2010 - Panoramic View of the Melbourne Church; Photo courtesy of Justin Herbst
MELBOURNE UNITED METHODIST
The oldest church in Plymouth County, Melbourne had its beginning in 1856, with the help of missionary and circuit riders, Rev. Fredrick Schreiber and Rev. H. Kleinsorge. Services were held in the homes and the school house.
The first church building was erected in 1866 in the southeast quarter of section 34, Plymouth Township. Lumber was purchased for $600. This building was sold in 1874 for $80 and moved to the farm of Ezra Wilcox. The present building was erected at the cost of $2,100 and dedicated October of 1872. In 1931, the church was raised for a full basement, new furnace, and other remodeling and redecorating.
The first parsonage was built near the church in 1870 and replaced by a new parsonage 14 years later in 1884. In 1959 the parsonage was moved north from the road and completely remodeled. To meet expenses for this, the men farmed 120 acres of land, having a good harvest.
In 1960, Melbourne Church celebrated its 100th birthday.
At the present time  the pastor is Rev. Waldon Paige, with approximately 90 members, 25 enrolled in Sunday School and 4 teachers.
The Youth Fellowship and Melbourne Women’s Society of World Service are active organizations. The adult Sunday School Class, called “Kome Two” was organized 30 years ago [1942.] It has once a month meetings in addition to weekly Sunday morning lessons.
~Source: Merrill Centennial 1872-1972, pp. 256-257
The Merrill Melbourne Church today is located in the same location as the earlier building.
Above is a photo taken along the Floyd River while Justin was hunting in December 2009. See the Merrill Melbourne Church in the background. This church celebrated its 150th Anniversary. Check out this link to a great story published in the LeMars Sentinel newspaper.
2010 Photographs taken by Justin Herbst