The Mora United Methodist Church is celebrating its 130th anniversary with cake and coffee beginning at 9:45 a.m. followed by a 10:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Sept. 29.
In 1889, just seven years after the Village of Mora was formed, a small, determined group formally organized and eager volunteers began construction of what would be the very first church in Mora. The Methodist Episcopal Church, on the southwest corner of Vine Street and Maple Avenue, was dedicated on Sept. 29 and had a seating capacity of 200 persons.
This structure was a novelty in the wilderness of Kanabec County. The church quickly became the place for all social gatherings for youth, lecturers and prominent preachers of all denominations. The Sunday school, and morning and evening worship services were well attended by adults and young folks. The church opened their doors so that other church groups could use the building for their own worship services.
Opening hearts, minds and doors once again the congregation responded to an urgent need for assistance when a horrendous wild fire devoured everything in its path near Hinckley on Sept. 1, 1894.
The church building was utilized as a rest home and temporary hospital with handcars quickly bringing the survivors over the rails from Brook Park to Mora. Over 100 survivors were served at the church in the days that followed. The entire Mora community came together at the church to do what needed to be done to aid the victims.
As the congregation grew and flourished, in 1955 they once again turned their attention to expanding their church structure and decided to build new on a tract of land between Highway 65 and Clark Street. The members were inspired to be working toward a new church and once again through a lot of personal involvement, construction began. The doors for their first worship service in their new building on Mother’s Day of 1956 with chairs and an organ borrowed from the Ogilvie congregation.
The Mora United Methodist Church has not only changed its name through the years but its physical structure has also reflected the growth that has occurred and the changing needs of the congregation and the community.