Christian pentecostal Church of god
Date of Construction: 1837
Original Owner: First Methodist Episcopal Church
Style: Greek Revival
Stories: 1 and basement
Materials: Stone and brick
The Christian Pentecostal Church uniquely exemplifies a one story, mid-19th century, Greek revival building set in an urban environment. 191-199 South Second Street was constructed in 1837 as the First Methodist Episcopal Church by a congregation that had established itself in Williamsburg much earlier, in 1806. This church is the oldest ecclesiastical society in Williamsburg, and became the mother of six other churches in the area.
The congregation and church continued to grow throughout the 19th century. The church was unroofed during the Great Storm of 1858, which resulted in even greater expansions. A new wing was added to the building in 1875 including numerous classrooms. By 1888 the church decided to rename itself the South Second Street Methodist Episcopal Church. The growing community faced difficulties during the turn of the 20th century, both with Brooklyn joining New York City in 1898, and the building of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903, which impacted Williamsburg’s community and the South Second Street congregation. Fewer congregants attended church, while more immigrant communities occupied Williamsburg.
In 1919, the building was sold to a Jewish community and combined with the South Third Street Methodist Episcopal Church. The Jewish community remained for nearly 70 years, and in 1989 sold the building to the Christian Pentecostal Church of God. Although the building is still owned by the congregation, it is often used by unaffiliated groups. Perhaps the building is in the beginning stages of one of its next transitions. This building manages to embody Williamsburg’s evolution independently, while subtly reiterating the neighborhood’s history.