History of AUMC

Our Methodist Church organization came into being December 24, 1784 in Baltimore, Maryland; where sixty Methodist preachers met to organize the followers of John Wesley.

Early preachers rode by horseback on assigned circuits, enduring untold hardships. Perhaps one of these riders inspired the formation of a new church in the Alexander Community.

The first religious meeting held in Alexander was in 1805. At that time, it was the custom of the Holland Land Purchasing Company to give a plot of land to the first church society which was ready to build upon it. The Methodists and the Presbyterians contested for the plot. The former went to Batavia early one morning to claim the property, only to find that the latter had slipped into town during the night and had already secured the land. In a spirit of brotherhood, the Presbyterians proposed that the Methodists join them in building a union church. The proposal was accepted and the building was completed in 1828. The money was raised to build the church by selling shares called “Meeting House” checks or slips. The Methodists had the first service in the new structure of August 13, 1828. It was a service of dedication under the direction of Rev. Gleason Fillmore. Later, the Presbyterian interest was bought out, and the church became entirely Methodist. Fifty-two ministers have served this church to the present time.

The main structure of the church maintained its post-colonial architecture. In May, 1962, construction was begun on a new addition, which contained a fellowship hall, kitchen, and Sunday School rooms. The structure was completed in 1963, and the mortgage burned in 1975.

On March 4, 1978, the church was totally destroyed by fire. The 700 pound bell survived the fire and continues to call the congregation to worship in our new building. After the fire the congregation met several times at the Alexander Firemen’s Recreation Hall, and at the Beachhead. The Goodridge family generously donated the use of their building adjacent to the cemetery on Railroad Avenue, for church activities, and this building served as our church until the new edifice was completed twenty months later.

Immediately following the fire, the congregation voted to rebuild. With insurance funds, and the many generous and sacrificial gifts from other churches, groups, organizations, friends, and members of the church, plans were completed for the present church and service hall at an approximate cost of $279,000.00, including building construction, architectural fees, furnishings, landscaping, etc. The Building Committee consisted of Chairman, Richard Fluker, Norris Geer, Harold Brown, Oel Kidder, John Miller, Dorothy Cooper, Nellie Mac Connell, Clarence Hartrick, Clarence Rich, Marion Geer, Loren Goodman, Diane Waite, Rev. Ralph Hessinger, and Rev. Lawrence Lundgren. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held March 25, 1979. The first service was held in the church on November 18, 1979. The Official Opening Ceremony was held November 25, 1979 and the church was formally Consecrated on June 80, 1980.

                                                                                                            Etta Brown, Church Historian