The La Crosse “Morning Chronicle” of August 15, 1886, reported the dedication program:
“The new Methodist church will be dedicated today. Rev. Dr. Payne will preach at 10:30 a. m., and Presiding Elder Balch will assist in the services. At 3 p. m. there will be a children’s service at the church, of which music will be an important feature. A number of visitors from Winona are expected, among them a boy’s band of six performers on different instruments.
That the achievement of the La Crosse congregation received the hearty approbation of M. B. Balch, presiding elder, is attested in his conference report of the dedication event:
“August 15th, the First Church of La Crosse dedicated a new edifice. Nothing has been recently accomplished in the State of Wisconsin more creditable to Methodism than the successful completion of this fine structure. It is convenient and durable ‘a thing of beauty’ and, therefore, ‘a joy forever’.
“The people of the First Church have been singing the Doxology in their hearts ever since the memorable day of dedication. Only six weeks have passed since that day, and now we have the largest congregation in the city. Our people in La Crosse are grateful to God for his goodness, and have wisely determined to give a practical expression of their gratitude by building a Methodist chapel in the northern part of the city, where we have already a flourishing Sabbath school. The plans are made, the contract let, the work is progressing, and the new house will be ready for use before the snow flies.”