Rutland Methodist Episcopal Church
The Records transcribed here are for the
Rutland Hill Methodist Church
Roseville Methodist Church
Lawrence Corners Methodist Church
Austinville Methodist Church
because they shared one pastor during much of their history
Article sent in by Creig Crippen
Annual Service In 1840 Church Set For Sunday
The bell in the old-style square belfry of the Rutland Hill Methodist Church will ring again Sunday. It will call worshipers to the annual service and meeting to be held at 11 a.m. and again in the afternoon.
This church, the first to be built in Rutland Township, is now 114 (actually 112 from founding in 1842) years old. It is located about two miles sough of Roseville on a little used dirt road.
Records kept by the family of Olen Smith of Canton indicate that his grandfather, Jesse Smith, an early settler in Rutland township, was one of the first to organize this church in 1840. Mr. Smith was a class leader in the Sunday school there for nearly 40 years. One of his sons, William Smith, drew the first load of stone for the church's foundation. Trustees were Jesse Smith, Arad Smith, Samuel Wilson, the Rev. Mr. Mansfield, the Rev. Mr. Hodges, and James Dann.
The Rutland Hill Church has been closed for many years, but has been kept in usable condition by the trustees. Once each year the dust of the narrow dirt road leading past the church is stirred by the cars bringing descendants of the original members and their friends to the annual service.
The churchyard, carefully mowed for the occasion, becomes a large parking area and picnic ground where lunches brought by the worshipers are eaten between morning and afternoon services.
The interior of the building remains much as when it was first erected.
More Articles - Undated: (Erma's Scrapbook)
TRUSTEES OF THE RUTLAND HILL METHODIST CHURCH
Front row, from left: The Rev. Orey Crippen, Archie Benson, Mansfield; W. C. Bailey, Columbia Cross Roads and Raymond Van Zile, Snedekerville. Rear row: Norman Tears Jr., Snedekerville; Thomas Wood, Mansfield; Clarence Bailey, Towanda; Lee D. Tice, Mansfield; Olen Smith Sr., Canton and L. P. Wood, Mansfield.
RUTLAND HILL CHURCH SERVICES HELD
Canton—Two services were held Aug. 15, at the century old Rutland Hill Methodist church annual meeting with about 80 attending the afternoon session. At the 11 p.m. service congregational singing was enjoyed and Fred Jupenlaz, Mansfield, great-grandson of Jesse Smith, one of the organizers of the church in 1840, was guest speaker. Mr. Jupenlaz is a teacher at Mansfield State Teachers’ College and active in Civil Defense work in Tioga County. Archie Benson, Mansfield, was chairman of the afternoon program in the absence of the Rev. Frease Hess of Benton, Pa. Mrs. Bertha Bailey presented the musical program: vocal duet, Mrs. Bailey and John Wood; violin and organ duet, Misses Daisy and Genevieve Avery, Mansfield, accordian solo, Libby Wright, Millerton; vocal solo, Carol Jean Sterling; vocal duet, Mrs. Harriet Ayres and Mrs. Eleanor Morse, Elmira. John Benson sang two solos. Mrs. Sophronia Bailey, Troy, was organist. The Rev. Orey Crippen of the Coryland Presbyterian Church delivered the sermon. Mr. Crippen conducted services at the Rutland Hill church during 1916. An offering was taken toward the expense of keeping up the old church Through the years the trustees wisely have refrained from "improving" the church so the furnishings are those originally installed. Four chandeliers each holding four antique oil lamps provide light when necessary. Two small iron chunk-wood stoves stand one on either side of the large room with many feet of black stovepipe running from them and connecting at a large drum in front of and above the pulpit to diffuse extra heat before entering the chimney. The original wide board floor and square backed pews are still in good condition. A reed organ provides adequate accompaniment for congregational singing and soloists. Relieving the plainness of white plastered walls is a framed certificate stating a chapter of the Epworth League was organized there March 23, 1893. The exceptionally fine toned bell can be heard for miles. Older members present recalled vivid memories of days when the church was crowded for revival services; when “singing school” was held there and of the fine training they received in the Sunday school. Many stated the tiny wood stoves really heated the building in cold weather. The Rutland Hill Methodist Church was organized in 1840 and for a time meetings were held in homes and briefly in a barn. The present edifice was probably built in 1843 on a plot of land donated by the Rev. Mansfield. Raymond C. VanZile, one of the present trustees whose land surrounds the church, states that it truly is “founded on a rock” as the ground on which the church stands is solid rock, while fields on all sides are nearly free of stones. Original trustees were Jesse Smith, Arad Smith, Samuel Willson, the Rev. Mr. Mansfield, the Rev. Mr. Hodge and James Dunn. Present trustees are the Rev. Frease Hess, Benton, Pa., president; Archie Benson, Mansfield, vice president; Thomas Wood, Mansfield, treasurer; W. C. Bailey, Columbia Cross Roads; Raymond C. VanZile, Snekederville; Herman Tears, Jr., Snedekerville; Clarence Bailey, Townada; Lee D. Tice, Mansfield; L. P. Wood, Mansfield and Olen Smith, Sr. Canton. These men meet between the morning and afternoon services of the annual meeting to discuss plans for the upkeep of the old church.
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