Brookline Methodist Episopal Church - 1926

Brookline Methodist Episcopal Church - 1925
Artist's conception of the new Brookline Methodist Episcopal Church along Brookline Boulevard from December 1925.

After eighteen years celebrating in their stone chapel at the corner of Wedgemere Avenue and Fitch Way, the Brookline Methodist congregation would finally fulfill their dream of building a large sanctuary on their adjacent boulevard lot. The following are excerpts from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the construction of the church.

Click on image for a larger picture.

December 17, 1925

Brookline To Get New Church

Methodist Congregation Will Erect Another Edifice Costing $110,000

Plans for the construction of a new church building by the congregation of the Brookline Methodist Episcopal Church at Brookline Boulevard and Wedgemere Avenue, became known yesterday when application for a building permit was made at the city Bureau of Building Inspection. The new structure will cost approximately $110,000.

According to the Reverend Alexander Steele, pastor, the present building now being used for both Church and Sunday school purposes, will be converted into an exclusive Sunday school section with many rooms for departmental activities. On the front of the lot, which measures 90 feet by 129 feet, the new church auditorium and basement will be used for gymnasium purposes, kitchen and locker rooms.

Beaver County sandstone will be used on the exterior, while the interior will be finished with stucco, the Rev. Steele said. Plans are being prepared for submission to contractors, and it is thought that construction work will be started some time in the spring.

The need for more commodious quarters has been felt for over a year now, the growth of the congregation making necessary the enlargement. The membership now totals 500.

July 26, 1926

New Brookline Church Planned

Cornerstone Will Be Laid at Ceremony Tomorrow

The cornerstone of the Brookline Methodist Episcopal Church, Reverend Alexander Steele, pastor, Brookline Boulevard and Wedgemere Avenue, will be laid at four o'clock tomorrow afternoon.

The service will be in the form of union services, all Brookline Churches uniting. Dr. H.N. Cameron, district superintendent, will have charge. Bishop Francis J. McConnell, of the Pittsburgh diocese will speak.

The Brookline church was founded in 1907 when the old Knowlson Methodist Episcopal Church and the Brookline Society united and erected a church on the present site. In 1907 the membership was 35. It is now more than 500. The Sunday school has an enrollment of 561. The new church, with newest equipment, is expected to cost $110,000.

October 31, 1926

Brookline Methodist Episcopal Church - 1925
The Brookline United Methodist Episcopal Church under construction in October 1926.

The church was formally dedicated on May 15, 1927. Bishop Joseph F. Berry of Philadelphia was in charge of the services. Speakers were Rev. C.A. Hartung, of the Coraopolis Methodist Church; Rev. J.J. McIlvaine, or the Brookline Boulevard United Presbyterian Church; Rev. Alexander Steel, of the Brookline Methodist Church; Bishop Berry and Rev. William Semple, Jr. of the Paul Presbyterian Church.

Brookline Methodist Episcopal Church - 1927
The Brookline United Methodist Episcopal Church on dedication day in 1927. Shown here are Rev. C.A. Hartung,
Rev. J.J. McIlvaine, Rev. Alexander Steel, Bishop Berry and Rev. William Semple.

Brookline Methodist Church - 1958
The Brookline Methodist Church in 1958.

In 1930, the Carnegie Library opened a branch office in the basement of the Brookline Methodist Church. In 1942, the library moved to 730 Brookline Boulevard and remained their until 1991, when it moved to it's present-day location at 708 Brookline Boulevard.

One of the highlights of the new church were the ornate stained glass windows facing Brookline Boulevard and Wedgemere Avenue. Along Wedgemere is an one exceptionally large and beautiful window.

Renovations to the church were made in 1960. On November 28. 1964, the Pittsburgh Press reported that a second mortgage burning ceremony was held at the church to celebrate the liquidation of debt incurred during the 1926 church building and the subsequent remodeling. Bishop W. Vernon Middleton, District Superintendent John W. Warman and former ministers participated in the service.

The Methodist parish remained at the Brookline Boulevard location until the late-1990s, when the church building was sold. Presently the church is the home of the Brookline Assembly of God Ministry, part of the worldwide Assemblies of God Pentecostal denomination.

Assembly of God Church - 2017    Assembly of God Church - 2017
The rear and front of the former Brookline Methodist Church in 2017. The building now
belongs to the Brookline Assembly of God Ministry.

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