Founding of the Church
The Methodist Church began in Manchester in the spring of 1790, when the Rev George Roberts preached a sermon at the home of Thomas Spencer of Hartford Rd.
On October 24, 1822, the cornerstone of the new East Methodist Church was laid on the site of the present Masonic Temple.
The building was 50ft by 28ft. It had two stories and a small tower. A larger building was made necessary when 100 new members were received.
The third Church, the first one on the present site, was dedicated on November 9, 1854. In 1891, this building was enlarged and a new organ installed. At this time, Church School membership was 486.
In 1925 A. Willard Case and his constituents dream became reality when the South Church edifice was complete.
Unfortunately, the architect Arthur Eaton Hill, of Providence, RI, passed away before the building was completed. At that time, Rev. Joseph Cooper was the Senior Pastor and Rev. Russell E. Waitt, was the Associate Pastor.
The style of the church is Tudor Gothic and the building is comprised of local gray field stone and trimmed with gray cast stone.
A square tower, 67ft in height and surmounted by turreted battlements, is placed at the southwest corner of the main building, It contains the bell from the old church and a memorial set of chime bells, ranging in size from 275 to 2000 pounds.
In 1958, the church purchased the land across Hartford Rd from the estate of Frank Cheney, Jr., which included two dwellings situated on ten acres of land. The dwellings have been used various way throughout the years.
In the early 1970′s the new education wing was added to the church structure and is presently being used for educational purposes.
In 2012 a brand new Café was added to the first floor of the church. This is a multi-purpose room which hosts meetings, concerts, Sunday School classes as well as the Contemporary Worship at 11:45am on Sundays.