In 1860, seven years after the organization of the Bowen's Prairie Congregational church, Rev. Jesse Guernsey, at that time agent of the A. H. M. S. for the state of Iowa, sent to Monticello Rev. Edward P. Kimball, to take steps to organize a Congregational church if he found it practicable. On November 13, 1860, a council, composed of delegates from the churches of Dubuque, Anamosa, Bowen's Prairie and Cass, met in the schoolhouse, and organized the Congregational church of Monticello, with Rev. E. P. Kimball as pastor with a nominal salary of five hundred dollars a year, and with nine charter members. These were Rev. and Mrs. E. P. Kimball, Mr. and Mrs. John White, Mr. and Mrs. Lyman P. Hoyt, Mrs. C. E. Wales, Mrs. Albert Higby and Mrs. Jane Leach.
The Civil war came soon after, and almost all thought and energy were devoted to that struggle. The church with difficulty was kept alive. Two years after its organization, it had only eight members, one man beside the pastor, and six women. In five years there were sixteen members, and in ten years there were forty-six.
Services were held in the schoolhouse until December 13. 1865. Then Kinsella hall was rented and used until the church was built. On May 14, 1867, the corner stone of a church building was laid, and the church was dedicated January 27, 1868, Rev. J. E. Roy, of Chicago, conducting the services. This building was used for thirty-three years, when, during the pastorate of Rev. C. C. Warner, the present church edifice was erected. It was dedicated January 20. 1001. with appropriate services. The address in the morning was by Rev. E. A. Berry, D.D., of Cedar Rapids; in the afternoon, by Rev. A. L. Frisbie, D.D., of Des Moines, and in the evening, Rev. J. E. Roy, D.D., gave the "Message of the Old Century to the New." The church has since bought a parsonage, a comfortable building pleasantly located, and a pipe organ.
The church has had fifteen pastors in the forty-nine years of its existence. Rev. E. P. Kimball, who served three years; Dr. Isaac Russell, one year; Rev. D. J. Jones, two years; Rev. J. K. Nutting, eight months; Rev. J. D. Bell, ten months; Rev. William Leavitt, seven years; Rev. L. W. Brintnell, three years; Rev. David Jenkins, three years; Rev. C. A. Towle, three years; Rev. J. T. Blanchard. three years; Rev. W. L. Demorest, two years; Rev. J. W. Davis, three and a half years; Dr. A. M. Case, three years; Rev. C. C. Warner, five and a half years, and Rev. M. A. Breed, who has been pastor since May, 1904, and a very able thinker and speaker and a man who has an influence for good among all classes. The church membership at this present time is about one hundred and seventy-four.
The Sunday school has always been considered an important part of the church life. Its superintendents have been H. D. Sherman, Prof. J. E. James, J. R. Stillman, and J. A. Doutrick. Mr. Doutrick has been superintendent of the Sabbath school for twenty-nine years, beginning with his first Sunday in Monticello. The Sunday school officers at the present time are: superintendent, J. A. Doutrick; assistant superintendent, Frank D. Hayden; secretary and treasurer, Miss Carrie Page.
The officers of the church and its organizations at the present time are: pastor. Rev. M. A. Breed; deacons: John A. Doutrick, Michael McLaughlin, Andrew Davidson, William F. Bingham; clerk of the church, Miss Mary I. Jarman; clerk of the society, Miss May Scales; treasurer, Dr. M. H. Teeter; chorister, Mrs. Libbie V. Robertson; church board—the pastor, deacons, Sunday school superintendent, clerk, together with Mrs. Robert Hicks, Fred P. Stuhler and Frank D. Hayden; trustees of the society: J. A. Doutrick, Fred Stuhler, W. F. Bingham, W. F. Rohn, G. P. Rockstead, Andrew Davidson, Robert Hicks; Y.P.S.C.E. president, Emil Ricklefs; V.P., Florence Theoni; recording secretary, Dorris Northrop; cor. sec., Mrs. M. A. Breed; treas., Grace Podhaski; Y.M.L.W.B. pres., Mrs. Fred Stuhler; vice-pres., Mrs. Bessie Baade; sec., Mrs. D. A. Huene; treas.. Mrs. Harriet Coughlan; W.M.S. pres., Mrs. M. A. Breed; vice-pres., Mrs. Harriet Coughlan; sec., Mrs. J. E. Bateman; treas., Mrs. J. A. Doutrick; S.S. Home Det., supt. .Mrs. J. A. Doutrick; assistant, Miss Cora Sandhouse.