Starksboro Village Meeting House

 

Starksboro Village Meeting House
Starksboro, Vermont
Founded 1840


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Methodist Episcopal Church

 

The Methodist Episcopal congregation was formed in 1798, two years after the Town of Starksboro was organized.

The Methodist Episcopal congregation, formed a Union Church with the Free Will Baptists and Christian Church in 1838.

Until the 1860s, the Methodist Episcopals used the church one half the time, the Free Will Baptists one quarter of the time, and the Christian Church one quarter of the time.

In 1868, the Baptists built their own church, a large two story Greek Revival style building across the street.

The Christian Church eventually lost its membership, thus leaving the Methodists the sole occupants of the sanctuary.

Their membership fell steadily from its high of 228 in 1842 to 8 by 1914.

Despite the low membership, the Methodist congregation made a few changes in the building after the Town left. Stairs were installed for access to the basement from the first floor.  The clear glass window panes in the pointed arch windows of the north, south, and east walls were replaced with opalescent glass.

The stained glass windows that were put in during the 1910s were given  in memory of deceased members of the congregation, many of whom were descendants of Starksboro’s earliest settlers. Their names are painted in black on the bottom glass pane in each of the lower sashes.

One of the windows is dedicated to Rev. Elijah Hedding, the seventh bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America, who as a young man came to Starksboro and was an early member of this congregation in town.

The membership slowly rose again, reaching 32 by 1919. In that year, they voted to join in federation with the Baptists and form a United Church. They met in the larger Baptist Church, leaving the Meeting House empty.

For additional information on the Methodist Episcopals, see Chapter 1961 in Bertha's Book.


Village of Starksboro, Vermont Streetscape

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