Church History

History of Liverpool First United Methodist Church



In 1820, eleven per­sons formed a “Methodist Soci­ety” in Liv­er­pool. This small group, with those who joined them, met in homes until about 1836, when they began to wor­ship in the Union build­ing which stood in John­son Park sur­round­ed by a ceme­tery. The low­er sto­ry was used for the pub­lic school and the upper sto­ry for a meet­ing room, which was open to peo­ple of all denom­i­na­tions.

The reli­gious needs of the Soci­ety were sup­plied by cir­cuit rid­ers, the coura­geous and ded­i­cat­ed preach­ers who trav­eled by horse­back to spread the Word of God to the Methodist soci­eties locat­ed in the towns and wilder­ness areas of ear­ly Amer­i­ca. They met with each soci­ety as often as pos­si­ble.

Liverpool United Methodist church 1915
compliments of the L'pool Public Library Wentworth Collection
Liv­er­pool Unit­ed Methodist church 1915 com­pli­ments of the L’pool Pub­lic Library Went­worth Col­lec­tion

historical marker

In 1841, the Methodists pur­chased the Union build­ing after the oth­er denom­i­na­tions built church­es of their own, and moved it to a site on Sec­ond Street where it stood until 1994. The male mem­bers of the soci­ety resolved to be called the First Methodist Epis­co­pal Soci­ety of Liv­er­pool. Rev. Joseph H. Lamb became the first res­i­dent min­is­ter of the soci­ety.

The soci­ety built a new church in 1856 on Oswego Street, which is the front brick por­tion of the present sanc­tu­ary. Dur­ing 1872–1873, the edi­fice was com­plete­ly ren­o­vat­ed when meet­ing rooms, a library, and a kitchen/dining room were added to the rear of the church. In the sanc­tu­ary and narthex, eight beau­ti­ful stained glass win­dows were installed, each with a reli­gious sym­bol at the top: Burn­ing Bush, Descend­ing Dove, Chal­ice, Ark of the Covenant, Lamb of God, Crown, Open Bible, and The Cross.


In 1877, our pas­tors assumed the respon­si­bil­i­ty of min­is­ter­ing to the mem­bers of the Church at Cold Spring (also known as White’s Chapel) at the inter­sec­tion of Route 370 and Doyle Road. This asso­ci­a­tion between the two church­es con­tin­ued for more than forty years.


1928 Liverpool United Methodist Church
compliments of Lpool Public Library Schuelke Collection
1928 Liv­er­pool Unit­ed Methodist Church com­pli­ments of Lpool Pub­lic Library Schuelke Col­lec­tion

Needs of our local church and con­cerns for women and chil­dren in this coun­try and abroad were the forces behind the for­ma­tion of our ear­ly wom­en’s orga­ni­za­tions. The Ladies’ Aid Soci­ety was orga­nized in 1853, the Wom­an’s Home Mis­sion­ary Soci­ety in 1892, and the Wom­an’s For­eign Mis­sion­ary in the ear­ly 1930s.


2016 Liverpool First UMC

The church cel­e­brat­ed its cen­ten­ni­al in 1920. An expand­ing mem­ber­ship and Church School enroll­ment cre­at­ed the need to build an Edu­ca­tion­al Wing in 1952. Ten years lat­er it was enlarged and renamed the Fel­low­ship Hall. The sanc­tu­ary was also enlarged and two more stained glass win­dows were installed, with sym­bols rep­re­sent­ing the Hand of God and Sheaves of Wheat. The Aeo­lian-Skin­ner pipe organ was a gift from a mem­ber in 1958. When the par­son­age was demol­ished in 1979, a park area was cre­at­ed on the site for the Bell Memo­r­i­al.

In 1995, the church cel­e­brat­ed its 175th anniver­sary of ser­vice to the Liv­er­pool com­mu­ni­ty. Build­ing ren­o­va­tions com­plet­ed in 2003 allow for more gath­er­ings for wor­ship and fel­low­ship than ever before, and the kitchen ren­o­va­tion com­plet­ed in 2008 pro­vides even greater oppor­tu­ni­ties for fel­low­ship and fundrais­ing.