In 1787, a small group of Connecticut souls came together to establish one of the earliest Methodist Societies in New England. This community, two miles southeast of Pound Ridge, New York, was called Dantown. A few years later, Dantown was incorporated into the newly formed town of New Canaan, Connecticut. From 1789 to 1815, the New Canaan area was served by itinerant preachers who journeyed throughout the area of western Connecticut. One of the most famous was Jesse Lee, American Methodist clergyman and pioneer.
The Methodist community continued to grow during the 1800s, but due to doctrinal differences, it split into four smaller congregations that met in homes and barns in the Pound Ridge and New Canaan area.
In 1831, Silvermine Methodists and White Oak Shade Methodists united and rented as their meeting place the New Canaan Town Hall. In 1833, a small church building was built on Main Street, and that building served the area Methodist community until 1854. The congregation again outgrew its space, so the small Main Street church building was sold and physically moved up Main Street to its present location where, in greatly altered form, the building still stands.
On the original Main Street site, a new, larger church was erected and subsequently dedicated in 1854. There the Methodist community worshiped until 1957, a period of 103 years. This building still stands and is today the home of the New Canaan Masonic Lodge.
Needing more space, our present church was built on South Avenue and dedicated on December 22, 1957. This building has been enlarged and refurbished several times, most recently in 2014, to reflect the tastes and needs of a growing contemporary faith community. The following year, the membership undertook a “Visioning” endeavor that currently continues. Its goals are to explore ways to deepen our faith commitment to each other and the greater community. With a focus on worship, educational programs, Bible studies, and mission outreach, we continue the United Methodist tradition of being an inclusive, welcoming congregation.
It has been over 230 years since the first group of Methodists met in Dantown. What the church has accomplished since its humble beginnings is a tribute to strong pastoral leadership combined with the ministry of an active, dedicated laity. We are a community that strives to live its mission statement which reads:
“We are an extraordinarily welcoming Christian congregation which seeks to grow spiritually, cares for one another as a church family, passes on our faith to our children, and reaches out to others with warm hearts and willing hands.”