The History of Roseland UMC

Brief Chronological History
of the Methodist Church in Roseland
1822-1950

1822 December 4th – Property to build a Methodist Meeting House bought from Demas Harrison for the amount of $213. However, for about twenty years the congregation met in a little Centerville schoolhouse.

1824 March 23rd – The trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church(M.E.) purchased an acre of land for the church at a cost of $25.

1839 New York Conference records show the Methodist Protestant Church(M.P.) was organized.

1845 A church building was erected on the present property. M.E. group turned the keys to M. P. Society.

1849 April 11th – A Parsonage was built for $143 at the top of the hill on Eagle Rock Avenue.

1850 Parsonage interest debt of $10.87 was paid.

1873 September 13th – A previous resolution was rescinded which charged $2 for a grave in the Church Cemetery. Money was collected to erect a new fence around the Church yard.

1873 November 25th – Building of the fence was given to Edwin Reeve at twelve cents per foot, it being the lowest bid. The fence cost $219.05.

1875 February 17th – Enlarging and repairing the parsonage was done for $115 for carpentry and $54 for masonry work.

1876 December 5th – A Trustees meeting reported “subscription” receipts of $35, expenses for stove fixtures and taxes were $25.60, and the sexton was paid $20 per year. A bill for fuel and lights was $11.74 for six months.

1878 February 12th – The Trustees reported receipts for the four quarters of June, September, December, and March as $5.31, $5.39, $5.91, and $7.68. The first mention of a Sunday School was reported with receipts of $2.90.

1878 March 31st – Trustees reported $21.78 had been collected for the purpose of a carpet for the Church.

1878 April 1st – Funds of $155 were agreed to be collected to pay a past due Mortgage on the Parsonage by September 2.

1878 An addition was built on the church including belfry.

1879 The Caldwell Church paid the Methodist Church $3 to rent a tent which the Methodist Church used for picnics, parties, etc.

1880 The first reference of a Choir showed they wanted permission to arrange their seats near the pulpit.

1882 Trustee Benjamin Bunnell had willed the parcel of land in front of the church to the Church with the condition that it always be used for Church purposes.

1885 A new roof was put on the Church at a cost of $115.

1887 The Sexton was authorized to charge $2 extra for opening a grave and the money was to be placed in a fund which in turn should be used to care for the cemetery.

1889 August 21st – The Ladies Sewing Circle paid off a $1,000 note held by Miss Phoeby Hyer resulting in the Trustees making a special declaration in their minutes of their thankfulness to the Ladies.

1890 A church bell was installed

1891 The Sexton’s salary was raised to $30 per year.

1891 Presbyterians who held united services with Methodists decide to have a church on their own on land formerly donated by Mrs. Ira Condit.

1895 May 8th – Expenses for the Church addition: Carpenter – $710, Mason – $260, Gutters and Leaders – $180, Stained Glass Window – $34.20, Church Carpet – $59.75, Hall Carpet – $9.15, Paper Hanging and Painting – $89.43, Painting Outside of Church – $82.

1895 A Sunday school room was added.

1897 September 9th – Pastor’s salary was $400, however all produce received was to be reported to the Conference at a fair value and deducted from the $400.

1897 December 8th – Mrs. Ransford Beam and Mr. & Mrs. E. A Williams were elected to select and start a Choir.

1899 The Ladies Sewing Circle paid off the last note of indebtedness on the Church.

1900 November 16th – Two pews in the front of the church were to be removed so that the platform could be lengthened. Also, horse sheds facing south were to be placed running west from the church.

1901 February 19th – Mrs. Henry Becker presented a lantern to the Church and the congregation voted to buy two new hymn books.

1901 September 22nd – The congregation voted unanimously to leave the New York Conference and join the New Jersey Conference.

1903 The old Parsonage property was sold for $1,200 to a Mr. Lockwood.

1903 April 6th – A vote was taken to change the name of The Free Methodist Protestant Church of Centerville to The Methodist Protestant Church of Roseland.

1903 April 9th – The McClennan property at the corner of Eagle Rock Avenue and Roseland Avenues was purchased for $3,250.

1904 January 21st – Two lots from parsonage property were sold for $375 each.

1926 June 6th – Re-opening Service of the First Methodist Protestant Church.
The old church was moved to its present site and Sunday School rooms were added. The steeple of the Church was taken away and only part of the base was left, sufficient for housing the bell, which was a gift from the Ladies Aid Society. The present white columned structure was built. A pipe organ was given to the Church by Mr. A. Bently DeCamp.

1932 The Baptismal Font was presented in memory of Mr. Aaron Bently DeCamp.

1933 A bequest was received from Mrs. Kate D. Harrison of $6,282 and four acres of property in Caldwell Township by the river was given to the church by her father.

1939 The three Methodist denominations (Methodist Episcopal, South; Methodist Episcopal; Methodist Protestant) merged into one called The Methodist Church.

1945 A 100th Anniversary Building Fund was begun. The proceeds from the Harvest Festivals held each year would go into this new fund.

1946 A committee of five was selected to visit other Church buildings and bring back ideas on a new building.

1946 The estate of A. P. Williams left $1,740 to our church.

1947 The Ladies Aid Society was disbanded and the Woman’s Society of Christian Services was then organized.

1959 Consecration Service was held for additional educational building on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 3 pm

Contributed by George Flammer, Everett Leonard, Roseland Public Library, Roseland Historical Society,

Fran Knowlden compiled in Oct. 2007

One thought on “The History of Roseland UMC”

  1. Pastor,

    This coming October 2, 2015 will mark the 50th anniversary of Trudy and myself being married at RUMC on a Saturday evening. I grew up in RUMC, attended SS , VBS, and the annual Harvest Festival. I helped pay my way through Rutgers University by cleaning the church each week with my dad. My mom (Betty Love Chapman) was born at 46 Cortland St. on July 10, 1917 and was a member of the RUMC until they retired to Florida in the 1960’s. My dad worked for Becker’s Dairy for 30 years. I was a youngster when they build the education building and remember moving all the bodies in the cemetery to get the land for the addition. I have such wonderful memories of growing up at RUMC, and I think about the values that were given to me by Reverend Phillips, Reverend Frank Shannon, Magistrate George Flammer and all the Leonard’s who were relatives of my mom. I just thought I would pass this along to these thoughts to the current members to encourage them that they too are building a legacy inside their experiences at RUMC. They will cherish for all eternity. May God’s blessing flow to RUMC.

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