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The following was taken from the Souvenir Edition of the The Middletown Tribune, dated 1896. It was lent to us for this reproduction by Mike Giuliano, a local resident. Excerpts include short articles regarding the churches that existed in Portland at the time, and some of their histories. The writing itself is classic late nineteenth century, and gives an extraordinary view of the time period.
In 1835 a Methodist class was formed called Chatham Methodist Episcopal Class and was part of Chatham circuit on the New London district of the New England Conference. The name was changed to Portland Class in 1843. In 1841, when the New England Conference was divided, the class became part of the Providence Conference which name later gave way to New England Southern Conference. In April, 1852, Portland was reacted a separate charge and Rev. F.W. Bill was stationed here as a preacher. He succeeded in raising a large subscription toward building a church and the enterprise was continued under his successors. The church building was completed and dedicated to the worship of God, July 27, 1853. It fronts on Main Street and has a desirable location.
The present pastor is Rev. E. Watson Goodier. He was graduated from Syracuse University in 1875 and from Boston University in 1878. He has been here three years and previously had served in Mansfield, Mass., Little Compton, R.I., Holbrook, Mass., and Providence, R.I.