May 6, 1826 marks the founding of the Methodist Church in Bedford. In that year, forty members were organized into the Methodist Episcopal Church in Bedford. The first pastor was Rev. Jong Hogan. His circuit included Bloomington, Indian Creek, Leatherwood, Shiloh, Hopewell, Shiloh Camp, and Bedford. During the first nine years, the Methodists of Bedford held meetings at the homes and in the courthouse.
In 1835 a brick “meeting house” was erected on the corner where the Catholic Church now stands, on I and 18th. The following trustees were in office at this time: M.D. Knight, Alex Butler, John Edmondson. This brick structure was in use for some thirty-two years. The first church bell that ever sounded out to the people of Bedford was hung in the steeple of this building.
The present M.E. Church site was purchased in 1867. A brick two-story structure was then on the lot. This building, the upper story of which had been a school room, was remodeled and made into a one-story structure. For more than thirty years this remodeled brick school house was the Mecca of Methodism in Bedford. In 1884 the membership of the church was one hundred twenty-five.
The present stone church was erected in 1899 during the pastorate of Rev. Charles E. Asbury. The cost, approximately $35,000, was covered by the legacy of Alfred Grayson and his wife. In 1903 the church annex and parsonage were built and in 1920 the basement was remodeled. On December 7, 1965, during the pastorate of Rev. Elijah T. Perkins, the Official board presented a proposal to enter into a program of total renovation of the church facilities. This included remodeling the sanctuary, providing new educational facilities, and enlarging the parking lot…costing approximately $300,000. On October 29, 1967, a service for the consecration of the new reconstructed church was observed.
The First United Methodist Church of Bedford has, in 1967, 720 members who have followed the lead of those forty pioneers who blazed the trail in 1826.