In the summer of 1880, young Joshua Watson, riding a calico pony, came to a tiny schoolhouse north of Montrose. He had come 20 miles from Canistota township with the word of God in his pocket to preach to the early pioneers. Records are hazy on how long he served this community. C. M. Brown, a presiding elder, also preached in the same building. Church services were held there along with events such as ice cream socials.
The Montrose Methodist Church was organized by C.M. Brown in 1881, assisted by Mrs. Hartsough. In 1882, the Dakota Mission Conference met in Parker under Bishop S.M. Merrill. Rev. Amburn, a local preacher, was appointed the first minister. He had two churches-Hartford and Montrose.
In 1884, J. P. Jenkins was appointed to Montrose, During his ministry the first church was built at a total cost, including labor, of $2,495.29 -- all of which was met except $300. Church membership was 80. Following are other highlights of this church building: