First United Methodist Church of Port Jefferson
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Our Church History
In 1824 a "circuit rider," Rev. Horace Bartlett whose pastorate was the "Suffolk Circuit," met with a few devout Christians at the home of Zachariah Hawkins. The house was located on the present site of The Infant Jesus Roman Catholic Church. It was at this location that the Port Jefferson Methodist Society was organized. Since itinerant pastors, or circuit riders, conducted services infrequently because of the difficulty of travel, class meetings were led by lay people between visits.
In 1835, the Port Jefferson Methodist Society was incorporated and became a full-fledged church. Three years later a chapel was built on Thompson Street for $1,000. The Port Jefferson Church became an independent charge in 1848 with the Rev. Samuel King as pastor.
In 1873, the building on Thompson Street was moved to the corner of Spring and Main Streets where our church is presently located. The need for larger and better facilities soon became apparent. The first small chapel was sold in 1893 and moved to upper Main Street where it was later destroyed by fire. The cornerstone for a new church was laid in 1893, and on December 12, 1902, the mortgage was burned. The cost of $11,500 included the heating system, pews and furniture.
As the church continued to grow, we acquired a parsonage and an education building. With the help of many members, an organ was purchased. The interior was completely renovated in 1950 and pulpit furniture was also installed.
Growth continued during the 60's and in 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church united to become the United Methodist Church.
A facelift in the 70's included renovation to the kitchen and fellowship hall and as a result the mission of the church began to expand during the 80's. We renovated the sanctuary in time for our 160th birthday celebration in 1995.
Many pastors have served our church through the years spiritually enriching the congregation. In July 2000, Reverend Huibing He was appointed to serve as pastor of our church. With God's help, we will continue "Taking Root and Bearing Fruit."