In the 1830s, settlers were coming into Dexter and Lyndon Townships. These pioneers trudged through swamps, cleared forests, and braved wild animals to establish their homesteads. In 1833, brothers Charles and John Glenn took up government land at North Lake.
In 1836, a Methodist Class of twelve members was organized at North Lake, one year before the state of Michigan was admitted into the Union. Charles Glenn was leader of the class for forty years before his death in 1876. He was also a local preacher, having preached over 100 funeral sermons. No record was kept of his others! The marble stone marking his grave in the North Lake cemetery reads, “He rests from his labors and his works do follow him”. One of his great-grandsons, Harvey Pearce, was a prominent minister in the Detroit Conference. Following the death of Charles Glenn, William Wood became class leader until his death. Wood’s daughter, Mrs. Perry Noah, succeeded him.
From 1836 to 1846, the society met at the home of John Glenn. In 1846, the two brothers built a small 20′ x 26′ frame structure at their own expense. It stood on the line between the farms of Richard Webb and John Glenn and served as both church and school.
In January of 1866, with the Civil War behind them, the North Lake Methodists decided to build a new church building. It was completed at the end of the year for a total cost of $2,646. At this time, there were 57 members, four from the original class. Records show the purchase of two gallons of oil to heat the church for $1.00. The janitor was paid $4.00 for caring for the church for six months!
During the year 1876-77, a revival came to the church, and 29 new members were added. Two of these were Mr. and Mrs. E.W. Daniels (parents of Charlie McDaniels). They were leaders in the North Lake Church for 50 years.
In 1907, the stain glass windows were installed during a remodeling campaign. In 1925, a Grange Hall located on the first corner west of the church was annexed to the back of the church for use as a meeting hall, Sunday school facility, and kitchen. The bell was donated by the Unadilla Methodist Church in 1947 and the high old steeple taken down.
In the early 1970s, the economy was on an upswing and the area was growing. Ground was broken for the Education building in July 1971. The parsonage on Wagon Wheel Court was dedicated in December of 1974. A great many hours of volunteer labor from the congregation and community made the new buildings possible.
The crocheted and framed hangings of the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments were made and given to the church by Veva Kalmbach in 1981 and 1983. The eight-foot wooden cross above the altar was purchased with memorial funds and dedicated in 1984. North Lake United Methodist Church celebrated its sesquicentennial in 1986.
May God grant the congregation many more years as descendants of the original families and members of newly-arrived families witness together to their faith in Jesus Christ.