Rev. C.A. Grote’s first visit to Upper Willow to preach to settlers in their homes found the Llano River swollen beyond its banks, preventing him from crossing – even on horseback. Nearby Americans Indians had to help the circuit preacher across because the preacher could not swim.
On the 100th anniversary of the Art Methodist Church, it was said: “After he had changed into some dry clothes he preached on the text, ‘Ye must be born again. Several were converted to the Christian faith at this meeting.”
On March 8, 1856, the Llano Circuit was formally established, with Rev. Grote riding between congregations in Castell, UpperWillow (Art), and Beaver Creek (Hilda). Art Methodist Church would erect its first building in 1858. The current 1890 church is constructed of the distinctive brownstone of Mason County. It offered worship services in German until 1927, and in English to this day.
Art Methodist Church