First Methodist Protestant Church
"Manual of the Churches of Seneca County with sketches of their pastors, 1895-96", compiled and published by the Courier Printing Co., Seneca Falls, NY 1896.
Methodist Protestantism originated in 1828, when a portion of the Methodist Episcopal Church united under the name of "Reformers," in a protest against the Episcopal form of government. In 1830, this organization was perfected as the Methodist Protestant Church of the United States. During the Civil War the church separated into Northern and Southern branches, which were reunited under the old name in 1877. The distinctive features of this church are administrative. Its doctrines are the same as those of the great body of followers of John Wesley, but it repudiates the episcopacy.
It believes in only one ordination, that of elders, and it regards all elders as of equal authority. As its Conferences some one is appointed as a presiding officer, but his special powers cease when the Conference dissolves. It also believes in the equal authority of laymen in all matters of the church affairs. Laymen have equal representation with the ministers in all the Conferences. The church has two publishing houses - one at Baltimore and one at Pittsburg. It has 1,556 ministers and 165,000 laymen. Its principal strength is in the "Border States," Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, western Pennsylvania, and southern Ohio and Indiana. In 1880, one-third of the entire membership was in West Virginia.
The First Methodist Protestant Church of Waterloo was organized in 1872. Peter Weaver, of Junius, a member, in that year purchased the old meeting house which had been erected by the Presbyterians in 1824 and occupied by them until 1851. He placed it at the disposal of the new society, and they at once commenced its occupancy. In 1877 they moved it a little further south and thoroughly remodeled it. It was dedicated according to their forms in 1878. Rev. Judson e. Cooper was the first pastor. Rev. Winfield Bentley was pastor when the church was repaired and dedicated. He labored faithfully for three years and under his ministry the church grew and prospered. Several other pastors have followed, the latest being Rev. George York, who resigned in August, 1895, on account of ill health. The church was then without a pastor until March 20, 1896, when Rev. William Crow was sent by the conference. The trustees of the church are Peter Weaver and Gilbert Travis.
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