Albion is blessed to have some beautiful churches. All of the churches in the historic Courthouse Square district are rich in history and have features that make them special in their own way. The Pullman Universalist Church is the most unique – built with Medina sandstone to look like a castle. The Catholic Church is an amazing example of Medina sandstone with a majestic interior. The church that anchors the downtown area as a focal point is the Presbyterian Church – also made of Medina sandstone – because of the tall steeple that can be seen by people driving up Main St from either direction. Another personal bit of history connected to the Presbyterian Church for me is that the house my Grandparents owned for many years was originally located on the spot the Presbyterian Church now sits. It was moved to its current location on Platt Street so that the church could be built about 1832 – of course, that was a good many years before my Grandparents bought it! hehehe
Yes, all the churches in the historic district are incredibly special. But, in my opinion, the Albion First United Methodist Church is the most attractive of them all. It is one of the oldest churches in Western New York, built in the mid-1800’s. The brick Romanesque Revival style building is located on the corner of North Platt and East State Streets kitty corner from the Courthouse and stands out due to its arched entryways, square bell tower, and some of the most beautiful stained glass windows I’ve ever seen. And the beauty doesn’t stop at the door – the sanctuary is stunning, as well. Four large sections of pews arch across the sanctuary beneath the huge stained glass window featuring Jesus and the lambs. The pulpit sits against the backdrop of the picturesque pipes for the antique organ still in use today. I so enjoy sitting in the choir and looking out over the sanctuary or sitting in a pew and gazing around at all the splendor. It truly is an amazing sight to behold.
The following photos don’t do it justice — use them as a teaser and then come see for yourself!
Note the multiple gables and unique square bell tower. But, the most stunning part is the huge stained glass window on the side of the building – that, along with the two arched windows on either side span the length of the main section of the sanctuary – incredible!
The church is listed in the National Registry of Historical Sites as part of the Historic Courthouse Square District.
The columns and detailing that adorn the front door make for a welcoming entrance.
Above the front entrance is stone or tile work that looks like a cross stitched sampler – very ornate!
The corner-stone tells of the building history.
The main section of the sanctuary, the pulpit, and antique organ – all set up for All Saints Sunday and Communion.
Detailed inside view of the breathtaking stained glass window on the side of the building. This photo pales in comparison with seeing it in person!
The Bell Choir plays in the loft beneath the second stunning stained glass window – the one seen above the front entrance from the outside.
Interior doors all have beautiful stained glass, as well.
The church offices, a fifth section of pews, and stairways to the lower levels of the church are along the north side of the sanctuary.
There are multiple levels of rooms used for Sunday School classes, scouts, and other functions, including this room that is used for large gatherings and the many dinners and fundraisers held at the church. In this photo, the hall is still decorated for the Chicken BBQ dinner held the night before the photo was taken. To the left is a large kitchen used to cook meals for dinners and fundraisers. Along the back side of the room (the green framed doors) is a library (left) and the Charles Howard Lounge – named after Charles Howard, who was a member of this church and world-famous for the Santa Claus School he operated in Albion. If you don’t know who Charles Howard is, you can read a post I wrote on another blog about him at this link.
So, there you have it – a photo tour of our beautiful church. As with all buildings that are close to 200 years old, there is some work needed to ensure it stays structurally sound and beautiful for another 200 years. If you would like to help with the funds needed to complete this work, you may contact the church office at 585-589-6430 for information on how to make a charitable donation. All donations of any size are greatly appreciated. Please pray for a successful repair of this incredible piece of Albion’s history.