In 1859 a new congregation of worshippers in the Fairmont area, a group calling themselves Methodist Episcopals, began meeting at the Center Chain home of Dr. Schaefer.
The early Methodist Church of Fairmont was organized in 1868; however, the first service in Fairmont was held at the William Budd home in 1866, with seven people in attendance. Traveling Circuit Riders served the early church, with services held on alternate Sundays, weather permitting, at the old fort which stood where the Martin County Courthouse now stands.
By the year 1894, another group of worshippers, consisting of the members of seven families, began meeting at the Fairmont home of William H. Budd. They eventually named their church the Fairmont Methodist Church. It was during this time that one of the Circuit Riders, Elder Hand, helped the congregation to raise funds to keep the small church going following the devastation of a grasshopper plague. The first minister to shepherd this congregation was Rev. Northrup.
Toward the end of the 19th century, this congregation of the Fairmont Methodist Church held many joint meetings with the Congregational congregation. These included ladies’ aid meetings and prayer meetings. By 1878 the Methodists decided to build their own church home and then ended the relationship with the Congregational congregation. Many new groups were formed such as: a church school, a youth Epworth League, two missionary societies, a Ladies Aid Society and a Young Ladies Club called the “Shadow Circle.” In November 1894, a second frame church was built where the first church had stood. In the year 1906 a fine pipe organ was installed.
In the year 1927, a new building was constructed on the present site at a cost of $70,000. The pastor at the time was Rev. H. Miller. Upon the dedication of this new church building, the local newspaper, the Fairmont Daily Sentinel, printed many articles about the fine new structure the Methodists were able to build for the community of believers. The whole community was very proud to have such a house of worship!
Another event, which added to the heritage of the Fairmont Methodist Church, was the national merger of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church in 1968.
In the year 1878 the Evangelical Church of Fairmont was listed as a regular preaching point, with meetings then held in the Brickel home. On November 18, 1900, the Salem Evangelical Church was dedicated; and in 1946, following merger with the United Brethren in Christ, the two churches become the Salem Evangelical United Brethren Church. In 1968, Salem Evangelical United Brethren Church closed the doors of their church on North Prairie Avenue and joined the congregation of the Fairmont Methodist Church.
From that time to the present, the congregation has been knows as The Fairmont United Methodist Church. Most members would agree, this was a very good union!