Friday, September 16, 2016

Our Heritage

By Milton Loyer, Conference Archivist

July – 100 years ago
The cornerstone for the new Sunday school building was laid July 23, 1916, at Bethany United Brethren Church in Red Lion, York County. This congregation began in 1882 when the February quarterly conference of the York circuit assigned two men “to look up a preaching place in Red Lion Borough, and also to secure a lot for a church.” The first sermon was preached the following month in a carpenter’s shop on First Avenue, and in June the cornerstone was laid for a 32 x 55 frame building on the east side of North Main Street, half-way between the square and the railroad. In 1897 the congregation relocated to West Broadway, and the original building was sold to the First National Bank – who used it until 1905, when they erected a brick building (now the Red Lion Tavern) on the site. The 1897 West Broadway sanctuary was replaced by the present structure in 1929, but the Sunday school building erected 100 years ago is still the main educational facility of the 750-plus-member Bethany United Methodist Church.

August – 50 years ago
The following announcement appeared in the August 1966 Pastor’s News Letter of the Susquehanna Conference of the Evangelical United Brethren Church: “Miss Susan Wolf and the Reverend Merrill Hassinger were married on August 13, 1966, in the Lohr’s EUB Church, Hanover, Pa. Susan is a probationer in our Conference and will continue her studies at the Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, Pa. Rev. Hassinger is the assistant pastor of the Salem EUB Church, Manheim, Pa.” Little did anyone suspect at the time that Susan Wolf Hassinger of Hanover would transfer to her husband’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference in 1967, eventually become a district superintendent, and be elected to the episcopacy in 1996. Bishop Hassinger retired in 2004 – but was called back to serve the Albany Episcopal Area 2006-2010, thus becoming the final bishop to preside over the Wyoming Conference before it was divided between the Susquehanna and Upper New York Conferences.

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