History of the
Milford United Methodist Church
The Milford United Methodist Church traces its roots back to the 18th and 19th century Methodist revival movement that surged across Europe and North America. In New England, as elsewhere, evangelists and mobilized laity fanned out across the countryside, stopping in cities and towns and preaching the Gospel wherever anyone would listen. In Milford, one author describes it this way:
"In the fall of 1852 Rev. S. Tupper & H. Moulton of the New England Conference directed by divine Providence, as we believe, came to Milford and proposed holding a series of meetings; a few warm and devoted Methodists, who had not lost their first love, responded and a series of meetings commenced and resulted in the conversion of some sinners and the revival of professed Christians...."
While these revival meetings only continued for the next few weeks, a core group of Methodist believers continued to meet together for prayer and fellowship throughout the fall and winter months of 1852. The Methodist Conference was unable to provide a permanent preacher for the congregation at this time, so several independent local preachers filled in as needed over the next several years. Some of these preachers were warmly received by the congregation for instance, Rev. J.W. Clough of the Methodist General Biblical Institute in Concord, NH (which would later become Boston University). Others were not so eagerly embraced during the pastorate of Rev. F. Furber, the believers were often disappointed, and they lost some of the influence they had previously gained.
On June 18th, 1853 the congregation formally organized as an official Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Two years later, they were able to raise an annual salary of $273.00 and persuade the New England Conference to appoint the Rev. J.C. Emerson as permanent preacher. It was not until 1877, however, that the congregation was able to find their first permanent meetinghouse. They purchased an old Baptist church building for $1,500 rededicated it on August 12th as the Methodist Episcopal Church of Milford.
Over the next several decades, the building would undergo significant renovations they added classrooms, replaced the windows and pews, redesigned the balcony in the sanctuary, and so on. Heat and running water were installed in 1920. In 1907, the church purchased a small house at the rear of the church property, which served as the church parsonage until the 1980s. In 1982, a new parsonage was purchased, while the former building was transformed into classroom and office space.
The various ministries of the church have a lengthy history as well. The Church School charter was officially adopted in September of 1855, and has continued ever since to provide high quality Christian Education to all ages. Similarly, the music ministry reaches out to a wide range of ages and interests, and continually garners significant donations of talent and resources For instance, the Ladies Aid Society donated a reed organ to the church in 1906, while more recent gifts have provided for everything from hand bells to state-of-the-art digital recording equipment. And the Milford United Methodist Church has longstanding relationships with a variety of missions organizations such as Church World Service, the Greater Nashua Interfaith Hospitality Network, and Stephen Ministries.
In August of 2006 the Milford United Methodist Church moved into its current location on North River Road. Situated in a brand new facility, the congregation entered into an era of near-unprecedented growth and prominence in the community, which has enabled its ministry to expand throughout Milford and around the world.