Our Story


Newman Memorial United Methodist Church started as a congregation in June 1900 due to a strong desire to spread Methodism in Brooklyn by Rev. W.H. Brooks and a few members from St. Marks Methodist Church in New York City. Some of the founding members of this new congregation were Mr. Division Hodge, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Walker, Mrs. Esther Gibson, Mrs. Sarah Snails, Mr. Perry Wilson, Mrs. Mattie Bundick.

In October 1900, Newman Memorial was established and admitted to the New York East conference as a mission of St. Marks Methodist Church with Rev. W.H. Brooks as pastor. The name Newman Memorial was chosen in honor of Bishop John Phillip Newman who, during the Civil War, established New Orleans University, which is now known as Dillard University. In addition, Bishop John Phillip Newman was instrumental in the formation of Butler Memorial Methodist Church in the Bronx and revitalized Salem Methodist Church. Bishop John Phillip Newman also served as the pastor of Washington Square Methodist Church and organized the Metropolitan United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., which is the National Church of Methodism.  

The first building that the congregation occupied was a little frame house converted to a church and known as the Old Embury Church at Herkimer Street and Schenectady Avenue. In April 1901, Rev. M.C. Jennings was confirmed as the local pastor and Newman Memorial was transferred to the Delaware conference.  Due to the increase of growth in membership, the congregation had to move in January 1905 to a building at 629-631 Herkimer Street and remained there until 1919. In 1919, Newman Memorial relocated to the Russell Place Methodist Church building which was located at 1142 Herkimer Street. This location was known as “On the Hill” and the congregation remained at this location to worship for 26 years.  

On January 7, 1945, under the leadership of Rev. Robert G. Waters, Newman Memorial moved to its present location which is 257 Macon Street. The church assumed a debt of $45,000 and under the leadership of Rev. Waters; the debt was fully paid on May 15, 1947.

Under the leadership of Rev. Henri M. Deas, Newman Memorial Church joined the United Methodist Church denomination and became known as Newman Memorial
United Methodist Church. During Rev. Deas tenure, the church became more involved with spreading its ministry to the community and purchased the Halsey Street property.

Newman Memorial United Methodist Church continues to serve the community with its weekly Food Pantry program which is sponsored by the United Methodist Women local chapter and the Soup Kitchen program which is sponsored by the Newman Memorial United Methodist Church Development Corporation, Inc.