The history of North Chatham United Methodist Church, as with all Methodist churches, begins with John and Charles Wesley in 1729 in London and was brought to America by Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury in the late 1800’s. Methodism is distinguished by its reverence for a disciplined, methodical life of prayer, study and service including fasting (not much in vogue at present). Methodism has a long history of social action and significant laity participation.

  • 1828 – First meeting of Methodist Episcopal Society in North Chatham
  • 1834 – Building of Church started
  • 1835 – First Quarterly Meeting
  • 1854 – Bought Parsonage
  • 1867 – Dedication of 2nd Church
  • 1889 – New Parsonage built (current Christian Education Building)
  • 1889 – Pipe organ installed in Sanctuary
  • 1949 – Lord’s Acre Auction’s first year
  • 1952 – Addition of Kitchen to Church building
  • 1962 – Remodel Church sanctuary
  • 1971 – Stained glass Windows
  • 1992 – New Stained Glass windows begun
  • 1997 – New barn erected
  • 2009 – Wesley at Malden Bridge Church merger
Our Church-1871 (From the Collection of the North Chatham Historical Society...Used by Permission)

Our Church-1871 (From the Collection of the North Chatham Historical Society…Used by Permission)

The early Methodist movement first touched the town of Chatham when a Methodist society was formed at the home of Hannah Hudson of Old Chatham in the year 1803…” In North Chatham, the first meeting of the Methodist Episcopal society was in held in 1828. Circuit Preachers traveled on horseback throughout the area. ‘George Rowe, one of the Stewards of the Circuit was converted in 1832 and continued a Devoted & Influential member of the Church till 1861…when he was transferred to the Church above.”

Henry Starks of Valatie became  the first licensed local preacher in 1834. “The same conference June 14, advised another division of the circuit so that Weatherwax Street was associated with Chatham Corners, Millvill, Malden Bridge, John Jay’s, (or Chatham Center), Jennisons (Schodack) and Yellow School House. The membership on this circuit in 1834 was numbered at 550 with two circuit riders.”

In 1834, the building of the first Methodist Episcopal Church of North

Our Church-1906(From the Collection of the North Chatham Historical Society...Used by Permission)

Our Church-1906(From the Collection of the North Chatham Historical Society…Used by Permission)

Chatham was begun and was known as the North Chatham Asbury Chapel. The builder was probably a carpenter named Veeder who was prominent at that time in Weatherwax Street (as North Chatham was known). This Church was dedicated January 8, 1836. It is now a residence with beautiful windows and surrounding porch and is located diagonally across from our present-day Church building.

Thirty years after the building of the first church,another bigger buildingwas deemed necessary and in 1865, a new Church building was begun on land across the street (the present Church building). The building committee of Lewis Rowe, George Tobias, John I. Budd, John H. Rowe, John G. Budd, George C. Penoyar and John Schermerhorn selected a plan for the building. Contract for the construction of new church was given to Abraham Ring. The whole cost of the building, including, furniture, bell, furnace, etc. was $12,600. The dedication services were held on Jan. 3, 1867 and at the next service, Abraham Ring and Mary Steves were united in marriage.

In 1888 E.A. Blanchard was appointed preacher. Later that year, plans

Our Church-1938 (From the Collection of the North Chatham Historical Society...Used by Permission)

Our Church-1938 (From the Collection of the North Chatham Historical Society…Used by Permission)

weremade for a new parsonage. Bradley Nichols (from the present Arnold farm) donated land and Abraham Ring again was hired. Work was completed on the house and barn in August of 1889. This barn was moved down the street in 1997 (to Rendell’s old hotel currently owned by Karen Halverson) and converted into a studio.

A new barn was built on the same site. The work of building the new barn   (1997) was organized and led by Paul Herrington and Everett Huges with a team of volunteers. This present barn is the site of the Clothing Barn outreach ministry program led by Emma Sluus.

Our Church-1988(From the Collection of the North Chatham Historical Society...Used by Permission)

Our Church-1988(From the Collection of the North Chatham Historical Society…Used by Permission)

1949 was the first year the Lord’s Acre Auction was organized. It has continued to this day. Fred Dorn donated many items in the first decades. The Auction continues as a church sponsored community event bringing many out to enjoy the company of neighbors and a chance for a good buy.

The North Chatham United Methodist Church in the last half of the 20th century through the early 2000’s shared a pastor with a series of local Methodist churches. More recently, in 2007 Wesley Methodist Church of Malden Bridge decided to merge with North Chatham and this merger was completed in 2010.

Courtesy of the North Chatham Historical Society

Other Sources:
Centennial Anniversary booklet 1967
A Priding Flame TAC 1986
Pastor MB Mead notes 1867

Ministers of Malden Bridge & Old Chatham M.C.

1835                                        Joshua Poor,   W. F. Hurd

1836-37                                   Hiram Meeker,   W. F. Hurd

1838                                        Samuel D. Covel,   Circero Barber

1839                                        Samuel D. Covel,   David Osford

1840                                        Orin Pier,   W. S. Stead

1841                                        Christopher Morris,  W. S. Stead

1842                                        Christopher Morris,   H. B. Knight

1843-44                                   Alfred A. Farr,   William Henry

1845                                        John Pegg,    Aaron Hall

1846                                        Jacob L. Best

1847                                        David Poor,   W. P. Gray

1848                                        W. P. Gray,   Warren Little

1849                                        Truman Seymore,  W. W. Pierce

1850                                        E. E. Goss,   W. W. Pierce

1851                                        John Phillips

1852                                        Hiram Dunn,   L. Marshall

1853                                        Hiram Dunn,    N. Axtell

1854                                        Lester James,   Daniel Marvin

1855-56                                   Oren Cregg

1857-58                                   P. P. Atwell

1859                                        Hiram Blanchard

1860                                        H. P. Jones

1861-62                                   C. Meeker

1863-64                                   William Clark

1865-66                                   J. W. Belknap

1866-68                                   C. W. S. Porter

1869-71                                   William Bedell

1872                                        C. W. Fitch

1873                                        Andrew Heath

1874-76                                   R. C. Adams

1877-78                                   Henry A. Starks

1879-80                                   C. F. Burdick

1881-82                                   A. S. Clark

1883-85                                   William L. Smith

1886                                        L. A. Dibble

1887-88                                   Robert J. Davies

1889-91                                   Thomas B. Gardner

1892-95                                   William H. Flouton

1896-98                                   F. G. Rainey

1899-02                                   William H.  Edwards

1903                                        James C. Mitchell

1904-06                                   Robert H. Washbourne

1907                                        Herbert W. Dack,   James A. Thomas

1908                                        John R. Pinolott

1909-10                                   W. H. Wersen

1912-13                                   R. C. Finley

1914-16                                   Timothy Meek


1918-21                                   Harry White

1923-24                                   George May

1925                                        Henry Ferguson

1926-30                                   William H. Barringer

1931-32                                   John G. Masel

1933-36                                   Simeon J. Liberty

1937-38                                   Johnson Brogdale

1939-41                                   Luther A. Patton

1942                                        Albert T. Strobel

1943                                        Marcus M. Fuller

1944-47                                   Albert A. E. Swords

1948-55                                   John G. Robison

1956-61                                   Clayton S. Pratt

Ministers of Wesley U.M.C. at Malden Bridge

1962                                        Kenneth Thornton

1963-64                                   Victor Vincent

1965                                        Franklin D. Cruz

1966                                       William D. Reeder

1967-68                                   Dillio Mariotti

1969-70                                   Garry L. Camolli

1971-72                                   Lavern C. Dibble

1973-74                                   Kathleen Mihaly*

1975-85                                   George L. Corson*

1986-87                                   Beth Van Ornam*

1987-88                                   Melvin Lavender

1988-92                                   Steven C. Clunn

1992-94                                   Newton Perrins

1994-01                                   Robert J. Zittel

2001-03                                   Sharon Sauer

2004-06                                   Robert J. DeFelice*

2006-07                                   Elleanor Kendall  *

Ministers of North Chatham U.M.C.

1834-35           Joshua Poor,  Ass. A. Hazelton, W.F. Hurd

1836-37           Hiram Meeker,  Ass. W.F. Hurd, B.O. Meeker

1838-39           Samuel D. Covel,  Ass. Cicero Barber, D. Osgood

1840                Orris Piers

1841-42           Christo. Morris, Ass Wm. D. Stead, Horace Knight

1843-44           Alfrid A. Farr, Wm. Henry, Aaron Hall

1845-46           John Pegg, Ass. Richard Kelly

1847                David Poor,  Ass. W.P. Gray

1848                W.P. Gray

1849                Truman Seymour,  Ass. W.W. Pierce

1850                Ephrin Goss

1851-52           W.A. Miller

1853-54           J.W. Belknap

1855-56           P.P. Harrower

1857-58           Hiram Blanchard

1859-60          Richard Wade

1861-62           B.O. Meeker

1863                S.P. Williams

1864-66                        M.B. Mead

1867-68           David Lytle

1869-70           Fred Widmer

1871                George Brown

1872                D.P Hulburd

1873-74           J.B. Sylvester

1875-76           W.H. Washburn

1877                William Bedell

1878-80           J.G Fallon

1881-82           A.F. Bailey

1883                Damas Brough

1884                C.R. Hawley

1885-87           Edwin Genge

1888-90           E.A. Blanchard

1893-97           George Easton

1898-00           Charles Noble

1901-03           Almond Woodruff

1904-05           Charles Warrick

1906-07           E.L Arnold

1908                E.B Gregg

1909                J.P. Hallar

1910-12           Edwin Lewis  (E.L Arnold substituted last 3 mo.)

1913-14           Edward Bowers

1915-17           H.A Ferguson

1918-20           George Kerr

1921-25           Charles Curtiss

1926-28           L.T. Dawe

1929-37           E.G. Williams

1938-42           A.J. Sunderland

1943-46           Elmer Benn

1947-50           James Bayley

1951-55           Roger W. Fitzgerald

1955-56           Richard Campbell

1956-58           Ronald Northrup

1959-64           E. Clayton Burgess

1964-65           Jordan Cole

1965-69           James D. Sorley

1970-71           Arthur Northrup

1971-76           Gerald Kauffman

1976                G. William Pattison

19    -87           Harry Burdess

1987-88           Melvin Lavender

1988-92           Steven Clunn

1992-94           Newton Perrins

1994-01           Robert Zittel

2001-03           Sharon Sauer

2004-10           Robert Defelice

* Pastors in training or Certified Lay Speakers