In the book A Lost Arcadia by Walter A. Clark, Berlin Methodist was organized in the 1830’s in a log building that also served as a school house. However, a 1971 church pamphlet states that the church was organized in 1827 and lists the trustees of the church. It states that the church must have declined somewhat because it was “revived in 1873”. According to another document, “Rev. B. F. Farris organized Berlin Church in a little log school house near where the church now stands” and shortly thereafter, several of the members decided to construct a new church to replace the log structure. Mr. Hezikia Atwell deeded an acre of land to the church and many member pitched in to give money for the construction or donated labor and/or timber. Construction was managed by John Trowbridge and later by Zack Collins. “Rev. R.A. Seals was the second pastor who served the church, and during his pastorate the building was completed and dedicated by Bishop George F. Pierce in 1877”.
The present choir loft was built in 1926 and a new pulpit and altar were installed in the front of the church. The history states that the church has two communion sets, one being presented in 1879 and the other in 1926, in memory of James R. Collins. The pulpit Bible was presented to the church in January of 1875. It further states that Jutson Saxon deeded one acre to the church for a cemetery in 1920 and that the first interment was that of Walter Derry Collins on April 1, 1921.
A lovely quote from the history states that “Berlin sits majestically back in a pine grove, imposing, friendly and inviting. Rich in old tradition and memories, yet still young and going strong. May God bless and preserve you Dear Old Berlin Church”. She still stands just like that and is, indeed, still young and going strong.
This view reveals that the interior of Bath Presbyterian has undergone many improvements and modifications during its over one and three-quarter centuries of existence. Its appearance today bears little resemblance to the probably spare sanctuary it started out as. But, the cozy atmosphere created by its small size and the plentiful light streaming in through its eleven, large nine over nine windows is probably comparable to what it was in those old days.
In this view we see the results of the 1926 remodeling of the chancel, altar, choir loft and pulpit area at Berlin Methodist. Since the work was completed almost 90 years ago, it still presents as authentic and remains in complete harmony with the other elements of the sanctuary.
The big, 16 over 16 windows behind the choir loft provide excellent ambient lighting. And one of the loveliest features of the sanctuary are its eight, double hung windows, four on each side.
As with most of our rural church landmarks, the sanctuary above reflects a desire to present itself in a plain, unostentatious manner. Other than the wall sconces and overhead lighting, there are no pictures, icons or other decorative elements. The window and door frames are also simple and in keeping with Methodist tenets.
This black and white photo evokes a feeling of quiet and tranquility in the “Amen Corner” at Berlin.
This ancient bell has called how many people to worship?… tolled for how many burials of parishioners?… rung out in joy for how many wedding ceremonies?… at this venerable old church?
Here lies Walter Derry Collins (1887 – 1921), son of Zachariah and Jane Collins. Walter was the first interment in the cemetery. There are fourteen Collins interments in the cemetery since then. The Collins roots run very deep at the old Berlin church.
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