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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    June 2018 Program meeting of the Upper New York United Methodist Historical Society

    July 9, 2018 / By Nancy Rutenber, Recording Secretary of UNY United Methodist Historical Society

    The purpose of the Upper New York United Methodist Historical Society (UNY-UMHS) is to work with UNYCAH in preserving Methodist materials related to the Upper New York conference and antecedents and to promote knowledge of Methodist history and skills for preserving and disseminating it. In furthering this purpose, Society members and other interested folks met June 16, 2018 at Clyde United Methodist Church in Finger Lakes District.

    Betsye Mowry reported that the Northeastern Jurisdiction Commission on Archives and History (NEJCAH) will meet in Upper New York Conference May 19-21, 2020 in Auburn, New York.  The one-day tour has not been finalized but possibilities include the Erie Canal, Women’s Hall of Fame, Harriet Tubman house, etc.

    It was noted that there is still a large volume of closed church records from the merged Conferences to be processed at the UNY conference archives. As 12 churches were reported closed at the Annual Conference this year, the amount of records will greatly increase. 

    The next Society meeting is planned to be joint with the UNY Commission on Archives and History (UNYCAH) on Saturday, September 22 at the Conference archives at 7481 Henry Clay Blvd. in Liverpool, NY. Volunteer work in the archives will start at 9:30 a.m. for those present then and later for others as they arrive. Lunch will be at 12 p.m. and James Hare, an Elmira historian, will do a program on Elmira churches. After the program. there will be meetings for first the UNY-UM Historical Society and then for UNYCAH.

    The business portion of this meeting was followed by lunch and a slide program by Loreen Jorgensen on Wayne County Methodist churches. The slides included churches of various Methodist branches such as Methodist Protestant, German Evangelical Association, and Free Methodist.  Afterwards there was a narrated walking tour around some local historic churches in Clyde which noted the “musical chairs” done by some churches.

    The tour started in the sanctuary of the 1859 Clyde Methodist Church (with later additions). This is the oldest active church building in the town. The stained-glass window “Christ knocking at the door” over the current altar came from the Presbyterian Church after the 1970 merger between the two churches.  The group was told there is a hidden window of an anchor behind this window.  A more colorful modern window set is in the rear of the sanctuary.

    The walking tour included access to Christ Community Church with a small Tiffany window. Then it finished at the Galen Historical Society in a former Baptist brick church which is the oldest church structure and also the oldest brick building in town (1833).


    With more than 168,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 86 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."