New Boston Methodist Episcopal Church.
(Contributed by Rev. J. F. James.)
The history of Methodism in New Boston dates its beginnings in the spring and summer of 1835. The first services were held in the house of a Mr. McMurphy. The newly organized society was a part of Mercer Mission, which included a large area of country. The second quarterly meeting of this mission was held in the house of Lewis Noble, March 18 and 19, 1835, Henry Summers being presiding elder, John Jordan, preacher in charge, and Samuel Pinkley class- leader.
The first church building was erected on Third street in 1845 during the pastorate of Rev. U. J. Giddings. Mercer Mission had for its pastors many godly men, among whom may be named George Smith, T. M. Kirkpatrick, Asa McMurtry, Wilson Pitner, Amos Wiley, S. P. Burr, Francis Smith, James Ross, U. J. Giddings, Richard Whatman, Henry Hadley, David Oliver, William M. Clark, J. L. Kirkpatrick, P. T. Rhodes and John Morey. Of this long list only P. T. Rhodes is living to-day.
In 1857 the growing church demanded more constant pastorsic oversight, and New Boston charge was organized, including Keithsburg and Antioch appointments. G. C. Woodruff was the first pastor under this new arrangement. "Father Woodruff," as he was lovingly called, passed to his home on high April 4, 1902, in the ninety-fifth year of his age, and the seventy- third of his ministry. He preached acceptably but a few months before his death. His successors were J. D. Taylor, J. N. Bartles, J. H. Scott. J. Wesley. L. S. Ashbaugh and E. Wasmuth. During the pastorate of the last named. Keithsburg was set off, and since then the charge has consisted of New Boston and one out-appointment.
The same year (1865) the present parsonage was built. G. I. Bailey, H. I. Brown, J. D. Smith and S. Brink were pastors up to 1873. The pastorates of the last named were especially fruitful, resulting in large additions to the church membership. In 1874 and 1875 the present church edifice was built on Main street. The old church building now serves as a town hall for the township. Rev. Thomas Watson and Rev. B. C. Dennis followed, the latter having the joy of seeing a good revival. Following these came W. C. Knapp. G. B. Snedaker, E. N. Bentley, H. K. Metcalf, J. W. Frizzelle, W. A. Cumming, Henry Brink, I. Willett Puffer, C. F. Crane, F. DeClarke and J. F. James, bringing the history up to the present time. The membership, including Epworth Chapel, numbers 120.
History of Mercer & Henderson Counties
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