Our History

Our History-First Church Celebrates 200+ Years

It was in the Fall of 1809 that the first Methodist Class meeting was held in the home of “Aunt Peggy” Doyle, located on the southeast corner of High and Pine Streets. When the number in attendance became so large that other accommodations were necessary the services were moved to the northeast corner of Second and Sassafras Streets, where a schoolhouse was located at the time. This served as a place of worship for the rapidly growing congregation until the year 1824.

According to UMC Historian Jay Reed, the year marked a significant milestone for the Methodists as they finally relocated to their very own building. Robert Jordan had started to erect a stone building on the southwest corner of Second and Smith Streets (where Trinity Church now stands) which was to be used for a tavern. Before he completed the building, it was sold at auction by the Sheriff and purchased by a man named Joshua Brick. Brick in turn sold it to the Methodists who made the necessary alterations to convert the building for use as a church.

In 1845, this structure was torn down and the stones were used in the foundation of a new two-story frame building. This became known as the First Methodist Episcopal Church and in 1853 it became a regular preaching charge of the New Jersey Conference with John W. McDougal as the pastor.

“Brick” Church was erected at the corner of Second and Pine Streets

In 1868 the present “Brick” Church was erected at the corner of Second and Pine Streets, and the congregation moved into its new home “with great rejoicing” as one of the old record book states. In 1910, an addition, known as The Temple, was added to meet the needs of the Sunday School.

In 1957 another addition was erected which included Reeves Hall, a new entry way and additional rooms, which are currently utilized throughout the week by Jack and Jill Nursery School and the Boy Scouts.

In 1959 renovations included the building of the Chapel, which seats 80 persons, in the heart of the Church. This design with an open chancel set the style for the future sanctuary remodeling.

The rebuilding of the Sanctuary was completed in 1964 with the Service of Consecration being held on December 3rd of that year. Bishop Prince A. Taylor, Jr. presided at the Consecration.


Celebrating 200 Years of Ministry in Millville

October 18, 2009 was a day of celebration at First Church with Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar delivering the celebratory message entitled, “Pack Your Bags.” The dinner celebration at Merighi’s Savoy Inn was a time of fellowship, and renewing acquaintances. The hymn sing and choral presentations were especially meaningful when past members of the choirs joined in singing the choral benediction. The choral benediction has been a tradition at First Church for many years, at the end of the service.

Reeves Hall Renovations Completed in 2018

The Board of Trustees started the first phase of the renovation project to Reeves Hall which included painting during the week of March 2018. Reeves Hall serves many functions in the life of First Church. It is used for worship at the 9:00am service on Sunday mornings.

The renovations included new carpet, video monitors, electrical boxes monitors, sanctuary Soffet lights, sound system repairs, vertical blinds, kneelers, lighting, sound equipment, and new chairs.