National Register #94001582
First Methodist Episcopal Church
200 South 200 East
Salt Lake City
The following is quoted from the National Register Nomination Form dated 19 December 1994.
The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Salt Lake City, built in 1905, is both
historically and architecturally significant as an important early example of
Protestant church activity in predominantly Mormon Utah, as the oldest surviving
Methodist church in Utah, and as an excellent example of early Protestant church
The First Methodist Episcopal Church is significant for the role it
played in the widespread Protestant missionary movement that occurred throughout the
United States after the Civil War. This movement was directed toward many groups,
including Negroes in the South, Mexicans and Native American Indians in the
Southwest, Chinese immigrant laborers in California, the booming mining towns of the
Rockies, and the Mormons in Utah.
During the period of c.1865-1910, the Protestant missionary work in Utah exploded. The Utah territory was settled in 1847 by members
of the Mormon church led by Brigham Young. The Protestant churches that were established in other parts of the
nation felt that the Mormons were not true Christians and that they needed to be converted. The Mormon's lack of patriotism because of
their rebellion against federal government control and their practice of polygamy were considered convincing
reasons for actively pursuing their conversion to Protestant religions.
The Gentile (non-Mormon) population of Utah was increasing at a rapid rate and had no organized
meeting houses of their own. During the first half of this period missionaries
arrived in Utah from the Congregational, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Roman
Catholic, and Baptist churches. These groups all established missions and churches,
predominantly in Salt Lake City, but spreading throughout the state. In their
attempt to proselytize the Mormon children, they organized a number of free schools
that were superior in quality and resources to the already existing Mormon schools
which charged tuition.
The First Methodist Episcopal Church is the only remaining Methodist church in Utah dating from this early period of missionary work that
continues as a Methodist church.
The building is architecturally significant because it is an example of an ecclesiastical type that was adopted by most
Protestant religions from 1880 to 1930 and proliferated throughout the nation. It is also significant as the only Utah church designed by
Frederic Albert Hale, a prominent Salt Lake City architect.
View the National Register Nomination Form
and accompanying photographs for the First Methodist Episcopal Church.