In 1840, the first Methodist Society was started in Bentonville. For many years the Methodist Episcopal congregation met in the community center to worship. In 1844, the issue of slavery divided the church and some of the congregation formed the Methodist Episcopal Church South. In 1858, the church built a framed structure to house the church. In 1862, this church, along with several other buildings in Bentonville, were burned to keep the Union Army from using them.
A second church was built in 1869 in partnership with the Masonic Lodge. The first story of the building was to be used as a church and the second story as the Masonic Lodge. In 1890, the church grew to about 100 members, and the church bought the Masonic's interest in the building for $500. In 1891, a fire broke out in the church destroying all but one wall. A new church building was completed in 1900 using the west wall of the building that was still intact from the fire. The building had a spacious auditorium and a 150 seat balcony, making a total seating capacity of 700.
After the close of the civil War, the Methodist Episcopal Church and The M.E. South Church started talking about joining the churches back together. After many talks to reunify, the two churches finally became one again in 1939, some 60 years after talks began.
From 1928 to 1946 the church considered whether to erect a new church building or remodel the existing structure. In 1946, a campaign was launched to try to raise funds for a new church building. By 1951, the congregation had raised $35,000 towards a new building. In 1952, the plans were revealed for the new church structure at a cost of $148,000. The cornerstone for this building was laid on March 22, 1953, and on January 3, 1954, the church held their formal opening service.
Above is the church auditorium which was razed in 1952 for a new building
This is the building that is still in use today. It was completed in 1953.