A Very Brief History of the
Rotterdam United Methodist Church
- Early in the year 1849, a meeting was held in a little schoolhouse on the northeast corner of what is now Curry Road and Altamont Avenue. It was a cold and stormy night and only one person attended, James Fisher, Sr., who had called the meeting for the purpose of prayer and for discussing the formation of a church at Fisher Corners.
- Although attendance at the first meeting was only one man, attendance grew to about sixty, and a church was formed and the building was dedicated on August 15, 1849. This church was known as the Rotterdam Methodist Episcopal Church.
- The new church was on a preaching circuit known as Guilderland, New Scotland, and Bethlehem, and was served by the same preacher. During its early years the church was known as the Rotterdam Methodist Episcopal Church.
- In 1902, the pastor and a group from Rotterdam went to the booming Bellevue Area and formed the Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church.
- It wasn’t until sometime between 1907 and 1909, during the pastorate of G.W. Hughes that the name Rotterdam Methodist Episcopal Church was changed to Fisher Methodist Episcopal Church. The word “Episcopal” was dropped from the name at the time the three branches of Methodism united in 1939.
- For the best part of 100 years, both churches grew and prospered.
- In recent past years, various pressures had a significant effect on Broadway UMC, as well as to varying degrees to other churches in the Conference.
- In 2005 merger talks were begun between Fisher UMC and Broadway UMC to see if merging these two churches could form a stronger church.
- A vote to merge was approved on October 23, 2005.
- The name of Rotterdam United Methodist Church was selected for the new church.
- On January 1, 2006, Fisher United Methodist Church merged with Broadway United Methodist Church to form the Rotterdam United Methodist Church.
- Bishop Susan Morrison presided at the consecration service on Sunday, January 8, 2006.