The people of the Edison Memorial United Methodist Church trace their ancestry to William Gurley, who was licensed to preach by John Wesley in 1787 in Ireland.
Coming to America during the Irish Insurgencey, Mr. Gurley settled in the Firelands. In 1811, he preached in a Bloomingville log cabin. An invitation was given to form Methodism class meetings. Thomas Jeffrey was present and after the war became a class leader in his home in 1816. Class meetings were held in homes, barns, and schools and they became a circuit for the Methodism preachers. A Methodist Class meeting began in the village of Milan in 1824 meeting in the Yellow School House.
In 1843 a frame church was built with a steeple and bell in the village of Milan. This was succeeded by a brick building in 1892. On Christmas Sunday, December 22, 1930, the church building was destroyed by fire. The congregation met and ministered from the Kelley Block building until 1937.
The present day stone building was raised from the rubble of the former brick building. The faithful brothers and sisters, with assistance from across the country, built the current gothic structure during the Great Depression, and the mortgage was paid off in just seven years, in 1945. Our current building was certainly built to the Glory of God and by faith in Jesus Christ!
Oil Portrait of William Gurley
Dorcas Group in the early 1920's
Prior to the building of this church, meetings had been held in homes and school buildings.
Edison Memorial UMC softball team, 2015.