MAYFIELD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 1785
The Mayfield Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in 1785 and the first meeting of the church was held in Canfield’s barn near the Ferguson Farm. Because of the cold conditions, the meetings were moved to the Jackson House Hotel in the center of the village. From the nomadic period of 1785-1820, the hardy worshippers met “in log cabins and barns during the winter and groves in the summer until 1818 when they established a permanent meeting place at Parris Clark’s Ballroom near the Jackson House Hotel.
On January 28, 1820, Selah and Rebekah Woodworth gave to the trustees and their successors the land upon which the permanent and current church sits a warranty deed was provided but not filed until June 1882. By the autumn of 1823, the building had progresses far enough to be used for worship. On October 25, 1823 the first funeral in the church was held for Selah Woodworth.
The original construction placed the pulpit raised and on the east end of the building with benches facing east. (This is the reverse of the present placement of the pulpits and the pews). A large window facing east was directly behind the pulpit. Those attending worship in the earliest days would enter the sanctuary facin the congregations and were seated on rough board benches. The gallery, or balcony, was originally on the west end of the structure. It was reached by a pair of stairs on either side. The balcony was divided at a later time to provide rooms for Sunday School and church meetings.
There was a church shed, built in 1838, that attached to the south side of the building. Another shed followed and was built on the northwest side of the church. This second one was removed in 1873 when the meeting room was constructed. The Jackson House Hotel burned in 1866 destroying the south shed and damaging a portion of the main church building.
In 1850 the sanctuary underwent a complete two-year reconstruction. (Ultimately, in 1948, the nave and altar were reconstructed yet again to reflect their current placement and design). In 1851 the interior of the sanctuary was reversed and ‘modernized’. A new, four-step-up pulpit, lighted by two whale oil lamps was added. The walls and ceiling were whitewashed covering some of the original wainscot walls.
The year of 1866 the church underwent further reconstructions at a time when there was some dissension among the members of the congregation over which side to support in the Civil War. The changes included carpet, cushions, improved lighting, window blinds, and paint rather than whitewash. The interior became all white except for the lower portion of the wainscoting and the ends of the pews were grained to imitate oak. An organ was purchased for the church and the total for all the improvements came to about $500.00.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven Matthew 6;19-20