Some Endicott residents are worried that a church built more than a century ago could soon be demolished.

Members of the First United Methodist Church on McKinley Avenue have decided it's time to cease operations. The final service is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Regional representatives of the United Methodist Church have indicated no decision has been made about what will happen to the property. The site was donated by George F. Johnson of the Endicott Johnson Shoe Company. IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, Sr. attended services at the Endicott church.

The First United Methodist Church of Endicott on February 16, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The First United Methodist Church of Endicott on February 16, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Endicott Mayor Linda Jackson said a group has been working to develop a daycare center at the church site. She said the property zoning would permit such a use, although it would require the approval of state regulators.

Jackson said the rooms that had been used for Sunday school classes would be "perfect for daycare."

The mayor said the group - known as Greater Endicott Missions - for now is focusing on a daycare program for the church site. But she said members also have been discussing other possible uses for the property.

The Huron Campus property in Endicott is located north and east of the First United Methodist Church. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The Huron Campus property in Endicott is located north and east of the First United Methodist Church. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The church is adjacent to the sprawling Huron Campus, which was acquired by Phoenix Investors of Milwaukee in 2021. There's been discussion in Endicott that Phoenix may be planning to buy the church property as it redevelops the site that's known as "the birthplace of IBM."

Jackson said Chris Pelto - who manages the Huron Campus - has advised her that "they have absolutely no plans to go anywhere near the church. Not to buy it, not to demolish it, not to do anything."

Pelto could not be reached to comment on Monday about any potential expansion of the Huron Campus.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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