Bellport Methodist Episcopal Church Was Started in 1870

December 12, 1963

 Bellport Methodist Episcopal Church Was Started in 1870

By Thomas R. Bayles

The very active and growing Methodist church In Bellport had its beginning back in 1870 when a class meeting was held at the home of Daniel Petty, and a church organized under the leadership of the Rev. Henry S. Still. During the fall of 1870 a revival swept over the community and 20 persons were added to the church.

In 1873 during the pastorate of the Rev. C.P. Cowper the church building was erected. For about ten years the society struggled under a heavy financial burden, and during this time the church was sold to satisfy a mortgage given when it was built.

In 1882 the Rev. Phillip Bartlett was appointed pastor and during the two years he was there succeeded in raising funds sufficient to redeem the mortgage and placed it once more in the hands of the church trustees.

The Rev. Frederick Stiehler was pastor in 1885 when a great revival swept over the community once again.  He was followed by the Rev. F.B., Stockdale, and during the three years of his pastorate 'the parsonage was erected. In 1901 the Rev. S.E. Case  came as pastor for two years and during his first year the church was renovated, an acetylene gas plant installed and a bell added to the church.

In 1903, according to an article in The Patchogue Advance for August 7, 1903, the Rev. Decatur N. Lacy was pastor. Some evidence of his successful work was shown that at the Sunday evening services the crowd was so great that many had to be turned away. The secretary of the official board was Ira G. Rogers, the superintendent of the Sunday school, E.M. Price, who was also president of the Epworth League.  The president of the Ladies Aid Society was Mrs. Carrie M. Hawkins, and Prof. A. B. Firman was the leader of the choir.

This church building was used until 1946, when the present building which had been occupied by the Presbyterians since it was built in 1850, was turned over to the Methodists by the Presbytery of Long Island in exchange for the Methodist chapel in Brookhaven.  The old Methodist church was sold to the Massapequa 'Park Methodist church, and during the fall of 1947 the building was moved down Brown's Lane on greased skids to the waterfront two blocks away.  There it was loaded on two barges and a tug boat towed it to Massapequa Park in about six hours.

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