A history of
February 25, 1771
On February 25, 1772, Asbury preached to a group on Staten Island gathered at the home of Gilbert Totten. The Methodist movement on the island continued to grow, and by 1806 the Methodists on the south end of the island who had been worshiping at Woodrow Methodist Episcopal Church were numerous enough to warrant the construction of a new church. The faithful met in a small structure known as the "Richmond Tabernacle" built in 1825 on the site of the present Richmond Valley Train Station. That congregation held a meeting in the fall of 1840 where it was resolved to build a new structure.
Thus construction began on a 40' by 50' frame structure on our present site, and Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated in the spring of 1842. The surrounding cemetery was opened at or just before this time The church building was destroyed by a fire on the night of January 10, 1886.
The congregation grows
The congregation quickly resolved to construct a new and larger church. Our present building, constructed on the same site at a cost of $6,148 was dedicated on May 8, 1887 by Bishop W.L. Harris. Bethel United Methodist Church is One of the three oldest Methodist Churches on Staten Island, and one of the oldest in American Methodism. The oldest, John Street Church in Manhattan, dates to 1766.