With excerpts from the 100th Anniversary Booklet and the 125th Anniversary Program Bulletin
Edited by Lois Hodlin
The Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in Plainville in 1881. The roots of the church, however, actually date back nearly another fifty years with a Farmington preacher ministering to Plainville Methodists. In the 1850's they also worshiped in Forestville.
In 1859 a Methodist Church was first organized with a membership of 16 and 11 on probation and served by supply ministers. The building was located near the southeast corner of Broad and Canal Streets. In 1864 this building was sold. Giles Manchester of Red Stone Hill led a "class" of 31 Methodists on Friday nights for many years. By 1880 Methodists were meeting at Morgan's Hall Sunday afternoons and evenings.
In 1881 a lot on the corner of Broad and Canal Streets was purchased. While the parsonage was being constructed, members met in a tent. By December the second floor was used as a temporary chapel and the cornerstone for the church was laid. The church was used for services in 1882. It was dedicated in 1884. In 1902 the Benjamin Bird House was purchased and used as a parish house for a number of years. The church was refurnished and the main entrance was changed from Canal to Broad Street in 1911. A Moller pipe organ was installed. The kitchen was remodeled. In 1953 a sanctuary beautification project was initiated. By 1960, the Broad Street School across the street had to be used for Sunday School classes. Its parking lot was shared with the Roman Catholic Church. Two worship services were started. A larger space was needed. Five acres were purchased on Red Stone Hill.
In early November, 1964 the first worship service and the first Sunday School classes were held in the new church. The new parsonage on Norton Trail was moved into three weeks later. The service of consecration for both buildings was held in January,1965 with Bishop Lloyd D. Wicke presiding. A Memorial Garden was given as a living tribute. In the late 1970's a front entry way was added.
The Plainville Methodists have had many of its members serve in the ministry: three brothers, (the Revs. Arthur, Douglas, and Robert Osgood), along with the Rev. John Capen, the Rev. Laura Galbraith, and mother and son, (the Revs. Carol and Mark Terry).
The National United Methodist Campers have their roots in this church. LeRoy and Gail Adams founded it in 1975.
In 1991 the United Methodist Men initiated the installation of a stained glass window portraying Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The church's community out reach has included the Red Stone Hill Nursery School (1967-2006), a meeting place for four AA groups, one Al-Anon group, the Plainville Women's Club, and Kindermusik. Its interaction with many scouting troops has led to our church being the recipient of several Eagle Scout projects such as a campfire site, a peace garden, and a large entry sign on Norton Trail Road. This church is also very active in contributing to the Plainville Food Pantry. Frequently it allows the American Red Cross to hold blood drives here. The community also benefits when Life Line Screening uses this building.
As Carol Morse Ratliff stated for the 100th
Anniversary: "We continue to strive to be a caring
fellowship, serving God and each other, and reaching out
into the world to spread the good news of Jesus Christ."