Our Historic Building
Built in 1884, out of California redwood, our "little white church" has the distinction of being the very first church in the town of Ripon. At the time, it was the community church, not associated with any creed or denomination. It was a community chapel available for use by those seeking to worship. In addition to Sunday worship services, the church hosted weddings, funerals and special events.
The city of Ripon grew quickly. Local groups began to organize and build churches. Within twenty five years, there were Congregational, German Brethren and Dutch Reformed churches in the community. As the number of denominational churches increased, the need for a community chapel was diminished. Fortunately, the little white church was preserved, even during occasional periods of disuse.
Around 1920, permission was given to a small group of Free Methodists to begin holding regular services in the building. After a few years, a sale was negotiated, and the "little white church" became the Ripon Free Methodist Church.
Standing for more than a century, the old church is a community landmark and historical treasure. Two additions (offices, classrooms, restrooms, and fellowship room) were completed in the 1970's. Renovations, repairs, and improvements (interior and exterior) designed to preserve the church's characteristic simplicity were completed in 2016. The bell rings every Sunday morning at 8:30 and 11 signalling the call to worship as it has for well over a century. Generations ago, that same bell was the "fire alarm" used to summon volunteer firemen to the station downtown.
We welcome visitors and warmly invite you to join us for worship on Sunday mornings or stop by for a visit during the week. Our pastor is happy to show people around. We are a church embedded in Ripon's history, and we have a future serving our community!