Freeland’s first church was really a Sunday School that was started by Joseph King two years after he had settled along the Tittabawassee River.  It was in 1846 that he invited his neighbors to worship in his log cabin.  Worship continued there until 1854 when the King School House was built.  The land on the corner of 2nd and Washington was donated by Joseph’s son Noble.  Jacob Lewis was converted there and became a Circuit Rider.  He was also the first school teacher there.

Circuit riders continued to serve in King’s School House until in 1870 they felt they could support a minister on their own.  There were 88 members in 1871. 

The first minister was paid $466 and preached at four other churches. The next pastor was J. G. Sparling and the first church was built on land given by Noble King again.      In 1880 the parsonage was built. By 1892, Freeland had three churches, The Congregational on Third Street where the township office is now, the Methodist on corner of 1st and Washington, and the Seventh Day Adventist on the corner of River and Freeland Roads. 

In 1911, the brick parsonage was built and the old one moved to Third St.  Then in 1919, under Elder John Black’s pastorate the new church was built.  It cost $22,000.  The pulpit furniture was bought by selling “Sunday Eggs”.

In 1989, when Rev. Dennis Paulson was here, the church was named an “Historic Site”.  It is now included in the State Register of Historic Places.

In May of 1991 a new parsonage on River Road was purchased and the old one moved to 2nd St. The bricks were removed and siding was added.  Later Dr. Ostrander’s house next door was moved to Smith Street behind the present church. 

When the planning began for the new structure, the congregation was firm about saving and incorporating the beautiful stained glass windows into the new church.  Also the steeple was saved and is the center of one flower bed and the bell is in another garden.  Original Altar furniture also graces our new altar.  The new kneelers were made of trees that were cut down for the construction site.  The present all handicapped accessible church was dedicated in 2001. It’s cost was $1.4 million. 

Through the Grace of God: The History of Freeland United Methodist Church