A UNITED METHODIST CONGREGATION
Methodism was introduced to Albany in 1766 by Captain Thomas Webb, a British officer in charge of the Albany Barracks. By 1836 there were three Methodist Episcopal Churches in Albany and all three were located East of Pearl Street. The "First" Methodist society on the corner of North Pearl and Orange streets (which later moved to Hudson avenue), the "Garrettson Station" Methodist Episcopal church on North Pearl was formed in 1828 and later merged with "Central Avenue" Methodist Episcopal Church to form the "St. Luke" Methodist Episcopal church. The Wesley Chapel Methodist Church (organized in 1833) was on Herkemer Street and later became the "Calvary" M.E. church.
In 1835 the members of these churches wanted to do some work in the Western part of the city and rented a building on State Street just west of Swan which belonged to the Primitive Methodists. Pastors of the three churches shared the duties of preaching in the building until the session of the Troy Conference in the fall of 1835,when the Troy Annual Conference granted $200 from its missionary fund to aid in the support of a pastor for this new work. Rev. Charles P. Clark was appointed to the new charge. The new congregation was called "Albany West Station" Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1837 the congregation bought the building but by 1841 they had started looking for a new place to worship. They sold the old building to the German Lutherans and built a new building on the southwest corner of Washington and Swan streets. They stayed there until 1867 when there was a desire to move to the outskirts of the city. They purchased a plot of land on Lark and Lancaster running to Willet street on the boarder of the old common which was then a parade ground.
They moved the services to the new chapel in 1867 and continued building the auditorium and parsonage which was completed in 1876. In 1897 the various methodist churches organized a way to pay off all the outstanding debts of the Methodist Churches in Albany. Trinity joined in burning all mortgages in the spring of 1900. Ironically, one year after paying off all debts, on May 9th, 1901 Trinity's building was again destroyed by fire.
The congregation of 503 members decided to rebuild the building on the same spot and in 1902 they dedicated the new building. During this time the church grew rapidly to 891 members by 1923 and to 1,785 members by 1931. Then on March 14, 1931 the new building was also destroyed by fire.
The same day of the fire the Trustees unanimously decided to rebuild immediately on the same site, and engaged the Board of Architects of the Methodist Episcopal Church to plan the new building.
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