Stateler Memorial Methodist Church

Also known as: United Methodist Episcopal Church of Willow Creek
303 Main St., Willow Creek, Montana


Stateler Memorial Methodist Church

Photo taken by David Jones in June 2015



Street View 


"Pioneering Southern Methodist minister Learner Blackman Stateler preached his first sermon in Willow Creek on Christmas Day 1864, in a cabin built by a local farmer. Like many of the area's early residents, Stateler was a Southern sympathizer from Missouri, whose family fled Civil War violence by moving west. He found a welcoming congregation in Willow Creek, where he organized Montana Territory's first Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1873 the congregation constructed a wood-frame chapel a mile from the present-day church location. In 1908, a town site company associated with the Milwaukee railroad platted the new town of Willow Creek. By 1910, two railroads served the community, which soon boasted three general stores, a bank, a blacksmith shop, and two grain elevators. In 1913, congregants decided to move their church to the center of the promising young town. Members of the Ladies Aid raised much of the money needed to construct the new church building, which the congregation named for its pioneering minister. Completed in 1915, the Stateler Memorial Methodist Church is an intriguing mix of old and new. Gothic-arched windows and a Norman tower pay homage to an ancient past while the roof's open eaves and exposed rafter tails reflect early twentieth-century taste. Equally modern is the concrete block used in construction. The Trident Cement Company in nearby Three Forks assured a ready supply of the material, which came into widespread use between 1905 and 1930. Easier to lay than brick, the durable material fulfilled its promise as an affordable and attractive substitute for stone." - NRHP/Montana Historical Society plaque

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 29, 2008
Reference number
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Late Gothic Revival; Other architectural type; Norman Revivl
Areas of significance
Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Religious structure
Current function
Religious structure
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant year

Update Log 

  • November 24, 2021: New Street View added by Bill Eichelberger
  • July 24, 2019: Updated by Richard Doody: Added historical information
  • July 14, 2019: New photos from David Jones
  • June 23, 2019: New photo from David Jones