By Milton Loyer, Conference Archivist
May – 100 years ago
Methodist work began in Hine’s Corners, Wayne County, in 1849 after Catherine (Mrs. Merritt) Hine was converted and invited the preacher from Lanesboro to hold a series of meetings that resulted in some 50 additional conversions. Meetings were held in the schoolhouse until a church building was dedicated on the Hine farm in 1878. In 1890 the Ontario and Western (O&W) Railroad extended its service to Scranton and the Orson depot/post-office (named for Catherine’s grandson Orson who had died of diphtheria) at Hine’s Corners became a town with two creameries, two ice houses, a grain mill, a saw mill, and several hotels and stores. Land was purchased to move the church building nearer the village, and on May 22, 1916, the Orson Methodist Episcopal Church was dedicated at its new location. The railroad, the post office, and the town disappeared years ago, but the Orson church continued serving the community until 2013 – when the remaining congregation celebrated 97 years at the present location and decided to discontinue services and present its assets to the Susquehanna Conference.
June – 50 years ago
Two of our Methodist and EUB predecessor Annual Conferences met in June 1966. Both groups heard reports and had discussions in anticipation of the denominational union. A Methodist report on cooperating with the EUB’s in developing a nursing facility at Lewisburg ended with “we further urge that this be done whether or not the union becomes a reality.”
The Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Church met June 15-19 at Dickinson College in Carlisle, ordained 15 elders (14 males and one female), and celebrated eight retirements. As 1966 marked the official bicentennial of American Methodism, a special historical service was planned with noted historian and pastor of Philadelphia’s Old St. George’s Church, Dr. Frederick Maser, as the featured speaker.
The Susquehanna Conference of the Evangelical United Brethren Church met June 6-9 at Fourth Church in York, ordained eight elders (all male), and celebrated six retirements. As the EUB denomination elected their superintendents, this was accomplished when it took three ballots for William Woods to be elected to a four-year term as the superintendent of the Northern District.