John Street Methodist Church

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Street United Methodist Church
John Street Methodist Church.jpg
John Street Methodist Church is located in New York City
John Street Methodist Church
Location 44 John Street
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates: 40°42′32.55″N 74°0′31.25″W / 40.7090417°N 74.0086806°W / 40.7090417; -74.0086806
Built 1841[2]
Architect Philip Embury[3]
Architectural style Georgian
Governing body private
NRHP Reference # 73001219[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 04, 1973
Designated NYCL December 21, 1965

The John Street United Methodist Church – also known as Old John Street Methodist Episcopal Church – located at 44 John Street between Nassau and William Streets in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City was built in 1841 in the Georgian style, with the design attributed to William Hurry and/or Philip Embury.[4][5][6] The congregation is the oldest Methodist congregation in North America, founded on October 12, 1766 as the Wesleyan Society in America.[5][7]

The Society built its first church, the Wesley Chapel, a blue stucco barn, on this site in 1768.[5][6] Timber from the Chapel was later used in building the Bowery Village Methodist Church and the Park Avenue United Methodist Church.[6] The second church on this site was built in 1817-18, and the extravagance of the building provoked a secession from the congregation by Rev. William Stillwell. The third church, the current one, was necessitated by the widening of John Street.[6]

The church was designated a New York City Landmark in 1964 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 1984, the church sold its air rights to 33 Maiden Lane.[6]

Hymnist Fanny Crosby was a member of the church congregation for many years.


Below the sanctuary, the Wesley Chapel Museum displays many artifacts from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American Methodist history. These include church record books, the Wesley Clock (a gift of John Wesley, 1769), love feast cups, class meeting circular benches, the original 1785 altar rail, the original 1767 pulpit made by Philip Embury, and Embury's signed Bible.[7]


  1. ^ Staff (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot; AIA Guide to New York City, 4th Edition; New York Chapter, American Institute of Architects; Crown Publishers/Random House. 2000. ISBN 0-8129-3106-8; ISBN 0-8129-3107-6. p.41.
  3. ^ Dolkart, Andrew S. & Postal, Matthew A.; Guide to New York City Landmarks, 3rd Edition; New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2004. ISBN 0-471-36900-4; p.14.
  4. ^ White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot with Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195383867. , p.39
  5. ^ a b c New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Postal, Matthew A. (ed. and text); Dolkart, Andrew S. (text). (2009) Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.) New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1 p.14
  6. ^ a b c d e Dunlap, David W. From Abyssinian to Zion. (2004) New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-12543-7, p.118-119
  7. ^ a b Heritage Landmarks

External links[edit]