Victor Methodist Church

 

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Victor Methodist Church

history contributed by Dianne Thomas

pictures contributed by Ron Hanley

from the Ontario Co. Times,  dated June22, 1927

 History of Victor Methodist Church

Reed at Corner Stone Laying of New Church House 

Impressive ceremonies marked the laying of the cornerstone of the new Church House of the First Methodist Church of Victor, Sunday afternoon, June 12.  Rev. G. R. WILLIAMSON, D.D., says the Victor Herald, made the address of the occasion, in which he emphasized the idea that the church must give a place in its work to social activities of young people, the congratulated the people of the Methodist church in Victor upon the move which they had made to respond to this need by the provision of the beautiful building now being pressed to completion.  Dr. A. M. MEAD gave the following brief history of the church:

“Some time before 1805 the Victor inhabitants, feeling the need of a meetinghouse, circulated a subscription paper and raised the necessary funds.  The site finally chosen was upon the hill now occupied by Mrs. Harriet WEBSTER and Mrs. Amelia  LOBDELL.  This meeting house was erected in 1805.  It was a plain frame building with a steeple.  It faced the west.  The interior of the building was of the old style architecture, with high square pews with door in one end and seats on the three sides.  The pulpit, high above the pews, was in the east end. A gallery occupied three sides of the building while above the gallery and opposite the pulpit was a large pew for colored people.

This was decidedly a public building.  Here the people of the town worshipped and here they met for town meetings and other business, and it was known as the “Proprietor’s Meeting House”.  The meetinghouse was open to all denominations and used by them at stated hours, until about 1830.  The first Methodist preacher to be heard in Victor, was the Rev. Joseph JEWELL, who came here in 1805.  A permanent organization was formed in 1807.

In 1820 the Methodists decided at a gathering held in the meetinghouse on the hill, to build a house of worship of their own.  Work on the new church was begun in June 1820 and it was dedicated, though unfinished, August 19, 1821.  It was not finished until 1824.  It was enlarged in 1832.  In 1837 the society purchased the parsonage.

April 10, 1838, the male members of the Methodist Episcopal church and congregation in Victor, Ontario Co., being of lawful age, met for the purpose of incorporating the society, according to law.

The legal title was then given, First Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Victor.  There were 38 lawful voters recorded.  Many of the family names are still on our church records and many of the descendants under married names; the names of BOUGHTON, CALKINS, FELT, HAWKINS, ROWLEY, and others not so familiar.  I find in the minutes that at times the question of repairs and additions and expenses was brought up.  For a time, Victor and Perinton were united in 1858.

In 1869, the brick church in which we now worship, was begun and finished in 1870 and dedicated June 15.  The cost was $21,000.  The parsonage was built in 1875 at a cost of $4,500.  The members of the church and congregation in their sacrifice did a noble deed for those who were to follow in giving us such a valuable property.

About 1885 there was need of better heating facilities so a steam heating system took the place of the old furnaces.  From time to time the steam plant needed repairs, etc.

In 1901, was a Red Letter Day for the church, when the old board walks were removed and the cement walks were laid.

In June 1905, the church was decorated at a cost of $441.59.  New cushions were purchased at a cost of about $300.

In August 1905, the acetylene gas system was installed at an expense of $353.45.  Electricity was installed to take the place of the gas system, September 1916, at a cost of $526.93.

In 1917, a furnace was bought for the Sunday School room, $185; auditorium heating plant remodeled at a cost of $860.  The tower was remodeled in 1920 at a cost of $1,691.30.  New church windows, March 1921, cost $671.36.  New slate roof to church, 1924, cost of $3,101.12.  The Centenary pledge of church, $6,000 was paid in full with a bonus.  In 1927, the auditorium was redecorated and new hardwood floors laid and new runners purchased at a cost of about $2,000.

Not at any time in history have there been members in the church of large wealth and affluence who could individually lift the burdens as they appeared; but instead, whatever has been accomplished, has been done through the loyalty and sacrifice of the church as a whole.  And now the united efforts of the members, wit the same spirit that has accomplished things in the past, will carry this work successfully to the end, doing it for the good of the church and community. “

 

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