Endion Methodist & Episcopal

1830 East 1st Street | Bray & Nystrom, Architects | Built: 1909 | Closed: 1966

Residents of Duluth’s Endion neighborhood organized the Morley Congregational church in 1894 under Reverend William W. Newell. The group was named for Reverend S. B. Morley, who had left behind money to build a Congregational church in eastern Duluth. The group first worshipped in the same former streetcar barns at Superior Street and Twentieth Avenue East later used by Trinity Episcopal. In 1896 the congregation purchased the 1873 First Baptist Church at 131 West First Street, dismantled it, and reconstructed it at the southwest corner of Nineteenth Avenue East and First Street.

The Morley congregation disbanded in 1902, transferring ownership of its building to Endion Methodist Episcopal Church. Endion was organized as a Sunday School in 1889, meeting in private homes until it reorganized as a church in 1902. Its first permanent pastor was Dr. John Walker Powell.

In 1908 Powell hired local architects William Bray and Carl Nystrom to design a new church at 1830 East First Street, a hybrid of Tudor and Gothic Revival architecture. The two-story building features two square, crenelated corner towers, one a two-story bell tower, both capped with squat, pyramidal steeples. The first story is faced in red brick, while the second is covered with stucco between false half-timbering indicative of the Tudor Revival movement. Gabled porticos along First Street, also faced with stucco and half-timbering, cover entrances at the corner towers. Gothic elements include lancet windows and tower buttresses at the corners. Inside, the sanctuary sits five hundred worshippers. The first service was held December 26, 1909.

The congregation of Endion Methodist Episcopal held its last services in the 1909 church in April 1966, after which they moved into a new building at 301 West St. Marie Street adjacent to the University of Minnesota Duluth and renamed the congregation University Methodist. In 2003 University Methodist merged with Woodland Methodist to become Hope United Methodist. Calvary Temple Church purchased the 1909 Endion Methodist Episcopal Church in 1966. It served the congregations of Calvary Temple from 1967 to 1992 and Peace of Prince Fellowship from 1993 to 2017. In 2021 the building was listed for lease by its owner, Zenith Properties.

Endion Methodist & Episcopal Church. (Image: Zenith City Press)

Story by Tony Dierckins. Originally published on Zenith City Online (2012–2017). Click here for more stories by Tony Dierckins.