FALL IN LOVE
The Story of the “Old Brick Church”
National Register of Historic Places in the United States of America:
Reference Number 83001136.
Original Gas Lamp was converted to Electric
The church restored
Quilt made by Lois Ray celebrating the restoration in 2000
The “Old Brick Church” in which we worship today was built by the Unitarian Society. It was built in a Greek revival style and completed in 1837. Prior to completion, the Unitarian congregation sold half of the interest in the building to the First Baptist Society. Each church was to share the pulpit of the brick church one-half of the time. Hosea Ballou, a Unitarian Minister, gave the very first sermon in this church at its dedication.
Following Ballou, Unitarian Ministers from other communities filled the pulpit from 1838 through 1840. But the Unitarian Church closed due to lack of interest, and the brick church was deeded to the Baptist denomination in 1840. Also, around 1840, was when the first Methodist Episcopal Society was formed in Richmond under supervision of the Winchester Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Methodist Episcopal Society grew and became active from 1842 until 1870. Records show that the pastorates were just one year in length. Some ministers made a great impression on the community, while others did not. The Methodist Episcopal Church was discontinued in 1877.
Over the next decades the Brick Church opened and closes its doors with different denominations attempting to bring in and sustain Christianity in the area.
Then in 1949, the brick church was turned over to the Methodists, who have been holding witness of the Lord in Richmond since that time. For the 150th Anniversary of the Brick Church, held on June 21, 1987, Reverend Harold R. Hawlk compiled much of the history of our church. But this is not the end of our story.
In 1996 it was realized that much repair was needed once again on the Old Brick Church. The beams under the church were rotting due to water and moisture from a nearby stream that had been filled in. Slates were missing off the roof. Insulation was needed in the attic. Paint was peeling from the walls and ceiling of the sanctuary. The bell tower was leaking. And a new heating system was recommended.
With a great deal of response to our funding efforts, we were able to raise enough to complete the projects. The church was restored through the help of volunteers and hired professionals. In 2000, restoration was completed and a celebratory service was held.
What will be their response be when they read about our temporary closing due to COVID-19? Today, we have returned to worship in a socially distanced, mask-wearing environment under strict protocols. Regardless of what our future may hold, we will never forget our past, and those who have gone before us to bring Witness of the Lord to this community.
We invite you to come and explore "The Old Brick Church" and its rich history.
The church in 1911
The Bell is still used today
View from the Narthex
Pews and space roped off for social distancing due to COVID