Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Woodmere Methodist Church

On Wednesday, June 27 the congregation of  the Woodmere-Lawrence United Methodist Church will meet in a service that will mark the end of almost 150 years of tradition.

At a meeting at the home of Singleton Brower on Friday, March 13, 1871 members of the Lawrence Methodist Church made the decision to establish a church in Samuel Wood's village of Woodsburgh,  A week later (Friday, March 20) the men met at the same home and elected a Board of Trustees.

The donation of property on Broadway was accepted, a building committee appointed and a drive for funds was started.  Twenty months later, on November 19, 1872, the new church building was dedicated. It was a humble house of God, 25x40 ft, costing $1,583.28 complete with pulpit Bible.       ("Woodmere Church 80 Years Old." Nassau Herald, March 9, 1951)

Methodist Church and Parsonage, c1906
According to a program produced for the congregation's 25th anniversary in 1897,
... work was initiated under the pastorate of Rev. C.P. Corner.  The church building was completed and dedicated in the Fall of '72, during the pastorate of Rev. E.K. Fanning.  The church was attached to the Rockaway and Foster's Meadow Circuit, and remained under the general supervision of the Mother Church until the Spring of '78, when she was set off as a separate charge, with a roll of 84 members and 11 probationers.

In the year 1889, under the pastorate of Rev. Alex. McNicholl, the church was enlarged and subsequent years has (sic) brought about other improvements.  In November '97, a fund was instituted for the purpose of purchasing lot and building a parsonage.  ..Notwithstanding los[s]es and removals the church has grown in membership from 84 to 122; and 169 have been baptized at her altars."
Woodmere Methodist Church & Thrift Shop (Photo: Five Towns Herald)
 The current brick building was erected in 1921 and the original church building was moved to the rear of the property.  The 1898 parsonage has been used as a thrift shop in recent years.

 Lawrence Methodist Church, built on the site of the 1831 McKendre's Chapel, closed its doors in 1976.  At that time  the two congregations merged under the name Woodmere-Lawrence United Methodist Church.  Through the efforts of local historians and genealogists, birth, marriage and cemetery records for many of the families that inhabited the Rockaways are preserved and available online.

More information:


Anonymous said...

It's a shame that the church is closed down. I'm a Brower, and the church land was donated by my family many years ago. Now it is so ran down. Is there any way to get some of the pieces of the church preserved by a historical society or the library itself? Especially the beautiful stain glass windows. People are throwing rocks and breaking them. There is no respect in this world any more.

Hewlett-Woodmere Public LIbrary said...

Unfortunately there is no historical society in the area. The Methodist congregations in Inwood and Woodmere merged several years ago. Perhaps St. Paul's in Inwood has additional information: http://www.nyac.com/churchdetail/270504