History of the Methodist Church in Berlin Vermont

By Mrs. C. F. Dewey

Methodism was first introduced into Berlin about the year 1830. At this time Berlin was included in the Brookfield circuit, then in the N. H. Conference. Elisha Scott being in 1831, preacher in charge of Brookfield, Northfield and Berlin. The early history of the church previous to 1843, is not as full as may be desired, owing to the first records being lost or destroyed. The first account we find is in 1843; J. C. Dow being then Presiding Elder of Montpelier District and John Perrin preacher, and so far as is shown by records, the first minister stationed at Berlin; we find also that James Currier, Almon Poor, Eleazer Loomis and Jacob Flanders were stewards, and Elisha Covell, Moses Strong, and D. A. P. Nye were class-leaders. The preacher gave an account of the united feeling among the members then numbering 85, and the Sunday school was well attended and prosperous. It was at this time connected with Barre charge and so continued till 1856, having considerable spiritual prosperity.

In 1837, the society built a chapel a little south of the cemetery, and in 1844 it was moved to its present location near the Congregational church, when it was repaired and enlarged. The society built a parsonage at Berlin Corner in 1847; cost $583.51. In West Berlin a class was formed in 1832, Isaac Preston and David Dudley being among the members. This class held their church relation at Northfield till the year 1855, when through the labors of H. K. Cobb, (then preaching at Berlin) there were numerous conversions in West Berlin. In Dec. 1856, a church was organized by the election of Amos Chase, W. D. Stone, Asbury Sanders and Isaac Preston as stewards.

Preaching was supported one-half the time in connection — both places being supplied by J. House for 2 years, A. Hayward and J. W. Hale each one year — until 1861, when it was voted that Berlin and West Berlin be separate stations. From that time until 1868, the church at Berlin Corner was supplied by Elisha Brown, local preacher, but from various causes, deaths and removals being the principal, its prosperity declined. In 1868, it supported preaching one-half the time; A. B. Hopkins supplying both churches for that year; since that time services have been held only occasionally at that place.

In 1857, the Methodists of West Berlin united with the Congregationalists and Baptists in building a union church which they occupied a part of each year until 1870, when the Methodists concluded to build a church for their own use. The subject was first agitated in April, 1870, and about $700 raised; first work, grading and laying corner-stone, done May 5th; May 7th, first stick of timber cut; house completed July 14th; dedicated July 15th, free from debt, without help of Conference; dedication sermon by Rev. S. Holman from Montpelier. From this time one Sabbath service, Sunday school, class and prayer-meetings have been regularly sustained and steady spiritual interest manifested. Sabbath school numbered 74 in 1878; average attendance 37; books in library 250.


Article is based largely on the The Vermont historical gazetteer : a magazine embracing a history of each town, civil, ecclesiastical, biographical and military.
Additions, corrections, changes, and design have been made to the original source to produce this article. Those additions and changes are © 2020 by Vermont Genealogy.

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