of the major problems of the First Methodist Church in Sharon was that
of being a city church crowded into a downtown area with many of its
members moving to the suburbs. For over ten years there had been
discussion on the floor of Erie Annual Conference of the desirability of
establishing a Methodist Church in Hickory. It was first proposed when Dr.
Harold McCurdy was Grove City District Superintendent. An
item had been included in the Annual Conference budget for this project
but nothing positive had been done in Hickory itself. Rev.
M. E. Lindstrom of First Methodist Church, acting in his capacity
of the Grove City District Missionary Secretary, recommended to the
Conference Board of Missions that a survey be held to determine whether
a Methodist Church should be established.
In the Spring of
1953 laymen, with the aid of all the Methodist ministers of the
surrounding areas in the District, made a survey of Hickory Township,
Mercer County, that centers in Hermitage Corners. When the results of the
survey indicated that there were as many Methodists in the area as the
next two denominations— Presbyterians and United Presbyterians
combined—the Bishop’s Cabinet made the decision which was to bring
about the creation of the Hickory Methodist Church. At the Annual Session