History of the First United Methodist Church cont.
Methodism was the second religious denomination to obtain a foothold in Wabash. Presbyterians were in the area much earlier. As early as 1835, Rev. McLean, a Methodist preacher, had a circuit and occasionally preached in the Lagro-Wabash area. In 1837, the northern conference assigned J. B. Mershon, a circuit rider, to the Wabash Mission which extended from Fort Wayne to Logansport. The first Worship services of Methodist families were held in the home of Ezekiel Cox, one of the first settlers. As families grew, and the village of Wabash grew, a log cabin built in 1837 by Patrick Duffey near the corner of Canal and Miami Streets, was used as the first formal meeting house. Later, the courthouse was used by the Methodists and other denominations, until in 1849, the Methodist group erected a 30 x 40 foot structure across from the Post Office on Main Street. This structure was dedicated as a Methodist Church on April 21, 1850. This structure stood for many years, modified into a family dwelling, until razed by the local Presbyterian Church in 2002. By 1857, the need for a larger building was seen so in the Spring of 1860, a lot at the northeast corner of Cass and Sinclair was purchased, and on January 1863, the new church was dedicated by Bishop Ames. In 1880 plans were started to increase the capacity of the church. By 1881, a second story was added along with a tall steeple and the "largest bell in the city of Wabash". In 1889, a new organ was purchased for the cost of $3,000.00 and is still in use in our present church, although much expanded and renovated since 1889. In 1897, it was decided that "with the recent additions to the congregation", a larger building was needed so a movement was started for a new structure. By a vote of 15 to 14, the Official Board voted to purchase a lot across Cass Street on the Northwest corner of Cass and Sinclair. This very narrow decision was disputed by many members of the Church, and this led to the withdrawal of these members to start another church which became the Wabash Street Methodist Church on the southwest corner of Stitt and Wabash Streets.
Methodist House of Worship - 1849
First United Methodist Church
To Know Christ and to Make Him Known
110 N. Cass Street
Wabash, IN 46992
Phone: (260) 563-3108