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Springville First United Methodist Church turns 200

SPRINGVILLE — The Springville First United Methodist Church is celebrating its 200th birthday. On April 27, the church will host a “once-in-a-lifetime celebration of 200 years of God’s faithfulness,” organized by parishioners and celebration committee chairpersons David Batterson, Mary Hill, Tom Place, Judy Law and Don Orton. Pastor Rev. Abel Roy reported that Bishop Mark Webb, Upper New York Episcopal Area resident bishop of the United Methodist Church, will be the guest speaker. In addition to the service, there will be a special program for the Sunday School, many historical displays and a luncheon with homemade birthday cakes, followed by a program featuring church history.

The church’s history began in 1814, when circuit riders traveled by horseback from place to place, preaching and establishing churches. The first gathering in the Springville area was at the Smith home at Lord’s Hill, approximately 8 miles east of Springville, with circuit rider Jenkins serving as preacher. By 1823, the congregation met at the schoolhouse at Liberty Pole Corners and was placed on the Boston Circuit of the Erie District. The congregation moved to Chapel Street in the village of Springville in 1823. A church was constructed in 1825, north of Fiddlers Green. For 15 years, beginning in 1858, the Methodist church operated the Springville Academy, with the pastors as headmasters.

In 1863, a new church building was constructed on the northwest corner of North Buffalo and Franklin Streets. In 1869, a bell was installed in the bell tower steeple. Dr. Ralph Waite donated a pipe organ in 1908. The Buffalo Street church served the Methodist congregation for more than 90 years.

The Methodists built a new church building in 1957. The bell from the Buffalo Street church was installed, along with the 1928 baptismal font and the Waite organ. This current church is located at 474 East Main St. in Springville. The church’s latest addition, which included a gym and family life center, was dedicated in 2002.


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