The Methodist Episcopal Society
- Jim Wade
- August 1, 2018
- 3 Min Read
The Methodist Church Society was formed in 1834. Five members formed the church with L. D. Whitney as their preacher.
Reverend Whitney was the pastor for the Mt. Clemens circuit. Each Sunday, he would ride from church to church and preach.
In 1836, the Romeo circuit was organized with the church in Newburg as one of its members.
Finally, in 1844, the Newburg Methodist Church had sufficient membership to have their own minister.
By this time, the Society had constructed a small, frame church on the northwest corner of Church Street and West St. Clair Street. This location is today the east side yard for 306 West St. Clair Street (Christine Bailey’s residence). Because of the presence of the church, the street next to it became known as Church Street.
The membership continued to grow until by the end of the Civil War, the Society was the largest in Almont.
In 1867, the Society constructed the parsonage on the southwest corner of Cherry Street and West St. Clair Street (present day 303 West St. Clair Street).
The next year saw the construction of a large brick church on the northwest corner of Church Street and School Street. At this time, the church had a membership of about sixty members and had a flourishing Sunday-school with – on average – about fifty-five children attending.
In the later part of the nineteenth century and into the start of the twentieth century, the Society’s membership declined. In an effort to gain new members, many revival meetings were held.
About 1913 tragedy would befall the Society. A severe storm so badly damaged the church steeple atop the church tower that the steeple had to be removed. Primarily due to lack of funds, the tower roof was repaired but the steeple was never replaced.
Society membership continued to decline until services were discontinued in 1928. The remaining members either joined other Almont churches or attended services in nearby Methodist churches.
After sitting empty for a decade, the church building was sold to W. Ross Lawrence of Almont in 1938. Mr. Lawrence disassembled the building. He sold the pews to a church in Pontiac. The church bell was sold to the Woodmere Methodist Episcopal church in Detroit, where it still rings each Sunday. The bricks from the church were reclaimed and were used to construct two homes on the north end of the church property on Church Street – just south of “The Bells” – the old school – (223 and 227 Church Street). The original church building was later used as a school. It was then remodeled into a home and moved north up Church Street. During the move, the building was rotated 90 degrees and now stands at 115 Church Street.