UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Cedar Lake, NY
Town of Litchfield
The Methodist Episcopal Society of Cedar Lake was organized prior to 1813, the year that Aaron Goodier,
one of the first area settlers, was ordained deacon.
A church building was erected in 1838 and dedicated by Goodier and
Zacharia Paddock. Fire destroyed it in 1858, and the present structure was
erected in 1862 at a cost of $4,000. The latter building has already
celebrated it's 100 year anniversary. The small attractively designed
church features a recessed entry, flanked by two pillars and an enclosed
belfry. The bell that was hung in 1885 was made in Baltimore, MD. It's
steeple has an unusually designed finial at the top.
It was at one time one of three prosperous churches in the Town of
Litchfield, but now is the only church that continues to operate as a Methodist Church.
The second Litchfield Church is the Peoples' Undenominational at Cedarville. The third is the long abandoned edifice at Crane's Corners.
Miss Emera Goodier, a granddaughter, of the pioneer deacon of the
Methodist Church served as superintendent of the Sunday School for many
years. The school at one time had more than 60 pupils.
William Smith was one of the early preachers to serve the church.
Among other early leaders were Moses Rising and Aaron Rider.
Pastors at the Cedar Lake Church since 1877 included Rev. Pierre, Rev.
Avarett, P. M. Kelly, L. B. Gray, Rev. Jenkins, F. K. Pierre, Rev.
Avarett, O. M. Kelly, S. G. Dopp, L. B. Nichols, P. K. Sheffield, Rev. Green, Rev. Gearhart.
Others were Rev. Moody, W. A. Wilbur, Rev. Jago, Rev. Polney, Rev. Woodman, Rev. Caldwell,
Rev. Fisher, Rev. F. A. Wood, Rev. Harvey Brown, Rev. Richard Matthew and Charles Roberts.
Early records show the following directions for reaching the church: (typed as in original)
"You must take up about a quarter of half a mile uff dis roat and den
you will come by a little pridge, an tat pridge you mus turn ofer and
when half turnt that pridge ofer you will come by a little rote on dat site (raising his left arm).
"Dat goes right up de hill and dat hill you mus take up, and when you half took dat hill
you will come to a roat where dere is no roat and date you must take."
Editor's Note: In 2003 the small church still looks the same as it did
many years ago. I attended a wedding there about ten years ago. Most
of the guests couldn't fit inside the tiny church, but were able to greet
the bridal party outside and later at the reception.
The area is also known as Currier's Corners.