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Town of Independence Related Articles

Methodist Church Observes 120 Years

From October 4, 1951

Transcribed by Crist Middaugh

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church celebates 120 yrs

Whitesville Methodists Observe 120th Anniversary at Services on Sunday

The 120th anniversary of the founding of the local Methodist Church was observed Sunday with special services both in the morning and afternoon with the Rev. E. T. Read, former local pastor and currently pastor of the Portville Methodist Church, the guest speaker in the afternoon.

Other activities during the day included the observance of Rally Day in the Sunday school service and the serving of a tureen luncheon by the members of the Dorcas Class at noon. An open house was held at the new parsonage between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.

The morning service was highlighted by the honoring of church officials who had served in an official capacity for a period of five years or more, which included Clair Crittenden, Rhoe Leach, J. Arther Crittenden and Jay Smith, al of whom have served for 20 to 50 years; Frank Rigby, lay leader of the church; Mrs. Jay Smith, teacher of the Philathea Class for many years, and Mrs. Frank Rigby, officer of the Philathea Class.

“The Church has the message of truth, the financial means and the manpower to meet the challenge which confronts it today,” said Rev. Read in his sermon during the afternoon program. He complimented Whitesville Methodists on the progress of their church.

The church was founded in 1831 by the Rev. J.D. McKenny, according to a history prepared and read by Clifford Seger. After holding services in members homes for seven years, the first church was erected in 1838. The first parsonage was purchased in 1865; the church was remodeled in 1898 and in 1927 the building was raised and a basement constructed under the entire structure. The mortgage was burned in 1941.

Dr. Kent Abbott rendered several violin solos during the afternoon service.

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