THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF MERRICK
A family-style neighborhood church founded in 1950, by residents who saw the need for a church in North Merrick, as Merrick and surrounding towns began to grow apace. The congregation began meeting in September at the North Merrick Fire Hall. On December 17, 1950, they were formally established when 105 people became charter members (the date of their NY State incorporation is January 14, 1951). Merrick UMC is one of the churches of the New York Annual Conference, of the the United Methodist Church.
Today, the congregation worships weekly in the red brick church which they built in 1951 under the leadership of the first pastor, Rev. A. Dudley Ward, appointed 11/1950. By the grace of God, and with generous gifts from members, grants from church agencies and a small mortgage, the congregation launched its ministry to the surrounding community.
Stained glass windows, including a large Rose Window, tell the story of the Jesus’ life and resurrection and speak of God’s love and faithfulness. The Chimes ring out the message of joy and hope, playing hymns at intervals throughout the day. The choir, under the able direction of Mr. Robert Wochinger, sings weekly (during the school year), accompanied by Ms. Christine Sayenga, organist. On selected occasions, the Praise Band helps lead worship services; the hour long services are held at 10:00 am year ‘round.
During the school year, the educational wing, built in 1961 under the leadership of their second pastor, Rev. Ivan Gould, Sr., houses the Progressive School of Long Island; the school is a tuition-based non-sectarian, alternative school for K thru 8, under the direction of Eric Jacobson. The Church Office, managed by Joanne Owens, and school offices are both accessed during the week through the parking lot on the east side of the building. Turn off of Merrick Avenue to enter from Little Whaleneck Road, at the intersection of Van Nostrand.
The Church sponsors prayer and Bible study groups as well as a men’s and women’s fellowship and service groups (see activities tab on home page). During Lent, Merrick UMC jointly sponsors Wednesday evening services with nearby churches. They host the Fall Fair, a Spring Yard Sale and participate in the Merrick Town Fair in October. Pancake breakfasts, Picnics and Christmas caroling take place annually. Year ‘round, the church collects food for local food bank and raises money to support agencies that offer help to people in need.
If you or your family is looking for a church home, there is a place for you at Merrick United Methodist Church. Pastor Morgan is available for special services and instruction or counseling as well as home or hospital visits. Call the Church Office (516-378-9222); leave a message if the office is closed. Come to service and let us get to know you.
The Methodist Doctrine
As United Methodists, we have an obligation to bear a faithful Christian witness to Jesus Christ, the living reality at the center of the Church's life and witness. To fulfill this obligation, we reflect critically on our biblical and theological inheritance, striving to express faithfully the witness we make in our own time.
Two considerations are central to this endeavor: the sources from which we derive our theological affirmations and the criteria by which we assess the adequacy of our understanding and witness.
Wesley believed that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason.
-source: From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2004
History of Merrick and the Merrick Campgrounds
Named after its first inhabitants, the Merokee Indians, the land changed hands in 1643 when Sachem Tackapousha signed a treaty with Merrick's first colonists, English settlers who escaped the oppressive reign of King Charles I. During the colonial period, Merrick became a trading center because vessels could enter Jones Inlet and sail up deep channels to docks beside what is now Merrick Road. During the War of 1812 these channels, canals and coves made Merrick a haven for buccaneers who preyed on merchants. Pirates in whaleboats once robbed prominent landowner George Hewlett and two friends while they were duck hunting, ripping the silver buttons from their coats. At one point, residents armed with muskets captured one bandit leader and shipped him to New York in irons for trial.
Merrick as Mecca: During a surge of religious activity in the 1860s, Methodists from around the state congregated in Merrick annually. In the beginning, horses and buggies were pulled into two circles around an open field for 10 days of services. The camp normally attracted about 300 worshipers, but some meetings were attended by up to 10,000. Circular streets, such as Fletcher and Asbury Avenues, lined with small cottages that developed around the campground, remain today in the North Merrick neighborhood called the Campgrounds by residents.
Turning Points: The construction of the South Shore Rail Road, predecessor of the Long Island Rail Road, through Merrick in the late 1880s began a period of development. The boom in population and growth after World War II gradually led to Merrick and North Merrick developing distinct identities and separate school districts
-source: From the Wikipedia.com page concerning Merrick, New York