The United Methodist Church of Suffolk County NY has a long and storied history, stretching back to 1783 when a society was formed after a sermon preached by John Phillips, a local Methodist preacher. The Smithtown United Methodist Church will be celebrating its 50th anniversary at its current location on November 20. The Suffolk County Offices and the Fourth District Police Department occupy the former estate of Ebenezer Smith and Joshua B. The 1789 chapel remains an integral part of the church's mission to spread the gospel of Christ to the people of Commack.
Methodism in Winne-Comac didn't gain traction until after 1918, when Brindley Field in Comac was used by the church during World War I. This made it possible for homes, stores, and the Church to be established in the area. According to Reverend Wanamaker, the church is one of five in the area that United Methodist Church leaders plan to close or consolidate. He is also proud of the piano lessons he taught to children at Hauppauge's sister church in Central Islip, whose parishioners are mostly younger than those in Hauppauge.
Sayville United Methodist Church is an active, community-minded church with a vibrant and diverse congregation of many ages and stages of faith. It was founded in 1833 as a stop on the East Long Island circuit. The church's congregation grew to 300 people in the 1960s, but has since decreased as parishioners moved away and other Protestant churches were established nearby. The historic building that we now call our Chapel from 1789 has the distinction of being the oldest Methodist church in continuous use in New York, where people still worship in the original building, with few modifications.
Some elements of the old church were used in the new structure, such as the bell, stained glass windows, pink windows above the altar, benches and lectern. In 1939, in preparation for its 150th anniversary, the building was painted, its landscape improved, and a circular road was built with Belgian blocks and a border along the sidewalk as part of a WPA project. Methodist students held regular meetings on the fourth Friday of each month at Jonas Newton's home in what is now Oakdale. These include farms and properties owned by descendants of Smithtown's founding family, some of whom helped build the church in 1806. Today, The United Methodist Church of Suffolk County NY continues to be an important part of its community.
It has been providing spiritual guidance and support for over two centuries and is still going strong. It is a testament to its founders' commitment to spreading God's word and providing a place for people to come together and worship.