West Chelmsford United Methodist Church
Sunday, October 22, 2017

Church building before the fire.

Ladies of the church

Inside view of the old church Sanctuary

Our Heritage


 

Our church had its beginning in June of 1847, when Mr. Trueworthy Keyes opened a Sabbath School with twelve students.  Soon after, in 1848, a group of families calling themselves The Stony Brook Association for Religious Worship purchased a piece of land at 242 Main Street, West Chelmsford.  A barn was moved to the site and remodeled to become a chapel.  In 1854 this group became The West Chelmsford Benevolent Society.  Student preachers from seminaries of various denominations filled the pulpit.  In 1870 Rev. M.H.A. Evans, a Methodist minister, was asked to organize a Methodist Church.  On February 25, 1871 the first Quarterly Conference of the new Methodist church was convened in Mr. Alfred W. Parkhurst's kitchen.  Three members were present.  Bylaws were adopted and trustees, officers, and stewards elected.
As membership increased plans for a church building were made.  A new church was built by William Edwards at a cost of $4000.00 it was joyfully dedicated on June 10, 1888.
At 2:30 A.M. on the morning of July 16, 1920 a continuous train whistle awoke the village.  Parishioners discovered that their church building was engulfed in flames.  Helplessly they watched as the building was totally destroyed.  That same evening, a determined group of members met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Snow to make plans to build again.  A new church was constructed on the foundation of the old, using the same plans with some minor modifications.  It was built by Edwards and Monahan at a cost of $31,000.00.  The dedication took place on January 18, 1922.
Many student ministers served the church.  Most stayed a year or two, coming to West Chelmsford only on weekends.  A small parsonage on Nabnasset Street, Westford, was bought in 1941.
In 1952, Reverend T. Landon Lindsay became the church's first full time pastor.  A larger parsonage at 238 Main Street, West Chelmsford was purchased in 1954.  As membership grew, the need for more space arose.  In 1962, a new Educational Building, designed by Arthur Englund and built by J. George Picard and sons at a cost of $103,000.00 was completed.  It was dedicated on December 2, 1962.
By 1963, the town of Chelmsford had grown to such an extent that a mission church was initiated in the South row School area.  It became Aldersgate United Methodist Church.
Through the years our church continued to grow.  At present, under the leadership of Rev. Mack Hagins, the church has two Sunday morning services, two youth groups, a men's fellowship, three women's circles, five choirs, and a thriving Sunday School.
It is also home to Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and two A.A. groups.  It strongly supports both local and international mission projects.  The purpose of the church remains the same now as it was 156 years ago to worship God together and to carry out His work in the world.  A warm welcome awaits one and all, so come and be a part of Christ's fellowship.