Church History

History Of The Brecksville United Methodist Church

The Methodist Church has a very colorful beginning with the first meetings being held in the log cabin of Lemuel Bourne in the year 1814 with sixteen members. In 1823 the first meeting of the Methodist Society was organized in Brecksville as part of the Brunswick Circuit. Ezra Wyatt, who owned the Grist Mill across Chippewa Creek, deeded the land the church is built on to the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1832 a one-room frame building was erected but the interior was not completed until several years later. The members held their meetings there in the summer and met in the Town Hall in the winter. Some years later the church was plastered and painted and used the entire year. The church was lighted by tallow candles in small tin reflectors hung on the walls. The heating system consisted of a large heating stove in the front of the church.

In 1853 a revival meeting was held and membership was substantially increased.

By 1910 extensive improvements were made on the church building and a bell, which harmonized with the bell in the Congregational Church (now the Church of Christ), was placed in the bell tower.

In 1938 an upper room was added above the dining room. The boys from the 3C Camp on Brecksville Road helped put the big steel beams in place. At this time, new pews and lights were added as well as an electric Hammond organ. These additions were completed and consecrated by Bishop H. Lester Smith in a visit to the church in 1940.

Difficult times were experienced in the 1930’s but in 1933 the first full time pastor, the Reverend Arthur Maly, was appointed and growth began. As the population of Brecksville grew during the 1940’s and 50’s, our congregation expanded rapidly, to the point where it was difficult to find a seat on Sunday mornings. The Reverend Charles A. Amendt, a former missionary to Korea, served as pastor from 1949 to 62. It was during this time that the congregation experienced its most rapid growth and embarked on the construction program for our present building.

In 1960, the original, 128 year old church building was razed, along with the old parsonage, to begin construction of our present Fellowship Hall. For about a year, worship services were held next door in the Town Hall. In 1961, Fellowship Hall was completed and began temporary service as our Sanctuary, as well as auditorium, dining hall and recreation center. The rest of the building, including the sanctuary, was completed in 1964 and consecrated on November 1 of that year.

Brecksville Methodist Circuit Riders, Ministers and (*) Associate Ministers

1823   Charles Trescot & James Rower
1824   Solomon Minwaer & John Pardo
1853   Rev. Thomas and Rev. Plumber
1854   Layfayette Ward & John Brice
1855   Lafayette Ward
1856   James R. Wilcox and Alber C. Hard
1857   James R. Wilcox
1858   Matthew L. Starr & Franklin N. Robertson
1860   Abraham K. Owen & George M. Hutchings
1861   Abraham K. Owen & Simon P. Jacobs
1862-65   John W. Thompson
1865-66   James Evans
1867   W. Ben Taggart
1868-71   Andrew Pollock & E. Thompson
1872-74   W.E. Smith
1874-76   Will S. Fitch
1876   S. T. Dunbar
1877-79   Mr. West & Moses B. Mead
1880   I.W. Dwyer
1881-84   A.R. Palmer
1885   B.D. Jones
1886   E.H. Bush
1887   C.F. Irish
1888   M. Reese
1889   C.F.E. Helman
1890   J. Hastings
1891-92   P.D. Brush
1893-94   A.C. Whitmore
1895-96   G.W. Pepper
1897-98   W.H. Bryanton
1899-1900   Jonathan Look
1901-1902   JW Houk
1903-1904   Mr. Chase
1905-1906   Wesley Feldwish
1907-1908   C.T. Goodwin
1909-1910   J. R. Carpenter
1910-1912   Arthur Horrocks
1912-1927   Mr. Walters
1927-1931   Mr. Nichols
1931-1936   Arthur Malay
1936-1937   Robert S. Clemmons
1937-1939   Robert Dietrich
1939-1941   John Bartrug
1942-1945   William H. Phillips
1945-1949   Paul Giffin
1948-1962   Charles C. Amendt
1963-1972   William K. Hogg
1965-1966   William Hodder*
1966-1972   Donald Shank*
1971-1974   Ralph E. Dessem*
1972-1984   David H. Patton
1974-1975   Jim Henery*
1975-1979   F. William Ross*
1980-1983   Thomas Barson*
1983-1986   Vernon L. Shepherd*
1984-1996   Thomas S. Taylor
1986-1988   James K. Powell*
1988-1995   James F. Winkler*
1995-1996   Michaela A. Brown*
1996-1998   Adriel B. Thrash
1996-1998   Sharon Carson*
1998-2005   Russ Martin
2005-2011   Karen Oehl
2006-2013   Elizabeth Kuntz*
2011-2019   Clark Stein
2019-   Heidi Welch