In 1823, the Rev. Robert Corson, a Wesleyan Methodist circuit rider, came to London Township to conduct worship services in people's homes. By 1833, London's first Methodist Church was built at the corner of Ridout and Carling Streets.
As the congregation grew, larger churches were built, in 1839 and 1842. In 1854, North Street (later Queens Avenue) Methodist Church, thought to be the largest west of St. James in Montreal, was built on the corner of North (now Queens Avenue) and Clarence streets. It has been frequently named the parent church of Methodism in London and was responsible for many mission churches which have long since become self-supporting.
Tragically in the early morning of February 2, 1895, fire broke out, and burned the church to the ground. Undaunted, the Board of Trustees made plans for a new church on Wellington Street. Samuel McBride, who had been a trustee when the North Street Methodist Church was built, agreed to oversee the construction, even though he was 76 years old. During the process, he presided over 96 of the 99 planning meetings.
The church was built in the Romanesque Revival style on a foundation 184 by 96 feet with a bell tower rising 170 feet. It seated nearly 1,400 worshippers, though the congregation was then half that size. The cost of the site, the building, the furnishings and the organ came to just over $97,000., a substantial sum even for what was then the wealthiest Methodist church in London. The name was then changed to First Methodist Church and the cornerstone laid in July of that same year. The Free Press called it "Methodism' s Magnificent Temple".
On June 10, 1925, the United Church of Canada was born and the name again changed to its present name, Metropolitan United Church.
THE STORY OF METROPOLITAN UNITED CHURCH