Forest Home Chapel
Sunday, July 25, 2021
United Methodist Church, Ithaca New York

Early History

Forest Home Chapel’s roots were in a Sunday School for Forest Home families which was launched in 1884 by several Cornell students including John R. Mott who years later received the Nobel peace prize.

After meeting in homes and the local school building for 30 years, the congregation organized to construct its own church building. Forty-one names appeared on the membership roll at its inception in September 1914: 10 Presbyterians, 4 Baptists, 4 Congregationalists, 2 Christian Church (now United Church of Christ) and 2 who joined on “profession of faith.” The rest were Methodists, leading the Chapel to formally affiliate with The United Methodist Church which, continues to provide the Chapel with ministers.

The subscription list for those who gave funds to erect the Chapel reads: “The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Forest Home has purchased the Middaugh property for $3600 and an adjacent lot for $700. The Board of Home Missions and Church Extension has granted a donation of $500 for this building fund.” In all, “One hundred and ten families pledged $3500 and the Chapel building was completed in 1915"—a date you can still see chiseled into the cornerstone. While officially the First United Methodist Church of Forest Home, it is fondly known as “Forest Home Chapel”—an appropriate name for this small church, nestled into the Forest Home community.

Left: the chapel cornerstone; right: the chapel in the early 1900's

The 50th Anniversary Celebration was held on December 5, 1965, exactly 50 years after the dedication of the Chapel building and was led by District Superintendent Henry G. Budd, and pastor, Lloyd Moffett (1964-1968). The sermon was given by James McConnell, son of the first minister. The anniversary dinner was held at St. Paul's in Ithaca, which our history recognizes as the "Mother Church."