HISTORY OF THE RIVERDALE CHURCHES
by Charles F. Sullivan
When I was just a boy and played the violin, I was asked by a friend to come to a mission Sunday School, meeting in a brick house with a shed kitchen and play for them. This was a mission School of the Third Street Church (Presbyterian) then located at the corner of Third and Ludlow and later merged with the First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Second and Ludlow, forming the Westminster Presbyterian Church at First and Wilkinson.
The mission was held just next south of Moosbrugger’s drug store, at present used as a sales lot for trailers.
We were there on time but the building was filled, the infant department meeting in the shed kitchen and all was filled.
They had an attendance of over a hundred every Sunday and it was not long until a lot was bought at the corner of the hydraulic and Herman Avenue and a frame church built there, and they prospered. This was found to be too small, and a lot was bought at Forest and Grand and the present church was built there.
John Dodds was an influential member of the United Brethren Church and a manufacturer of agricultural implements, thought that they should have a church there and bought the corner of Hershey and Main and erected a frame building. It grew rapidly and then it was removed to make space for a pressed brick building.
This lasted many years, and with the coming of the auto making transportation easy, this congregation was merged with the First U.B. at Perry and Fourth streets. Soon after this the Four Square Gospel congregation took over this building and had it crowded at every service. This was about 1933 during the depression but they bought some lots on Best Street, when these were paid and the money in hand, they put in a foundation on the new lots and used it for their church. Now the building is complete without a mortgage upon it and they are prospering.
About 1894 the Lutherans rented the large hall in the Sandmeier building and held their services there. They bought a couple of lots at McDaniel and Shaw and built a church there, moving into it about 1897. In 1942 they built an addition to it, giving them much additional space.
The Methodists started in 1893 in a room on the east side of Main between Herman and Babbitt but this was too small and soon they moved into a larger room at Herman and Main on the corner.
When the Lutherans moved into their building, the Methodists moved into their hall and prospered. A committee was named to select a site for a new church and they bought the present location on Warder street. The new building was erected in 1900 and was enlarged in 1920 and they have just celebrated their 50th anniversary.
Soon after the Baptists built their Church at the corner of Main and McOwen of frame construction. Probably about twenty years ago they re-modeled making it a veneer brick building and it is now a very fine building.
The City has kept growing to the north and churches have been built out there, but I cannot give you any history of them.
Chas. F. Sullivan Nov.27, 1943
114 E. Idaho Street Boise, Idaho