The John Wesley Pentecostal Church was founded in Manchester in 1897. In the fall of 1907 (“Holiness Meeting in Manchester; In Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene,” Hartford Courant, April 10, 1908) the church became part of the Church of the Nazarene, a national evangelical denomination that formed in 1907-1908 through a series of mergers between various holiness churches and denominations, with the western-based Church of the Nazarene merging with the eastern-based Association of Pentecostal Churches of America. In 1958, the Manchester Church of the Nazarene moved from their original 1898 church at 466 Main Street to a new church at 236 Main Street. It was the culmination of a five-year building plan that included construction of a youth center (1954) and a parsonage (1957). The church’s pastor, Clarence E. Winslow, designed the buildings and prepared landscaping plans, personally clearing the land with the help of volunteers. Groundbreaking for the church occurred in the summer of 1957 and the following April (“Steeplejack Chore Planned by Pastor,” Hartford Courant, April 21, 1958) Rev. Winslow was lifted 90 feet by a giant crane to place a cross on the newly raised steeple. Rev. Winslow later moved to Florida where, in the 1970s, he led supporters of Creationism against the teaching of Evolution in Florida schools.
The Church of the Nazarene opened the Cornerstone Christian School in 1981. A new church building was erected at 218 Main Street in 1989, with Rev. Phillip Chatto this time attaching the cross at the top of the steeple (“Crowning touch installed at Manchester church,” by Randy Burgess, Hartford Courant, March 29, 1989). The previous church, now called the McLain Building, became part of the Cornerstone Christian School, housing the junior and senior high schools, and the former sanctuary was converted into a fellowship hall and gymnasium.
The building at 6 Hurlbutt Road in the Gales Ferry section of Ledyard was erected in 1857 as the Gales Ferry Methodist Church. The church was established in 1803 and their first church building was a structure that had been moved to the site in 1815. This was replaced by the 1857 church, to which an addition was built on the rear in 1954 that doubled the size of the building. The church moved to a new building in the mid-1960s and in 1969 the old church was purchased by Church & Allen Funeral Service. After being on the market for several years the building was converted to retail use in 2011. Next door is the former church parsonage built in 1928.
Methodist meetings were held in Higganum (in Haddam) in the Old Red Schoolhouse from 1834 until it burned down in 1857. The congregation then met in private home until they built a church at 248 Saybrook Road in 1862. It is the only Methodist Church remaining in the town of Haddam (an earlier church erected in 1837 on Walkley Hill Road is no longer standing).
The Woodbury United Methodist Church, located at 4 Church Street in Woodbury, was erected in 1839. It replaced an earlier church the Methodists had built on the same site in 1824. The origins of the church are described in the History of Ancient Woodbury (1854) by William Cothren:
About the year 1790, before the general conference was formed in 1792, the first Methodist sermon in Woodbury was preached in the open air, in the street under the Rock, on which the Masonic Hall stands, by Rev. Samuel Wigdon, who was sent to preach in Litchfield circuit. This town was added to that circuit, and there was occasional preaching here after that to such as would “hear the word.” The first class was formed some time between the date of the first sermon and the year 1800. The church continued in a feeble condition till 1812, when Elijah Sherman, senior, better known to the people of this communion, and of the town, by the name of ” Father Sherman,” became dissatisfied with the Episcopal church, on account of some difference of opinion, as is understood, in relation to the adoption of the Episcopal church constitution, joined the Methodist denomination, and became very active and zealous in advancing its interests. The exact date of this transaction is not now at hand, but he was appointed the first regular class leader in 1812. Previous to this, the several ministers who had officiated here, had fulfilled the duties of that office. At this organization of the class, in 1812, the number of communicants was forty. From this time till 1824, “Father Sherman” threw open the doors of his house, and it became the place of public worship for this church. Having increased in numbers and means, they erected the first meeting-house on the site of the present church edifice, in 1824. But the class and social meetings of the society continued to be held at the house of Mr. Sherman, till the erection of the present commodious church, in 1839. This edifice is furnished with a good basement, and from that date the social meetings of the church have been held in it. The society here continued to constitute a part of some other circuit till 1832, when the circuit of Woodbury was formed, and this became the place of residence for its ministers.
The East Berlin United Methodist Church was first organized as the East Berlin Methodist Episcopal Church in 1864. Services were held at various locations until a church building was completed in 1876. This small building was enlarged to to become the current church at 139 Main Street in 1896. That same year a parsonage was also constructed. The building once had an original Tiffany stained glass window. The church was restored after it was damaged by a fire in 1949.
The former Methodist Episcopal Church in South Britain, Southbury, has long been vacant and is in a dilapidated condition. Located at 698 South Britain Road, the simplicity of its design contrasts with the more elaborate Congregational Church directly across the street. The early history of the church is described in the History of Ancient Woodbury, Vol. I (1854) by William Cothren:
The first society of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the present town of Southbury, was organized at the south part of the town, on “George’s Hill,” about the year 1803, and consisted of about six members. They met at that time in a building formerly occupied as a school-house. But, in a few years, it was greatly enlarged, remodeled, and made more convenient and ample in its accommodations.
The society continued to increase in numbers until the church was filled to its utmost capacity. It soon became quite too small to accommodate the worshiping congregation.
In the year 1832, the society erected and dedicated a larger and more convenient house in South Britain. There they worshiped until the year 1851, when the edifice was enlarged and made a neat and elegant house of worship. The society now (1853) numbers about sixty-five communicants, and the church is well filled with a devout worshiping congregation.
The Hockanum Methodist Episcopal Church, later the Hockanum United Methodist Church, was started in the early 1820s in the community of Hockanum in the south part of East Hartford. It was one of the first churches founded after the new Connecticut constitution of 1818 guaranteed the separation of church and state. Their original church building on South Main Street was built in 1838 and was remodeled in 1883-1884. A kitchen wing was added in 1911. Rev. Benjamin C. Phelps, who was a minister at the Hockanum Methodist Church, built the octagon house on Naubuc Avenue in East Hartford in 1852. After the neighborhood grew rapidly during World War II, plans were made to move the old church to a new site, just 50 feet to the south, where it would form part of a new and larger structure. Before being moved, in October 1951, the old building was raised to create room at the new site for a basement hall. Completed early the following year, the new church consisted of the old sanctuary, remodeled and lengthened, with a new front entrance and a new education wing at the rear. The facade of the new church was 20 feet further from Main Street than its predecessor, allowing space for a front lawn. In 2007 the church (address 178 Main Street) was sold to La Iglesia de Dios Evangelica El Refugio.