Grant Memorial United Methodist Church, Presque Isle, Maine

Methodism first came to Presque Isle in 1833 when Alfonso Rogers traveled over this area on horseback, foot or snowshoes - wherever he found a human dwelling place. In 1839, the Rev. John Pingree came to Aroostook to further Rogers' work. In his own words, "At the annual conference in 1839, I was appointed to 'Aroostook Mission', a new field, a part of which came recently under the jurisdiction of the State of Maine upon the settlement of the Northeastern Boundary." Reverend Pingree's field included Houlton, Patten, Masardis, Ashland, and Presque Isle, where he organized a class of 24 members.

In 1888, the Rev. Cassius Whidden, a Presque Isle native, was appointed by the East Maine Conference to a charge of Easton and Mars Hill at a salary of $700 a year. In a few weeks, the people of South Presque Isle asked him to preach in Spragueville and offered to pay $100 of his salary. In 1889, a church was built in Spragueville under his leadership. After the church in Presque Isle was built, the Spragueville pulpit was supplied for a time by the Presque Isle minister.
The Spragueville church was sold in 1940 and the bell went to the HIllside Gospel Assembly in what is now the renovated James School. From there, the bell went to a church in Pennsylvania but came back to the James School in 1985. The bell in the Presque Isle church was given in 1939 by Mr. W.S. Thompson in memory of his son, John Channing Thompson, who died while amember of Boy Scout Troop 171, sponsored by the church.
In 1902, the Rev. E.O. Smith organized a class of eight members in Presque Isle. Under Reverend hart, the class increases and a church was organized in 1904. They met for worship in the Pythian Hall and later in the Odd Fellow's Hall. While the Rev. James Irvine was pastor, the Ryan property on Academy Street was purchased, and a church erected on the corner of Epworth and Academy Streets. The entire cost of the church was $11,000 of which $3,000 was pledged at the time of the dedication on January 10, 1909, with Bishop Hamilton and District Superintendent John Hatch assisting in the dedication service. In the spring of 1914, the East Maine Conference met at this church with Bishop Hamilton presiding for the first and only time a conference was held in Presque Isle.

The parsonage at 7 Epworth Street was purchased in 1917. The prior parsonage to that was rented for a time, but in 1949 it was renovated and additions made to provide more Sunday School rooms and a Scout room in the basement. In 1955, a major construction project was undertaken to enlarge the main church building. In 1957, the church was named Grant Memorial United Methodist Church to honor Rev. Herman Grant's outstanding leadership.

On January 19, 1996, the church building was destroyed by arson. Services for 1996 and a large part of 1997 were held at various places in the community, such as St. Mary's Catholic Church and the University of Maine at Presque Isle. A new building was constructed in 1997 on Fleetwood Street, the present location. The bell that was given to Grant Memorial in 1939 survived the fire, and is now located in front of our current church building.

Pastors of Grant Memorial UMC:

Rev. James Irving ~~ 1909

Rev. Fred Gamble ~~ 1909-1912

Rev. G. Edward Allen ~~ 1912-1915

Rev. Melville Osborne ~~ 1915-1917

Rev. Charles R. Carleton ~~ 1917-1921

Rev. William Snow ~~ 1921-1925

Rev. Ambrose McAllister ~~ 1925-1927

Rev. Hayward Thomas ~~ 1927-1934

Rev. Harry Whitely ~~ 1934-1936

Rev. Leslie Craig ~~ 1936-1939

Rev. Chauncey Wentworth ~~ 1939-1943

Rev. Herman Grant ~~ 1943-1957

Rev. H. Travers Smith ~~ 1957-1958

Rev. Harold Rowley ~~ 1958-1965

Rev. Edward Allen ~~ 1965-1969

Rev. James Word ~~ 1969-1977

Rev. Michael Davis ~~ 1977-1980

Rev. Richard Smeltzer ~~ 1980-1991

Rev. Patricia Thompson ~~ 1991-1998

Rev. Dr. Thomas Blackstone ~~ 1998-2006

Rev. David Williams ~~ 2006-2009

Pastor Ron Chaffee ~~ 2009-2013

Pastor Ernie Farrar ~~ 2013-2014

Rev. Dr. Christopher Dare ~~ 2014-2019

Rev. Hyungyong Choi ~~ 2019-Present

Tuesday, August 9

We are pleased to continue to be open for in-person worship on Sunday mornings.
**Masking is optional at GMUMC, regardless of vaccination status.  We trust that you will make the safest decision for you; if you feel the need to mask, we welcome you to do so but it is not required.  Thank you!**
Sunday School has recessed for the summer months, but will resume again in September.

The Newsletter Deadline is the 15th of the month, for the month following.
**The next deadline is August 15, for the September newsletter.**

Saturday, August 20 - Grab & Go Pig Roast Dinner from 4:30-6:00 p.m.
For $15.00 per person, you will receive:  Pork, Potato Salad, Broccoli Salad,
Corn on the Cob & Apple Squares.  Proceeds will benefit on-going mission projects!

~ Melissa,
Admin. Assistant at GMUMC