The Church Comes to Larimer County
From memoirs of W. B. Osborn: "ln the month of June, 1863, a modest Methodist preacher by the name of Antes rode up to our door, and rapped thereon with his whip still sitting in his saddle. He made known his wants, informing me that he was a Methodist preacher and that he had been directed here by Captain Norton of Boulder, a fine Christian gentleman, whom I had met in the mining camp by the name of Gold Dirt in 1860. Here he was informed that he would find a Christian family to entertain him. He requested that I should announce a meeting for that evening. I did so by going to all of the neighbors and requested them all to come, as there would be but a few at most-if they all came. All told, there were 13 including the minister. The names of those at the first service in this county were: W. B. Osborn, Margaret C. Osborn, Millard F. Osborn, Milo Y. Osborn, Ella C. Osborn, Samuel Heffner, John N. Hollowell, John E. Washburn, Mrs. John E. Washburn, Winnie Washburn, and Joseph Markley and wife, and Brother Antes, the preacher. Here was sung the first hymn, the first prayer offered for church service, and the first sermon preached in Larimer County. Arrangements were made for services monthly."
Our First Church Building
In 1880 David Barnes, on whose homestead Loveland is situated, extended the offer of a building site to any church that would erect a building in the new town. The three churches responding were the Methodists, the United Brethren and the United Presbyterian. The Methodists selected the site on Cleveland Avenue. It was dedicated on August 8, 1880. Loveland was three years old. A. N. Fields was Pastor.
Our Second Church
In 1887 Barnes Chapel was named in memory of David Barnes, "Father of Loveland." Mr. Barnes had been killed by falling from a load of hay the preceding year. A generous gift by his wife, Sarah Barnes, made the chapel possible. She was for many years, until her death, a faithful member and liberal supporter of this church.
Our Third Church
Our third church was dedicated December 29, 1901. The "Loveland Reporter" of January 2, 1902, carried an account of the dedication. "The largest indoor audience ever assembled in Loveland was the one that gathered at the Methodist Church last Sunday morning to see the new edifice properly dedicated. Through professional courtesy, every minister in town abandoned regular service, and, with his members, attended the Methodist service and participated in the program."
Tragically, 40 years later, the church caught fire on a Sunday morning and was completely destroyed. Thankfully, everyone was able to exit the building and there was no loss of life.
Our Fourth and Present Church
This building stands on the corner of Grant and Sixth Streets. It was consecrated on February 18, 1951. The sanctuary has a seating capacity of four hundred, a Fellowship Hall beneath the sanctuary, a well equipped kitchen, and a parlor with a seating capacity of one hundred. The building is of salmon rose brick, concrete and steel, as nearly fire proof as possible. It is of Gothic design.
On February 26, 1956, an educational wing to the south of the main building was dedicated, It matches the sanctuary in design. It was built on three levels. In 1976 the Florence Coy Memorial Hall was built and dedicated. Coy Hall now houses our kitchen, overflow for worship and our Youth Range. In 2008 we completed the redesign of our Children's education area, updating both the look and feel of Sunday School and Children's Education.
The Church Comes to Larimer County