Looking Back - Our Church History
This information all comes from the Centennial History of Ballston Spa, published in 1907. You can view the relevant pages here.
- The Ballston Spa area was served by Methodist circuit riders. The first record of the Saratoga Springs Circuit was in 1791. At that time, although not mentioned, Ballston Spa was by far the larger town and was undoubtably on the circuit.
- In 1811 "The Academy" was erected as the first public school in Ballston Spa. It was located at Science street and Front Street. This building was used by the early Methodists for worship prior to the formation of a church.
- On July 6, 1836 a group of Methodists met at the Court House and organized a society under the name "First Methodist Episcopal Society of Ballston Spa, N. Y.".
- In the same year, 1836, the newly formed organization bought "The Academy" building and moved it to a location at the corner of High and Charlton Streets. Services were held in this building until 1845. An interesting note: When our "new" church was built, "The Academy" building was sold to parishioners of what would become St. Mary's Catholic Church, and became their church building from 1847 until 1860.
- The first church built on our property was started and completed the same year in 1845. See the picture of the original church here.
- In 1868 the church was enlarged by adding 20 feet at the rear. This was to accomodate the constantly increasing membership. It was listed as 268 members, 26 probationers, and 237 Sunday School children.
- In 1872 a parsonage was built adjoining the church on the north and rear.
- In 1892 the last year of the pastorate of Joseph Zweifel, a project was started to build a new church. The Honorable George West pledged to match any funds raised dollar for dollar, provided they raised at least $10,000.
- The fund raising was continued under the Reverend J. C. Russum and was very successful. The last service was held in the original building on Sunday September 11, 1892. Demolition began the next day.
- The cornerstone of the current church building was laid October 19, 1892, and just over one year later the building was dedicated on December 17, 1893. The total cost of the church was about $30,000 with West donating one half.
- In 2018 the building will have been in continuous operation for 125 years.