The History of Epworth
Epworth United Methodist Church is a result of a long spiritual journey, from both lay and clergy men and women. Our 115th church anniversary acknowledges and celebrates United Methodists, both laity and clergy whose individual and collective ministries have brought us to where we stand today. As we continue to bear faith witness, and engage in our own Christian discipleship, responding to God's call and denominational vision of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world; let us also reflect on our history.
In early 1902, Epworth was born out of a gathering at Mr. & Mrs. George Peaco, located at 148th Street and Morris Avenue, Bronx, New York; first as St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church; as organized by Rev. F.A. Cullen, Mr. William Broks, and Rev. Frank Mason North, then Secretary of the New York City Mission and Church Extension Society. Rev. Albert Amos was the first pastor and served from 1902-1903. In 1904, Rev. Julius S. Carroll took over from Rev. Amos and served one year; and the church's name changed to the Epworth Episcopal Methodist Church. From 1905-1909, Rev. W.S. Brown, and Rev. Charles H. Winder were the pastors, one after another.
December 10, 1910 to 1931 , Rev. Charles H. Andrews became pastor of Epworth and the church was now moved into a one-room portable church building rented at 162nd Street and Grant Avenue. And, on November 22, 1926, the church was again moved to 834 Morris Avenue (currently Concourse Village East), Bronx, N.Y.. Andrew served 21 years. From 1932 to 1943, Rev. George A. Taylor was pastor, followed by Rev. Edward D. McGowan who served 11 years from 1943 to 1954. From 1954-1956, Rev. Edward Carrol was the pastor; followed by Rev. Harry J. McDonald who served three years from 1956 to 1958.
1958-1963, Rev. Irvin C. Lockman was pastor, and, from 1963-1969, Rev. Clifton E. Gatewood became pastor of Epworth, followed by Rev. Eustace Ford in 1969. From 1972 to 1976; Rev. Dr. George W. Williams, Sr. was pastor; and the came Rev. Willard G. Brown (1976-1981). In 1981 through 1983, Rev. Robert Jones was appointed pastor. From 1983 to 1990, Rev. Mark J. Richards served as pastor. In this period a church's apartment building was purchased ("1 1 1 2" building). Between 1990 to 1 993, Rev. Odella B. Williamson was pastor, followed by Rev. St. Clair Moore who served between 1993 to 1998. After Rev. Moore; Rev. Granville Forde (retired) was appointed for one year (1998-1999) as interim.
Following Rev. Forde was Rev. Denise Smartt who served Epworth for three years (1999 - 2002). After Smartt came Rev. Barbara J. Mungin who served from 2002 to 2007. After Mungin, Rev. Lucille Hill served Epworth for five years, from 2007 until her passing in January of 2013. The 115th anniversary celebration is indeed in recognition of the above mentioned laborers in disciple making who led our congregation with zeal and commitment over the past century.
Let us pray that through the grace of our God, and under the great guidance of the Holy Spirit; our church, under the leadership of its current pastor, Rev. Morais G. Quissico, who joined Epworth on February 17, 2013 will continue the journey of disciple making through strong presence and ministry impact to the community. In the year 2017, Epworth partnered with Woodycrest UMC – “A small church with big heart” – to form the South Bronx Cooperative Parish, and together we will continue the journey of transforming the community and the world through prayer, community service and disciple making.
The Journey Continues! (Luke 9:1-5)