History Bytes

First United Methodist Church of Victor, NY

History Bytes


1. Methodism first reached Victor, NY in 1805 with the arrival of Rev. Joseph Jewell presiding circuit rider assigned to the Genesee District of the Philadelphia Conference.


2. After meeting in numerous locations, in June 1820, a lot on East Main Street was purchased from William Bushnell.  A frame building started that summer by Nathan Loughborough and Jeremiah Hawkins was enclosed by winter and although still unfinished was dedicated in August 1821.


3. In 1832 the church was enlarged and a steeple was added.  Five years later an adjacent building was purchased for a parsonage for the first resident minister, the Rev. James Hall.


4. In 1869 the original framed church, considered “awkward and ungainly” was auctioned.  To replace it a Romanesque-style brick church with a sanctuary that could seat 374 persons was begun.  The steeple rose 138 feet and held a bell weighing more than one ton.  The church was dedicated June 15, 1870 with construction and furnishings costing $21,000 (a 2010 value of $339,706).


5. In 1874 a two-story mansard-roof brick parsonage was constructed next door to the church on the site of the original parsonage.


6. In 1898 Methodist men used 27 barrels of cement and $200 (a 2010 value of $5,171) to lay new sidewalks in front of the church replacing the wooden planks.


7. In 1919 the church steeple was hit for a third time by a lightning bolt.  The damaged steeple was removed and never rebuilt.


8. In 1927 a two-story education and community building was begun adjoining the church building to the east at a cost of $30,760 (a 2010 value of $382,789).  The auditorium (now known as Wesley Hall) doubled as a basketball court for Victor high school games.


9. On Friday, October 25, 1946 Victor Methodist minister, Rev. George Hares, gave the Invocation to over 1,000 persons gathered as NYS Governor Thomas E. Dewey broke ground in Victor for the NYS Thruway.  The VCS band played under the direction of their instructor and Victor Methodist music director Clayton F. Shufelt.


The above extracts are from the book entitled Victor: The History of a Town, by Lewis F. Fisher.