Our History and Our Building

1799 The First Methodist Episcopal Society of Rome, NY, was established. Meetings were held in a dwelling on Turin Road, about three miles from the Village of Rome. This was only 23 years after the Declaration of Independence, 15 years after the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and 8 years after the death of John Wesley.

1803 The Society moved to more roomy quarters at Ridge Mills. At this time, the Ridge was thickly populated and expected to become the center of Oneida County.

1819 In this year, the Village of Rome incorporated and the Society moved to the Court House, where it met for ten years.

1821 The Methodist Episcopal Society became a full-fledged church and changed its name to the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Rome.

1824 We were running out of room again, so, in 1824 construction began on our very first real church edifice.

1829 Our new church was located on East Court Street and was dedicated on New Year’s Day. After 40 years of good service, we outgrew our accomodations and began to look for a new home.

1868 A lot was purchased at George and Embargo Streets and work began in June.

1869 In September, Dr. Jesse Peck, founder of Syracuse University, presided at the dedicatory service.

1905 Usher’s Society was formed and persists to this day. In the same year, a parsonage was built next to the church at a cost of $5,000.

1910 Ground was broken for a new chapel.

1911 The chapel was completed.

1922 Beautiful stained glass memorial windows were among many new additions to the sanctuary. One of these new windows was our much beloved and well known “The Good Shepherd.”

1923 The chapel was rededicated and renamed the Ninde Chapel.

1941 General renovation was done, with refurbishing of the organ, new pews, a refinished chapel, and redecoration of the sanctuary and all the entrances.

1945 We burned the mortgage!

1956 Over the next two years, capital improvements were made to the dining room, parking lot, and parsonage.

1960 The decade saw more improvements. The exterior was refurbished, the lounge redecorated with a small chapel established at one end, and the former chapel partitioned off into rooms.

1980 Through a bequest, we received the house at N. Madison and W. Walnut Streets which would become our new parsonage.

1987 We successfully completed a capital funds drive to finance restoration of the church exterior, a new sound system, and rebuilding of the organ.

1990 The newly rebuilt organ was played in a dedicatory service.

2006 A major renovation to make the church handicap accessible was undertaken to include a new drive-up entrance.


Browse through the gallery to see images from around our building.