Church History

The Methodist Church has a history of more than two hundred years and the Methodist Society at Long Ridge, CT is a part of this great heritage. John Wesley, born in 1703, influenced many thru his religious teachings, including James Coleman and Francis Asbury. Both of these men traveled across the new America, but the one in whom we are most interested is James Coleman, he came to America in 1702 and settled in Ohio, Long Island and then the Stamford area of Connecticut.

James Coleman who came to America about 1791, and was appointed as a Methodist preacher to the Redding Circuit, about 1802.  This circuit included Norwalk, Fairfield, Stratford, Milford, Danbury, New Canaan and Redding, here he organized a society in the Starrs Plain section of Danbury. This society grew to a membership of eleven and in 1820 they built a church near the site of the present Long Ridge United Methodist Church just off Long Ridge Road.  At that time the pulpit was filled by Aaron Sanford, who was the first male member of the Methodist Church in New England. Within 20 years the membership grew and in 1840 the present church was built. Of the first 700 Methodist preachers in America, nearly half died before they reached thirty years of age. 

In 1889 James Griffin and Ben Lee gave land for horse sheds, and John Todd built sheds for nine horse and buggies, one stall had a sign “ Preacher’s Stall”.

In 1893 interior alterations were made, including new pew cushions at a cost of $106.

In 1897 the church building was enlarged by fourteen feet for a choir recess, stairs, and a cloak room, and a small kitchen in the basement. In 1942 a heating system was installed, the wood stoves –gone, the pews painted white with walnut trim, the alter was redesigned, and a stained window was installed. In 1955 a new spacious kitchen was added to the back of the church, in 1961 a new Baldwin organ was dedicated and a recital given by a world famous concert pianist.

The Long Ridge United Methodist Church today is a beautiful example of a typical old New England church. The interior plaster has recently been painted white, new lighting was installed, new red carpeting installed in 2007, the pews are still white with comfortable red cushions, the exterior is white clapboard with large green shutters.