"It may have been a man, the Rev. Mr. Henry W. Bainton, who won the race against Congregationalist’s Wyoming Mission Wagon in October of 1905, and...
Rev. Henry W. Bainton. Authorized to organize a Presbyterian congregation in Cody in 1906.
thereby secured the right of Presbyterians rather than Congregationalists to establish a church in Cody; however, it was a woman, one Julia Goodman, who gathered the women of Cody together in the Irma Hotel Parlors on April 23, 1905, and formed the Woman’s Society as an arm of that Presbyterian Church, almost six months before the church was officially organized. Indeed, even as Henry W. Bainton presented the petition, with its 25 signatures, and received authorization at the Presbytery’s Spring meeting in Rawlins for a new church to be formed in Cody, the Women’s Society was stitching aprons to be sold to finance a building and to support a ministry that existed only in their minds and hearts.
Rev. Bainton, Pastor-at-Large for Wyoming oversaw the initial establishment of Cody First Presbyterian Church. The Home Mission Board procured W. O. Harper to supply the church beginning October 19, 1905. The church was officially incorporated on September 27th, 1905 and by 1906 had purchased two pieces of property, one for a church structure and one for a manse.
Because of the ill health of his wife, Rev. Harper resigned in February 1907, to be succeeded by Edwin L. Anderson. The church had begun with 58 members, and under Rev. Anderson not only was a physical structure built but also the size of the congregation increased substantially in number. The new church structure, located at the corner of 11th and Beck, was dedicated April 9, 1910.
Following Rev. Anderson, who left in August 1912, Harry B. Angus ministered as a student pastor during the summer of 1912. And with Mr. Angus comes a list of fairly short-termed pastors, though none with a tenure quite so short as that of Rev. Dr. Steele, who arrived one day in 1907, preached the Sunday sermon, and opted to catch the afternoon train to California.
Morten Joslin arrived in September 1912 as Stated Supply, was later called as Pastor, and served through April 1914. Under Joslin’s leadership a Young People’s Society was organized in September 1913 with 20 members. Walter Baker (1914-1915) was followed by Walter Pitkin (1916-1919) who had come as Stated Supply and was later called as pastor. Then came A. M. Sheppard (1920-1923).
Julia Goodman (pictured here with brother W.F. Cody "Buffalo Bill"), who gathered the women of Cody together in the Irma Hotel Parlors on April 23, 1905, and formed the Woman’s Society as an arm of that Presbyterian Church, almost six months before the church was officially organized. (Photo Courtesy of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming; McCracken Research Library; MS6 William F. Cody Collection; P.69.0214.)
1910: Completed First Presbyterian Church of Cody on Beck and 11th Street, Cody, Wyoming.
Becoming A Staple in the Community
There were several short term (2-3 year) Pastor's during this time. Followed by a dedicated Rev. Lyman Winkle who stayed a while and helped with an addition to the church.
C.V. Brown FPCC's pastor from 1923-1925.
C.V. Brown (1923-1925), and C.E. Pitts (1925-1928). Following Rev. Pitts’ departure, there was no Pastor until the spring of 1930 when Frank Gregg arrived and ministered to the congregation until February 1931.
Lyman Winkle, who came to the area under the Board of Home Missions to work in the Oregon Basin field, served the Cody church as Student Pastor the summer of 1931, returning to Seminary in the fall, with the Church’s blessing, to complete his degree. During Winkle’s absence, the Rector of the Episcopal Church graciously filled the pulpit one Sunday per month. Winkle returned in 1932 and served until 1940. During his tenure, Hoopes Memorial Chapel, and addition to the north side of the Beck Avenue church, providing an overflow room for the sanctuary and extra Sunday School space in the basement was erected in memory of major Ellis S. Hoopes. Alvin J. Kamman served as Pastor from 1940 to 1944.
1910: First First Presbyterian Church on Beck and 11th with congregants in front.
Rev. Lyman Winkle: Student pastor in 1931, then served as ordained pastor from 1932-1940.
During the Second World War
Rev. Alvin J. Kamman FPCC Pastor from 1940-1944.
A Pastor's Time During the Second World War was cold and full of sorrow.
Alvin J. Kamman served as Pastor from 1940 to 1944. In the 1942 Annual Report Kammann wrote,
“The past year has been in some respects one of the hardest and most trying years in all of the 28 years of my ministry. By the same token it has been one of the most rewarding. There has been an unrest and uncertainty among people and a moving around which has made it hard to keep track of them, much less minister to them. But even deeper than this outward unrest is the inner confusion and worry. Even while I was writing this report, I was interrupted by several people who came and told me of their anxiety concerning a loved one who was taken prisoner at Singapore and from whom they have never heard since. Their hearts are torn asunder; their grief is too deep for words. Here was a great opportunity for spiritual help. Such opportunities came almost every day. So while work is hard and trying, it is also rewarding and full of challenge.”
Inside the first First Presbyterian Church on Beck and 11th Street.
Growth: A New Building
Growth leading to expansion into a new building and new location during this time.
Rev. R.N. Buswell who served FPCC from 1944-1978.
R.N. Buswell (1944-1978), Cody Presbyterian’s longest serving Pastor, was bestowed with the title Pastor Emeritus after his retirement. Under Buswell’s leadership, plans for the education wing in the Dakken subdivision, with 16 classrooms, a fellowship hall and kitchen grew to fruition (1959), as did plans for the new sanctuary which was dedicated November 28, 1968.
1967 FPCC new location and new building: Breaking Ground Lillian and Rev. Buzzy Buswell.
Growth Opportunities for More Staff
Rev. Sherwood McKay first came as Christian Education Director and later was called and ordained to the Associate Pastor Position 1976-1977.
During this time a series of pastors with Scottish heritage served FPCC including Rev. Sherwood McKay followed by Rev. McCall, who both brought incredible energy and growth to our church.
Awaiting potential photos of past Pastors of the First Presbyterian Church of Cody, Wyoming...
Also during Buswell’s pastorate, the church’s growth made clear the need for additional, full-time staff. Sherwood McKay came as Christian Education Director in 1976 and was ordained as Associate Pastor in 1977.
C. Freeman McCall was called as Senior Pastor in 1978 and served until 1989. Associate Pastor McKay served with McCall until 1979.
In 1959 the first phase of construction was Buswell Hall, the church kitchen, and Christian Education wing as seen in the background. In this picture the building of the sanctuary is in progress: 1967-1968.
Creating Diversity in Cody
We were blessed with Mateen Elass as our Associate Pastor. Born to a Muslim father, raised for more than a decade in Saudi Arabia...
Rev. Mateen Elass FPCC pastor from 1982-1989.
Reverend Mateen Elass served as Associate Pastor from 1982 until 1989.
John F. DeVries followed McCall in 1989 but left in 1990. The church continued for more than a year with no pastor.
Brenda McNeill's FPCC Cherub Choir 1985.
Finding the Right Fit
During this time the church struggled with finding the right fit in church leadership. It was a divisive time in our church's history.
Rev. Roger Waid FPCC pastor from 1991-1995.
Roger A. Waid ministered as Pastor from 1991-1995, at which time the congregation once again found itself without a pastor.
2016 spring aerial photo of First Presbyterian Church, Cody.
Still Proclaiming the Words...
During the 2 years after Roger we had interim Pastor Rev. James Rucker and Mary DeWolf come to serve the congregation.
Reverend Doctor James H. Rucker served FPCC as Interim Pastor 1996-1997.
Dr. James H. Rucker came as Interim Pastor (1996-1997) to help prepare the congregation for the responsibility of choosing a new pastor.
We did have the opportunity in 1998 time to gather a group to do a mission trip to Brazil.
From Paula Dimler:
"The Mission Trip to Brazil in 1998 was organized by Peter and Lynn Pizor. Among the volunteers who traveled to Brazil from our congregation were: Timmy and Jannelle Davenport, Mark and Connie Fisher, Roger Kearns, Chip and Debbie Rich, Ann Pasek, Paula and Malia Dimler, Amy
Nielsen, and lastly, Peter and Lynn Pizor.
The group collaborated with the organization “Criancas de Belém”, whose combined work of volunteers, companies and communities joined together to support HIV bearers of the ages birth-7 years old with their basic needs. The primary objective of the organization we facilitated, was to provide a day nursery offering medical, educational, spiritual, and psychological assistance to the children and their families at zero cost.
The youth of First Presbyterian Church of Cody, participated in the repainting of the existing facility where the children attended in Sorocaba, Brazil. They also had opportunities to interact with the children as part of their mission work. The adult volunteers kept occupied with a variety of manual labor activities related to the new facility being built as a future school for the children. The group assisted in the water-proofing of the foundation and other labor required in
the early stages of construction.
The group felt that our efforts were well received and that both the youth and adults had the opportunity to witness to Christ through a labor of love and service to the community of Sorocaba, Brazil."
Mission Trip 1998 pictures to come...
2021 and beyond...
Reverend Dr. Pat Montgomery has served our church since 1997.
Come Grow With
Our church establishing who we are and our goals as we look to the future of our church and 'church' in general.
Reverend Bill Eaton served as our Associate Pastor from 2000 to 2005.
Dr. Patrick M. Montgomery arrived as Pastor in 1997 and met the task of building up the church in the wake of some very lean years. Bill Eaton joined the church staff as Associate Pastor December 1, 2000 and he and his family relocated in 2005.
First Presbyterian Church ended its first 100 years in 2005 as a healthy, growing, vibrant church blessed with a wealth of talented members and staff, a full calendar of church programs and activities plus an excellent physical plant. A year of celebration began in January of 2005 to mark the anniversary of the founding of this church and to look forward to the future.
Associate Pastor’s Jonathan Warren and Siobhan Warren joined the staff in 2007 and moved from Wyoming in 2009. Christian Education Director, Tammy Scott, was hired in 2010 and continued her directorship as well as serving on several different committees until 2018. Tammy continues on as a member of our church.
During the summer of 2016 we were fortunate to host in the pulpit Heidi Hercus as she worked toward her Pastoral Degree.
Together we look forward to the future, glorifying God and uniting in fellowship with one another.
Pastor Siobhan Warren and Pastor Jonathan Warren served as our Associate Pastor's from 2007 to 2009.
Christian Education Director Tammy Scott served us in this capacity from 2010-2018, and is still an active member of our church.
Rev. Heidi Hercus.