We are still researching the history of the Church, but from what we can tell from the original deed it would have been constructed in 1867, and for the last 150 years or so it has been known as the "Methodist Church in Phillips". It is of wood frame construction and structurally it appears to be in relatively good condition.
Broken Bell Mystery
Upon entering the bell tower, we discovered an inscription on the bell which reads, "In 1886 I was given to this church by T.E. Thompson. Later broken by inconsiderate men. In 1926 remolded and returned to my sacred vocation. Reader thou also shalt know a resurrection. May it be unto eternal life."
Dick Matthews found an account of a broken bell in a history of Phillips, but the dates don't coordinate. Pease's history says the bell was broken on March 4, 1941 during a celebration of a national election. According to that detailed story, the bell was installed in the Union Church in the lower village, possibly as early as 1835. On March 4, 1841, when the Whigs went to the church to celebrate winning the election, they found the local Democrats had anticipated their celebration, sneaked into the church and stolen the bell's clapper. Not to be deterred, the Whigs sent some young men into the steeple with sledge hammers to ring the bell and one of the blows cracked the bell. The clapper was found in a nearby shed shortly after and the bell was mended about a year later.
According to History of Methodism in Phillips 1822 – 1967 compiled by Alice Douglas, Marcia Gould, and Maude Sparks, "It was in the year 1885, that a large bell was presented to the M.E. Church, by Captain J. E. Thompson. It weighed 1,000 pounds, and was installed by J. Z. Everett who was a faithful member of the Official Board. For many years its peals rang forth from the bellfry of the church, until it became cracked by inconsiderate people celebrating the Forth of July. Captain Thompson, the donor, was a retired merchant. He was the first signer of the Phillips Savings Bank, June 6, 1852; and for eighteen years he was the general ticket agent for the Sandy River Railroad."
That account is not quite as intriguing as the Whigs vs. the Democrats, and with two very different accounts the mystery of the bell cracked by inconsiderate men continues!
Here are some old postcard views and pictures of the church
To see a larger view "click" on the image.
The Little White Church Antiques and More