Methodism first appeared in Fairport and Perinton as early as 1810, when a certain Adam Gower, described as “an exhorter and resident,” initiated a series of meetings held in various homes in the community. In 1816, Methodist circuit riders — ordained clergymen serving several communities, normally on the frontier — began their work in the area, continuing until 1825, when a Methodist Episcopal Society was formed, creating the first Methodist church in the area. Although this church did not survive and the Society closed its doors in 1842, a second Society was founded in 1825, and was followed in 1837 by the establishment of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Perinton.
These churches were followed by the formal organization of the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Fairport in the fall of 1876. Initially meeting in rented facilities, this church moved into its own building in 1879, which was a brick structure located in the site of the present Fairport United Methodist Church. The total cost of the building was $15,000. Membership at the time numbered 100.
This building underwent several renovations in the years that followed. In 1903, for example, a $6,000 subscription campaign led to the construction of a new sanctuary seating about 400 people. In 1913, a $2,600 pipe organ was donated to the church. An additional renovation of the entire facility was initiated in 1926, followed by still a third renovation in 1955, which focused on the improvement of the educational facilities. A serious fire in the mid-seventies brought yet more reconstruction to the building.
The latest renovation took place in 1994, with the construction of a new entry that includes an elevator, plus an enlarged narthex and a general upgrading of the entire facilities. Shortly thereafter, the pipe organ was completely rebuilt by the Parsons Company of Canandaigua, NY. As the result of an ongoing capital improvement campaign, we have just completed a renovation of the kitchen and fellowship hall in the basement.
Throughout its history, the Fairport United Methodist Church has attempted to be a witness for Jesus Christ, who taught us to heal the sick, clothe the poor, and bring the message of His salvation and reconciliation to the entire world. The Fairport Congregation took that one step further in December 2012 when, in an historic congregational vote, FUMC became the first United Methodist congregation in Monroe County to join the Reconciling Ministries Network: a growing movement of United Methodist individuals, congregations, campus ministries, and other groups working for the full participation of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, within the church.
On April 23, 1968, The United Methodist Church was created when Bishop Reuben H. Mueller, representing The Evangelical United Brethren Church, and Bishop Lloyd C. Wicke of The Methodist Church joined hands at the constituting General Conference in Dallas, Texas. With the words, “Lord of the Church, we are united in Thee, in Thy Church and now in The United Methodist Church,” the new denomination was given birth by two churches that had distinguished histories and influential ministries in various parts of the world.