Brief History of the Primitive Methodist
Church from Pastor Merle F. Wilson, submitted by
Judy Anne Champion Frates
In the latter part of the sixties, there were a few folks who had a
knowledge of the Lord, and His glorious power to save, living in a
section of Newcastle, in which at that time, there were not many, if any
places, for public worship (churches) for them to unite in fellowship
and communion with.
For Christian communion and fellowship, the souls of these humble
followers of the Man of Galilee hungered, so they gathered together and
held prayer meetings in the home of one of their number, Mr.
Wm. Nitingale, which was then located on what is now known as
Division street. These prayer meetings grew in interest and power, and
in a very brief period ultimately developed into regular public worship,
services being held every Sunday morning and evening. God soon evidenced
His divine approval by setting His seal upon it in the salvation of
precious souls, one of the first being Mr. Thos.
A Sunday School was started that held its sessions on Sunday afternoon
Mr. Kimberley's washhouse. The school soon outgrew the capacity of the
meeting place, so that this little group of earnest worshipers of God
had forced upon them the question of building a church edifice. After
much prayer and earnest discussion they finally decided, because of the
democracy and freedom afforded by the Primitive Methodist Connecion
Church policy, to organize a Primitive Methodist Society, purchase a lot
and build a church.
This soon became real. The society was organized and the first Board of
Trustees was elected June 21, 1869, viz., Wm.
Boat, Wm. Kimberly, Benjamin Bates, Henry Blews and Wm. Nitingale.
A lot was purchased at what was at that time
Methodist Church, New Castle Photo by
History of the Primitive Methodist Church from the Twentieth Century
History of New Castle and Lawrence County, 1908
an ideal place for a
church, at a cost of $450 and a suitable building for church purposes
was erected. It was a small frame building, but it met the requirements
of the time.
This young society grew so rapidly that, but a few years later, in
1881,during Rev. R.G. Roscamp's D.D.,
pastorate, the little frame building gaveplace for a more up-to-date and
substantial brick structure.
And still later, on a new and more prominent site, at the corner of Mill
and Maitland streets, donated by Miss Irene
Maitland during Rev. G.J. Jeffries'
ministry. On the 5 day of October, 1902, a third church, gothic in style
of architecture, of white pressed brick with brown stone
trimmings,52x107 feet in dimensions, with beautiful artistic art glass windows,
a splendid pipe organ, substantial and of exquisite beauty, was
This magnificent commodious plant stands a monument of credit to the
untiring efforts of the Rev. R. Wilson, Ph.D.,
and his band of faithful workers.