Spencer United Methodist Church
Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Our History

Serving our Lord since 1837
            “Open hearts, open minds, and open doors” is the theme for Spencer United Methodist Church as we celebrate 170 years of reaching out into the community.
            In the early 1800's the Spencer family would host groups to worship and study the Bible in their home. The family held a large area of property from approximately Sankey Avenue to Gensler Road . Their log home sat near the top of the present Sankey Avenue .
            By 1837 the Methodist Society was sufficiently established, and on September 17 and 18 the little group of Christians was formally assigned to the Chartiers Circuit of the Pittsburgh Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Thus, Spencer celebrated its formal beginning. Spencer’s congregation met first in a log cabin.
            In 1850, an entry by the Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds confirms that a plot of land had been designated as the location for a Methodist Church. This land given by James and Nancy Stewart is the spot where the Spencer Church now stands. Then on March 7, 1857, the congregation filed the records required for incorporation choosing the name Baldwin Chapel.  On December 22, 1867, dedication services took place in a newly completed red brick building.  Among the devoted members were Jane Spencer Appleton and her sister Alice Spencer.  The congregation of the 1860’s, in appreciation of the dedication and financial support offered by Jane and Alice, named the new church “Spencer Methodist Episcopal Church.”  Carrick, informally known as “Spiketown” became a municipality on June 21, 1904 and the property of Spencer Church lay just inside the boundary line, thus the new name from Baldwin Chapel to Spencer Church seemed more appropriate. 
          The church building continued to change to meet the needs of a changing congregation.  A vestibule was added in 1910. In 1926, the part of the building now containing the narthex was completed.  An education wing was added in 1950, then extensive remodeling of the whole building took place in 1962.  In 1982, new memorial windows with vibrant colors replaced the tattered stained glass ones, creating a beautiful and peaceful house of worship.  The education wing recently had a compete redesign and beautiful "facelift", making new vibrant classrooms and offices.