Brookfield United Methodist Church
History Of the Church
In 1836 the annual meeting of the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church sent Rev. Stephen Hubbard and two assistants, A. Reeves and Wareham French, to the Hartford Circuit. A great revival took place during the year and the Brookfield church was established in 1837 as the Brookfield Methodist Episcopal Church. The church trustees bought a public lot in the southeast corner of the Village Green from Samuel Hinckley, the original owner of Brookfield Township, between the old town hall and the cemetery. A small frame building that is believed to have been used by the Presbyterian church stood on the lot. The church was dismantled some time after 1860 and a lot was purchased on the west side of the green. A larger church was contracted to be built by Isaac Montgomery and Smith Clark for $2,200. It included a bell and bell tower that was first used when Montgomery died suddenly following the completion of the church. An addition was built around 1926 that included a social hall, kitchen and Sunday School rooms.
On the morning of January 28, 1928, the furnace overheated and the church caught fire and burned down. The church used the town hall and the neighboring Brookfield Presbyterian Church for worship services and activities. The congregation immediately made plans to rebuild. A bigger lot was purchased on the east side of the green and a larger church was planned. On October 13, 1929 the cornerstone was laid and the church was renamed The Wheeler Methodist Church in memory of Wayne B. Wheeler, the nationally known attorney for the Anti-Saloon League, who was born in Brookfield and was instrumental in the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment. Two weeks later the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. The church was dedicated November 30, 1930, but services were held in the Sunday School room because the sanctuary could not be completed for another twelve years. The stained glass windows were added as memorial gifts in 1943.
In 1965 a fellowship hall/education wing was built and the church was renovated. When the Methodist Church and the EUB Church merged in 1968, the church changed its name to the Brookfield United Methodist Church. Recently, the church has undergone extensive renovations including tying into sewers, paving its parking lot, adding energy efficient windows and air conditioning to the fellowship hall, and restoring the stained glass windows framing. It celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2012.
The Brookfield United Methodist Church has Sunday School classes on Sunday mornings for all ages, including three adult classes, and an active youth group that meets on Sunday evenings. It has hosted the Brookfield Summerfest on the Green in August the past three years and holds Vacation Bible School in conjunction with other local churches. The Brookfield United Methodist Preschool has provided quality preschool education since 1970. The church has a current membership of 198 and is presently under the pastorate of Pastor Dick Smith as of July 1, 2014.