Newsday, Tuesday, June 9, 1970.
** [According to George Perlay Morse -- "This Church was formerly a Methodist Society Church, started by a group of people in the early fourties of the nineteenth century. They met in various homes along South country Road. [And they built a meeting house there.] In 1872 they moved their building to the present site, land sold [deeded 1870] to them by Isaac Seaman.
"In 1945 the Society [joined with the Bellport Methodist society and] took over the Bellport Presbyterian Church [as their own],and gave their [Brookhaven] church to the South Haven Presbyterian Church, a happy exchange for the consideration of one dollar."
[Note: this description greatly simplifies that nature of the transaction, which is described in more detail elsewhere. How "happy" this transaction may have been is subject to some debate. After this transaction, the Presbyterians used the old Methodist church building as their principal place of worship, and only rarely used their old meeting house in South Haven.]
In 1961, the Presbyterians moved their old South Haven meeting house to Brookhaven hamlet, at the corner of South Country road and Beaver Dam road, They made some renovations and modifications (including moving the organ and steeple bell from the old Methodist church to the Presbyterian church),, and thereafter this building again became the principal place for the congregation's worship. The old Methodist church building became their Sunday School until the Carriage House barn also on the new site was renovated to become a Parish Hall.
In 1964 the old Methodist church building had no further usefulness to the Presbyterians, and it was sold to artist/interior designer Phillip Read, who converted it to a residence and studio (He also had a residence in Florida).
In 1984, artist Malcolm Morley purchased the property from Phillip Read. In 2006, the home was extensively remodeled while still retaining the original church style. Architects were Knowles Associates (Ed Knowles and his daughter Mary).
Interesting note: 11 Oct 2007 From the Archives of the Long Island Advance, 75 Years Ago: "The ladies of the Epworth League [Methodist youth group] of Brookhaven, who picked poison alder or ivy for decorations and contracted plentiful trouble, have fully recovered."
The following communication was received from researcher
Richard Thomas on 12 April 2009:
I have been reading the Minutes of the New York East Conference of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, which are available on Google books.
I had finally gotten up to the minutes of the 1898 Conference when I came
across the following surprising account by the Presiding Elder of the District,
Charles S. Wing, (Brookhaven was in the Brooklyn South District):
Beginning on p. 86: Brooklyn South District. Charles S. Wing, Presiding
Elder. . . .
p. 87 The other wonder has been accomplished at the village of Brookhaven,
where Brother R. P. Christopher, a local elder, long employed as a supply
within the bounds of this Conference, is in charge. He found the church in a
dilapidated condition and the people discouraged. He was fortunate in securing
the friendship of the Rev. J. D. Wells, the venerable pastor of the South
Third Street Presbyterian Church in this city [Brooklyn], who was spending his
summer vacation at Brookhaven. Dr. Wells has shown much kindness to our cause
in that village in former years. He encouraged Brother Christopher to
undertake the required improvements, and made that undertaking possible by
generously subscribing and obtaining contributions from prominent men of his
own denomination. Brother Christopher and the members of the church did what
they could, but the edifice, which is new to all appearance and very tasteful,
is practically a gift from Presbyterians—their generosity making our gifts
look small—and is an evidence of Christian brotherhood which should never be
forgotten. The rebuilding cost about $1,800, and all the bills are paid.
Rev. John D. Wells, as you may know, was Dorothy Jones's great-grandfather.
He was the father of Dorothy's grandmother, Louisa Wells, who married James
Rev. Wells would have been vacationing in Brookhaven because this is where
James Howell Post had his estate.
James Howell Post was not only the President of the Board of Trustees of the
South Haven Presbyterian Church, he was concurrently the President of the Board
of Trustees of the South Third Street Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, the church
where his father-in-law served as pastor for over 50 years. (Rev. Wells was
succeeded in that pulpit by his son, the Rev. Newell Woolsey Wells.) p>
I I expect most, if not nearly all, of the contributions he obtained from
"prominent men of his own denomination" were obtained from James H. Post. Who
else could he have persuaded to fund the rebuilding of a Methodist church in the
little hamlet of Brookhaven?
I had wondered why the article in the Brooklyn Eagle called it a "new
church." Now I know.
December 18, 1897
IN LONG ISLAND CHURCHES
Dedicatory Ceremonies To-morrow at Brookhaven
Brookhaven, L. I., December 18–-To-morrow will be a gala day with the
Brookhaven Methodists, it being the occasion of the dedication of their new
church. An extended programme has been prepared and it will occupy the entire
day. The Rev. A. W. Byrt, pastor of the Patchogue M. E. Church will preach at
the morning service. In the afternoon the Rev. C. S. Wing, presiding elder of
the Brooklyn South District, will deliver an address, after which he will,
with the assistance of several other members, dedicate the church. At the
evening service the Rev. F. B. Stockdale of Southampton will preach. A number
of former pastors of the church are expected to be present and take part in
the services. The choir has arranged a special programme of music for the
occasion. For the first time the new Meneeley [sic.] bell will call the
congregation together. The members of the church are looking forward to a
To show their gratitude, the Methodists passed the following resolution at
their 1898 New York East Conference (Minutes . . ., p. 26):
Question 13 Continued.—Brooklyn South District, C. S. Wing, Presiding
Elder; his character passed, and he gave an account of his district. (See
Appreciation to Rev. J. D. Wells, D.D.—D. G. Downey presented the following
resolutions concerning the relations of the Rev. J. D. Wells, D.D., to the
building of the new Brookhaven church, referred to in the report of C. S.
Wing, which was adopted unanimously by a rising vote:
Resolved, That the New York East Conference hereby expresses to the Rev. John
D. Wells, D.D., its most hearty appreciation of the interest he has shown and
the generous aid he has extended to our church and people at Brookhaven. It is
by such brotherly kindness and practical sympathy that the commonality of the
faith is most truly demonstrated. Resolved, That a copy be sent by the
Secretary to the Rev. J. D. Wells, D.D. Richard