Trinity United Methodist Church of Roaring Spring
Saturday, December 16, 2017

History

Methodism began in London in 1738, was brought to America in 1766, and only 9 years later, in 1775, was established in this section of Pennsylvania.  Michael Cryder, a local preacher, penetrated to the vicinity of the present town of Huntingdon, then called “Standing Stone” by the Indians.  He built a mill and worked hard.  He worked just as diligently to establish Methodism among the scattered settlers.  Up until 1793 the nearest preaching place to Huntingdon was at Mr. Cryder’s mill, one and one half miles west of the town.  The first preaching in the town was in Beckie Tanner’s home located on what is now called Penn Street by Leslie Matthews, reputed to have been a converted Roman Catholic priest.  From this society Methodism began to spread through the valleys and hills of this section of our state.  It is first mentioned in the Annual Minutes of 1784 and is there called the “Juniata Circuit”.  In 1793 there were 167 members in this circuit.  In 1794 the first society was formed in Huntingdon with membership of 8 persons.

            In 1802 Jacob Gruber came to the Huntingdon Circuit which included the following preaching places: Woodcock Valley, Bloody Run, Bedford, Deming’s Creek, Morrisons Cove, Frankstown, Warrior’s Mark, Half Moon, Stone Valley, Manor Hill, Warrior’s Ridge and Huntingdon.  Mr. Gruber said about this extensive circuit, “We had a wilderness to clear and cultivate.  The handful of corn among the mountains grew, the Lord gave the increase, and we gave him the glory in the public congregations, and frequently, in loud shouts in family worship.”

            As far as we can discover Morrisons Cove remained a part of the Huntingdon Circuit until the Williamsburg charge was organized in 1829.

            In 1830 Dr. Peter Shoenberger built a stone church at Rodman for church and school purposes.  This church stood until 1879 when it was torn down.

            In this building a Methodist Class was organized, but there are no records of its members or preachers for 5 years.  The place was known as Middle Maria Forges.  In 1854 Maria Forges became a part of a new circuit known as the Woodbury charge of the Baltimore Conference.  In 1867 the churches were again adjusted and this church attached to the Martinsburg Circuit and so remained until the spring of 1885 when it was made a two-point charge known as Martinsburg and Roaring Spring charge of the Central Pennsylvania Conference, which Conference was organized in 1869.  In 1890, Roaring Spring petitioned the Annual Conference for a separation from Martinsburg.  This request was granted and Roaring Spring became a station church from that date.

            Early in 1866, the Rev. J. A. J. Williams, a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, moved from Wilmore, Cambia County, PA, to Roaring Spring, and with his family joined the society at Maria Forge.  Through his efforts a revival was held and about 100 people were converted.  This increased numerical and financial strength necessitated a larger and more centrally located church building.  The result was that the following building committee was appointed: J.A.J. Williams, D.M. Bare, J. M. Hite and James Detrick, and in the autumn of 1867 the church on North Main Street was dedicated by Rev. J. S. McMurray, assisted by the pastor, the Rev. John Moorehead and the junior preacher, Rev. J. A. Woodcock.  The building was used by the Methodists for 31 years, when it was sold to the Mennonite congregation who still use it for worship.

            The growth of our church was rather slow until in 1890 when Roaring Spring was made a station.  From that time on progress was more rapid.  It had been realized for sometime that a new church building was a necessity.  So, early in 1889, the Board of Trustees purchased the ground of our present church site from Jacob Biddle, a member of the Board, for $1,000.00.  Various circumstances frustrated plans for building a new building until the fall of 1893, when the parsonage was built on Spang Street and occupied by Rev. E. H. Whitman.  February 10, 1898 ground was broken for the new church.  November 29, 1898 the new church building was dedicated with fitting sermons and ceremonies.  At the close of the day $13,000.00 in cash and pledges had been secured, enough to pay the total cost.

            In 1904, G. M. Glenn, pastor, the walls of the church were painted, a pipe organ installed and walls were laided around the building at a cost of $4,500.00.

            In 1915, E. L. Eslinger, pastor, the walls were painted, the vestry addition was built, new carpets laid, pulpit furniture and new Sunday School chairs bought at cost of $12,000.00.

            In 1922, George A. Duvall, pastor, the pipe organ was rebuilt and electrified and the brick garage erected on the parsonage lot at total cost of $3,400.00.  All paid.

            In 1926, the echo organ was installed and dedicated to the memory of Dr. A. L. Garver.  The church was painted inside and out.  New carpets were laid and changes were made on the roof.

            Through the many years Trinity Church has continued to be effective.  As changes appeared in the general church, they also were carried out in the local church.  The Women’s Home and Foreign Missionary Society of Christian Service.  The Epworth League became the Methodist Youth Fellowship.  Commissions, to carry out the various phases of the program of the church, were formed.  These included: Membership and Evangelism, Missions, Stewardship and Finance, Education, Christian Social Concerns.  In 1942 the pastor, Rev. N. G. McCloskey said, “Our church stands a strategic place in the leadership of community life.  We are therefore, happy to cooperate with other community agencies to make our town grow.”  This has been true of the Methodists of Roaring Spring.

            On February 12, 1944 the old parsonage burned to the ground.  It is believed that church records, including baptismal records for a period of 10 years or so were destroyed in the fire.  Immediate plans were made for rebuilding.  A financial campaign was started to raise $25,000.00.  After 25 days, on Trinity Sunday, June 4, a total of $22,645.50 was pledged to be paid over a period of 25 months.  It was believed the goal of $25,000.00 would be reached.

            World War II was raging throughout the world at this time and in July 1944 the War Production Board refused approval of the plans.  However, the financial plan continued, plans were perfected and enthusiasm for the project developed.

            In 1948, the pastor, Rev. Harry Stenger, Jr., wrote these words, “Time and space will not permit to tell of the love gifts of the people of God here established.  Revivals have marked the path over which they have trod.  The message of God has been preached by faithful preachers.  In every way Trinity Church has kept in stride of the on-moving Church of Jesus Christ.  1948 will mark the day of many new beginnings.”

            The presentation of the new parsonage project and some needed church repairs was presented to the congregation on December 12, 1948.  They were approved by congregational vote.  The bid of the Planing Mill of $31,743.00 was accepted and work began.

            In 1949 a very lovely parsonage built on East Main Street next to the church was dedicated.

            During the pastorate of Rev. T. Max Hall a new organ was purchased and installed.

            May 22, 1960 ground was broken for a $148,000.00 educational unit to house mostly the children and youth.  This building was completed in 1961.

            The new church name came into being when we united with the former Evangelical United Brethren to become the United Methodist Church.  Along with this came a new organization in the church.  Our Official Board was replaced by a Council on Ministries and an Administrative Board.  Committees included Finance, Pastor-Parish Relations and the Commission on Education continued.

            March 4, 1971 during a very heavy windstorm, the stained glass window on the East Main Street side of the church was blown in and some sections were cracked and broken.  The Trustees contacted the Rudy Glass Company of New York who agreed to repair the window and on April 11, it was removed and taken to the factory for those repairs.  In three months the window was reinstalled.  A storm window was added to protect it from future storms.

            Our very important and long awaited event since 1961 came Sunday, March 7, 1971, when we burned the Mortgage on the Education Building.  We had finished paying the $150,000 mortgage in full on February 16, 1971.  The Worship Service at 9:30 a.m. had the District Superintendent Dr. Paul E. Myers as the quest speaker, The Reverend Orville V. Warner, former minister and now serving as District Superintendent of the Chambersburg District, had the Morning Prayer.  In the evening we had a congregational dinner at which time Reverend Warner was the speaker.  Our church members through the 10-year period made this day possible only through the generous giving to the debt fund and cash day.

            March 16, 1971 the Renovation Committee met to review suggestions on the Fink Architectural firm in Philadelphia.  Another meeting was held on March 30.

            October 10, the Administrative Board met and approved the report of the Renovation Committee and Trustees to complete the renovation including a heating system, rewiring, and sanctuary remodeling.  Trustees were authorized to borrow up to $40,000.00 to be paid over a period of between 5 to 10 years.  Because of additional remodeling of the classroom area of the 1898 building the debt ceiling was raised to $60,000.00.

            Sunday, April 30, 1972 the first service was held in the renovated sanctuary.

           

 

SOME TRINITY MILESTONES

     1830        Beginning of Methodist Society at Middle Maria Forges, now Rodman.

1845        Became part of the Woodbury Charge

1867        Dedication of church Building, North Main Street

Became part of Martinsburg Circuit

1885        Became part of two point charge, Martinsburg and    

      Roaring Spring

1889        Lot purchased for new Church and Parsonage

1890        Became separate charge

1894        Parsonage completed

1898        Church dedicated November 29th

1904        Church painted, organ installed

1916        Reopened June 25th, after extensive repairs and improvements

1922        Repairs to pipe organ, etc.

1926        Dedication of Memorial Echo Organ

1943        Inauguration of Church Building Program

1944        Parsonage destroyed by fire February 12, and subsequent enlargement of building program to include new parsonage and church addition

1948        Contract let for the building of the new parsonage and complete renovation of the church.

1960        Contract let and ground broke for new Educational Unit.

1974        Tot Spot Play Group formed by Margie Ickes and Mrs. Allyn Welliver.

1998        Committee formed to plan the renovation of the church kitchen.

1999        First phase of the kitchen renovation completed.

A Celebration Sunday held February 14 to honor 100 years of ministry in our building.  Bishop Neil Irons led us in a Service of Word and Table.  Following services, a brunch was held in Fellowship Hall.

2000    Purchased 420 E. Main Street property, located beside 

            the parsonage.

2001    Ramp to Round Room completed and sanctuary painted 

            and new carpeting installed.

2002    Rental house razed and Parking lot completed.

2004   New sound system installed in sanctuary

2005 New rubber roof over metal roof over Sunday School Room.  

       2006 New LED outside bulletin board was installed. 

       2007 New roof outside church furnace door. 

       2008 New door from driveway entrance & automatic timer to lock door.  

              Walls in Fellowship Hall were carpeted.  

              New window installed in Pastors office.  

              New sound system in Fellowship Hall.  

              Installed commercial refrigerator, gas stove and oven. 

        2009 Changed all florescent lights over to energy saving lights, except Fellowship Hall.  

        2010 Update Incorporation papers in Court House.  

               All new phone/internet lines/phones/one camera and key pad entery system

.        2011 All new windows and blinds in Education and Fellowship building and new doors on Spang Street side.

                New windows and blinds in Secretary and Pastor’s office.

               Painted Sunday School rooms #1 ,3 ,4, hall and boys / girls bath room 

               Cleaned all the carpet in church

 

The following pastors have served the Trinity Church:

        1893-1898     E. H. Whitman
      1898-1900     E. H. Wallace
      1900-1906     G. M. Glenn
      1906-1910   F. W. Biddle
      1913-1918     E. L. Eslinger
      1918-1922      A. S. Williams
      1922-1927  G. A. Duvall
      1927-1931     G. S. Womer
      1931-1936     J. Walter Skillington
      1936-1942     William W. Banks
      1942-1946     Nevin g. McCloskey
      1946-1952     Harry C. Stenger, Jr.
      1952-1958     T. Max Hall
      1958-1965     Orville V. Warner
      1965-1969     Leland Keemer
      1969-1973     Paul Schroeder
      1973-1980     Allyn Welliver
      1980-1991     D. Brinton Shafer
      1991-1994     Robert J. Kennedy
      1994-2001      Mark W. Stamm
      2001-2008  Charles Baughman
      2008 -2011 Dwaine Krebs
      2011-           Kevin Locker

 
Sons and Daughter of Trinity who entered the Ordained Ministry:
     Elliott S. Latshaw                     Paul D. Marsden
     J. Merrill Williams                    George R. Mauk
     Russell W. Lambert                  Philip G. Moore
     J. Carl Williams                        Tiffany Freeman
     Herman E. Stenger                   Elizabeth Shafer Glass