Established in 1859: over 150 YEARS of continuing faith
We are called as disciples
to experience Christ's love for us
and to embody God's love in the world.
In 1852, a group of Methodist worshipers, drawn together by Mrs. Carolyn Young Petty, held meetings in the Petty home located across from the Bellport village dock. She had been traveling to Moriches to worship with a group of Methodists, when she decided that Bellport needed a similar Christian presence. She invited her neighbors into her home for Bible study, song, and prayer. Soon they started serving the physical needs of those who lived around them. Nearly 20 years later, the small congregation received its first Methodist minister, Rev. Henry Still.
A small church was built in 1873 on the corner of Browns Lane and Maple Street and served the congregation for 70 years. As the congregation grew more space was needed and in 1945 they acquired a Presbyterian church on South Country Road (current church). The former church on Browns Lane was removed, intact except for the steeple, and floated down the bay on a barge to Massapeaqua Park to serve the Methodists there.
In the mid-1990s there was a fire that destroyed a portion of the church building. When the church building was rebuilt in 2001, a room was purposely designed to have the same southern exposure as Mother Petty's parlor. It was called the Gathering area, a place where newcomers are welcomed. Like Mrs. Petty's contemporaries, some of the physical and spiritual needs of our neighbors are met. Space is offered to provide opportunites for people to talk about their faith, and to put faith in practice.
And so, what began a hundred and fifty years ago continues even today. To see how we are doing this, see Mission Outreach.