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 ofour 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-Present