About Buffalo United Methodist Church
The Methodist Church was the first church of any denomination in Dallas County Missouri.
It was organized in 1838-1839 in the log school house at Buffalo. The school was located just west of the present Buffalo-Oak Lawn Cemetery near the east side of the southeast corner of the town square.
In 1844, the Methodist Episcopal Church divided over slavery with the Buffalo church adhering to the Methodist Episcopal Church South. A church was built at the corner of Maple and Lincoln streets.
In 1863, the Dallas County courthouse was burned during the Civil War. The Methodist Church was then used by the court until July 30, 1864 when the church was burned. The church was rebuilt southwest of the square. After the church was destroyed in 1864, the congregation was reorganized into two groups, the Methodist Episcopal Church North and the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The South church was located on what is now the southwest corner of the second block on West Main. The North church united with the Baptists in 1869 in building a frame church at a cost of $1600. They called it Union House and it was located in the center of the block now occupied by our present church. The two denominations continued to use this building on alternate Sundays until 1888 when the Methodists purchased the interest of the Baptists and became the sole owners. The land was given to the Methodist Church by W. L. and Sarah Morrow and plans were made for a church building. The frame church was moved south to the southeast corner of Walnut and Benton and it was used there while the new church was under construction.
In 1889, the present brick church was erected at a cost of slightly more than $10,000. There were 85 members at that time. The plans for the church were drawn in St. Louis. It was considered one of the outstanding buildings in this part of Missouri at that time and still remains a prominent landmark in Dallas County. Some interesting details about the building are: the black brick which forms a trim around the church was hand-dipped by members of the congregation, both the ceiling and the floor in the sanctuary are in the form of a cross, the original stain finish on the ceiling has never been refinished (as of 2015). The large Star of David windows and the tall gothic style windows, with small colored panes outlining them add much to the beauty of the church. Along with the years came the need for more space. Since the church was built on solid rock, a basement was not the solution.
In 1953, plans were drawn to add an annex to the south of the sanctuary. This is the area that presently includes the offices and restrooms. The present handicap bathroom was the kitchen and the ladies of the church served complete meals from there including turkey dinners with all the trimmings, The building was dedicated in 1956. Also in 1956, the original parsonage was sold and a new parsonage was constructed on the same site.
In 1966 plans were drawn for a building that would provide both classrooms and dining hall space. The building was completed in May 1967. The building was dedicated in 1975 when the original loan of $25,000 was paid off. In 1979 the adjoining property was purchased. This is where the Family Life Center now stands. In 1986 the remaining piece of property in the block was purchased.
In 2005 plans were finalized for a new building to the south of the existing church. The Masonic Lodge 361 set the cornerstone during the consecration service on March 19, 2006. With the generous legacy gift of a member this building was paid off in late 2014.