Tag Archives: Methodist

Epworth United Methodist Church, Worcester (1927)

The First Swedish Methodist Episcopal Church in Quinsigamond Village in Worcester was formally organized in 1880. As recorded in Vol. I of Charles Nutt’s History of Worcester and its People (1919):

A colony from the First Church organized the Second Swedish Methodist Church April 9, 1885, with a membership of 94, including 29 probationers. Rev. Mr. D. S. Sorlin came from the First Church and was the first pastor of the Second. The first place of worship was in the chapel on Thomas street, purchased of the First Church of Christ for $8,000. By two additions in 1887 and 1888 costing $13,400 the seating capacity was increased to more than 500. It was dedicated Sept. 27, 1885.

Having grown too large for its first church building, the congregation built the present structure in 1926-1927 at 64 Salisbury Street. At the time of the move to the new building, designed by Henry Eckland of Chicago, the name of the church was changed to Epworth Methodist Church, now Epworth United Methodist Church.

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Wesley Methodist Church, Amherst (1878)

In 1972, architect Tullio Inglese and his wife Judith rescued the old Wesley Chapel, at 592 Main Street in Amherst, and converted it into their home and studio. Today, the former church houses the offices of TIA Architects and the Nacul Center for Ecological Architecture. According to The History of the Town of Amherst, Massachusetts (1896):

The Methodist church at Amherst center was organized in 1868 as a branch of the church at North Amherst. It was composed, in part, of members of the latter organization, together with a few members from the church in Pelham. It was organized as a separate society in August, 1875, when the first quarterly conference was held.

A church was soon constructed:

The cornerstone of the church was laid. Oct. 17. 1878, and the work progressed so rapidly that services were held in the vestry, Jan. 26, 1879. In 1880, a committee was appointed to superintend the building of sheds on the church lot. In 1886, the grounds about the church were graded and improved. A bell was procured in 1887.

The United Methodist Church serving Amherst is now located at 98 North Maple in Hadley.

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Old West Church, Boston (1806)

The original Old West Church in Boston was a wood-frame building, built in 1737. It was used as barracks by British soldiers during the occupation of Boston, but they soon razed the structure in 1775 due to concerns that supporters of the Revolution were sending signals to Cambridge from its steeple. The church was finally rebuilt in 1806. It was designed by Asher Benjamin and has similarities to his earlier Charles Street Meeting House of 1804. Originally a Congregationalist church, Old West Church was deeded to the City of Boston in 1894 to serve as the West End Library. The church remained a library until 1962, when a new library was built. Since 1964, Old West Church has been home to a Methodist congregation.

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Wesley United Methodist Church, Salem (1888)

Wesley United Methodist Church, at 8 North Street in Salem, was designed by Lawrence B. Valk of New York and was constructed in 1888-1889. The local Salem contractors were J.F. Farrin, Joseph N. Parsons, and Joseph N. Peterson. As explained in the Visitor’s Guide to Salem of 1892, at that time Salem had two Methodist churches. One, the

“Lafayette St. Methodist Episcopal Church, at the corner of Harbor street, was built and dedicated in 1853. This society had previously occupied a smaller house of worship on Sewall street, which was again occupied in 1872, as Wesley Chapel, by members who withdrew from the Lafayette St. Society, and who, largely augmented in numbers, re-organized as […] The Wesley Church and, in 1888, erected the large brick and stone church edifice on North street a few doors from Essex. In construction this is quite different from any other church building in the city. By means of sliding doors, the seating capacity can be much increased by connecting the Sunday school rooms, which are on the street end of the building, with the large audience room. The windows of the church being of stained glass present a most beautiful appearance in the evening when services are being held, the brightly lighted interior reflecting attractively through the large gothic memorial window on North street.

The Lafayette Street United Methodist Church moved to a new building at 292 Lafayette Street in 1910 and in 1994 merged with the Wesley United Methodist Church. Since 2007, the Lafayette Street church building has been the First Baptist Church of Salem.

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Presbyterian Church in Sudbury (1835)

Presbyterian Church in Sudbury

The earliest Methodist meetings in Sudbury were held in the schoolhouse of the town’s north-west district until 1835, when the town decided to no longer allow the use of school buildings for religious meetings. That year, a Methodist meeting house was constructed between Sudbury Green and the Old Revolutionary Cemetery. The church was expanded in 1896, but it now serves as the Presbyterian Church in Sudbury.

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Union Meeting House, Storrowton (1834)

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Now part of the collection of historic buildings that make up Storrowton Village at the Eastern States Exposition grounds in West Springfield, the Union Meetinghouse was originally built jointly by four religious denominations in Salisbury, New Hampshire, in 1834. The Meeting House was moved from the Smith’s Corner neighborhood of Salisbury to Storrowton in 1929. The pulpit came from another New Hampshire town and the 1851 bell is from a church in Neponset, Massachusetts.

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Charles Street Meeting House (1804)

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Designed by Asher Benjamin in 1804, the Charles Street Meeting House in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood began as the Third Baptist Church of Boston (it was built on reclaimed land near the Charles River where baptisms could be performed). In the 1830s, abolitionist members, led by Timothy Gilbert, challenged the church’s segregationist seating arrangements and went on to found the integrated Tremont Temple Baptist Church. In the years before the Civil War, the church became a center of abolitionism, with many notable speakers addressing audiences there, including William Lloyd Garrison, Wendell Phillips, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. From 1876 to 1939, the building was the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1920, the church was moved ten feet west to accommodate the widening of Charles Street. With the departure of the African-American community from the north slope of Beacon Hill, it served as an Albanian Orthodox Church and lastly a Unitarian Universalist Church to 1979. In the 1980s, the Charles Street Meeting House was converted to secular use as offices. The building is on the Black Heritage Trail.

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