The United Methodist Church in Suffolk County, NY: A Historical Journey

Explore the history behind The United Methodist Church in Suffolk County, NY from its inception to present day.

The United Methodist Church in Suffolk County, NY: A Historical Journey

The Commack United Methodist Church and Cemetery is a historic Methodist church, meeting center, and cemetery located at 486 Townline Road in Commack, Suffolk County, New York. Built in 1789, it is the oldest Methodist church in New York State that has been in continuous operation. The cemetery surrounding the church has graves that date back to the 18th century. The two-story building with two stretches of tile and a large gable roof that protrudes is still used for worship on the Sunday before July 4th and for Christmas Eve services, as well as at the Long Island United Methodist Church of Korea.

The United Methodist Church is the legal successor to the Protestant Methodist Church, which is considered one of the earlier parts of today's United Methodist Church. Regular Methodist class meetings were held on the fourth Friday of each month at Jonas Newton's home in what is now Oakdale. The parsonage built in 1896 is the same building that stands to the left of the church on Middle Road. In 1968, the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical Church of the United Brethren to form the United Methodist Church. This union allowed for a small remnant of Protestant Methodists to remain independent churches or join other denominations.

The Episcopal Church remained within the Apostolic Succession and in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Sayville United Methodist Church is an active, community-oriented church with a healthy and diverse congregation of many ages and stages of faith. The church historian, George Mitchell, who has held this position for a decade, has lived in Bayport with his wife since 1960; that was when they joined the United Methodist Church in Bayport. He is also proud of the piano lessons he taught to children at the sister church of Hauppauge, in Central Islip, whose parishioners are mostly younger than those in Hauppauge. In 1810, Comac became part of the Suffolk County Circuit along with Happlauge and Sag Harbor, with joint preachers Henry Redstone and Coles Carpenter. The history of United Methodist Church in Suffolk County dates back to the 1740s and 1950s when those influenced by the New Light revival movement sought to establish separate Calvinist churches in cities where existing local Calvinist churches had become too lenient.

John Wesley, founder of Methodism, wanted to keep Methodist Societies within the Church of England. Today, this religious group exists as an independent entity alongside other denominations such as the United Church of Christ and the United States. The Commack United Methodist Church and Cemetery is a unique example of a religious institution that has been able to maintain its presence for centuries. It serves as a reminder of how far Methodism has come since its inception and how it continues to be an important part of Suffolk County's history.