The Stevensville, Montana, United Methodist Church

Bryan Spellman

Plains, United States

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Artist's Description

Built in 1885 to serve as the community’s grade school, The building grew in 1906 with the addition of two classrooms. In 1910, a full high school curriculum was offered, and by the 1920s, the community’s needs had outgrown the building.

In 1928, when the Methodist church in the US was still split by slavery, the Stevensville Methodist Episcopal congregation (as the church was known until 1939) and the Methodist Episcopal Church, South congregation united, bought the building, and it has continued to serve as a Methodist Church and now, since 1968, the United Methodist Church. Through a rural compact in Montana, while always served by United Methodist pastors and tied fully into the United Methodist connection, the church also serves as home for Presbyterians and Congregationalists (United Church of Christ) living in central Ravalli County. As of 2017, the estimated population of Stevensville was 1,988.

In 1946, my father, just graduated from Boston University School of Theology, a man who had never been west of Columbus, Ohio, moved with my mother to western Montana to serve as pastor of this church, where my parents remained until June 1949, four months before I was born.

Taken February 29th, 2020 in Stevensville, Ravalli County, Montana, USA.

Nikon D810 dslr, Nikkor 24-120 mm lens set at 34 mm. ISO 500, f /16, 1/250th second. Shot in RAW format, finished in Lightroom Classic and Photoshop CC 2020.

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