Source: News-Journal, August 16, 1973, Centennial Section
First Brethren Church Has Given 90 Years Service
North Manchester's First Brethren Church observes 90 years of service to the area this year.
The church was organized in 1883 with twenty-five charter members under the leadership of Elder John Nicholson.
Two years later the first Communion was held in the barn of Simon Bonebrake who was the first pastor. During the first two years church services were held in the United Brethren Church.
In July of 1885, the United Brethren began construction of a new church and the First Brethren purchased their old building for $200. The structure was moved to the corner of Fifth and Sycamore Streets. In 1904 several improvements were added to the old building.
Plans for building a new church edifice were formulated in January, 1911. Work on the church was completed in 1912 at a cost of $9,100. Much labor was donated by various church members.
The old church building was sold to George Myers for $40 and he used much of the lumber to build two houses on Fourth Street.
The First Brethren observed their first Good Friday service in 1928. By 1930 the local Ministerial Association requested that the service be held for all churches in the area. The services became a community program and they were held in the Lutheran Church because it was large and centrally located.
An educational plat was added to the church in 1956 which provides facilities for a well organized Sunday School program.
A refurbishing of the church sanctuary took place in 1972. New pews, carpet, and refinishing the floors was completed and a dedication was held March 12, 1972.
Rev. Woodrow Immel has been pastor for over ten years. Under his guidance church membership has grown to 413 persons.