The First Methodist Church began serving the Boise area in 1872. The original church property was located at 8th Street and Bannock. The congregation was 43 strong with a Sunday School attendance of 50.
The original church met the needs of the congregation for 19 years. By the end of 1902, with a growing need for space, the decision was made to move to 10th Street and State. A second church was erected on that site.
The current downtown campus building, named the “Cathedral of the Rockies” at 11th Street and Hays, began as a building program in the late 1950s, and opened its doors for worship on December 18, 1960. In 2013, First United Methodist Church merged with Amity United Methodist church, which became the Cathedral of the Rockies – Amity Campus.
The downtown cathedral is built in the ‘cruciform’ style. It is shaped like a cross. It is a modern adaptation of the traditional gothic cathedrals of Europe.
The Cathedral is known for the many stained glass windows. From the earliest times stained glass windows have been used to tell the story of Christianity. This is particularly true of the windows in this church. They serve not only as artistic representations to enrich and beautify this building but, more importantly, they are designed to teach present and future generations the message and lessons of the Faith.
The Willet Studios in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, were the craftsmen that designed and created the windows for the church. These windows are described as mosaic. They are made up of morsels of colored glass held together by strips of grooved lead, which in turn are reinforced by iron bars securely anchored to the window frame. Features such as folds of drapery, ornament and texture are painted on the glass with dark pigment, which is permanently fused into it by choicest hand blown pot-metal glasses and from Norman slabs of great thickness.
Upon entering the church, the eye of the beholder is filled with the glory of color produced by the light passing through these myriad pieces of glass which make a vibrant jewel-like effect.
If you would like to view the beautiful details of the stained glass windows, please stop by the Hospitality Desk during regular church hours and pick up a self-guided tour packet with many interesting facts and further detailed information.