Historic Manila Church
In September of 1850, Brigham Young issued a call to settle Grove Creek; by September 13, seven families had arrived. The first farms were established by John Holman and Lewis Harvey. Others soon followed. Construction of the Manila Church began in 1891, and the first meetings were held in November of 1896. Stake President Edward Partridge dedicated the building on December 28, 1898. His counselor, Reed Smoot, proposed the name of “Manila Ward” because of the recent “Battle of Manila,” in which Spain lost to the United States, ending the Spanish-American War.
Due to population growth from 1928-1936, additions were made on the building, and it was re-dedicated by President Heber J. Grant on April 18, 1937. Further expansions were made during 1959-1964, prompting another dedication on April 16, 1964, by President Joseph Fielding Smith. After Manila Stake was organized in 1980, other additions and inspections proved the foundation of the original pioneer chapel was still solid and true. The fourth dedicatory prayer was offered on August 10, 1980, by Manila Stake President Grant Fugal.
In 2007 the church was replaced by a new building a block away. In 2010 the old Manila Church was purchased by Randy & Vickie Bott who renovated the building, calling it “Stone Gate.” They, along with their daughter Jennie and her husband Matt Johnson (current owners), lovingly restored the pioneer chapel to retain its integrity. A rare, high-domed ceiling was revealed beneath a false dropped-ceiling. A time capsule from 1964 was discovered in the original doorway to the chapel.
The original chapel now stands as a monument to the dedicated pioneer men, women, and children who sacrificed their time, talents, and resources to build this sacred edifice.
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