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Arizona Church - 1898

The church is a simple frame structure with gothic windows. It was originally a Presbyterian church. Methodists rented it until 1925 when the two formed into the United Church.

The Arizona district was settled in 1883. The first settlers were Mr. and Mrs. Fred Roseberry and these pioneer citizens were prominent members of the early Methodist congregation for the first Church services were held in their home.

It was an isolated community that had been named "Arizona" because early settlers joked that they were so far away from civilization that they might just as well be in Arizona, U.S.A. This isolation meant that there were no trappings of civilization such as schools or churches.

The first Methodist church services were conducted in the Roseberry home by Rev. J.W. Bell, who walked from Carberry - a distance of 17 miles - every Wednesday morning.

According to legends passed down through the years, Rev. Bell carried a gun enroute to these services in Arizona so that he could take advantage of duck shooting along the way.

After the formation of a school district in 1885, the Methodist congregation in Arizona used the school classroom for services. It wasn’t until 1898, that the first Methodist church spire rose in the Arizona community.

It never had pews, just chairs. It was used until the mid 1960s when it was closed except for weddings and funerals.

Former members of the church raised money to have it moved to the museum in 1974. It was donated as it was typical of the small rural churches of the prairies.

Copyright 1997-2000 Manitoba Agricultural Museum
This page last revised April 25, 2000