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Waynetown Methodist

Source: Lafayette Journal-Courier Thu 5 Nov 1936 p5

Waynetown, Nov 5 – A centennial anniversary observance of the Methodist Church here was held last Sunday the third of a series of celebrations by four churches comprising the Waynetown-Wesley Parish, which were included in the organization of Coal Creek mission, a group of 20 churches with one pastor. The morning sermon was by Rev. EF Prevo, Mulberry, a former pastor. A basket dinner was featured by a decorated cake brought by Miss Pearl Runyan, Lafayette, a former resident. The cake was served by Mrs. Martha Thompson, member of the church the longest of the present congregation.

Record of Pastors -
A record of the 100 years’ pastors of the church was read by Rev. Guy E. Tremaine, present pastor and the church history was read by Mrs. Thompson. The first Methodist Church in Waynetown, then Middletown, was organized in 1835 and the first church building was on the lot where the home of Miss Pearl Parker now stands. Prior to that time preaching was conducted in homes and in camps by preachers such as Casseborn, Sewell, Dillon, Hargrave and Campbell.
Mission Formed

In 1836 the Waynetown Methodist Church with 19 other churches was organized into Coal Creek mission with Rev. Daniel DeMotte as pastor. One of the early ministers were the Rev. James B. Gray, father of Mrs. Cooper Gray.  Charter members are not known. Sunday school was organized and held in afternoons. The Methodist Church has the distinction of having the first organ in any church in Waynetown and the first organist was Mrs. Charles Dwiggins, till a Waynetown resident. Singers were trained in a singing school in the church. One teacher was John Dolstrum. In 1876 the church was moved to its present location. Dr. George Green gave a lot and the church was moved there and remodeled. David Thompson, John R. Thomas and George Green furnished funds to move the church and furnished all the chairs.  

In 1897 Sunday School was changed from afternoon to a morning school. After the old church had ben repaired several times, erection of a new church was begun in 1914 on the same lot, under the pastorate of the Rev. George B  Jones, and was dedicated the first Sunday in October 1915 with the Rev. Mr. Tremaine pastor. The new building cost $10,000 including old material and donated labor, all raised on the day of dedication with a surplus. The Ladies’ Aid society paid $1600.  Many preachers who have served the church have become quite noted and three of its boys, VE Fruits (deceased), James Simms and Russell Rice became ministers.

Attending the celebration from a distance were Prof. and Mrs. LV Ludy, West Lafayette; Mr. and Mrs. Ira Meharry and Miss Anna MeHarry Wingate; Mrs. Sue Shaw, Mrs. Henriette Rice, Mrs. Anna Freeman, Crawfordsville; Mr. and Mrs. Irving Ripley and family, Hillsboro and Miss Mary Lokey, Birmingham, ala.  The four and last observance of the parish centennial will be at Wesley Chapel Sunday Nov 8 with similar all-day services.

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