Past Churches of Unionville, NY

Just the other day, the bell was taken out of the “Our Lady of the Scapular” Roman Catholic Church here in Unionville, NY. I’m told the stainglass windows may be removed next. The church effectively closed some four years ago, leaving the church where I pastor, Unionville Presbyterian Church, as the only church in the village.

But these are not the only churches that have been here in Unionville. Others have come and gone.

The first church, in a way, was the Orange Baptist Church. It was built in 1822 a mile and a half east of Unionville on the northeast corner of Stateline Rd. and Lower Rd. as evidenced by the 1851 Map of Orange County, NY. There it is called “Orange Church.” At that location I believe the house of the Borja family was once the manse for this church.

This church was physically moved into the village of Unionville sometime after 1854 and was active there until 1910. Its location in Unionville (its second location) was where today’s Unionville Fire Department resides. Why this church closed I do not know. It’s absence is lamented in a poem of Peter Lott in “Unionville Poet Farmer” where he writes on “A Vision of the Old Baptist Church in Unionville” asking “Why should this old church be idle, forsaken, and desolate, what at one time it was the most flourishing church in Unionville?”

Now when the bell was removed from the Roman Catholic church the other day, what did it say on it but “Orange Baptist Church.”

How did this bell get there?  The Catholic’s are the second residents of their building, it formerly being Methodist.

The Methodist Episcopal Church first built in Unionville in the 1870s. A newspaper article of April 2, 1870 says “The cornerstone of the new M. E. church at Unionville will be laid on Thursday next.” But three years later we read this interesting story:

Finally in 1877 a newspaper said “It is rumored that the Methodist edifice at Unionville can now be bought for $2,000. Now is the time for the society to make a purchase.”

We are fortunate to have an 1875 map that shows the location of the original site of the Methodist church in Unionville.

The house that exists there today has a spire, which perhaps shows that it was built as a church.

Sometime then in the 1870s the Methodist built at their second site. After the Orange Baptist Church closed, the bell was moved to the Methodist church.

The Methodist church closed in 1949, some of the members transferring to the Unionville Presbyterian Church and perhaps others going to Methodist churches in Westtown and Greenville.

Now there remains just the Unionville Presbyterian Church in our village. I’m proud to be its pastor and work with the great people here as we seek to praise God in word and deed in this place, loving others as we do.