Rev. B R Turner, described as a "faithful local preacher," came to Colby from Phillipsburg in April 1886, announcing services of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the schoolhouse "until further notice."
In the early years the church met at the school, homes of members, and the new Thomas County Courthouse. The church had somewhere between 40-50 charter members. Sadly, no official list was preserved.
The cornerstone to the next building was laid in 1922, with Dr. Maurice Wickman serving as pastor. The first service for the new building was held in October 1924, although it was some time before it could be formally dedicated, due to indebtedness. It was built on the same site as the previous church. During the height of World War II, the church held a mortgage burning service. The parsonage would remain as the pastoral family residence until 1940. A large donation of land from the estate of David Lovelace helped to build the fund that would buy the house at 460 N Grant Ave in 1950, which would serve as the parsonage until 2018.
In December 1886, a deed was recorded conveying title to the quarter-block at the corner of Fifth Street and Grant Ave on which the permanent ME Church would be built--the first permanent house of worship in young Thomas County. The first church was a one-room structure, built on the west side of the property, with the entrance at the northeast corner. Two stoves provided heat, and lighting was provided by several kerosene lamps. The organ and choir seats occupied the southeast corner.
Rapid growth caused the need for the first building expansion in 1901, when a 24'X26' additional was added to the east to accommodate more seating. The Colby Free Press noted on July 4, 1901: "The dedication service at the M.E. Church was well-attended. All indebtedness was paid except $40."
New Building Arises
The need for further expansion in the 1970s led to the creation of a Long Range Planning Committee in 1975. This committee's work culminated in the formation of a building committee in August 1979, with Millie Horlacher, chair. In February 1982, the church trustees signed a contract to purchase 10 acres of the Sylan Sidesinger property at SW corner of Pine and Franklin. Behind the scenes work continued until 1988 when a contract was signed with Zion Builders to build the current building. Construction occurred in 1988 and 1989. Total cost of construction was $937,000. On July 16, 1989, the first worship service was held in the current building.