Our History

 

 

The Methodists in the Gardiner area have had a rich history.  In the summer of 1800, several individuals residing on the east side of the Kennebec River in Hallowell requested from the New England Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church that they could begin religious services.  These first services were held in the open, in a schoolhouse, barn or wherever people could meet. The first actual church building was built at Bowman’s point in 1803, opposite the end of Bowman Street.  After floating logs on the Kennebec damaged the meeting house there, Methodists held services in several locations in Gardiner before land was deeded on Highland Avenue by the Honorable Robert Hallowell Gardiner in 1827 and pews were sold to obtain money to erect the building ($894 was raised).  The church was dedicated on December 4, 1828.

 

The first Sunday School was organized in the Gardiner church in 1827 and a “society of young women” was organized in 1857 to help with the payment of incidental expenses of the church.  In 1913, the Ladie’s Aid Society put an addition on the church kitchen, had a toilet installed in the vestry, and started a fund for a new organ and hymnals.

 

In 1939, the Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Methodist Protestant Church merged to become the Methodist Church. 

 

In 1962, renovations were done to the church including a fellowship hall, memorial chapel and new kitchen.  In 1998, an elevator was installed to make the building handicapped accessible and the church conference approved a new parking lot on the land currently occupied by the church parsonage and the purchase of a new parsonage off site..    In August 2002, after much planning, a new education wing was started which would include Sunday School classrooms, a new office and pastor’s office, a new chapel, new choir room and church library.  It was dedicated on February 5, 2006.