Celebrating 250 Years!

In New York City in the autumn of 1766 Philip Embury, an emigrant local preacher who had been converted to Methodism in Ireland, preached to a small group of five (including two servants) in his home, at the behest of his cousin Barbara Heck. 

When some of her fellow emigrants began to give up Methodist ways, Barbara famously broke up a card game, threw the cards into the fire, and reminded Embury of his responsibilities! From this first small group would come Wesley Chapel (later John Street Church) in 1768. 

Throughout 2016 the NYAC Commission on Archives and History (CAH), in cooperation with John Street UMC, celebrated the rich and diverse 250 years of New York Area Methodism that followed this first class meeting.


  • The CAH developed educational posters that tell the stories of 25 persons significant to the history of the New York Annual Conference, to be used for Bible study and discussion. These are also available as bulletin inserts, and as a single PDF file of all 25 that can be downloaded and printed as a booklet.

  • Short videos are also available for 10 of the 25 luminaries. These were shown at Annual Conference 2016 and can be viewed and downloaded for use in worship services, Bible study, and discussion.

  • A timeline banner of NYAC history was prepared and displayed at Annual Conference 2016. The PDF version of the timeline can be viewed and downloaded, and information about having the PDF printed as a banner for use in local churches is also provided.