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The Story of FPC Missoula - Modern Times
One of Montana's premier architects, A. J. Gibson, a member of the church and a Trustee, was put in charge of designing the new building. On September 5, 1915, the cornerstone was laid for the new building, and on April 16, 1916, the completed building was dedicated. True to its devotion to an already rich history, the Christ windows from the previous building were installed in the Sunday School area of the new building.
While there was tremendous excitement for the new church building and its new pastor, no one knew at the time that the arrival of Rev. John N. Maclean, D.D. would eventually bring national notarity to Missoula and the First Presbyterian Church of Missoula through his son's book and the same-named movie "A River Runs Through It."
The church continued to grow and prosper, and on September 26, 1959 a new Christian Education building was dedicated to the education and raising up of our children.
As Christmas approached in 1972, alarms were sounded when it was discovered that the interior of the church was on fire. Although damaged, the church walls were found to be sound, so the congregation committed itself to restoring the building to as close to its original state as possible. Cathedral glass windows in the balcony area were repaired with pieces from other windows, and new stained glass windows were ordered and installed in the main sanctuary.
In 2002 a new Fellowship Hall, kitchen and offices were constructed to meet the needs of a growing congregation. Maintaining its respect for the history and tradition of the Missoula church, old windows were removed, installed and dedicated in a new Olivet Chapel in the Fellowship Hall building.
A. J. Gibosn, member and noted architect who designed our church building
Laying the cornerstone