This year is the centennial for Patagonia Community United Methodist Church, which still serves the community in this original historic building on the corner of McKeown and 4th Avenues.
The first ministers that served the Patagonia area came in 1859 and were Methodist “circuit riders” – pastors on horseback. A building for a church was not built until over 50 years later. The walls were one-foot poured concrete, mixed by hand, mostly by a father and son who would work every weekend mixing and pouring the concrete and hoisting it up themselves 16 feet or higher. The building, finished with wood floors and clear glass windows, was not completed until 1923.
An interesting fact not known to most Patagonians is that the church was also used as the area’s first high school.
Students were traveling to Nogales for high school in 1925, when the school trustees selected Patagonia as the site for a new high school and voted to lease the church until building could start. Classes started on September 8, 1926 in the church after necessary remodeling.