March – 100 years ago
On Sunday, March 14, 1915, the Hickorytown Methodist Episcopal congregation was organized after a revival in an abandoned United Evangelical church being supplied by Dickinson College student Raymond R. Brewer resulted in 46 conversions. The Methodists purchased the building and took Salem [now Hope UMC] from the Boiling Springs charge to form a two-point charge. In 1922 the original wooden structure on the south side of Trindle Road was replaced by a brick sanctuary with a full basement on land across the road and to the east. In 1972 a social hall was added to the rear of the property. In 1979 the brick building along the highway was razed and the social hall converted into the present sanctuary. Student Raymond Brewer went on to serve other conferences for 44 years in the ordained ministry as a missionary to China, college professor, and pastor. The list of persons who served Hickorytown while students at Dickson College includes longtime Children’s Home superintendent Vic Hann, Bishop D. Frederick Wertz, and District Superintendents Orville Warner and John Stamm.
April – 50 years ago.
April 24, 1965, was the date for the Uniting Session that brought into existence the Evangelical United Brethren Men of the newly-formed Susquehanna Conference of the EUB denomination. Over 500 men from the former Central Pennsylvania (Evangelical) and Pennsylvania (United Brethren) Conferences gathered at the Zembo Mosque in Harrisburg to adopt bylaws, elect officers, and hear a message on the theme “Man to Man.”
The Zembo Mosque was also the location later that year for the first youth rally of the new conference with the theme “Our Way – God’s Way” that was attended by over 1,600 young people and their advisors. That day-long event featured a drama presentation on Jonah, novelty piano entertainment, group singing, a boxed lunch, a keynote address entitled “When Love Is Love,” and two unique devotional periods.
Following the EUB-Methodist denominational union in 1968, this conference became the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, and in 1970 it joined with the area’s former Methodist congregations to form the Central Pennsylvania Conference UMC.