On May 24, 1914, Otterbein United Brethren Church in Lykens, Dauphin County, received 100 persons into its membership. These were the fruits of the Nicholson-Hemminger revival meetings held cooperatively by the town’s churches in a large wooden tabernacle erected in North Lykens for this specific purpose. Known as the Vulgar Evangelist and the Tornado of the Pulpit, William Patterson Nicholson (1876-1959) was Northern Ireland’s answer to Billy Sunday. He and gospel singer J. Raymond Hemminger held meetings across the English-speaking world that were every bit as noted and effective as those of D.L. Moody and Ira Sankey. Their success in Lykens necessitated erecting a 22’x40’ addition to the rear of the church. In 1970, Otterbein received the members of the town’s Grace Methodist and Christ United Church of Christ congregations and is now Lykens United Methodist Church.
June – 50 years ago
The Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Church met at Lycoming College June 17-21, 1964. The General
Conference of 1960 had merged at all church levels the Board of Temperance, the Board of Social and Economic Relations, and the Board of World Peace into the Board of Christian Social Concerns. That conference Board now concluded its first full quadrennium by presenting recommendations, including the items summarized below, all of which were adopted.
(1) Board, commissions, and committees of the Annual Conference shall meet where alcoholic beverages are not served and all Methodists shall refrain from patronizing establishments where alcoholic beverages are sold.
(2) Every church shall adopt a program to inform its members of the problems gambling creates, to restrict and remove its practice, and to help compulsive gamblers be restored to society.
(3) The Conference Board of Hospitals and Homes shall make a detailed study of the need and possibility of establishing a new home for retarded [sic] children in our Conference.
(4) Our people should give serious consideration of commitment to the Peace Corps or similar church-related programs of sacrificial service.