The first Methodist Society in Bath organized in 1814, as part of the Newtown (Elmira) Circuit riders came at intervals of two or three weeks, riding horseback through all elements to bring the Good News to Bath. In 1822 the Methodist Episcopal Church of Bath was formed, and raised funds to construct a building in 1835 a pastor was assigned to Bath and Hammondsport. Membership was 44, which grew to 109 in 1843 and to 177 in 1849.
In 1866 a new building was constructed with a steeple, second floor audience room, and first floor for SundaySchool and other activities. The name Centenary Methodist recognized Methodism's 100 years in America. In 1892 a parsonage was constructed next to the church.
An Education Building was completed in 1964 with Sunday School rooms and a larger Fellowship Hall. In 1975 a parsonage was purchased at 208 West Washington Street. In 1976 both the sanctuary and the old parsonage were demolished to make way for a new sanctuary. The modern design of this new building features large stained glass windows in three corners. The thick glass pieces are set in epoxy and make an impressive sight, the flower filled Easter Cross hangs in one window. All furnishings, including the four-section chancel, are moveable, andseveral different arrangements are used for worship. The Narthex holds our name tag and information boards, and the Christmas Poinsettia tree.
With a membership of just under 600 and average worship attendence of about 200, Centenary is an activechurch. Many community groups use our facilities for meetings, and several Scout groups also meet here.
In December 1865, under the leadership of Rev. A. F. Morey, Pastor, it was determined at a church meeting to make an effort to enlarge or rebuild the current wooden structure. A subscription of about $7000.00 was obtained and a plan was adopted for a new church edifice, to be 90ft by 41ft, with tower and spire, an audience room and a basement for Sunday School and Class Rooms. In April 1866 the job of building was let to Andrew J. Barton and Ebenezer W. Buck. These two men were to furnish the materials and finish the church for $8300.00. The old wooden structure was sold for $775.00 to Jos. Carter and the closing services were held Sunday the last of April 1866. The first entrance to the church faced the park and in the vestibule were two stairways, one on each side leading up into the auditorium. There was also a door which opened up into the basement of the church, in which there was a large room and several small class rooms. The pulpit was in the west end of Church with the choir in the east gallery and later at the right of the pulpit. There were also two back stairways leading up into the auditorium. In 1902 and 1903 the Church was remodeled with the Washington Street entrance added and the beautiful Memorial Windows put in. An addition was made on the south side of the building to make room for a much needed pipe organ and the pulpit was changed from the west end to the south side. In 1921 under the leadership of Rev. David Evans, the hardwood floor was laid in the sanctuary and seats were installed.
This material was taken from A HISTORY OF CENTENARY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 1814- 1964
By: Lauretta Miller Barnes