Friday, February 13, 2015

Our Heritage

By Dr. Milton Loyer, Conference Archivist

January - 100 years ago
On Sunday morning January 31, 1915, the Methodist Episcopal Church at Oriole, Lycoming County, burned to the ground. The building, a modest “meeting house” with two front doors and no steeple, had been erected in 1851 – and a parsonage for the charge had been built next door in 1879. The fire was attributed to a defective stove pipe, and it was only the work of a furious bucket brigade that saved the parsonage from being consumed by the flames. Those battling the fire threw wet blankets on the parsonage roof and used it as base to throw water onto the burning church while watering down the house. A rebuilding campaign was launched before the embers cooled, and the first donation came from a Lutheran who gave $25 and the use of his team and wagon to haul lumber and stone. The new church, the present Oriole UMC, was dedicated September 26. 
The Oriole charge at one time consisted of four churches: Antes Fort, Oval, Oriole, and Elizabeth – a no longer standing building near Rauchtown that was built by the Evangelicals in 1871 and owned by the Methodists from 1897 to 1918.

February – 50 years ago
The Wyoming Conference Committee for the Decoration of Ministers’ Graves met at the New Milford Methodist Church on February 24, 1965, and committed itself to the following task: “That Christian flags be placed on all graves of Methodist ministers buried within the bounds of the Wyoming Annual Conference on Memorial Day, May 30, 1965.”

The Committee noted that this ministry would involve the purchase and placement of 390 flags, and it also prepared a request to bring before the Conference that “this Committee be empowered to investigate the suitability of decorating the graves of the deceased wives of ministers of the Wyoming Annual Conference and report to the 1966 Annual Conference.”

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