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Our History

The earliest records of Methodist work in Grand Forks are those of the visit of the trio of Bishop Gilbert Haven, Chauncey Hobart, and the Reverend Henry J. Cust, who, in the summer of 1872, made a trip down the Red River and stopped in Grand Forks for a few hours. In 1873, Reverend Webb was appointed General Missionary to Grand Forks and organized the first Sunday School upon foundations laid strong and deep by his predecessors. The first meetings were held in private homes until the first church was built in 1874. In 1891 the brick church was built since membership had outgrown the "Old White Church."

The Methodists were the first Protestants to build a church and open a Sunday School in Grand Forks. In fact they were the first denomination to organize in Grand Forks with Rev. John Webb starting a class and Sunday School in 1873 and also building a small church. In 1874 he was succeded by Rev. Wm. Curl, who also taught the first public school in Grand Forks.

The first 100 years of the life of Wesley Church was known mostly as the First Episcopal Church and the First Methodist Church of Grand Forks, North Dakota. In 1968 after the new United Methodist denomination was formed, the congregation voted to accept the Wesley name in honor of the founders of Methodism, John and Charles Wesley. And so, today, we are: Wesley United Methodist Church.

In 1971 the old downtown church was sold and removed. In October of 1971, the congregation purchased St. James High School and began its development into what we have now. There have been numerous changes, improvements and renovations. The sanctuary was renovated in 2000 and the former Fellowship Room was remodeled into chapel that is used for small group meetings and prayer in 2012. We at Wesley are proud of our church home!

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