Fosters Meadow Methodist Episcopalian Church - St. Johns United Methodist Church
In a pre civil war era, around 1830, several families united together and formed a Christian Society, first holding church services and Sunday school in the Old Fosters Meadow School house. The school was located on the west side of School Street close to the intersection of Hempstead Turnpike, as seen on the Wallinger maps of 1859 on our website, in today’s Elmont. In the following years the population grew and services then took place in the home of Issac L. Wright, an early settler of the area. The initial planning of the first church began around 1830.
In 1840 the Christian Society of Fosters Meadow moved into their newly constructed church on a parcel of land that was donated to the congregation by John Baylis, an early settler of Fosters Meadow. This church was constructed with logs from the surrounding woods and was located on Fosters Meadow Road. Throughout the upcoming decades the church underwent numerous renovations and enlargements.
The newly constructed church in 1840 was located on Fosters Meadow Road, the church was originally called the Fosters Meadow Methodist-Episcopalian Church. The name of the street was eventually changed to Elmont Road. The Fosters Meadow Methodist Episcopalian Church was considered the mother church since over the next 40 years additional branches were opened in Far Rockaway, Springfield, Woodmere, and Lawrence, reflecting the growing population and development of the area. The pastor would travel by horse and wagon to the various branches to hold services. In 1866 a vestibule was added to the church, and in 1887 a parsonage was built. It was in 1885 the church was renamed to St. John’s Methodist Church of Elmont. In 1895 the Buchmann family donated a two thousand pound tower church bell, to the original church. This church still stands today and is surrounded by a cemetery where many early Dutch and English, Fosters Meadow names can be seen, and is presently used as the Parish Resource Center. Many German names have been also observed in the cemetery that belonged to the German farming community of the area.
In 1956 a newer church was constructed to accommodate the continual growing congregation and was changed to the St. John’s Methodist church. The same bell that was donated by the Buchmann family in 1895 in the original church was was transferred and placed in the newly constructed church.
In 1968, the United Methodist Church was created when the Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church joined hands and were united in The United Methodist Church. Today, St. John’s Church is called St. John’s United Methodist Church, located just south of the Southern State Parkway, on the corner of Stuart Road and Elmont Road, Elmont, NY.
Submitted by Raymond Hoeffner
1 - Excerpts from the Long Island Daily Press. November 11, 1940
2 - Anniversary Booklet: date unknown.