History of the Congregation
Circuit Rider Jessie Lee came preaching the Gospel in Salem in the early 1800’s. A small gathering of early Christians met in a storefront and sat on boxes to hear Jesus Christ proclaimed. They purchased the Harbor Street building and met for years till growth multiplied the congregation! Wesley was built at 8 North street where 800 members worshiped regularly under the excellent ministry of outstanding pastors! In 1910 Lafayette St UMC moved to their new home.at 296 Lafayette street until the 1994 merger.

We, of today’s Wesley United Methodist Church, wish you God’s richest blessing!; May you walk forever in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!

History of the building
The Wesley United Methodist Church of Salem, MA., was dedicated into Christian service as the “Wesley Episcopal Church” on July 31, 1888, as the corner stone was laid. The corner stone was laid in a ritualistic ceremony with the singing of the hymn “How Firm A Foundation.” The church was designed by Lawrence B. Volk of New York. The local contractors were J.F. Farrin, Joseph N. Parsons, and Joseph N. Peterson. The original cost was between $35,000 and $40,000. This was without the additional cost of the steeple that was added at a later date.The Salem News reported on February 24th, 1889, the following, as described by the foreman; R.G. Norton.

The style of architecture, like most modern structures, is mixed, but the Gothic prevails. Entrance is had through the cloisters at the N.W. and S.W. corners. The N.W. one is under the tower, now about 83 feet high, but will be 118 feet if the steeple is added eventually on the present design. The walls are of brick, with rock faced freestone foundation and trimmings. The outside dimensions are 68 by 116 feet.
The basement is fitted up with a kitchen, dining-room and toilet arrangements. Three large heaters convey hot air all over the church. Under the auditorium are circles of brick piers, from 4 1/2 to 10 fee apart, which preclude the possibility of the floor ever giving way, no matter what weight is placed upon it.

On the floor of the church proper there is, first the vestibule, three classrooms, opening into the varsity, while the latter is connected with the auditorium by immense sliding doors, six in number, and 28 feet in height. The arrangement of classrooms deserves special mention. There are four of them, two being in the second story, and connected by balconies, hanging over the vestry. But when the sliding sashes of the classrooms are pushed back, and the vestry sliding folded doors all are open to the church proper.
The auditorium is built theater-like with sloping floor, and circular seats, and a rather unique arrangement of aisle. It will seat about 630 people. The rostrum is 18 by 20 feet with a half circle space 5 feet wide for the alter rail. The Pastors room and choir room are located to the right and left of the rostrum.

The interior arches will present a magnificent appearance. The main room is a T. From these slope away smaller arches, forming a succession of bold curves running down to massive pillars and curiously carved cornices, beautiful in the extreme. The arches of the windows are in the same shape, and carry out and set into prominence the majestic curvature of the main arches. The ceiling of the arches is covered with corrugated steel and will be decorated a shaded blue. The windows will be ornate. Those facing North Street will be used for memorial purposes. Cathedral glass will be used in the large doors between the vestry and auditorium.

The arrangements for ventilation are well nigh perfect. The sexton can stand at one spot in the rear of the church and by manipulating forty one little handles, arrange every ventilator in the church.

Lafayette Street United Methodist Church {1910} and Wesley United Methodist Church [1888} merged in 1994. Many contemporary changes in lighting, sound system, fire alarm system and heating system have brought this historic building into the next century.