The Methodist Episcopal Church was one of three new churches found in Plainville in 1881. Both the Church of Our Lady of Mercy and the Swedish Congregational Church were founded in the same year. The roots of the church actually date back nearly another 50 years. Records indicate that a Methodist preacher from Farmington, the Rev. Laban Cheney, occasionally ministered to Plainville Methodists. Likewise, in the 1840’s several preachers all served the Methodist in the area. Plainville Methodists worshipped in Forestville until 1859, when the Methodist church first organized in Plainville, with a membership of 16 plus eleven on probation. There was a Sunday School of 50. The church building, valued at $50.00 was served by supply ministers. The original church was the portion of the First Congregational meeting house purchased by Adna Whiting in 1851 at the corner of Broad and Canal Streets. It was also used as a school before it was purchased by the Methodists in 1859. In 1880 Plainville Methodists began to think of a church of their own. In June of 1881 a lot on the corner of Broad and Canal streets was purchased and ground broke in July. Throughout the summer and autumn, the group met in a tent. In December the Parsonage was ready for occupancy and the 2nd floor was used as a temporary chapel. On 12/26 the cornerstone for the new church was laid. Opening Ceremony was held on 11/16/1882 and the new church was dedicated on March 23, 2884. In 1956 and again in 1971, the church actively sponsored refugees through the auspices of the Methodist Committee for Overseas Relief. September 1953, a Sanctuary Beautification project was initiated. Raising funds ignited a spirit and air of excitement as we worked together toward our goal, and this spirit seemed to be contagious. The result was a beautiful sanctuary, red carpet on the alter and aisles, the pews, the alter and the pale green walls all created a sanctuary that was lovely in its simplicity. We had to leave that church and the beautiful pipe organ, this was a sad time, but we needed more room. In June 1960, a little more than 5 acres on Red Stone Hill were purchased form George Jester. The cost was $20,000. In November 1963, William and Alice Albright gave a give of $30,000 for a new parsonage in memory of her sister Minnie Hand Jester. The groundbreaking for the new educational unit on March 22, 2064 marked another step in our journey. In June 1964 ground was broken for the new parsonage. A Memorial Garden at the south side of the building was given for Judith Tyler as a living tribute. John & Marian Appleyard gave a sculpture of Jesus to the church in memory of their parents and in 2006 Marian Appleyard completed the area with a mural for all to see when you walk or drive by the church. Plainville UMC has seen many of our members answer God’s call upon them to serve in Christian ministry. Plainville UMC is genuinely active in reaching beyond itself in the service of God to others, seeking to build God’s Kingdom and stretch its arms in the quest to benefit of the common good. In 1967, a joint venture with the Plainville Congregational Church, the Plainville Nursery School opened. In 1976, the nursery school became fully established with the Plainville UMC and continued until 2006. The Tuesday Ladies became an intrinsic small group within the church. They generated many funds through fundraisers and events, which benefited the church in many ways. New Windows, finishing rooms upstairs, and a scholarship fund that is awarded to high school seniors pursuing higher education. December 23, 1991, a six-foot diameter stained glass window of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane was installed above the alter and dedicated December 29, 1991. In 2004, a mid-week contemporary worship was established. A Memorial Garden has also come into being, it is a beautiful space that provides a time of meditation and a place to honor members of the church. The Plainville UMC also is a host, as has been, to many scouting troops. We have had 4 Boy Scout Eagle projects completed here at the Plainville UMC. We also host many community groups and organizations, AA, Al-Anon, Kindermusik, Boy & Girl Scouts, The Plainville Women’s Club have all used, or currently use our facility. November 27, 2005, the church honored LeRoy and Gail Adams, founders of what has become the National United Methodist Campers. NUMC is people coming together in camping fellowship with one another, but it is also a mission organization.
Plainville UMC often looks to the “Big Picture” and tries to place itself as an active participant on behalf of the community, its people, and people in far and distant places. The church played a keen role in the Plainville Conferences of Churches, a vital component of the T.P Strong Fund’s board of directors and supporters, both monthly and annually of the Plainville Food Pantry. We collect during our 1st Sunday of each month’s worships and in November we host a 5 day “Fill the Truck” event at Gnazzo’s Food Center. Each year we strive, with the help of the community, to stock the shelves during this time. We have hosted this event for approximately 10 years, with each year growing, to 2018, collecting more than 13,000 lbs. of food and generating Gift Cards and turkeys for the Pantry.
Plainville UMC offers a variety of Christian Education opportunities. We host Bible Studies, Women’s Groups, Methodist Youth Fellowship and Sunday School.
“We continue to strive to be a caring fellowship, serving God and each other, and reaching out into the world to spread the good news of Jesus Christ” quote by: Carol Morse Ratliff from our 100th Birthday Celebration.
“I have fond memories of church growing up: Sunday School; singing in the Junior Choir; being a soldier with a real spear (sort of) in a dramatization of David and Goliath, when Reese Griffin was pastor; going on hikes; going to Washington DC with the youth group; sharing stories of my time here at PUMC. I know the church has been a real blessing in countless people’s lives.” Rev. Mark Terry