The Rev. Jacob Ward founded the Brunswick Methodist Episcopal
Church in April 1817 with 13 members: Rhoda Stow, John and Lucy
Stearns, John and Hannah Hulet, Samuel and Sarah Tillotson, Thomas
and Phoebe Stearns, Solomon and Polly Harvey, Lydia Crittenden,
and Olivia Ashley. In 1830, John and Lucy Stearns donated land for
a cemetery, which included space for a church. A new church was
completed in 1872. Bricks used for the building were fired locally
and the first windows were glazed with clear glass and protected
by shutters. In 1916, the church was extensively remodeled and
redecorated. Stained glass replaced the clear glass, the church bell
was relocated to the newly-added tower, and the main entrance was
moved from the center of the building to the vestibule in the tower.
As Brunswick has grown, the church has expanded. The South Wing
was constructed in 1958 for Sunday school rooms and a fellowship
hall. In 1976, the East Wing was added for more Sunday school
rooms and offices. That same year, a steeple was erected on the
bell tower that included a carillon. In 2002, a larger sanctuary
with stained glass windows and the North Fellows hip Hall was built.
In honor of the founder of the congregation, the original sanctuary
was renamed Jacob Ward Chapel. Brunswick United Methodist Church
celebrated its 200th
anniversary in 2017 and continues its charge to
take Christ into the world and bring the world to Christ.