The first church built in Forest City was erected by the Methodist Episcopal Church South. It is a brick structure on Grand Avenue, thirty-four by fifty-one feet. It was built in 1860, chiefly by means of the material aid and through the exertions of Hiram Patterson and L. Zook, then selling goods in the town. These gentlemen contributed $500 toward the enterprise. Joshua T. Sedwick was also a liberal contributor, and superintended the erection of the building, which cost about $4,000.
In 1866, the M. E. Church South, sold this building to the Missionary Baptists, who still (1882) continue to own the building. The first to preach the gospel in Forest City was the Rev. Benjamin Baxter, of the M. E. Church South, and an active organizer of the same in the town. This was several years before the erection of their house of worship. The records of this church are incomplete and unsatisfactory, and it is impossible to provide anything like a complete history of the organization.
In 1869, less than three years after the sale of their church to the Baptists, the M. E. Church South erected another building. This was a gothic frame, on Walnut Street. H. Patterson, of St. Joseph, and J. T. Sedvvick, now of Craig, in Holt County, were especially active in the building of the church, and succeeded in raising in a few days, the necessary funds (about $2,200) for its erection. Among the other organizers of this church were Hiram Wiggins, L. B. Green, H. Patter: son, and their wives. The present (1882) membership of this church is fifty-two. The Rev. C. D. Davis is pastor of the congregation. Joseph Groves, a prominent merchant of the town, is the popular superintendent of a large Sunday School attached to this church.
Source: "History of Holt and Atchison County, 1882" transcribed by Karyn Techau, 2016.