The Historic Seabeck School The Brownsville United Methodist Church building was originally the historic Seabeck School. The school served the Seabeck community for 40 years, 1916-1956.
Brownsville United Methodist Church As the Brownsville United Methodist Church, we have been serving the Brownsville and Gilberton communities for over 65 years, since 1956.
Founding of the Community Methodist Church of Brownsville The Community Methodist Church of Brownsville was a dream by Methodist and local families. The Sunday School met in the family homes of local community members. On February 11, 1951 the community, of all ages, was invited to the Crystal Grange Hall for Sunday School and Worship.
Community Methodist Church of Brownsville In the Fall of 1951 Rev. John Mathone, of Silverdale Methodist Church, agreed to preach for the community members. May 8, 1952 was the official date of formation of the Community Methodist Church of Brownsville. There were 15 charter members and the Reverend Thomas Slate, of the Tracyton Church, was appointed to serve the new congregation.
The Brownsville School The Brownsville School was built in 1954 in the space across the street from what would eventually become Brownsville United Methodist Church. The Community Methodist Church of Brownsville met at the Brownsville School. In God's presence, with folding chairs, a piano, a card table for a Bible, and sermon notes in the school gym, Rev. Slate preached the gospel.
Site Found for a Church A campaign began for the new home of the Community Methodist Church. The goal was for a building to serve this community for the next 50 years as a center of religious and social life.
In 1955, 6 lots were purchased from the Johnson family in Gilberton across from Brownsville School for $1,000 by the Women's Society for Christian Mission. The plan was to purchase the Seabeck school building for $567. Moving of the building would cost $4,000, the barge and towing would cost $520. There were wires to be cut or raised and this would cost $400. There was also the cost of preparing the site and digging the basement of $284. The total cost would be $5,771.
The Big Move!
Getting ready! Left: Steps and front sawed off. Right: Chimney and cupola removed, skirting cut off, moved off of foundation.
Here we go! Left: Starting down the ramp in Seabeck. Right: Seabeck says goodbye!
Getting Loaded on the Barge
Gilberton here we come! Left: Rev. Thomas Slate Right: Barge Route
The Barge Has Landed - Welcome Home!
Built by Volunteers & Craftsmen November 1956 began the excavation. January 1957 the foundation was started. On April 6, 1957 the concrete was poured and the chimney was built. June 16, 1957 the new church was consecrated.
Community Methodist Church of Brownsville "We are a Christian fellowship who declares and demonstrates God's boundless love for all."
Thank you! History: Thomas Slate, Karl & Florence Grahn, BUMC Archives, members memories, and "Kitsap County, A History" Photographs courtesy of: BUMC Archives, Fred Just, Brownsville Port District, Janice McLemore, Mary Alice Ramsey