United Methodist Church of Livonia, NY

Our Story

How it all started...

Methodist Circuit Riders of the Genesee Conference started the first Methodist Society in Livonia with twenty people in 1817 and in 1830 a meeting house was built.  It was here that the first Methodist Episcopal Church of Livonia was organized.  In 1831, the Methodist Episcopal Church of Livonia was incorporated, but by 1832 until 1855 the church was affiliated with the Lima Methodist Church and other churches in Geneseo, West Mendon and Rush.  By 1855 the congregation became so small that services were discontinued for two years, but then the Society reorganized in 1857 and continued in the meeting house until 1859.  

On property purchased for $300 on the corner of Spring Street and Church Street a new church was built in 1860 costing $1200.  It was a small church with one room, with forty members, an organ replacing the pitch pipe, and a nine member choir.  In 1866 a revival meeting brought 150 converts to the church.  Needing more space in 1867, the church renovated the building at a cost of $2,000 adding a basement , raising and turning the church, and adding additional space. In 1872 a steeple was erected and a church bell purchased.  This church bell is still in service hanging above the entry to the new UMCL building on Summers Street.  

Property on Main Street was purchased in 1872 for $300 to erect a parsonage for the pastor and his family.  Today the church still owns and uses this property.

Over the years other church renovations, remodeling, and improvements were made to enlarge the church, such as add stained glass windows and replace the organ with a pipe organ in 1902.  This organ works and is still used every Sunday.

circuit rider 1700's
United Methodist Church, Spring St. about 1960

Expanding the vision...

1968 saw the birth of United Methodist denomination when the former Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church unified at the national conferences which celebrates our Wesleyan heritage. Locally in 1968 the church purchased a vacant grocery store on Main Street converting it to Fellowship Hall equipped with a modern kitchen.
On January 2, 1972, the United Church of Livonia was formed by the merger of the Livonia Community Congregational United Church of Christ and the Livonia United Methodist Church. The building at Spring and Church Street (photo) was retained for worship and Sunday School and the congregation retained its membership in the United Methodist denomination.

In 1996 the church purchased the property at 21 Summers Street and worked over 10 years before the new church building was opened in October of 2007. The present church building is modern, with a spacious sanctuary, offices, classrooms, and a large Fellowship Hall with large kitchen where Rotary meals continue to be served more than seventy years after serving the first dinner. With the move to Summers Street (photo below), the church name was officially changed to the United Methodist Church of Livonia. The UMCL still owns the original church building on Spring street (photo at the left) where a Thrift Shoppe is located that receives donations of used clothing and house goods, sells them at very reasonable prices, and serves the community in many ways with donations and help.

Where we are headed...

The UMCL has had a history of growing Christ Followers in their faith, opportunities to serve within the church, and opportunities to serve beyond the church.  Sunday School has been a part of the church’s history for a very long time with the first record of Sunday School in 1843.  Sunday School was not just for children, but also for adults.  Over the years every area of the church was used for Sunday School classes.  Over the years through the tireless efforts of many, many committed to teaching God’s word, the church school program has continued.  Today’s Sunday School, Youth Group, and the Small Group program continues the heritage of the past teaching God’s word to children, youth, and adults and offers opportunities to serve both within the church and beyond the church.

The United Methodist Church of Livonia may be “old” with its long history, however, its continued focus on faith in God, discipleship, service to the community and those around us in need, and a desire to spread the Gospel through missions locally and abroad, is as relevant today as it has been throughout its 200 year history.
United Methodist Church, Summers St, 2010

Be a part of our UMCL story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together at 9:00 am.