Photographer's Note

Hi Everyone, This is the old Moran United Methodist Church it is one of the oldest Church's in the greater Spokane area, It's located on the Moran Prairie south of Spokane WA which is a farming community which is slowly disappearing because of housing developments are popping up all over the place. It's not a very good image using my old Polaroid for this image, I've had family visiting the last couple weeks and the grand kids were visiting also my hard drive died. Have a great weekend.


The beginnings of what was then Moran Methodist Episcopal Church started as many new churches still do, by meeting in a local family’s home. For several years the small congregation met in the Weger’s 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 denomination’s 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 pastor’s 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:

* The church was used as a school from 1943-49 after the Moran School on the corner of 65th and Waneta burnt down. The first and second graders were together in a separate room, which is now the bell choir room, but was originally used for the sanctuary. The third through fifth graders were in the back of the sanctuary. Water was piped into the church for the first time in 1944, but only to the basement. This was because hot lunches were now being served to the students. In 1949, the old Richland school was moved up onto a new foundation at the site of the original school at 65th and Waneta so students no longer used the church.
* The first Moran Fair was held at the church back in 1949, as were Box Socials, (a meal was made for two people, placed in a box, someone then bid on it and shared the lunch with the cook); plays to raise money; Vacation Bible School; and weddings. No funerals were held in the church until the late 1900’s. They were held in homes or funeral parlors.
* Church bells were an important part of the community in earlier days. This one rang not only to announce the beginning of church, but for school, fires, and to alert the neighborhood of an emergency or community event.

Three quilts are on display in the Heritage Room. People in the community made the red and white one. The 1950 quilt depicts the families in the Moran School. The blue one was made for the church’s 100th birthday in 1980.

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.

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Additional Photos by Jason Orosco (vmf-214) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 293 W: 2 N: 475] (1648)
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