John Street Methodist Church

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John Street United Methodist Church
John Street Methodist Church.jpg
John Street Methodist Church is located in Lower Manhattan
John Street Methodist Church
John Street Methodist Church
John Street Methodist Church is located in New York
John Street Methodist Church
John Street Methodist Church
John Street Methodist Church is located in the United States
John Street Methodist Church
John Street Methodist Church
Location44 John Street
Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°42′32.55″N 74°0′28.8″W / 40.7090417°N 74.008000°W / 40.7090417; -74.008000Coordinates: 40°42′32.55″N 74°0′28.8″W / 40.7090417°N 74.008000°W / 40.7090417; -74.008000
ArchitectPhilip Embury[3]
Architectural styleGeorgian
NRHP reference No.73001219[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJune 4, 1973
Designated NYCLDecember 21, 1965

The John Street United Methodist Church – also known as Old John Street Methodist Episcopal Church – located at 44 John Street between Nassau and William Streets in the Financial District of Manhattan, New York City was built in 1841 in the Georgian style, with the design attributed to William Hurry and/or Philip Embury.[4][3][5] The congregation is the oldest Methodist congregation in North America, founded on October 12, 1766 as the Wesleyan Society in America.[3][6]

The Society built its first church, a blue stucco barn called the Wesley Chapel, on this site in 1768; its design was attributed to Barbara Heck.[3][5] Timber from the Chapel was later used in building the Bowery Village Methodist Church and the Park Avenue United Methodist Church.[5] The second church on this site was built in 1817-18, and the extravagance of the building provoked a secession from the congregation by Rev. William Stillwell. The third church, the current one, was necessitated by the widening of John Street.[5]

The church was designated a New York City Landmark in 1965 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 1984, the church sold its air rights to 33 Maiden Lane.[5]

Hymnist Fanny Crosby was a member of the church congregation for many years.


Below the sanctuary, the Wesley Chapel Museum displays many artifacts from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American Methodist history. These include church record books, the Wesley Clock (a gift of John Wesley, 1769), love feast cups, class meeting circular benches, the original 1785 altar rail, the original 1767 pulpit made by Philip Embury, and Embury's signed Bible.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot (2000). AIA Guide to New York City (4th ed.). New York: Three Rivers Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-8129-3107-5.
  3. ^ a b c d New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S.; Postal, Matthew A. (2009). Postal, Matthew A. (ed.). Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1.
  4. ^ White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot & Leadon, Fran (2010). AIA Guide to New York City (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-19538-386-7.
  5. ^ a b c d e Dunlap, David W. (2004). From Abyssinian to Zion: A Guide to Manhattan's Houses of Worship. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 118–119. ISBN 0-231-12543-7.
  6. ^ a b Heritage Landmarks Archived 2007-11-18 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]