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July 22, 2018
Our History
 

The history of the North United Methodist Church is one that is intertwined in the history of the city of Hartford. The real beginning of this “society” which we call by today’s standard a church dates from May 22, 1870 and started by a few devoted men and women on Clark Street. Prayer and class meetings were held prior to this date, but the first Sunday school was established by this organization on this date. This small room soon became too small for the members. A meeting was held with the joint Board of Leaders and Stewards of the Asylum Street Methodist Episcopal Church on August 30, 1870. Out of this meeting came the decision to form a committee to locate a site for the building of a chapel to hold the meetings of the Sunday school and the other religious activities.

After meeting twice, the committee selected the site at the corner of Suffield (now Battle St.) and Wooster Street.On Sunday, April 9, 1871, the chapel was dedicated to the worship of God.Rev. A. C. Eggleston preached the dedication sermon and the first church meeting took place on April 23, 1871 with 80 persons in attendance.Rev. R. W. Jones was assigned as pastor along with Stewards John McGoodine, Edwin Leasly, J. G. Griswold, H. P. Moore, E. B. Farnharm, W. O. Brown and T. Gwillinse.Trustees were elected on May 10, 1871.On September 4, 1871, it was agreed by the members to build a church facility.

Progress was very slow as the members prayed to God for direction. A church building was finally erected on Windsor Avenue. (Now 2051 Main Street the home of Metropolitan A. M. E. Zion Church) This building was used until plans were made to relocate to the west end of Hartford.

In 1914 North Church moved to its present site on Albany Avenue.There was much excitement about moving to this section of the city because this section was being developed into a thriving new community.There was a clamor of new members that filled the church with the vibrancy that gave the membership renewed religious enthusiasm.

In 1926, the church was completed when the Austin Pipe Organ Opus 1412 and pews were dedicated in memory of the Rev. Boynton who was pastor of the church for one year (1925-1926)

In 1940, North Methodist Episcopal Church North became North Methodist Church after the two bodies (Methodist Episcopal North, Methodist Episcopal Church South) were reunited and the union with the Methodist Protestant Church.The denomination had split in 1844 over the issue of slavery.In 1968 the church had another name change in it denomination title.Through a union between The Methodist Church and the United Evangelical Brethren Church, North Methodist Church became North United Methodist Church.

During the 1960s the church became actively involved in many humanitarian causes.Civil rights, the homeless and the poor are just a few.When the community began to change in the late 1960s and 70s, it was North Church that helped make the transition. The Rev. Robert Martin was sent to guide the church during these years of transition.

After serving for thirty-three years, Rev. Martin retired and the Rev. Hugh B. Hamilton was appointed to lead the church into the twenty-first century. Many improvements have been made to the church and parsonage. A van has been purchased, repairs and upgrades have been done on the organ, new office equipment purchased and many new members have been added to the church.

Today, the church continues to be a beacon of light in the community.It proudly boasts of its diversity. It is the only church in the greater Hartford area that can count more than 20 nationalities among it membership.