On January 21, 1955, the Reverend J. C. English, Springfield District Superintendent, placed an advertisement in the White River Leader encouraging Methodists who were interested in establishing a church in the Branson to contact him. Evidently the response was so encouraging that a week later a second advertisement invited the public to attend the first Methodist Church services in Branson on Sunday, February 6 in the downtown Community Building. The following month, approximately fifty people organized the Branson Methodist Church with the first Sunday School classes being held in April. By the fall of 1955, the congregation began looking for a permanent site within city limits, but decided to move further west to property owned by Mrs. Ila Swinney. The lot, 240 feet x 530 feet, was purchased for $3600.00. District Superintendent Ermil Frye recommended the congregation chose an official name for the church, suggesting The Methodist Church of the Good Shepard of Branson, or Inspiration Point Methodist Church, or St. Johns Methodist Church. The Church Board chose, instead, to become the Methodist Church of Branson, and as the congregation grew, so did their impact on the community. The Womens Society of Christian Service purchased a Thrift Store in 1957, a local mission project that continues to the present day. With property secured and a growing building fund, work began on a new facility. On January 8, 1961, members held their first service on West Highway 76. Bishop Ivan Lee Holt formally consecrated the chapel (that still bears the name of his deceased wife) on April 2. Later that summer, the church purchased its first parsonage. By the mid-1960s, the congregation had outgrown its facilities, particularly Sunday School classes, so ground was broken on a new Education and Fellowship Building adjacent to the sanctuary. It was completed the following year and the end of the decade brought other changes. The combination of Methodists and Evangelical United Brethren in the summer of 1968 meant that the local church was renamed the United Methodist Church of Branson, Missouri. As the Tri-Lakes area became a tourist destination during the 1970s, the church experienced another period of growth, leading to the decision for a new and much larger sanctuary. In July, 1979, the current sanctuary opened its doors for the first time, along with new education and choir rooms, and an additional kitchen. The year ended with the construction of a new Thrift Shop on church grounds. In order to meet the growing needs of the community, a Family Life Center, complete with an indoor basketball court, walking track, stage, and a professional grade kitchen, was added in the mid-1990s. With a prime location on the busy West Highway 76 Country Music Boulevard, visible to millions of visitors to Branson each year, the Branson United Methodist Church remains a vibrant force in the community and continues to grow, with over 500 current members.