Monday, December 22, 2014

Our Heritage

By Dr. Milton Loyer, Conference Archivist

November 100 years ago
The annual meeting of the Woman’s Home Missionary Society of the Central Pennsylvania Conference was held November 11-13, 1914, in the First Methodist Episcopal Church (now Wesley UMC) of Tyrone. The 167 persons enrolled heard addresses by superintendents Rev. B.H. Mosser (Juniata District) and Rev. S.B. Evans (Altoona District), and by Mrs. Hobbs Woodcock, general secretary of Home Guards and Mothers’ Jewels. The program also included a bond-burning service celebrating final payment on the Anthracite Slavic Mission Home at Hazelton and a “History Sketch of Central Pennsylvania Conference Woman’s Home Missionary Society.” The WHMS of 1914 included three divisions for young people: Queen Esther Circles for girls 16 and older, Home Guards for boys and girls ages six to 16, and Mothers’ Jewels for boys and girls younger than six years old.
One hundred years ago in the Methodist Episcopal Church, there was also a separate Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society with two children’s divisions – Kings Heralds for children from eight to 14 years old, and Little Light Bearers for children younger than eight years old.

December 50 years ago
December 20, 1964, was Golden Cross Sunday for the congregations of the Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Church. The annual offering included a new beneficiary in 1964. In addition to the Methodist Home for Children in Mechanicsburg and Epworth Manor in Tyrone, the new retirement home at Bethany Village now received funds. The facility officially opened October 1 and hosted 1,000 persons on October 31 for tours and a consecration service led by resident Bishop Newell S. Booth. Included in the original complex were 94 apartments, a dining hall, four lounges, a solarium, a library, and a 22-bed skilled care unit. By the end of the year, all 108 spaces in the facility had been allotted. Promotional literature announced that “the home has a residential rather than institutional character and is designed for future expansion.”

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