The first written record of our congregation is dated January 21, 1837. In 1850, the first church building was erected at the corner of Main and Marion Streets (The Monsanto building is currently in that location.) In 1886 Rev. W.P. McKinsey led a revival where over 200 people were converted to Christ. This necessitated a new and larger church. In 1887, a second church was built four blocks south, at the corner of Main and Harrison streets. This building has been through many changes and weathered many storms, but has remained a constant in our community and we make a difference as we are in ministry to one another and to those who are outside the walls of the church.
Over the years there have been a number of significant decisions made in the life of the church. In the early 60’s the church built a new education wing. This building addition shaped the ministry of the church for the next 50 years. This addition became a significant hub for the community in 1974 when a tornado hit Monticello. When the tornado hit, the church was poised to launch a radio broadcast of the Sunday morning services. This ministry has continued ever since. In 1978 a summer service was started at the Lakeshore Drive-in. A three sided chapel is pulled into the drive-in on the back of a hay wagon and participants sit in their car and turn their radios to a designated frequency to participate in the service. People are encouraged to come as they are and even invited to bring their pets. In the late 90’s the congregation owned the rights to a cable TV station. Even though the church does not still have a TV station, we continue to broadcast our services on the local cable network. Now the service is not only broadcast in the Monticello area, but throughout the northern half of the state of Indiana.
Around 2002 the church made the decision to remain a downtown church and set a goal of purchasing surrounding properties. In a matter of three years the church transitioned from being land locked at the corner of Main and Harrison to owning over half the block. In 2015 a parking lot was added and in 2016 we added a new addition to our building. It is our prayer that this addition will shape the next 50 years of ministry as the education wing did in the 60’s. In 2015 we opened a daycare with 17 children. Today there are over 80 children receiving services from our daycare with an additional 30 children attending preschool classes each week.
When COVID hit in 2020, it necessitated that we do ministry differently. Instead of meeting at the drive-in for three months in the summer, we met there for nearly six months. We also started a live stream of our services on Facebook as well as on our Website. What started out of necessity became the launching point of our on-line campus that started in 2021.
God has been on the move through the Ministry of the Monticello United Methodist Church since theearly 1800’s and God is still on the move as we seek to reach out in love to our community in Monticello and around the world through our on-line campus.