The beginnings of the Bakerville United Methodist Church are sketchy at best. The Methodist Church Society was formed in 1845 and was called the New Hartford Society of the Reformed Methodist Church. In 1885 the church joined the New England Conference and become the Methodist Episcopal Church. Later they became part of the New Haven District of the New York East Conference of the Methodist Church. In 1939, “Episcopal” was dropped from the name. Most of the time the church was led by supply pastors and short-term ministers, each staying 1 or 2 years, and 5 at the most.
In 1970, Rev. George Smith came, and the church continued to grow steadily to over 260 attending each Sunday. In 2005, Pastor Smith retired.
The Rev. Lee Gangaware served from 2005 to 2006 and was followed by an interim, the Rev. Doug Osgood, and the Rev. Solomon Parmar in 2007 to 2009. Then, Rev. Westley R. Villazon arrived in July 2009 and served until retirement in June 2014. Our current Pastor is Kathleen M. Patterson, who had served as our pastoral counselor for a number of years.
Currently we have around 60 people worshipping each week. The church has had strong evangelical witness for about 40 years, including the emphasis on the fullness of the Holy Spirit and His gifts for ministry. A healing ministry has also come to the fore, with some remarkable healings. In addition to praying for the sick, the church has a strong commitment to seeing people come to wholeness through our resident counseling program. Through the years, we have seen many who had not been traditional churchgoers come to the church and come to a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.
The first Bakerville Methodist Church structure, located on Maple Hollow Road. was destroyed by fire on September 23, 1954. These images of the building and fire are from the rebuilding campaign flyer: Rebuild for Christ in Bakerville.
Picture of completed Bakerville Church building. Ground breaking occurred in the fall of 1957. The exterior of the church was built and then work began on the Fellowship Hall. The first church service was held in the Fellowship Hall on April 6, 1958 and the sanctuary was consecrated on December 11, 1960.
Choir Practice in the Fellowship Hall
From L-R (back row): Claire Knecht, Mary Marsh, Bill Knecht, John Steeves
(front row): Barbara Stafford, Alice Riley, Mrs. Jones, Johnson Phillips
Pianist: Ken Beyer