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Pearl Road United Methodist Church History

Pearl Road UMC   Pearl Road UMC 
    Pearl Road United Methodist Church can trace its beginning to the year 1814 when a group of early settlers met for prayer and discussion.  Among them were James Fish, his family, and his cousins Moses and Ebenezer Fish.  Later on, Oziah Brainard and his family came from Connecticut.

    In 1818 the first official Methodist services were held in a log building located near the present location of Brooklyn Memorial United Methodist Church.  In 1827 the congregation built its own meeting hall near the corner of what today is Pearl Road and Denison Avenue.

    As time passed members of the congregation, who were living across the valley, became very discouraged with having to cross the muddy valley in the spring and cope with the snow and ice in the winter.   In 1843 they formed the Brighton Methodist Episcopal Church.  They met in a building which housed the Brighton Academy and a wagon and paint shop.

    About 1875 the congregation built a two-story frame church and worshipped there until 1896.  Work was started on an impressive stone and brick building at the cost of $9,500.  It was completed by 1902.

    In 1923 the Trustees authorized a building which would house a Department of Religious Education.  It would be located on property to the rear of the present church building.  When completed it offered numerous classrooms, meeting rooms, a gymnasium, kitchen, and a fellowship hall with a stage.

    Then the sanctuary of the old church was renovated and beautified. Both buildings were dedicated November 22, 1924.  A few months later, in February 1925, tragedy struck.  A fire, which started in the organ wiring, destroyed the entire church sanctuary.  The congregation was stunned!

    And so, against insurmountable odds, the people prayed and then resolved to work hard so that the remaining Education building would not be lost.  There was no insurance.

    The Great Depression ensued and people faced extremely difficult days.  Countless projects were undertaken to raise money.   And, undoubtedly, many prayers for strength to carry on were uttered.   The Depression days passed and became World War II days.  Many families had sons in the service, and some were lost.

    After the war ended, many young couples and people in the surrounding community joined the congregation.  The membership increased dramatically thus enabling the people to start dreaming of remodeling the Education building into a church-like structure.  A long-term plan was adopted.    Over a period of about ten years, this plan was implemented little by little.

    The mortgage was burned, the front lot was repurchased and landscaped, the entire sanctuary was renovated and became a truly beautiful place of worship, the basement became a pleasant dining area, and the kitchen was remodeled.  Other things, too numerous to mention, were accomplished.    "Pearl Road" people have praised God constantly for all blessings.    Pearl Road United Methodist Church has served in the community for almost 200 years.   We go forward, guided by our Mission Statement:

Pearl Road United Methodist Church
is a warm, caring family of God
in historic Old Brooklyn.

As disciples of Jesus Christ, 
we seek to faithfully respond
as the Holy Spirit leads us in:


Church History contributed by Louise Evans, Church Historian

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