Historical Perspective | Centre Methodist Church
Centre Methodist Church By Tim Evans The first Methodist Church in Fairhaven was first built in 1830, but after 19 years they decided to seek a larger building and they sold the original Methodist church to the town and it was subsequently used as Fairhavenâ€™s high school. What is known as the current Centre Methodist Church was built in 1841, but it was built by the Centre Congregational Society. They had split from the parent church, the First Congregational Church, located at the corner of William and howeallen.com
Centre Street They were not successful, however, so the Methodists were able to purchase the building. The biggest news story concerning the Centre Methodist Church was the fire which destroyed it on January 19, 1946. It was reduced to a roofless shell, but many valuable parish records and books were salvaged from the pastorâ€™s study. There was never a cause discovered, since the cold January air had encased the ruins of the church in blocks of ice. The church resolved
immediately to rebuild, and chose the classic New England Colonial style. The new church rose quickly through the donations of church members, community members, and other churches. The congregation through the late 20th century began to dwindle and the the prospects of keeping the church operational was doubtful. In 2006, local businessman Steve Economos purchased the building with the hopes of making it into several housing units. The town would only allow a single family, church or educational use of the building however. So, Steve set out to transform the former house of worship into a home. Additions of modern kitchen and bathrooms, central air, and an impressive great room with a sweeping arched ceiling lend modern touches to a historic building. From every window there are beautiful views of the Unitarian Churchâ€™s green, the Fairhaven Town Hall, the Millicent Library or many other historic homes. The original Fellowship Hall on the ground floor of the building remains in an unfinished state.
The house was recently put under agreement, and Howe Allen Realty is proud to announce that The Northeast Maritime Institute will be purchasing the building to add to its campus in the heart of Fairhaven. The old church will provide administrative offices, student recruiting and lecture spaces. The former fellowship hall is planned to be restored to a space which can be used for school events as well as communitywide functions. Eric and Angela Dawicki anticipate exterior restoration in the future, restoring the wood clapboard siding. This is a new chapter in a building that has meant many things to many people over the years.
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