Our Story

How it all started...

A Brief History of Fairmount Wesleyan Church
What is now known as The Wesleyan Church had its roots in Fairmount, Indiana established in 1864 through the ministry of Rev. Isaac Meek.  This work was recognized as an official congregation of The Wesleyan Methodist Connection and added to the Marion Circuit in 1865 by the Rev. Emsley Brookshire. A church building was quickly erected and stood on the same street corner where we are located 153 years later. 
As part of the Marion Circuit, pastors would travel between Back Creek, Fairmount, Marion, Roseburg, and Summitville throughout the week to preach to the various congregations.  In 1974, Marion and Roseburg were dropped from the circuit while Fowlerton was added.
In 1880 an organized Sunday School was established at the church with constitutions and by-laws.  Throughout the years, Sunday School has been a major part of helping people grow in their faith, learn Biblical knowledge, and find relationships with others.
The Wesleyan Methodist Connection had its roots in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Dissention over slavery and the Episcopal form of church government caused many churches to break away from the Methodist and form a new church group in 1840. The Wesleyans also ordained women into the ministry. Locally, Sister Abigail Bogue, was granted a letter of recommendation to preach in April of 1885. Mary J. Lemons was recommended to the Indiana Conference and received her license to preach on August 2, 1894.  She was followed by Cynthia Smith in 1895 as the pastor of the church.
The Indiana gas boom was a period of active drilling and production of natural gas in the Trenton Gas Field, in the state of Indiana and the adjacent northwest part of Ohio. The boom began in the early 1880s and lasted into the early 20th century.  The citizens were unaware of what they had found. Nearly a decade passed without action to recover the resource. Once its significance was realized, further exploration showed the Indiana gas belt was the largest deposit of natural gas discovered until then. In addition to the massive quantity of natural gas, in the 1890s developers discovered that the field also contained the first giant oil reserve found in the US.
Due to the number of jobs that were created in the county as part of the natural gas production, the church found itself in the middle of a rapid growing community. The opportunity to minister to families grew with the church gaining in numbers.  In 1889, the church took advantage of the gas production by plumbing the church for gas to be used for lighting and heat.
Records show that the “Church House” was enlarged and remodeled in 1901. During this time the church had to secure other places to hold worship services while the repairs were being completed. The old seats were going to be repaired in 1903, but it was held off in view of the near prospect of a heavy expense being assessed to the church property for building a brick street. The church was assessed $186.45 for the brick street in front of the building while the church’s budget that year was $75.24.
In 1916 the original church building was moved to another location and the current brick building was built at the same location on the corner of Walnut & 3rd Street.
On December 16, 1938 the church paid off the mortgage.  On Sunday, December 18, 1938, a fire broke out before the service destroying the roof, ceiling and much of the interior.  Those in attendance carried out the pews and most of the church furniture to save it from the fire. For the next few months, the church worshipped at the high school auditorium until returning on June 18, 1939.
In 1968 there was a denominational merger of the Wesleyan Methodist Churches and Pilgrim Holiness Churches. This merger created two Wesleyan Churches in the town of Fairmount – Third Street Wesleyan & Walnut Street Wesleyan.  In 1980 these two churches merged to form the Fairmount Wesleyan Church at the Walnut Street Church location.  The new fellowship hall and educational classrooms which were added in 1972 to the Walnut Street Church made the facility a better location.
In 2011, the First Christian Church closed its doors for the last time and donated their building to Fairmount Wesleyan Church.  The building became known as the Family Life Center and provides ministry space for the children and youth ministries.
In 2012, the church again began to see new growth in attendance which led to the need for additional parking.  A home that had been used for a few years to house church staff, youth ministries, and even as a rental, was destroyed to provide additional parking. 
On May 6, 2017, Fairmount Wesleyan Church took another step of faith to invest in the community with a new and unique ministry known as The Branch.  The building at 108 S. Main was purchased and remodeled to create a coffee shop and a community center.  The desire for the building is to provide a safe environment where people can gather together for conversations, equipping, and personal growth.
From the origins of Fairmount Wesleyan Church until the present, there have been 52 lead or solo pastors who have preached, counseled, prayed, and loved the congregation.  The church has played major roles throughout the years in the development of the community and continue to strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in all it does.

Fairmount Wesleyan Church


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