Who we are
Fellowship in Mission
People to put our faith into action.
People “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
People to love God and the people of God.
History: A Brief History of the Ridgewood United Methodist Church--Overview
In July 1895, eight men met together at the home of J.W. Pearsall on Irving Street in Ridgewood to consider the possibility of founding a Methodist Church. Following further discussions, eighteen families all agreed to bring a congregation together for Christian services.
Having decided to proceed, they arranged to hold the first meetings in the old Union Street School, just a few buildings away from our current location, (currently known as the Schoolhouse Apartments) which they rented for the grand sum of $200 per year. The first service was held there on July 7, 1895 with about 90 people in attendance. Less than a year later, on Easter Sunday 1896, the congregation gave more than $1,000 for the purpose of buying a permanent location for their church and, by October 1899, the current property here on the corner of Prospect and Dayton Streets was acquired.
Plans were made for a church, parsonage, and the building of horse sheds. $18,500 was raised, enough to cover the entire cost, and, on June 1, 1901, the cornerstone was laid. On April 13, 1902 the congregation met at the old Union Street school building for the last time and marched to their new sanctuary to hold the first service at this location.
Over the next fifty years, the church grew exponentially and it became apparent that more space was absolutely necessary. At the 50th anniversary of the church in 1945, plans were made to replace the entire church plant and build an educational building and a small chapel, in addition to a larger sanctuary. The education building and chapel were completed and dedicated in 1953. Ground breaking for the new sanctuary was held June 21, 1964 and the Cornerstone was laid on October 24, 1965. The first service and consecration of the new sanctuary took place on October 9, 1966.
In 1970, the church celebrated its 75th anniversary—at this time, membership exceeded 1,300. The 20 year mortgage was burned in a ceremony on November 22, 1981.
Part of the new Sanctuary is our 65 rank four manual Teller’s pipe organ which was completed and dedicated at a special recital by world-famous organist, Virgil Fox, on February 5th and 6th, 1967. This organ is generally recognized as the finest in the Ridgewood area, and a number of famed artists have played it in recital.
From its early beginnings with 18 families interested, to its peak of over 1,300 members, to our current membership, the Ridgewood United Methodist Church has been, and continues to be, a church that is alive and dynamic both in the way it ministers to its members and in the way it reaches out to people in the world around us. (Written by Scott Lavery)