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Georgetown Methodist Church

Bart Township, Lancaster County, Pa

From " History of Lancaster County" By Ellis and Evans printed 1883

Methodist Episcopal Church at Georgetown.

A society of the Methodist Episcopal Church was in existence at Georgetown as early as 1830, and services vere regularly held at private residences. Among the first active members were George Rockey, Solomon Hamar, and Adam Hess, who was the class leader.

At a meeting of the Quarterly Conference, held at Columbia, Nov. 24, 1832, for Strasburg and Columbia Circuit, Christopher Masters, Solomon Hamar, and Charles Bender were appointed a committee to estimate the expense of building a house of worship on James Caldwell's land, near Georgetown. They proceeded to erect the church, which was completed and dedicated in 1833. It was a stone , structure, with a seating capacity of two hundred and forty. The dedicatory services were performed by Thomas Miller, who was preacher in charge. It was named Salem Methodist Episcopal Church. They made a graveyard on this church lot. This house continue in use until 18, when it was taken down, and the present church edifice was erected on its site. This is a frame building forty-five by sixty-five feet, including two convenient classrooms. It cost about our thousand dollars.

This society has always a circuit appoint en The circuits to which it has belonged have been altered from time to time as circumtaces have required. In 1830 it was under the charge of Strasburg Crcuit, and the circuit preachers were David Best and Nathaniel Chew; in 1831-32 it was included in Strasburg and Columbia Circnit, and the circuit preachers were Thomas Miller, Eliphaet Reed, Richard Thomas, Robert E. Morrison, and John Edwards; in 1833 it was connected with Soudersburg Circuit, and the circuit preachers Thomas Miller and William Ryder. Ministers have since served this society, viz.: Revs. John Lednum, R. E. MMorrison, John Edwards, J, A. Watson, R. Anderson, Dallas D. Lore, E. R. Williams, G. Oram, Valentine Gray, Jonas Bissey, Samuel Grace, G. D. Car-row, Henry Sutton, Allen John, William Rink, J. B. Dennison, Charles Harsner, G. W. Lybrand, W.W. Michael, B. T. String, J. C. Wood, Alex. Wiggins, J. Aspril, W William Downey, J. Amthor, J. A, Cooper, E. C. Yerkes, L. D. McClintock.

This society is now associated with the churches of Gap and Christiana. These three constitute Georgetown and Gap Circuit, and have for their minister Rev. L. D. McClintock. This church has generally been prosperous. Its membership at present is one hundred and twenty. There is a flourishing Sunday-school, of which Johnson Ryan is superintendent. The trustees are Peter Pickel, William Phenegar, -- Prepared by Rev. L. D. McClintock.

"Churches of Today and Yesterday in Southern Lancaster County" by Fellowship of Solanco Churches, Raymond Dunlap, George Herbert, & Richard Yates , Sr. printed 1968


This thriving country church is located on the west side of Route 896 at the northern edge of the village of Georgetown, Bart Town-ship, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It is not known at what exact date the first group of Methodists became organized in this area. We do know, however, that at nearby Willow Street the first Methodist Church in Lancaster County was built in 1791. It was called Boehm's Chapel in honor of the pioneer Methodist preacher the Reverend Henry Boehm. We know also that the notable Bishop Francis Asbury visited the area, preaching at Strasburg and Soudersburg in 1799, and again in 1800. Early Methodists in Bart Township, no doubt, at-tended these services and from them gained inspiration to gather in private homes for the worship of God. We are reliably informed that a Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church was in existence in the vicinity of Georgetown as early as 1830, meeting in private homes under the direction of the Class Leader Adam Hess.

At a meeting of the Quarterly Conference of the Columbia-Stras-burg Circuit held at Columbia November 24, 1832, a committee consisting of Christopher Masters, Solomon Hamer and Charles Bender, was appointed to estimate the cost of erecting a House of Worship on James Calder's land near Georgetown. Their report being favor able, a stone structure was erected and dedicated the following year. It was named Salem Methodist Episcopal Church. The Reverend Thomas Miller of the Soudersburg Circuit officiated at the dedica- tion services. Space for a burying ground at the rear of the Church was also provided at this time.

The original stone structure continued to serve the congregation until 1876, when it was replaced by the present frame building. We assume that about this time it became known as the Georgetown Methodist Church, rather than Salem, as it was first named. Such early records as are available indicate that preaching services were held monthly at first, but their frequency increased until about the turn of the century. Since that time they have been conducted weekly. Improvements in the building have been made as the need has arisen and the opportunity presented itself. Electricity was installed in 1923, and stained glass memorial windows in 1934. A new manse was erected near the center of the village in 1946. Additional Class rooms for the Sabbath School was provided in 1956 by digging out the basement of the church, most of the labor being supplied by the members themselves. When this project was completed, there had been added not only the needed class rooms, but a modern kitchen, a vestibule and a steeple with bell. The total cost was a little more than $25,000.00. Present membership of the Church 1967 is 260, and of the Sunday School 155. Services are held each Sabbath morning, with Sunday School at 9:45 and Divine Worship at 11:00. Daily Vacation Bible School is conducted each summer with an average enrollment of 58.

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