A Brief History of the First Presbyterian Church of Monticello, Iowa

The First Presbyterian Church of Monticello had its beginning in the spring of 1882. In the spring of that year, a few individuals who desired a church met to prepare a petition requesting the Cedar Rapids Presbytery to approve the organization of a new church. By June this became a reality of fourteen charter members. In July the women had organized a Ladies Aid, and in October the first Sabbath School was established. The first three years, church services of the Presbyterian Society, as it was called, were held in the Methodist Church, and Sabbath School used the Kinsella Hall, upstairs on the corner of First Street and South Cedar Street. During that time money was being raised toward the purpose of a church building. The first church, a brick building, was built at a cost of $2,800 and was located on the east side of the third block of North Cedar Street.

As the church grew, it was determined there was a need for a larger building. In 1902 the church leaders went ahead with plans to build at the site where our church now stands. The cornerstone was laid on October 7, 1902 with ritualistic ceremonies. Less than a year later, on August 2, 1903, the new church was completed and ready for dedication, at a total cost of $22, 464.

In 1930 a Moeller organ from that company in Hagerstown, Maryland was shipped and installed at the cost of $4,800, and dedicated on November 12, 1930.

On August 18, 1931, the 46 members of the Richland Center Presbyterian Church were received into our fellowship.

The Church observed its 50th anniversary on June 5, 1932. With Rev. Wm. Grossheim as pastor, the Jubilee year was celebrated with 71 new members joining. A few months later, January 21, 1933, fire raged through the church basement, leaving the church without a place to worship until March of that year. During that time services were held in the school auditorium.

In 1945 the Church received its first bell from Lenox College of Hopkinton, Iowa, which had a long, interesting history.

Construction of a two story building and remodeling of the church basement was begun in June of 1957 and dedicated in May of 1958.

Extensive remodeling of the sanctuary and the front entrance began in 1964 and by the spring of 1965 the project was completed.

Throughout the years, our church has had several of our youth go on to be pastors or religious educators.

In June of 1969 the members of Peniel Presbyterian Church of Castle Grove were received into our fellowship.

In 1975 the Synod voted to accept the realignment of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. In January 1977 the Monticello church became a member of the East Iowa Presbytery. For many the church has funded camperships for our youth at nearby Camp Wyoming. In March of 2008 a devastating fire in the sanctuary did extensive damage to the interior of the church. After

it was determined that the foundation and structural integrity of the building was still sound, work began on rebuilding. Services were held at the neighboring United Church until renovation was completed in time for Easter of 2009.

The First Presbyterian Church of Monticello not only serves its members, but the building is also widely used by many community organizations, including Boy Scouts, Campfire, Garden Club and many others. It continues to be committed to its mission both locally and beyond. The current pastor is Rev. Al Polito, Jr.