Church History

December 13, 2014 marks Muhlenburg's 130th anniversary in Union township!

Methodism in Ross Township dates to 1796, when the itinerant who traveled the old Berwick circuit preached in a log school house near where the Bloomingdale United Methodist Church now stands. In 1800, a class of seven persons was formed here, with E. Wadsworth as leader, and taken into the Wyoming circuit by Rev. William Brandon. For several years there was occasional preaching by ministers of other denominations. From 1820, Jonathan Nicholson was in Ross about six years, preaching on Sundays wherever he could find hearers.

In 1846, the church at Bloomingdale was built as a Methodist Episcopal Church. Muhlenburg was part of Bloomingdale circuit until 1869 when it separated. At this time the Rev. E. H. Yocum was pastor and served one year. The circuit then took in the following churches: Bloomingdale, Cragle Hill, Van Horn, and Rock. Local preachers were: Rev. Robert Aylesworth and Rev. John Holmes. After Rev. Yocum left, Rev. H. B. Fortner preached two years, followed by Rev. W. M. Reilly and Rev. W. W. Reese. During the pastorate of Rev. Reese the Oakdale church was built at the ROCK in 1874. When this circuit was organized it embraced only four preaching places, while in 1880 there were eight, with seven classes. The preaching places are Bloomingdale and Oakdale churches, and the following school houses were used for worship: Marsh, Muhlenburg, Van Horn, Croop, Cragle Hill, and Sorber.

Source: History of Luzerne, Lackawanna, and Wyoming Co. PA - 1880

The first church to be built at Muhlenburg was dedicated December 13, 1884 at a cost of $1,500.

The Wilkes-Barre Record records that on May 11, 1922 the Muhlenburg Community Hall which was used by the Grange and the Methodist Episcopal Church next door burned to the ground between the hours of 11 am and 1 pm by a fire of undetermined origin. The loss was placed at $10,000. Residents of the surrounding area and as far away as Shickshinny responded to the alarm put out by the telephone operator at Muhlenburg, but by the time people arrived the buildings were a total loss. It was by courageous effort of the people using a bucket brigade that the parsonage was saved. Pastor A. C. Metzgar was serving the circuit at the time of the fire. The pastor's car was burned as he and his wife drove to Hunlock Creek for a Sunday morning worship. A few items were saved from the church including the large chairs in the present building, as well as the bell and the glass from the original stained glass window. Plans were started to rebuild and a new church was dedicated on May 11, 1924 and the cost was $10,000 of which $7,300 had been paid at the time of the dedication. Subscriptions totaling $2,607 were pledged at the Dedication service. When the building was built, only part of the basement was excavated, and it was not until 1951 that the present basement was completed to provide facilities for church group activities and social functions. In 1968 the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged to become the United Methodist Church of today.

Source - Bloomingdale 125h anniversary brochure from 1972, as well as other sources

Modify Website

© 2000 - 2014 powered by
Doteasy Web Hosting