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Colerain Township, Lancaster County, Pa

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

Wesley Methodist Church is situated in Colerain Township, about three miles south of Quarryville just off route 472. In fact the new road which is now being built will be quite close to the Sanctuary The Wesley Church and the Mount Hope Methodist Church just west of Quarryville, are served by the same pastor and comprises the Mount Hope Circuit of the Philadelphia Methodist Conference.

The original meeting house built in 1828 was of stone, and the present brick edifice was built in 1878. An article appearing in "The Oxford Press" in 1878 states, "Church Dedication in Colerain-Thursday was a memorable day to the people residing in the vicinity of the new Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church in Colerain Township, Lancaster County. The occasion was the dedication of the church which took place about noon. Bishop Simpson preached from Romans 1: 16. The sermon was an able and practical one, abounding in truths so plainly and forcibly illustrated that the most indifferent could hardly fail to become impressed by his logic.

Subscriptions were then taken from the congregation with the result that only a comparatively small amount was left to be paid. The church is a substantially built brick structure 30x40 feet with two doors facing to the south and three large windows on either side.

Inside it is neatly and tastefully painted and furnished with necessary equipment for comfortably heating and lighting it."

Originally Wesley Church was on what was then known as Fulton Circuit, comprising Mount Hope, Wesley, Bethel and Mount Zion Church at Fairfield. This was during the time of the Civil War. Quarryville Methodist Church was built in 1883 and in 1884 a new Circuit called the Quarryville Circuit was formed, composed of Quarryville, Mount Hope, Wesley and Bethel churches. Later the Quarryville church was placed by itself and the present Mount Hope Circuit was formed.

From an excerpt in the History of Lancaster County we find this writing about Wesley. "Wesley Methodist Church, (the first building) was erected on land purchased from J. E. Caldwell, who then owned the Black Rock Forge property. Among the first members were J. E. Caldwell, Michael Bass, Samuel Morrison and Abraham Groff. In 1878 a neat and commodious edifice of brick was erected.

The Sabbath School consists of eighty pupils and the present superintendent is Abram L. Stively. The present pastor is the Rev. F. M. Brady (1883-1888)."

The QuarryviIle Sun, October 16, 1925 shows that in 1925 the church celebrated its ninety-seventh anniversary with all-day services. The morning sermon was delivered by the Reverend C. B. Johnston, the afternoon sermon by the Reverend L. S. Palmer and the speaker of the evening was the Honorable John A. McSparran.

The present pastor is the Reverend Fred R. Landis. The church bears the name of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley. It has been a great influence for righteousness in the community. A long line of ministers have served this circuit, many of them later becoming prominent ministers of the Methodist Conference. In the late 1870's Wesley was considered one of the strong churches of the community, and many noted revival services were conducted there. It would be difficult to try to name the early "pillars" of the church but some of the well known names were Abram Espenshade, George Lefevere, Caleb Conner, Samuel Witmer, Abram Stively, Emanuel Waltman, J. Moderivell, Cornelius Collins, B. F. Shenk and many others.

The present order of service is worship service 9: 30 A.M. and Sunday School 10:30 A.M.

Pastors who have served the church during the past 60 years are as follows. Rev. R. M. Howells Rev. Edward White Rev. C. E. Radeliffe Rev. Hunter McKain Rev. C. J. Benjamin Rev. Maurice Hoover Rev. T. R. Crooks Rev. Robert Sheesley Rev. William May Rev. Julius Meyer Rev. Joseph Ashworth Rev. Delmar Probst Rev. Clarence Howell Rev. William Baily Rev. William Schoefstal Rev. E. Alonzo Casselberry Rev. C. W. Robb Rev. Lawrence R. Hof Rev. A. J. Lawson Rev. Fred R. Landis, Rev. H. S. lrevin the present pastor.

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