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First United Methodist Church of Bridgeport
608 17th St., Bridgeport


    Organized in 1893, the same year the Rock Island rail line reached the Bridgeport area, this congregation first held its worship services under brush arbors and in the Masonic Lodge building. Methodist circuit rider Ben W. Bounds preached the first sermon on June 23 of that year. Within the first year of the church's founding, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Johns donated land for a church building on what became known as "Methodist Hill." The Methodists in Bridgeport worshiped in their new space until it burned and was rebuilt during the pastorate of the Rev. Jack Lowry at the end of the 19th century. Growth and development throughout the 20th century resulted in the First Methodist Church moving to a new site with expanded facilities in the 1960s. As Bridgeport grew from a coal mining town to a commercial center for area ranchers and dairy farmers to a popular tourist destination for visitors to Lake Bridgeport, the Methodist church has maintained its active commitment to the community. Outreach and education programs play a strong role in the congregation's mission and ministry. For more than 100 years, the First United Methodist Church of Bridgeport has been a significant part of the town's religious heritage.