South Cairo Methodist Church
Written by Ethel Ruland in 1976
Contributed by April Saccoccio
Retyped by Sylvia Hasenkopf
Methodism came up the Hudson River from New York City. Its herald was freeborn Garrettson and its messengers were his assistants. Freeborn Garrettson was a circuit rider preaching every 4 weeks to a group of listeners with strong faith and good lungs. A class would become the nucleus of a church. These classes would meet in homes or schools.
These were the kinds of meetings first held in the homes of Henry Weeks and John Pine of the Sandy Plains Methodist Episcopal Church.
In 1837 the present church, just across the bridge in South Cairo was built and services were held every Sunday by the same Minister who preached in Catskill until 1856 when the Leeds Methodist Episcopal Church was built and the same preacher preached in both churches.
The new church was dedicated on August 11, 1905. Rev. Joel Lincoln preached the Dedicatory Sermon.
Six large cathedral stained glass windows were moved from the old church on the Sandy Plains road near the four corners and installed in the new building. The painting "Christ Healing the Sick" which hangs over the sanctuary was painted and donated by Rev. P. St. John Coleman who had a ministry in Leeds and South Cairo from 1907-1912.
Gifts and memorials to the church included: the pulpit given by Prof. John Lind; the tower bell given by Leroy Goodrich; Organ given by Porter Jones; Carpet by the Women’s Society; Stone from the quarry of Sanford Duncan, deliverd by Nick Deyo; Church bulletin board made and donated by Louis Tressler; Hymn board donated by Grace Schieren in memory of her mother, Elizabeth Tressler; a pair of vases donated by Wilfred and Thelma Adolphi in memory of Mrs. H.E. Montgomery; piano given by Young Peoples group; Church Cross made and donated by Mr. Wiedermeer of Cornwallville; Candlesticks by Mrs. Wiedemeer; and Gas Range by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Garcia.
In 1925 the need for more space for the Sunday School and social events became apparent. After much discussion a spacious room was erected and completed in 1930.
The fifieth Anniversary of the South Cairo Methodist Church was observed on September 25, 1955. Rev. Ernest MacMillan was the pastor in charge in charge when South Cairo, Round Top, Acra and Cairo were constituted under one Quarterly Conference. The Fiftieth Anniversary was a memorable event and an inspiring occasion providing opportunity for many old friends to renew their fellowship and members of the congregation to pledge anew their sacrificial loyalty to their church.
In 1974 another addition was made to the church.