Church History

Methodism began in Penfield in 1806, when a class was formed by Rev. Stephen Selden Graves from Lima, New York. Some accounts indicate that he came as a “circuit rider” (more on circuit riders also at Wikipeida). It is known that by 1808 he made Penfield, New York his home and was a member of the church until his death in 1876.

Between 1806 and 1830, the groups met in various homes in the Penfield area. A short historical account made in the 1843 Pulpit Bible describes this period as follows: “After being driven from one private house to another for a length of time, the Society, by the blessing of the Lord, slowly increasing in numbers and we believe in graces too, found a stopping place for worship for about two years in the Old Penfield Store.” In 1834, two-thirds of the Globe building on the southwest corner of Penfield Road and Five Mile Line Road was purchased and used for worship. Finally, a permanent place for worship was established with the completion of the building at 2106 Five Mile Line Road on June 29, 1843, at a cost of $9,000, and with a seating capacity of 250.

During the 124 years that the Methodist Congregation worshipped in the church on Five Mile Line Road, many changes took place in the society, in the community, and in the physical structure of the building. True to the Methodist heritage, this small group became involved with the social issues of that day, namely: slavery and the use of intoxicating liquor. Supporting the stance of the Methodist Episcopal Church North on the slavery issue, the church served as part of the Underground Railroad, and for nearly twenty years it aided the refugee slaves coming north. By the mid 1800’s the temperance movement had come to the fore in opposition to the drinking excesses that accompanied the developing frontier.

In January 1962, the congregation voted to purchase a 20 acre site at 1795 Baird Road. During September, 1965, the Building Committee held meetings to inform the congregation of the progress that had been made, and to show plans of the proposed facility. The plans consisted of a combined fellowship and worship area, an administration area, and eleven classrooms. The second phase, adding a sanctuary and additional classrooms, could be completed at a later date. Within a year the ground breaking ceremony took place. The Service of Consecration was held on Palm Sunday, March 19, 1967, and the congregation moved into the new facility. The original combined fellowship and worship area has since been converted to a dedicated sanctuary, which is where we continue to worship today.

Records at Rochester Genealogical Society

Click the name link above to see our records at the Rochester Genealogical Society. Many of the historical documents, including a much more detailed history of Methodism’s growth in Penfield, are held by the Church’s Records and History Committee, and can be viewed on the web (courtesy of the Rochester Genealogical Society).

Pastoral Roll

A list of the pastors who have served the Penfield Methodists follows:

About 1806 Rev. Stephen Selden Graves (Class Leader)

Class organizers from Victor-Mendon Circuit:
1829-1830 Rev. Menzer Doud, Rev. Daniel Anderson, Rev. Philo Woodworth

Begin Penfield Circuit:
1830-1832 Rev. Jonathan Heustis
1832-1833 Rev. James Lent
1933-1834 Rev. Asahel N. Fillmore
1834-1836 Rev. Jonathan Benson
1835-1836 Rev. Gideon D. Perry (Associate during Benson’s 2nd year)
1836-1837 Rev. James Hall
1837-1838 Rev. Gideon Osband
1838-1840 Rev. Amos Hard
1840-1841 Rev. Leverett Richmond
1841-1843 Rev. Horatio N. Seaver
1843-1845 Rev. William P. Davis
1845-1846 Rev. Eleazer Thomas
1846-1847 Rev. Henry Hickok
1847-1848 Rev. Asahel N. Fillmore
1848-1850 Rev. Thomas B. Hudson
1850-1851 Rev. Samuel Luckey
1851-1853 Rev. Sevellon W. Alden
1853-1855 Rev. Charles L. Bown
1855-1857 Rev. Robert Hogoboom
1857-1859 Rev. William Manning
1859-1861 Rev. Nelson A. DePew
1861-1862 Rev. James L. Edson
1862-1864 Rev. Porter McKinstry
1864-1865 Rev. George G. Markham
1865-1867 Rev. Levi D. Chase
1867-1868 Rev. William B. Holt
1868-1870 Rev. Asa S. Baker
1870-1872 Rev. Charles E. Hermans
1872-1875 Rev. Daniel Clark
1875-1877 Rev. Joseph L. Forster
1877-1880 Rev. Charles W. Corson
1880-1883 Rev. Andrew F. Morey
1883 Rev. William H. Pearne (March-October 1883)
1883-1885 Rev. George W. Coe
1885-1888 Rev. Thomas F. Parker
1888-1893 Rev. Jesse T. Humphreys
1893-1895 Rev. Lemuel T. Foote
1895-1900 Rev. Edmund J. Gwynn
1900-1901 Rev. Charles W. Cushing
1901-1908 Rev. J. Benson Countryman
1908-1912 Rev. Joseph Morrow
1912-1914 Rev. James Moss
1914-1916 Rev. Wesley D. Allen
1916-1921 Rev. Emmett M. Kelley
1921-1922 Rev. Ray T. Wormley
1922-1924 Rev. James W. Allatt
1924-1927 Rev. Alfred E. Atwood
1927-1930 Rev. Ernest F. Scott
1930-1932 Rev. Raymond E. Risden
1932-1935 Rev. Raymond H. Draffin
1935-1941 Rev. Robert A. Delorme
1941-1942 Rev. J. Donald Partington
1942-1945 Rev. Forrest P. Reynolds
1945-1951 Rev. Clifford Robertson
1951-1954 Rev. Edward W. Cross
1954-1958 Rev. Walter Barwell
1958-1961 Rev. William E. Slocum
1961-1970 Rev. Carl M. VanderBurg
1970 Rev. Walter Kingsley
1970-1979 Rev. Fred D. Savage
(Dean Fleming, Associate, 1 year)
Aug. 1975-Sept. 1976
Rev. Gordon Simmons (Exchange Minister from England)
Sept. 1978-Dec. 1978 Rev. John D. Rein (Interim Pastor)
1979-1980 Rev. Raymond E. Risden (Interim Pastor)
1980-1985 Rev. David Peter Lubba
1985-1987 Rev. Wendy Rhodehamel (Asst. Pastor 1985-1987)
1985-1995 Rev. Hallock Mohler
1995-2004 Rev. Jeffrey C. Crawford
2004-2007 Rev. Cathy Hall Stengel
2007-2008 Rev. Margie Mayson
April 2008-June 2008 Rev. David Peter Lubba (Interim Pastor)
2008-2009 Rev. Daryl G. Hansen
2009-2010 Rev. Bonnie Nolen (Interim Pastor)
2010-2014 Rev. Ronald V. Isaman
2014-2019 Rev. Lauren W. Swanson
2019-          Rev. Sherri Rood

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