The history of Mary S. Brown Memorial-Ames United Methodist Church is related to but not the same as the history of Turner Cemetery. The church, together with the parsonage, share the land but have a somewhat different cast of characters. Here is a brief history of the church.
1790-1800–John and Susanna Turner and their neighbors formed the Turner Society and met in the Turners’ home near Frank and Loretta streets in Greenfield.
1812– First efforts were made to build a church.
1818–The Turner Society was given the name “The Country Class” by the Methodist Church in Pittsburgh.
1841–The congregation became part of Methodism’s East Liberty Circuit.
1842–Peter Dravo built the Squirrel Hill Methodist Church on Salt Works Road (now Saline Street) where the minister’s house now stands. It was the first brick church in Squirrel Hill.
1868–Mary S. Brown died at age 54.
1880–The brick church was replaced by a larger frame one, which was called Brown’s Chapel.
1888–The church closed after a period of disagreements and diminishing attendance.
1899–The abandoned church was taken over by the Baptists, but it was in such bad condition it had to be torn down. Turner Cemetery was neglected and became overgrown with weeds and shrubs.
1901–Captain Sam Brown began to plan the Palace of Memory to honor his mother. Meanwhile, the Methodists began to meet in Gillespie’s carpenter shop.
1904– Captain Sam Brown built a temporary frame church until the new stone church could be built.
1908–The cornerstone of the new church was laid.
1909–The new church was dedicated. That same year, 60 members withdrew and built their own church at the corner of Beechwood Boulevard and Lilac Street, forming the Squirrel Hill Methodist Protestant Church. That church building is also still standing.
1941–Brown’s Chapel and the Squirrel Hill Methodist Protestant Church merged, using the Mary S. Brown Memorial building and selling the other church.
1985–The Ames United Methodist Church of Hazelwood merged with Mary S. Brown Memorial Chapel to form the Mary S. Brown Memorial-Ames United Methodist Church.