Phyllis Conway trnscribed these excerpts from official Board of Trustees Secretary’s Records. This is part One 1928-1953.
A Little History. The present building of the Chilmark Community Methodist Church was moved from Middle Road in 1910. In 1908 a house, designated the Parsonage was moved to its present site, donated by the Tilton, Adams and Mayhew families. This parsonage was built on Middle Road in 1863, first as a one-story building, later a 2nd story was added. Once moved to the Menemsha Crossroad site this parsonage was rented out by the church. Pastors served more than one Methodist Church on the Island and they lived down-Island, journeying to Chilmark for Sunday worship and pastoral care.
In the Quarterly Conference Book of 1928 it is reported that Chilmark and Edgartown were an allied parish, sharing a pastor.
Chilmark was part of a shared parish in the 1930’s through the early 1980’s. We shared a pastor with variously; Edgartown, Lambert’s Cove, Vineyard Haven & Oak Bluffs, in the ’30’s and 40’s.
In 1928 the Board discussed wiring the Parsonage for electricity, but deemed it too expensive. The parsonage was heated with coal stoves and had a large cook stove in the kitchen. In April, 1940, at the expense of a tenant holding a 4-yr. lease, the Parsonage was wired for electricity.
In May, 1941 an organ was given to the church by the Camp Meeting Association of Oak Bluffs. Oscar Flanders (father of David Flanders) moved and installed it under the balcony at the rear of the sanctuary.
In January, 1947 the Board discussed whether to sell or retain the parsonage. The District Supt. of the Methodist Conference counseled against selling unless imperative. The board decided rather to repair the building and to continue renting it.
In 1953 Mutual Church Insurance Co. declined to insure the parsonage since it was not the pastor’s home.
In Sept 1953 The Board voted to give the organ in the rear of the santuary to the Bradley Memorial Church of Oak Bluffs.