From humble beginnings in a barn loft, the First Presbyterian Church of Bottineau was called to order on October 19, 1884, with a building dedicated in December 1887. That same year saw the United Methodist Church begin worshiping in Bottineau at the partially completed County Bank. The cornerstone for their new building was laid June 23, 1898, and completed on November 17, 1898.
Our rich history continued… In 1953, joint meetings were held between the Bottineau, Omemee, and Souris Presbyterian churches. In that same year, the First Presbyterian Church of Bottineau approved combining worship services with the United Methodist Church while the pastors were on vacation. In 1964, the First Presbyterian Church invited the Presbyterian Church of Souris and Omemee to unite as one church. In 1968, unification occurred and the three churches became the First United Presbyterian Church of Bottineau. Starting in 1965, the United Methodist Church and the First Presbyterian Church began to explore the possibility of developing a United Parish. Joint Lenten services were approved and occasional united services were held. Other areas of cooperation came about with the combining of the Sunday Schools. In 1968, the plan for a combined parish was accepted, and the two congregations began to minister and worship together alternating between both church buildings. On May 16, 1971, the Gardena United Methodist Church adopted an agreement with the Presbyterian Church and the United Methodist Church of Bottineau to share pastors. In 1984, the Gardena United Methodist Church, like the churches in Omemee and Souris in 1968, closed its doors due to declining membership with the remaining members transferring to the First United Methodist Church of Bottineau. In 1982, a parish assessment meeting was held with both denominations to discuss combining the United Parish under one roof. In 1983, both churches voted to participate in remodeling and building onto the United Methodist Church and to relinquish the Presbyterian Church building. The building we now occupy was built in 1988 with dedication services held on Sunday, May 7, 1989. We have come a long way from that barn loft in 1884. We are a blended people, but we are “One in Christ.” The uniting of various churches was always for the purpose of serving God to the best of our abilities. As we become more united and less partisan, we embrace our rich history and heritage while always moving into the future with Christ at the head of the church.
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