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Ellsworth and Richmond's 1901
New Woodstock and Vicinity, Past and Present

"History of the Methodist Church"
pages 40 to 42

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Daniel H. Weiskotten

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Ellsworth, Anzolette D., and Mary E. Richmond, 1901, New Woodstock and Vicinity, Past & Present. J.A. Loyster, Cazenovia, NY

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History of the Methodist Church.

The Methodist class of New Woodstock was organized in 1830, and was connected with Pompey circuit.  The first members of this new, yet prosperous organization, were Lyman Davis and wife, N. Abbott and wife, brother James Allen, and sisters Samantha Corbin and A. Merrick.  Religious services were held for a time in the school house on West Woodstock hill, then also called Bull's Corners.  A "meeting house," so called out of deference to the custom of that time, was soon built on a site a few rods east of the school house and was used until about 1838.  The preachers upon the circuit at that time were Elders F. Benjamin, B. Paddock, and W. Batchelor.

The present house of worship was built in the village of New Woodstock in 1836, and although in an unfinished state, was used during the summer of 1840.  Services have been regularly held in it since November, 1840, except at times when it has been undergoing repairs.  During the labors of Rev. R.H. Clark, in 1856 the church was enlarged by adding ten feet to the rear.  A bell was purchased and placed in the tower of the church during the labors of Rev. James Gutsell.

In 1875, when M.Z. Haskins was pastor, extensive repairs were made amounting to $3,700. At that time the building was lowered, and the use of the basement for the class room and prayer meeting discontinued.  The communion service now in use was presented at that time by Mr. R.R. Churchward, who had previously removed from New Woodstock to Fabius.  The year before, while the Baptist church was undergoing repairs, the Methodists cordially gave them the privilege of using their church.  The opportunity to return the favor was now given and accepted, showing a better spirit than in 1836, when one Baptist brother refused to pay his tax toward paying for the "conference haus" because the church did not allow their Methodist friends to hold meetings in it, therefore he did not wish to pay for a "haus" that Christians could not occupy.

<:41>  In 1889, the Methodist Ladies' Aid Society added a kitchen.  In 1900, a legacy of $1,000, left by John W., son of Marcus L. Underwood, was received from his wife, of Grant Park, Ill.  Nearly $500 of the amount has been used in the interior of the building, and probably no village of its size in Madison County possesses as beautiful and attractive a Methodist Episcopal Church edifice.

A few changes may be noted in the church in connection with other charges.  As the work advanced and the charges grew in strength and ability, New Woodstock and Delphi became separate charges.  It has twice assumed the title of station; and twice been connected with Sheds Corners, to which place it now stands related.

In 1844 the church belonged to Oneida Conference which became a part of Central New York Conference in 1869.  During seventy years of existence, it has had sixteen presiding elders and thirty-two pastors.  Rev. John Nason is the first pastor mentioned and was located here in 1842, building and living in the house now owned and occupied by Mrs. Andrew Wightman.  The pastors following Rev. Mr. Nason appear in their order: E.P. Beebe, Wesley Fox, Andrew Peck, Charles Blakeslee, John H. Hall, T.C. Winslow, William E. York, M.W. Ripley, T.B. Rockwell, Richard H. Clark, L.C. Rogers, James Gutsell, Walter Jerome, Joseph Maxwell, B.W. Hamilton, Hubbard Fox, W.C. McDonald, Alexander Harroun, Theodore F. Clark, H.W. Williams, M.Z. Haskins, W.D. Fox, T.F. Harris, A.C. Smith, O.G.H. Phillips, C.E. Hoag, Virgil W. Mattoon, W.S. Lyon. S.F. Pearse, George [no last name given] (supply), and S.S. Pratt, pastor at the present time.

Great revivals have been enjoyed at different times in the history of the church among the most glorious being those in which B. Paddock, W. Batchellor, George Peck, D.D., and the late Bishop J.T. Peck did efficient work.  The first church meeting recorded as being held in New Woodstock was on June 27, 1838, Lyman F. Readington, chairman.  Lyman Davis clerk.  The latter served as clerk continuously for twenty-five years.  He was also Sunday school superintendent for many years.  January 2, 1841, Japhet Curtis was elected "keeper of the key."  In 1842 he had the same office, and his duties were to sweep the house and build the fires for the sum of eight dollars per year.  The following year the job of warming, lighting, and sweeping the house, the church furnishing wood and candles, was let to the lowest bidder.  Harvey Ellis received the position at eight dollars.  Ralph Knight and W. Ely Gunn are others who served as sextons in the early years.

Some of the prominent members in the past were Marcus L. and John L. Underwood, Henry Reeve, Mansier G. Thomas and wife, the latter remembered for her remarkably devoted religious life; their sons, Rev. <:42> Joseph L. Thomas, now in New York City, and the late Mansier C. Thomas, Cyrus Scott, and many others.

The present officers in the church are the following: W.S. Huntley, recorder and clerk; George Slocum, treasurer; Adon Allard, sexton; C.A. Fox, chairman of board of trustees.

The officers of the Sunday school are: Albert Wheelock, superintendent; W.S. Huntley, assistant superintendent; Florence Hendee, secretary; R.J. Murdock, treasurer; Mabel Morgan, missionary superintendent.

The first Methodist Parsonage stood on Main street west of where the railroad now is.  The house was sold for $1,800 in 1872 at the time the railroad was built.  It was removed to Bank street and is now the residence of John Blakeslee.

The present parsonage is on Pearl street.  The church property, including parsonage, is worth $5,000.

The Ladies' Aid Society connected with the church has the following officers: President, Mrs. C.A. Buckingham; Vice President, Mrs. A.D. Smith; Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. S.S. Pratt.

There is a flourishing society of Christian Endeavor which meets every Sunday evening.

Proceed on to the Next Section, New Woodstock Academy and Other Schools