The beginnings of what was then Moran Methodist Episcopal Church started as many new churches still do, by meeting in a local familyís home. For several years the small congregation met in the Wegerís home until they were large enough to become a part of a circuit. By 1880 that is just what happened and this congregation became a part of a circuit of churches which, included Rockford to the south and Jamieson to the west. These churches had one minister, a circuit riding minister, (as designed by our denominationís founder, John Wesley), who rode on horse or buggy great distances and in all kinds of weather to preach the Word of God. It was often difficult and made great demands upon the health of the preacher. Since that first minister, there have been 55 pastors who have served our church. Moran UMC is the oldest church in the greater Spokane area.
The first building was constructed in 1891 and its roof still stands. The original church structure was what is presently the west room, the basement underneath it, the bathroom and the front entryway. The present sanctuary and Heritage room (the east room) was built in 1910 and was covered with brick. The alcove (altar) was originally a baptistery. The south end of the sanctuary had triptych windows in gold, purple and green. They were removed both because the framework was rotting and because the colors made the pastor look sick. The present kitchen, offices and fellowship hall were built in 1989.
A parsonage was located on the site of the present picnic shelter. It was a two-story house and the pastorís family lived there until 1960. Then it was rented and later sold for demolition. The community helped seed the ground where the parsonage stood in order to turn it into a park. It is presently used for church and community functions. For the past three years, the Moran Prairie Festival has been held on these grounds just as the first Moran Fair was held there many years ago.
Some interesting facts about the church are:
There are presently two families attending the church where four generations have worshipped here. The present organist, Joanne Brown has played as a volunteer for church services, weddings and special activities for 48 years.
In 1998, the church began replacing the single pane windows in the sanctuary with the stained glass windows you see today. At the present time, eight of the twelve are complete. Each window is a memorial and is based on a biblical scripture chosen by the family.
The present pastor is Barbara Caviezel. There are 145 members on roll and many more who are constituents. We average around 89 people on a given Sunday. The church has a growing Sunday School for children and adults. There are many special activities happening throughout the year such as Vacation Bible School, Bible and Social Action Studies, active church committees, Youth groups, and Choir. We are a community that particularly support local missions that reach out to the homeless such as Cross Walk, Anna Ogden Hall for women and children, Union Gospel Mission for men, Interfaith Hospitality Network for families, and the Spokane Food Bank. The church has adopted a missionary in Africa and supplies and money are sent to her regularly for their on-going mission work. As we continue to grow we offer two worship services on Sunday, one traditional and another contemporary.
The doors are always open to anyone who is seeking a religious home. Please consider yourself invited and help keep the history, tradition and future of Moran United Methodist Church going strong into the next millennia.
Godís blessings to you!
The people of Moran UMC.