapel and historic features of the church.

The church began in 1873 after a small group of Methodist pioneers decided to settle in Great Bend. The church became official as the Methodist Episcopal Church on June 25, 1873. The group began meeting first in a private home, then a storefront, schoolhouse and finally the courthouse before the congregation built its first church building in 1877 on the corner of Forest and Williams.

The second church was built in 1887 at Forest and Morton streets. The third church built on the corner of Forest and Stone was dedicated in 1924 and is still the First United Methodists’ house of worship today.

The 150th Anniversary Celebration is planned for Sunday, June 25, with a 10:30 a.m. worship service followed by a picnic on the south lawn of the church.