A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR CHURCH
The early history of Methodism
in East Bangor is almost inseparable from the history of the Bangor
Methodist Church. For a long time, the Bangor and the East Bangor
Churches formed a circuit, including Pen Argyl, known as the Bangor
The first Methodist preachers
who visited East Bangor, or Delpsburg as it was then called, were the
Reverends William Magee and F. Illman, both members of the Philadelphia
1865: Services were held in the old
schoolhouse, which was later converted to a private dwelling. In this
building, the first Sunday School was organized by Joseph Bray. Prayer
meetings were also held in private homes, notably in Mr. Jacob
Weidman’s. Jacob Weidman and his wife were the first Methodists of East
1873: In the first discussion to
erect a church building it was decided to build only in Bangor with East
Bangor being canvassed for that church. However, shortly after this, it
was concluded to build in both communities. On October the 1st,
the cornerstone was laid.
1889: East Bangor became a
separate charge as the need for a new church grew. The property on
Central Avenue was given by James Masters. On October the 5th,
the cornerstone was laid in East Bangor.
1890: In May, the church was ready
for occupancy and enough money was raised to cover the entire cost of
the church and furniture. The early history states, “It is hard to
exceed East Bangor for liberality when a just or good cause is
present.” On October the 18th, the church was dedicated.
1900: In February, fire badly damaged
the edifice of the church, but the building stood (much praise was given
to the local fire department). The damages were repaired, along with
some improvements made, including the installation of electricity.
1902: A contract was signed with
Charles F. Durner of Quakertown, Pa. to build a suitable organ for
$1500.00. Mr. Andrew Carnegie was contacted and his generous promise
was obtained to pay half the cost of the organ.
1903: On June the 7th the
organ was dedicated, free of debt.
1905: The membership of the church
was 340 and the Pastor’s salary was $1000.00.
1907: The Official Board was
established to aid in the governing of the church.
1908: The church school under the
auspices of Superintendent William P. Bray had a membership of 400.
1938-1941: Basement quarters was the
next major improvement to the church. This was done by a group of men
known as the “Bull Gang”. Excavation was done by pick and shovel, since
there was only crawl space under the Sunday School Quarters.
1942-1943: The basement was
1944: The kitchen was moved and
installed in the rear of the basement and an addition was made to the
rear of the church that houses the Primary Department during Sunday
1957-1958: A nursery, a classroom,
balcony, and hardwood flooring in the nave of the church was provided.
A parking lot was also constructed at the rear of the church.
1972: East Bangor / Portland United
Methodist Parish was formed.
1986: A new parking lot was extended
and black topped in the rear of the church.
1990: New stoves for the kitchen were
purchased and new lights were purchased and installed in the sanctuary.
1993: East Bangor / Salem United
Methodist Parish was formed.
1995: A new chair lift was purchased
for $13,100.00 from Stannah Stairlifts, Inc., Hopkinton, MA. The
stained glass windows in the sanctuary at East Bangor UMC were re-leaded
1997: On June 30th, a new
Yamaha 45” Studio Piano was purchased from the Grafton Piano and Organ
Co., Inc. for $3,785.00 for use in the sanctuary.
1999: East Bangor formed a single
church parish. New Carillons were purchased by members of our church
and were installed. Painting the outside of the church was completed by
Bennett Painting at a cost of $9,496.00 and a new chandelier light
fixture was installed in the downstairs narthex. Scott Landon purchased
a Compaq computer for our church office.
2000: New louvers were installed in
the belfry of the church.
2002: In November a large new
electric Church sign was installed outside the front of our church.
2003: The church made a “leap of
faith” and decided to move into full-time ministry. The Rev. Janet
L. Saddel was appointed as our first full-time Pastor. An office was made
for the secretary directly across from the Pastor’s office. That summer
Air Conditioning was installed by Lessig Oil Company at a cost of
$13,600.00 in the church sanctuary on August 10th.
2004-2005: The Trustees, under the
direction of Tom Josephson, made a number of improvements to the
building to bring it up to code. These included installing new smoke
detectors, proper fire extinguishers, panic bars on all doors, doors
changed to exit outward, exit signs over every entrance and evacuation
route, a railing and new stairs going up to the balcony, and emergency
lighting. Other improvements include new carpeting in the basement,
repainting the Sunday School room, purchase of a storage shed, and
resurfacing of the parking lot and driveway, expanding the parking by
four spaces and adding handicap parking spaces.
2006: The Church purchased property
at 661 Locke Heights Road to serve as a parsonage, and made settlement
on June 27, 2006.
2010: A land swap was made with a
neighbor, allowing us more property that can be used in the near future
for more parking. As part of the agreement, when we are able, we have
promised to give him access to his property from our driveway.
2011: Volunteers gave hundreds of
hours of work to clear the new land of weeds, trees and garbage. It was
determined that the small building was not usable as a storage shed,
however it would function beautifully as a pavilion. Once cleared, it
was obvious that with the brick fire pit, the pavilion will serve as a
nice picnic area for the church. Work will continue to make additional
parking spots available. The land and the pavilion were officially
dedicated to the Lord on June 5, 2011.
2012: Under the direction of Pastor
Bk several new community ministries were started. These included the
free monthly dinners & weekly manna ministry. These ministries have
benefited the members of our community and reaffirmed our presence as a
community church. Click
Here for more information about these ministries.