Meadows - We Are the Church - 1850 - 2000
Ministers of Beaver Meadows
The many lists of ministers varies however, this is a consensus. The spelling of names may not be absolutely correct. The following list is compiled from one created by Grace Bennett, another from Mae Fassett, and from "The History of the Wyoming Conference". The Camptown United Methodist Charge also published our list of ministers in the 1977 and 1978 Quarterly Conference Publication. This data and dates of the Pastors are as close to correct as possible.
We know now that the Beaver Meadows Church has belonged to the Springville Circuit, the Wyalusing District, and the Rush Mission. The Rush Charge established a Mission under the Wyoming Conference in 1866 in the town of Bixby (Beaver Meadow). The old legends tell us that church services were held in the individual homes prior to the building of a church. The church was previously believed to have been built after 1868. 1868 was etched in the stone in front of the church. The year 1868 represents the year the Tuscarora Rush Religious Compact was signed and recorded (for what appears to be tax purposes) at the Bradford County Courthouse. We know by the minutes of the Silvara Freewill Baptist Church that a dedication service was held October 1, 1869 at Beaver Meadow. They cancelled their services so the members could attend here. We now know that there was a Union Church located here in 1850. This dedication must have been for the expansion of the pulpit and vestibule areas. An obituary of Susan Marbaker states that her husband, Joseph, lived to enjoy his farm for 50 years. He died March 25, 1899. The obituary also states that he was instrumental in building the church at nearby Beaver Meadow shortly after they purchased their property in 1849.
No proof is found to the old legend that Beaver Meadow was associated with the Skinner's Eddy Charge. That rumor apparently came from an old record of being part of the Rush Charge. East Rush Church was known as the "Eddy Church". Also, the list of ministers is entirely different from the Skinner's Eddy Charge. The list of pastors from the Rush Charge does agree, with the exception of Rev. Abraham Schofield. This may have been an error. He definitely was at Rush. There are records stating that he married Ward Smith and Ada Strickland in 1894, at Rush. Our church became a part of the Camptown Charge in 1918. It was previously believed that the jointure of Camptown and Beaver Meadows occurred in 1914 but the Camptown Charge's Ministers List records 1918. Rush Pastor's List and the Beaver Meadows Pastor's List concur. Good records became available after Beaver Meadows church joined the Camptown Charge. There are basically no membership records available prior to that time, only what was recopied from the lost record book. The Beaver Meadows Church remained with the Camptown Charge until it was assigned to the South Auburn Charge in 1981. Rev. Ruth Breitweiser was minister here at that time. She was also minister to the South Auburn Church. This affiliation lasted one year. Beaver Meadows has been functioning well as an individual church since 1982. It has been part of the Wilkes Barre District of the Wyoming Conference for many years.
* Historian's Note: + indicates the name of the minister appearing in the Methodist Honor Roll of the Dead - Wyoming Conference
* Indicates that the minister's name was taken from church membership records as being the pastor at that particular time.
THE MINISTERS OF BEAVER MEADOWS
Prior to 1855, the Wyalusing Circuit serviced Beaver Meadow. The
History of Wyoming Conference states that Reverend Transue was the minister
one year prior to the establishment of the Rush Mission in 1866.
Rev. G. S. Transue 1855-1866
+Rev. Isaac P. Towner 1867-1870
(Rev. Towner was not on Grace Bennett's list)
+Rev. William Shelp 1867-1870
(The Camptown Church records relate that both these ministers shared the circuit in 1867. Rev. Shelp, who was also a medical doctor, served until 1870.)
Rev. Parker J. Gates 1870-1871
+Rev. George O. Beers 1873-1875
+Rev. Francis A. Dony 1875-1877
+Rev. Andrew W. Hood 1877-1878
Rev. T. C. Roskelley 1878-1879 or 1879-1880
+Rev. Addison F. Harding 1880-1881
Rev. C. H. Bashford 1881-1883
Rev. W. J. Norris 1883-1884
+Rev. Gaylord C. Jacobs 1884-1887
+Rev. Thomas Burgess 1887-1888
Rev. George W. Sanders 1888-1890
+Rev. Grant E. VanWoert 1890-1893
(Rev. VanWoert appears on the Rush Charge list in 1892. Beaver Meadow became a part of the Rush Charge in 1892.)
+*Rev. Abraham Schofield 1893-1895
(Rev. Schofield was never at Rush Charge according to their list of Pastors)
Rev. A. W. Phillips 1895-1896
Rev. Robert McLauren 1896-1898
Rev. G. Gorisse (or Gousse) 1898-1901
(Rev. Gorisse was a native of France)
Rev. Henry Burns 1901-1902 (1/2 year)
(+*Rev. Carl Councilman took in Anna Fassett as a member on September 21, 1902. He is listed as the pastor at Camptown UMC 1902-1908 and is also listed as a visiting pastor in the Quarterly Conference Minutes at the same time.)
Rev. R. Floyd Lesh
(Rev. Lesh was a supply pastor. He served six months.)
Rev. Albert E. Potter 1903-1906
Rev. Peter F. Meads 1907-1908
Rev. Higgins 1908-1909
(+*Rev. William H. Stang took in Ruth and Emma Brown as members in 1911. He is listed as the minister at Camptown UMC 1909-1912.)
*Rev. W. L. McKelvey 1912
(Rev. McKelvey was the pastor listed in a church bulletin of the Rush Charge
in July, 1912.)
Rev. William E. Cole(s) 1910-1911 or 1912-1913
Rev. James A. Hill (s) 1913
+Rev. Ivan Lott Snyder 1913 or 1914-1916
(Rev. Snyder's name appears mid-year)
+Rev. D. Marvin Corkwell 1914-1915
Rev. C. M. Griffith 1915
(*Rev. W. Randall took in Ernest Brown as a member in 1915.)
Rev. Emory M. Greenfield 1916-1917
(Beaver Meadows shared ministers with the Rush Charge equally up to this point)
Rev. McKloy (No dates listed)
(*Rev. F. G. Bulgin is listed as a mid-year change 1916-1918 on the Camptown UMC list of ministers. A newspaper item under Clapper Hill News in October, 1917, reads as follows: "The sermon given by our pastor, Rev. Bulgin, was greatly appreciated". In 1918, the Beaver Meadows Church was officially listed as joining with the Camptown UMC. However, Rev. Bulgin did perform services
prior to that date.)
+Rev. Wilson Treible 1918-1919
Rev. George Roberts 1923
+Rev. Harry M. Savercool (Savacool) 1920-1932 or 1926-1932
+Rev. Clarence Andrews 1932-1937
Rev. DeLoss Smith 1937-1942
+Rev. Arthur Mayo 1942-1943
+Rev. George L. Sweet 1944-1947
Rev. Gladstone Brown 1947-1949
Rev. William Reid Jr. 1950-1957
(Rev. Reid started his ministry at Beaver Meadows)
Rev. B. Evert Lord Feb. 1957-Conference 1957
Rev. Ervin Bossert 1957-1959
Rev. Darreld R. Shoop 1959-1962
Rev. Norman P. Kase 1962-1967
Rev. William D. Lewis 1967-1968
(Rev. Lewis started his ministry at Beaver Meadows)
Rev. James C. Valentine 1968-1972
Rev. Algernon B. Jayne 1972-1976
Rev. Raymond VanStone 1976-1979
Rev. Theodore R. Lorah Jr. 1979-1980
Rev. Ruth Carter Breitweiser 1981-1982
Rev. Richard West 1982-1985
Rev. Margaret L. Reid 1986-July, 1989
Rev. Edwin A. Simmons 1989-Aug. 31, 1990
Rev. William C. Nelson Sept. 1, 1990-
(Rev. Nelson is our current pastor)
|Photo from left to right - Rev. Margaret Reid,
Alice Sivers, and Dean Button 6/21/1989
Rev. Margaret Reid liked to close her services with this verse.
The Lord bless thee and keep thee
The Lord make His face to shine upon thee
And be gracious unto thee.
The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee
And give thee peace.
The following are excerpts from a book containing stories of the early ministers. The book depicts the trials and tribulations of their lives and their relationship with the community in which they served. Mae Fassett found these in a book of the ministers, which she found in the Endicott, New York. She incorporated them into her own records.
The following is reprinted just the way she copied them. I cannot prove
their accuracy or inaccuracy. There are a few minor spelling corrections
and adaptations of grammar. I see a few things that I disagree with, but
I do not know exactly how they were printed in the book she used.
Rev Transue was Pastor here for one year. Rev Shelp became Pastor in
1867 until 1870. In the year 1868 a corporation was formed here of different
faiths, which were Methodist, Episcopal, Methodist Wesleyan, Baptist, Presbyterian
and Congregational. The church was then named Beaver Meadows in 1877.
1877- 1878, The Rev A W Hood, a native of Canada was appointed to succeed
Rev F Doney and proved to be a very acceptable preacher and gentleman,
especially to the younger people and a member of the order of Odd fellows.
Holding special meetings on several points of the church during his two
years as pastor. Especially at Stevensville where many were converted,
but on account of our people not having a church there, most of the fruit
was reaped by the Presbyterians.
* Historians note: That is how the Presbyterian Church got such
a strong hold on the community of Stevensville, Pennsylvania. The
church still exists today, however it is struggling like all other small
churches. The Quarterly Conference Records record that the Stevensville
Schoolhouse connection was dropped from the circuit in 1887. Now we know
why that church failed. After all there is only one God.
1879- 1880, Rev A W Hood was followed by Rev T C Roskelly, who was a
fair preacher, a good financier and courageous, not being afraid of the
unbelievers and infidels in the community.
1881-1882, Rev C W Bashford followed in order of succession as Pastor
of this charge. He proved to be a great financier and helper of the Methodist
department of this charge, having much to do with the plastering of the
parsonage, fending the lawn and all that needed doing.
1883, Rev W G Norris, a young man was sent next. He was of poor health, interested in the work, sympathetic but unable to meet the demands of the charge, his health giving away he was obliged eventually to locate elsewhere.
1884-1886, Rev G C Jacobs, succeeded Brother Norris and proved from
a spiritual point of view the most successful Pastor that ever served the
charge, having during his second year pastured over one hundred conversions.
He still retains a warm place in his heart for people.
* Historians note: I compare Rev Gaylord Jacobs to Rev William Reid and Rev William Nelson of more modern times. Rev William Reid made a huge impact on the community when he started his ministry here in 1950. His wife Rev Margaret Reid was Pastor here from 1986 - 1989 also. He returned to Beaver Meadows many times during her ministry. He served as the District Superintendent from 1978 - 1984. The Beaver Meadows Church honored him for his service of 50 years in the ministry on January 2, 2000. Rev William Nelson was also honored for 50 years in the ministry in October 2000. Rev Nelson holds the honor of the Pastor serving the longest term. They both made major improvements here at Beaver Meadows.
1887, Rev T Burgess was next appointed to the charge. There was great a sense of disappointment. His family never moved into the parsonage, resulting in the people refusing to pay his salary.
1888-1889, Rev G W Sanders was appointed to supply the charge.
He was widely acceptable being born a farmer, and very sociable spending
most of his time in and among the people. He did not attempt to make specialty.
His sermonizing brought many of the members of the Devine Ridge Class to
the Fairdale Charge. It was a way of strengthening the Rush Charge spiritually
Historians note: Now we know what happened to the Schoolhouse connection
of the Methodist Circuit at Devine Ridge.
1890-1892, Rev G F VanWoert a member of the conference on trial was
afterwards appointed. Low in stature, he was in comparison with Rev Sanders,
his appearance was somewhat against him. However, in time he overcame
that handicap and proved to be most acceptable, and one of the most popular
preachers to serve the charge. His strength lay in energy and sympathy.
He had successful revivals at Rush and Beaver Meadows adding members to
the church. He increased the benevolences over previous years.
During his second year as Pastor, Elk Lake was removed from his charge
and placed on the Auburn Charge. East Rush and Retta were added to
the Rush Charge, strengthening and improving the quality of the charge.
1893-1894, Rev A Shoefield an Elder and member of the conference was appointed to succeed Rev VanWoert. He left the charge in fair shape. The Sunday schools and prayer meetings need toning up. The church records were kept badly, or not at all. The list of members had not been revised for 8 years. In the month of June in the first year of his pastorate the minister went west to fetch his wife back home from visiting relatives lightning struck the Rush Center spire, demolishing it. Damage was also done to the chimney and roof. The walls of the Beaver Meadows Church were taken out and re-laid in cement and flagstones purchased for the front of the church. The total cost being $125.00. It was raised and paid.
1895-1986, Rev A W Phillips was a local Pastor who next served the charge. He was a hail fellow, well meet and very popular with the young people. His abilities as a musician also helped greatly, except to "choir bosses" with whom he had several encounters. In all these people sympathy lay generally with the Pastor. His social ability while his chief asset, proved his undoing as Pastor here, he being accused of two separate liaisons, one with a woman at Rush and the other at Beaver Meadows. A trial was held at Fairdale. His conduct proved he was not a fit man to be a minister so he resigned.
* Historians note: I pondered weather to include this story of Rev Phillips and the story of Rev Burns, which will be recorded here also. I decided my job was to record what was written, not to rewrite it. These are published stories on the Pastors obtained from a Methodist journal. After all, as Rev Ruth Breitweiser told me when I asked her advice in 1998. To errors is human, and ministers are only human. Nobodies perfect!
1896-1897, Rev Robert McLauren a student from Drew University follows Rev Phillips in moral lines, as the people wouldn't pay his salary. He went to Hawleytown, New York.
1898-1900, Rev G Gorisse a Drew University graduate whose country of origin was France came to Rush for his appointment. He found the church a mile away at Rush. He decided the village needed a church. He did not want to walk that mile! The churches of Rush and Retta were built during his tenure.
1901-1902, Rev Henry Burns captured the people and drew large crowds. But with sadness we are compelled to records his failures. He used tobacco; contrary to his vow, a confirmed user of alcoholic stimulants, a drug fiend securing his inspirations from the bottle and a hypodermic needle. He falsified his matrimonial experiences in order to enter the Wyoming Conference. He used hard cider and played cards with the cronies at Rush and Beaver Meadows. He did not keep the membership records right, reporting more than double the actual membership, as he didn't deduct for deaths or removals. He was removed in October 1902. He did more damage to the Christ's cause than any other person here ever did. Only the fact that he transferred saved him from facing trial before the Wyoming Conference for his crimes.
1902-1903, Rev R Floyd Lesh a Dickinson College man was secured to serve
in 1903. He was good man and was greatly missed.
* Historians note: Drew University was founded in 1866 at Madison, New Jersey. It has the motto, "Christian in Outlook, Methodist with Pride".
These were the only ministers she recorded stories about. The
book must have ended there! They were recorded as found with minor editing.
I just record, it is not my place to edit. Remember what Rev Ruth
Breitweiser had to say; Ministers were only human way back then too.
"So what nobodies perfect".
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