Standing l-r: Lewis A. Depew, Madge Bell, A. P. Edge, Arthur Jennings, Gertrude Beville, Eddie Edge, Nellie Blizzard, Arthur Cole, Sadie Saunders, William Spencer, Frank Depew, Myrtle Jennings, W. H. Thomas. Center in black: Mrs. Grace Heartstone organist; Seated l-r: Helen Beville, Harry and Clarence Summerlin.
Although the Methodists held Sunday school classes as early as 1888, they did not organize until 1892. The first Sunday School and first sermon were held in a schoolhouse located on the southeast corner of what is now North Second Street and Avenue D, in what was the Edgartown. That first sermon was delivered by Captain H. B. Shaw of Ormond. Captain Shaw was a government lighthouse inspector. He liked to preach and did so at any opportunity, as he traveled up and down the coast. The first regular Sunday School was organized by Mrs. Jennings in 1889. She held these at a one room hut on Orange Avenue between Second and Fourth Street.
The first minister for the community appointed by the Annual Conference was Rev. M. P. Dukes, in 1892. The new congregation’s first baptism was that of a baby girl named Myrtle Jennings in 1893. Their first marriage was the union of Mr. Harry Harvey and Miss Clara Bronson on November 1, 1894. The assemblage began planning a church building. For a consideration of $1.00, A.C. Dittmar and his wife Cora H., land was conveyed to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. (Recorded in Brevard Co., Florida) Construction began at what would be described today as the 600 block of Fourth Street. This ambitious project had no hired contractor, those tasks were performed by Mrs. Jennie Jennings and Mrs. Lizzie McCarty. With an eye to the view and a desire to catch the ocean breeze, the church was built west of the railroad tracks and facing east. This Methodist Church, in the sand dunes of Edgartown, was completed in 1895. The first minister of this church was Rev. C. W. White. He served two years and was then replaced by Rev. W. B. Tresca.
After a few years, the need for a bigger church was identified. The pioneer congregation, as well as recent arrivals, began construction and a second church was built on North Second Street, just south of Moore’s Creek. This new more spacious church was completed in 1905. The sanctuary had beautiful stained glass windows, kneeling benches in the pews, the ambiance of this new church pleased the congregation. It served until 1926, when the Hendry Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, South was constructed on the corner of Orange Avenue and Seventh Street.