New London Methodist Church

Brief History of New London Methodist Church

Bishop Francis Gerald Ensley, son of Reverend L. A. Ensley, who served this church from 1915-1920, will open our 15Oth Anniversary year November 20, 1966 when he will be the guest speaker at the morning worship service.

The first Methodist Society, organized in 1816 by John Haney, an elder from Haneytown (Savannah), was the forerunner of the present First Methodist Church located at 54-58 East Main Street, New London.

History records the society started meeting in 1814 at the school, on Lot #13, third section of New London taught by Miss Sophia Case, the year after the first permanent New London township resident arrived .

. The first church, a wooden structure, was built around 1845. According to legend the lumber for it was cut free of charge on Sundays, through the courtesy of the owner of the sawmill, the local Baptist minister. It was later sold and moved to a lot on the North side of West Main Street, between the New York Central Railroad and the square.

The church was served during the years 1816-1832 by a number of circuit riders. They started at Fitchville, the head of the circuit, and required from two to six weeks to serve the territory.

Work on the second and present brick church, on the original lot, was started in October 1878 and completed fourteen months later. Reverend C. H. Payne DD, LLD, president of Ohio Wesleyan University conducted the dedication service.

Shortly after the decision to build the church, a petition was circulated to place a tax levy on all property in the village for the purpose of purchasing a town clock, to be place in the spire of the new Methodist Church.

In order to have the levy placed on the ballot a bill was passed by the general assembly of Ohio. The Howard Tower Clock, which cost $750.00 was installed in November and started December 2,1879. It is still running and keeping almost perfect time.

Funds for a 2005 pound bell in the tower of the church were raised by public subscription, a home talent concert and a social. The bell was used for funerals, weddings, days of rejoicing and national celebrations.

The present church building was redecorated and extensively repaired five times in its history: in 1898, 1923, 1938, 1947, and 1965.

The Oberlin Glee Club presented a sacred and secular program of music for the semi-centennial celebration December 8, 1929.

The first addition to the church, rooms for church school education and the ladies aid, was started in 1937.

The Maas Cathedral Chimes, paid for by the youth choir from funds received at special services conduccted by them, were installed in 1949.

In 1956 a second unit, Wesley Hall, was built and dedicated November 26, 1961 by Bishop Hazen Werner .

Ground was broken for a new parsonage March 22, 1962 and consecrated October 7, 1962.

Transcribed by Rebecca Williams

Back to Churches Index

Back to Huron County Pages