Church celebrates building's 150 years

NEIGHBORS

June 15, 2000|By Jean Marie Beall | Jean Marie Beall,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MIDDLEBURG UNITED Methodist Church recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of its building with a Sunday service that included members from its two sister churches, Uniontown United Methodist Church and Brick United Methodist Church.

The white clapboard building dates to 1850, but the congregation is older, according to church documents. The first service was held in a log schoolhouse in Middleburg in 1823. As was the custom then, people would meet to worship under the leadership of a "circuit riding minister." In 1823, Middleburg United Methodist Church was listed with 18 churches on the Frederick circuit.

"The ministers would literally ride around on horseback and preach at the different churches," said the Rev. Bill Warehime, the church's minister for the past seven years.

A pamphlet about the church's history states: "It cannot be denied that the early Methodists were a hardy lot." The history includes the recollections of the Rev. R. Y. Jaggers, who was minister from 1915-1917. He recalled walking across fields between the two towns to conduct services. Some members walked two or three miles to attend church.

Margaret Strine, who has been a member for 65 years, has seen many ministers over those years. One stands out.

"I remember the Rev. Everett W. Culp, who was the pastor in the 1930s," she recalled. "I was just little then. But he was so good. He was a lot like the minister we have today."

Today, Middleburg's parish has about 25 members, Warehime said.

Despite its size, the congregation keeps the church property well-maintained and conducts programs to help the poor.

"We support a mission to Appalachia in Kentucky," Warehime said. The church conducts a prison ministry called Angel Tree, in which gifts are donated every Christmas to men and women in prison.

"We also have a program called Pennies for Potatoes, a program to feed the hungry," Strine said. "We've been doing that for 10 years."

As is the Methodist custom, Warehime is minister for not only Middleburg United Methodist Church, but for Uniontown and Brick United Methodist churches, which have 50 and 12 members, respectively. He has served all three for seven years.

He will leave the churches next month to be minister at Toms Creek United Methodist Church northwest of Taneytown.

Vacation Bible School

Uniontown United Methodist Church will hold its summer Vacation Bible School from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. June 26 to 30. The program is free and open to children of all denominations.

The theme is Holy Word Studios, which follows the story line of "Where Kids Star in God's Story," according to Brenda Sebastian, Bible school director.

Information: Brenda Sebastian, 410-876-7852, or Estelle Williams, 410-848-7220.

Jean Marie Beall's Northwest neighborhood column appears each Thursday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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