Lewiston First United Methodist Church had its beginnings in Lewiston before the turn of the 20th Century. First established as a mission outpost in 1881, the church soon organized and began meeting on a regular schedule. By 1905 the church had entered into a massive building project, resulting in the gothic stone structure on the corner of 6th Ave and 8th Street, which is now the Lewiston Civic Theatre. In 1972, the building was sold to the Civic Theater by Lewiston First as the new facility “on the hill” had been completed. One of the stipulations of the sale was the Civic Theatre agreed to preserve and care for the historic stained glass windows originally created for the church; that project continues to this day.
Methodism is about 200 years old and officially began in this country under the direction of John Wesley. Wesley was a member of the Anglican Church in England, but became disenfranchised with that group for a number of reasons. Prominent among those reasons were the position of the church which excluded large groups of people; primarily the poor, the sick, the imprisoned and those marginalized by cultural or societal circumstances. Wesley was ostracized by the Anglican Church because he sought to bring the “Good News” to these less fortunate people. As America was being settled and expanded, Wesley’s ideas came across the ocean, mostly in the hands of two “Bishops” whom Wesley appointed; Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury. With the help of these two Methodism was born in the United States and has since expanded to a global church with millions of members.