The history of the United Church of Madrid is a rich and storied tale, involving the union of the Congregational and Methodist churches of the village. It is a story we hope to tell in as much of its entirety as possible. Original documents from the churches, newspapers and personal interviews, were used as much as possible to unfold this wonderful narrative.

Chapter 1

The Congregational Church

By 1798, inhabitants started coming into the town of Madrid. The first settlers came from Malone via Vermont.  Among the first people in the town were Isaac Bartholomew and Asa Freeman. Their relatives still live in the area today.

Chapter 3

Uniting the Churches

In 1964, a significant new venture in interchurch co-operation was taking shape in the St. Lawrence County village of Madrid.  The following agreement was made that “The Congregational and Methodist Churches of Madrid have agreed to share a minister by a resolution passed on May 24th at the Congregational Church and May 28th at the Methodist Church.”

Chapter 5

The Music

Music has played an important part in the life of both churches.

Sylvester Wright wrote of the Congregational church that, “I very well remember the first attempt made to introduce an organ into the church. The young people declared they would have an instrument.  The old members thought it a sacrilege to introduce the devil’s music into God’s sanctuary and opposed it accordingly. They forgot that David danced to the music of the harp and timbrel.”

Chapter 7

The Pioneers

Winsor Goolden was born in Newbury, MA in 1761.  Being in his forties and having had experiences in other church matters, he was made a Deacon in the church immediately. Winsor was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and at his death, his second wife Ruby applied for his pension.

Chapter 2

The First Methodist Episcopal Church

The history which is presented is not only the beginning of the church but of Bucks Bridge as well.  In 1806 Isaac Buck came from Shoreham, Vt., and located in the newly formed town of Potsdam near the Madrid line and at once began clearing land and by 1808 he had over 40 acres cleared and that year built the sawmill which was the first in the county, though there was no bridge there then nor, in fact, any of any consequence in the town.

Chapter 4

The United Church of Madrid

The new venture brought  Rev. Charles Maxfield to the area. He was a minister in the Congregational Church, originally from Fairhaven, MA.   A plan of union was sent to the NYS legislature and approved in 1974. Rev. Maxfield guided the church through some difficult times.

Chapter 6

The Windows

The windows in the United Church of Madrid are all memorials to the special group of people who helped to form this church.

The history of our church has been lovingly curated and carefully put together into this fantastic resource by our church historian, Sharon Wise.