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Title: Pine Village Methodist Church
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The first church society in this community was a Methodist class, organized in the house of Isaac Metsker in 1831. Rev. Jas McCain and JOhn C. French, a couple of itinerant preachers, organized this clas. The first preaching place, after the homes had been so utilized, - as far as van be ascertained, - was in a schoolhouse east of where the railroad now runs. and near where the J. Wesley Metsker now (1901) lives. For the history of the circuit from 1831 to 1849 we must depend for the most part upon questionable source of tradition and the memories of our aged members.

In the memory of our older people Thomas J. Brown was among the frist to serve the charge whciih then included the present organization at P.V. Hachaliah Vredenburg credited with having preached here as pastor from 1834 to '35, and is thought to have lived at LaFayette. Frances M. Blind and Sarah Pearce came to this country in '35 and Vredenburg was pastor. From '36-'37 Josiah Cooper was pastor and "Weeping Watson" his assistant. A meeting held in the school-house resulted in a memorable revival for which Cooper was famous everywhere.

From 1838-40 Colbrath Hall was pastor of Pine Creek circuit. Whether that included this point is not now known; it is doubtful, though "Coby Hall" is well remembered here and often preached here in the old-time camp-meetings for which this place was widely known. He was an ordained local preacher; and died at his country home near West Lebanon several years ago. He has relatives living in Williamsport.

About 1840 to 1843 Wm. Campbell served the charge which had then probably become Independence circuit (how early we do not know). A revival under his leadership is still well remembered by many of the older residents at Union and the name of "Uncle Billie Campbell" is "as ointment poured forth".

The old church (Big Pine Chapel) was built in 1845 (though some claim earlier). Thus early, perhaps much earlier, the charge was known as Independence circuit.

In 1848-'49 Joseph White was pastor. The parsonage, which was at Union - on what is E.E. Little's farm - being uninviting he refused to live in it, and made his residence at Poolsville, now known as Green Hill. Wade Posey, during his pastorate built the parsonage (in '51)in Pine Village, the settlement here beginning that year. While building the parsonage here he lived in a house where Henry D. Ritenour now lives. Northwest Ind. Conference was organized that year ('52), and in '54 Pine Village became the head the head of the circuit. Richard Hargrave was pastor for one year ('57-'58). His salary was $425. He often preached here in after years at camp-meetings and as presiding-elder. Wade Posey came back in '58 and stayed two years.

From '66-'68 Wm. M. Fraley was pastor. He did not live on the charge. He built the present church-edifice at Union. While he was pastor a good revival was held at Union. Caroline Kerr and Mrs. Emma Clawson were converted and joined the church at that time. For the next three years ('69-'72) Henry Vencil was pastor. He had a great revival at Pine Village which brought many into the church. Campbell was his assistant one year; and Brooks for another. Brooks led the building of Rainsville Church.

The next three years ('84-'87) the charge was served by J.J. Thompson. Rainsville was added to this circuit durin his pastorate after a term of absense and several members thus "transferred" to this charge. Helpful meetings seem to have been held at Pine Village and Bethel. The present church edifice at Bethel (1901) was erected under his leadership replacing an older one on the same sight. W.B. Warren was his successor, serving one year. He had a helpful revival under his labors at Pine Village; also at Independence and at Bethel. W.E. McKinzie succeeded Warren, and served one year. He brought the benevolences to the high-water mark, applied 5/8 of to missions. He did much toward removing church debt at Pine Village. Helpful meetings were held at Pine Village, Bethel, Union, and Rainsville; but no sweeping revivals. E.G. Pelley served the charge as supply the next year. He finished up paying the Pine Village debt, partly thru the sale of lots adjoining the church lot; also, he repaired the parsonage property.

David A. Rodgers served the charges four years. He was certainly abundant in labors despite many discouragements. His first two years' work "were" well received by the people in general. Despite unhappy conditions and meager support and loss of sympathy he succeeded in building the Winthrop church property. Harry S. White served the charge for one year. He raised about $550 on the Winthrop church. During the winter his health was poorly, and he had no successful meetings. While he was pastor, J.J. Thompson (supernuminary), who resided here made an enthusiastic effort very ill-advised, to restore Bethel, which had been dropped. The chruch was repaied at cost of 200. Thompson served there under White for that year - salary about $63. Brother White hung the benefolence up to a high notch, mcuh to his ownh expense apparently. From '98 to '02 J.M Williams was pastor. The first year he worked at a great disadvantage in having to live out of town (in Thompson' house in "Oklahoma"), the old parsonage having become unindurable.

We will describe the old property: It was a square or rectangular building having been built in 1851, with low flat galbe and roof, was casings about doors and windows so loose the rain driven in against the plastering kept it soaked and dripping or frozen. Under the kitchen was a hole called a cellar, without walls, caving in, full of slop and filth. The floors were "rolling" and uneven to such an extenet that it could not be hidden. The house leaked with a riddle (though well roofed) because of the open sides. Two bed rooms - one of which served as study - were so small the door could barely open - and there being no closets - when one brushed by passing, he had to use great care to prevent tumbling down the whole wardrobe. Outside stood an old open well and a broken cistern - both perfectly useless, full of slop and slime. The barn had a clapboard roof worse than none because it prevented drying out while it was no protection against leakage. It was sided up and down with hewn oak siding which was so warped and rotten that it scarcely more than half obstructed a clear view. The new parsonage property will speak for itself. It was begun in the summer of 1899. The contract was let at Harrison Mullendore for $1073 above the foundation, on July 7. Some unavoidable changes and wise additions brought the cost up considerably. The actual cost of the parsonage improvements in cash was about $14550. Much work was donated. Some additional improvements are much needed. But other nterest on the charge have so pressed the pastor for time that they have had to be postponed. Successful meetings were held the first year at three points - Rainsville, Pine Village and Winthrop. The second year a good meeting was held at Winthrop. Removals have greatly crippled our working force since that time.

During the third year, two splendid revivals came to our change. The pastor secured Ensing J.M. Wolfe and his brigade of the Salvation Army. They were at Pine Village three weeks. One hundred and fourteen were at the altar and professed conversion. Immediately after their departure scarlet fever raged thru the town and vicinity. A quaratine very much hindered the much-needed means of grace. A revival at Rainsville followed with splendid results. The Radical U.B.'s came soon after and had good meetings, and tried to organize. They have failed for the most part. Some of their followers are good people and only need good treatment from us, and they will return to the Methodist Church.

In September, 1902 - David Handley was appointed by Bishop Vincent to Pine Village Circuit. On arriving he found the Church had been removed from its foundation and no place provided for worship. The Trustee of the Free Methodist Church kindly offered us the use of their house, which offer was accepted. Our now Trustees had let the contract for erection of a new brick auditorium connecting with the old frame church which was to be utilized as Sunday School and Epworth League Rooms and to be brick veneered. The contract price was $7100, which did not include any excavation, hauling of material from Rail Road, nor any work on basement, windows, furnaces nor furniture, nor did it include the cost of an additional lot purchased. They had as a basis for the payment of all this subscription aggregating $3900. The Church cost complete, including furniture and concrete walks a little more than $10,000 and was dedicated by Dr. B.I. Ives of Auburn, N.Y. May 17, 1903. It was thought at the time that enough money was subscribed to cover all claims at the time swelled the cost beyond what was expected.

At the ensuing session of the Annual Conference D. Handley was returned against his own judgment, and as it proved against the judgment of some at Pine Village. Smallpox broke soon after Conference and was followed by Scarlet fever, and little opportunity was found for revival services during the winter and the year was in some respects discouraging. The pastor however reported $150 paid on benevolences and salaries paid in full.

Date: 8/1/1989
Origin: Good Ol' Days
Author: Bob & Jeanne Akers
Record ID: 00000140
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection:
Entered By: Amber M Knipe

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