Wesley Chapel  Sesquicentennial Logo

Wesley Chapel is celebrating its Sesquicentennial (150 years) this year.

Can you believe that it has been 25 years since our 125 year celebration of Wesley Chapel? During 2013 we, as a congregation, will be celebrating 150 years of serving Christ Our Lord. The members of the anniversary committee serving to create programs and activities for the event consist of:

Mary Ellen Hoover Doug Knight MaxineTemple Linda Henry
Pastor Denton DaveHenry Ryan Sechler Cindy Miller
JillHeiple Mindy Singo Craig Smith Kim Smith
Harry Hoover Cathie Lester    

Wesley Chapel is celebrating its SesquicentennialSome of the following festivities being planned are:

  • 2nd Sunday of every month - Old Hymn Sundays—the 2nd Sunday of every month devoted to some old hymns from the past.
  • March 15th - final date to Dave Henry for Wesley Chapel Family Trees.
    • Dave Henry to create a church family tree record.
  • March 17th - Spotza Making
  • May 26th - Founding Fathers Memorial Day Service.
    • A short service at the picnic pavilion and cemetery.
  • June 24th - 6 PM - Patriotic Picnic
    • Clark Brocht will be speaking.
    • Ppossible Civil War theme and musical guests.
  • July 28th - Sesquicentennial Outdoor Worship Service
    • Outdoor Worship Service at 9:30 a.m.
    • Special music with "Apostle's Creed"
    • Rev. Roy Gearhart as an old-fashioned circuit rider minister
    • Bishop's assistant, Rev. Bob Higginbotham to speakWesley Chapel is celebrating its Sesquicentennial
    • Picnic to follow.
  • Nov. 3rd - Commemorative Celebration of 150 years of serving Christ our Lord
    • Former pastors invited to speak or send mementos of their time at Wesley Chapel.
    • Special music planned
    • Fellowship dinner to follow.

We are also developing a time capsule and memory book/slide show of many of the pictures or stories that you can recite about times in our church. If you have any to share, please contact Cathie Lester or Mindy Singo with those ideas and stories. Remember, WE ALL have been instrumental in helping Wesley Chapel become the living body of Christ that it is today. Please join in helping us celebrate Wesley Chapel's Sesquicentennial Celebrations.

Everyone is welcome to make suggestions and attend the anniversary meetings posted in the bulletin. Thank you for your support.


???Do you know???

  • Name at least two Sunday school superintendents.
  • What group was instrumental in the construction of the church pavilion?

Be the first to answer by contacting any committee member. Answers in next month's newsletter.

  • When was the mission building built?
    • 2002
  • What was the name of the animal who wrote articles in the newsletter?
    • Charlie Chipmunk
  • When was the Pavilion built?
    • 1989
  • When was the Wesley Chapel Cemetery established?
    • 1862
  • What year was the old church building torn down?
    • 1977
  • When was the last year we were a two-point charge with Somerset?
    • 1980
  • How many stars adorned the US flag in November 1863?
    • 35
  • Who was the first pastor to live in the new parsonage?
    • Pastor John Hodge
  • Where was the piano for the new church purchased?
    • Nicholson Music Studio of Somerset
  • Who participated in the quartet at the consecration service for the new church?
    • Nellie Pletcher, Helen King, Diane Smith & Patsy Pletcher
  • When was the Connellsville District formed?
    • 1962
  • Who was serving Wesley Chapel when the new church was dedicated?
    • Rev. Robert G. Doyle
  • Who was the first couple to be married in the existing sanctuary?
    • Harry and Mary Ellen Hoover
  • Who was the first baby baptized in the existing sanctuary?
    • Cindy Miller

Commemorative Celebration of 150 years of serving Christ our Lord

Nov. 3rd, 2013

Our final celebration for our 150th year anniversary was held on Sunday, November 3, 2013. Our morning worship celebration included a former pastor as guest speaker, Rev. Thomas Zimmerman. Rev. Bill Blair, our District Superintendent as well as David Henry gave a few words on the importance of carrying on the legacy of Wesley Chapel. Special music was offered by our chimes choir, the children’s bell choir and Tracy Pritts. Communion was served by Pastor Lester, Rev. Tom Zimmerman, Rev. Bill Blair and David Henry. Following worship, everyone enjoyed a video presentation of our history compiled by Mindy Singo.

Rev. Tom Zimmerman surprised almost everyone present with the revealing of Charlie Chipmunk who wrote articles in The Chapel Messenger years ago. Few, if anyone, even her closest friends, knew it was Dawn Pletcher.
In conclusion, the congregation gathered outside to the location where a time capsule was buried by the children. This is to be opened in fifty years at the church’s bicentennial. A delicious luncheon catered by the Chuckwagon followed in the fellowship hall with 150 persons attending. All in all, the day was truly a celebration of the members, past, present and future of Wesley United Methodist Church.

A huge thank you to the sesquicentennial committee for all the work and dedication it exhibited in organizing our year of celebration! It started in early February with research on the church’s past, including interviews with elder members. It made plans for services that included special vintage hymns, the Memorial Day Celebration, the Patriotic Picnic and the Outdoor Worship Service with some of those attending in full 1863 period garb. Our conclusion was the actual 150th anniversary (November 9,1863 was the date of the deed transfer) on November 3.

Special thanks to Mary Ellen Hoover who spearheaded the plannings and meetings. We appreciate you and the other committee members: Dave & Linda Henry, Doug Knight, Pastor Denton & Cathie Lester, Cindy Miller, Ryan Sechler, Mindy Singo, Craig & Kim Smith and Maxine Temple.


  Dave Henry with the children burying the time capsul.



Ten persons were on the committee on July 29, 1973 when the current church cornerstone was laid. Of the four who survive, Eldon Sechler and Gail Minerd were present. Absent from photo are Jim Pletcher and Dean King.

July 28th, 2013

Wesley Chapel's annual outdoor worship service in continuation of our sesquicentennial celebration began at 9:30 a.m. on July 28, 2013, with a blessing from Bishop Tom Bickerton, delivered by Rev. Robert Higginbotham, assistant to the bishop. Roy Gearhart arrived on a horse and brought the message for the day. Rev. Gearhart shared the gospel from a circuit rider's 1860 perspective. The Christian music group, Apostle's Creed, performed musical selections. Our District Superintendent Rev. Bill Blair asked a blessing on our church and its future ministry. Former pastors and their wives were recognized. Attending were former pastors Tom Zimmerman and wife Verdean and John Hollis and wife Ruthann. Ruth Higginbotham and Beth Blair were also in attendance. Janice Gearhart was not able to attend.

A balloon launch ended the service with the releasing of 150 balloons, prepared by the youth. Tags were attached with greetings from the church and instructions to reply to the church when they are found. Several members were dressed in the spirit of the 1863 time period. And, of course, with the tradition of a Wesley Chapel outdoor worship service there was a wide variety of delicious food. The church provided pulled pork sandwiches, chicken, beverages and table service.



Pastor Denton
Rev. Bill Blair

Rev. Roy Gearhart & Lexi
(owned by Terry Schmuck family)

Rev. Bob & Ruth Higginbotham




The Patriotic Picnic

June 26th, 2013

Those who came to the Patriotic Picnic took a step back in time.  The Patriotic Picnic took place on June 26, 2013. 

We had guest speaker Clark Brocht join us.  Clark spoke about the rich history of our area during 1863 and the Civil War.  He spoke about families that lived in the area and several past members and a few present members of our church.  Clark gave a brief insight into what life was like to live in the Scullton, New Lexington area and what our families would have been up against.  He even spoke of the mysterious murder in Kingwood during the early 1900’s.  Many members of the church wore replica attire of the 1863 era. 

Mark Millin and Ryan Sechler donned Civil War Uniforms and set up camp for the evening.  Other men wore replica shirts and ties and are even growing beards to replicate dress of 1863.  The ladies wore hoop skirts and fashioned themselves from bonnet to boots.  Several of the youth and children donned outfits that fit the time period. 

We had Emily Singo and Kaylie Miller play music while Ryan and Mark presented the flag and while we said the Pledge of Allegiance.  Music was sung by the Sesquicentennial Celebration Committee, and hamburgers and hotdogs were prepared by Ralph Pletcher, Skip Temple and Mike Hardwig.  The traditional cake walk was fun for all, and the cake walk winners were Emily Singo and partner Faith Millin, Lillian Pletcher and partner Kaylie Miller. Thank you to all that helped prepare for the Patriotic Picnic and make it a big success.  See you next year!

GamesMark and Ryan

Notes from our former pastors...

Denton, please share the following with the folks at Wesley Chapel.

August 15, 2013
     Well it seems that some things never change. Although I have improved over the years in meeting deadlines. Yet you would not think so by the late response to your celebration. We were unable to attend the festivities on July 28 since we were in Ohio for our nephew's wedding.

     We are all doing well. I am currently serving the Mapletown/Mt. Pleasant Churches on the Washington District. These churches are located in Greene County. We are about 16 miles from Morgantown West Virginia. Our son Jeffrey lives and works in Washington, PA. and our daughter Kathryn lives and works in Bradford, PA.
     Konita and I are adjusting quite well to being "empty nesters." How fast the years have gone. I anticipate retiring in about seven years.
     On a sad note Konita's mother recently passed away after a four year battle with Progressive Supranucular Palsy. She will be greatly missed by family and friends.
     On a more happier note though; we congratulate you on celebrating your sesquicentennial. And in remaining a single point charge for these many years. More and more churches are unable to do so. Again, congratulations on this great milestone as a congregation.

Your First Full-time Pastor and Family, John and Konita Hodge

Dear Friends,

It was a pleasure to be with you this past Sunday and join in your celebration. Thank you for the invitation and gifts.

My ten years with you was the highlight of my ministry. Verdean and I look forward to being with you again on November 3rd.       

In Christ, Tom Zimmerman

Dear Christian Friends,

            It was a great joy to share the 150th Anniversary of Wesley Chapel with you. It was exhilarating to see all of you. Seeing some of you dressed in Civil War period garments was priceless. The children were so adorable. We were so excited to see some whom we knew as children that are now beautiful young adults. What a blessing!

            It was so gracious and thoughtful of you to give us gifts –tee-shirts, maple syrup, honey, maple sugar covered nuts and a lovely scented candle. We were overwhelmed with your expression of love for us.

            Thank you for caring and expressing your deep sentiment with the giving of gifts. We are immeasurably grateful. You are precious to us and we treasure all the wonderful memories of our time with you.

            Heather appreciated the flowers you sent to her and we are enjoying the ones we brought home with us.

With much love, John & Ruth Anne


May 26th, 2013

Gail and brother Dean King

Gail and brother Dean King
with grandpaw Ross.

On the Founding Father's Day celebration, I was asked by Ryan Sechler if I could talk about my founding fathers buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery so here goes.

Gail MinerdWilliam Billy Nichols, my great-grandfather, loved to sing, and he would sing solos in our church. I can remember him well. I was seven years old when he died. He used to come and stay at our farm. His daughter Dessie Nichols Henry was very active in our church. She played the pump organ. My mother, Violet King, told me a lot of things about her aunt Dessie Henry. Ada Faidley King and Ross King were my grandparents. Grandma King taught the children Sunday school class for years and helped with Bible school and many other things. Ross, my grandpaw King, was a trustee for many years. Their daughter Lottie King Pletcher was a Sunday school teacher also. She was the young girls teacher and then later was the women's teacher for years. Jay King, my nephew, was in the Youth when the pavilion was built. Jay was a helping hand in our church and dearly loved it. Jay was taken from us too early but his memory will last forever. James Mitchell, married to my aunt Ethel, is buried in the church cemetery. Jim dug graves all his life. He dug graves at Scullton and Wesley Chapel, and a week before he passed, he dug a grave in Scullton. When Jim was a boy, he helped dig Scott King's grave, my great grandfather. Jim told me Scott King was the first person buried in Wesley Chapel Cemetery in a vault which opened in the front.

-by Gail Minerd


March 17th, 2013

A spotza making was Wesley Chapel's first event in celebrating 150 of existence. The Henry family sponsored a spotza making at Camp Horrible. The sugar camp located at Betty Henry's was given the name by Betty and Harold Henry's children. Dave was on hand boiling down sugar water for everyone to see the process on how maple syrup is made. He was telling stories on how Camp Horrible got its name and how his family processed the maple syrup. Dave even gave some history on how brown sugar was made at the camp. Did you know that Dave has a one-of-a-kind season sensor for maple syrup? The floor drain inside the camp will indicate for Dave when the maple syrup season has come to an end.

Forty-Four church members came by foot, Mule, or Deere to enjoy the campfire, food, (including hot dogs and kielbasa boiled in the sugar water) and spotza making. Mary Ellen Hoover gave lessons on how to make spotza to those who had never tried the delicious treat. Everyone would like to thank the Henrys for providing the experience, the Sechlers for providing the sugar water and Patty Miller for donating maple treats made by Kristen Sanner. -Mindy Singo


A View of the past...

Wesley Chapel is celebrating its Sesquicentennial(150 years) this year. We are highlighting some insights from a few of our members

Gail Minerd, Dean & Evelyn King

as told to Ryan Sechler, Harry & Mary Ellen Hoover

Several months ago, I had the privilege to tag along with the Hoovers to interview Mrs. Hoover’s mother, aunt and uncle. We were able to meet with Gail Minerd and Dean and Evelyn King at the King’s lovely home.  For those interested in local history, this is the ultimate dream team. When one of them would start into a memory but couldn’t remember all of the details, one or both of the other two would be able to fill in the gaps. That made the interview so much more complete as compared to interviewing them separately.
We started out by asking what their earliest memory of getting to church was. Evelyn could remember riding with her dad and sisters to church, while her mother stayed home to fix Sunday dinner. She also recalled that because of her big family only her sisters got to ride in the car and her brothers walked to church. Dean and Gail both remembered their parents must have been Ford people. Dean could recall riding in one of the last Model “T” cars sold in Somerset. They both could remember a ’30 or’31 model “A” and later a 1936 black Ford. All reminisced over how men and women sat separately in church and that Gladys and Pete Henry were one of the few couples who did sit together in the old church. They also discussed how when the new church was built, Ed McMillin's daughters insisted that the tradition of sitting separately be stopped. Then they talked about how in the old church, although space was limited, almost everyone that came to church would stay for Sunday school. After Sunday school people would stay long after just to visit with everyone. No one seemed in a hurry to leave.

Next we asked what preacher they remembered from the old church. Although they couldn’t remember many names or details from their childhood, they filled in each other’s gaps on later preachers. They could remember the last names of Pastor Earhart and Pastor Trimpey but not much else. Next came Mrs. Thompson, who was a lay speaker, who ministered to the church. She was brought in because World War II had greatly affected the amount of available pastors. Then came Peter Shultzabarger and Pastor Derby. The “Dream Team” remembered Pastor Derby as a “roly poly” kind of guy who would excitedly pound the pulpit while preaching. He was also remembered as a very helpful pastor who would come and help husk corn, fill silo and loved to eat those farmer meals. Pastor Derby was a bachelor, and it was noted that the pastor never entered a house without a man present. He was later killed in a car accident in Scottdale. The next two in the old church were Pastor Rhodes and Pastor Doyle.

We asked them who were some of their early Sunday school teachers. It was no surprise that Ada King’s name came up first. Many people in our church over many years had Ada as their childhood teacher. Edna Shelley was remembered for teaching the women, and Smith Cramer, Ernest Henry and Elmer Pletcher at various times taught the men.

Some others who participated in the church service were the piano players. All could remember Zelma Pletcher, Loretta Sechler, Linda Younkin and Patsy Pletcher helping in that capacity.

We then began to discuss a variety of differences between their childhood days and today. When Dean was a baby, Wesley Chapel didn’t hold many services in the winter. When snow blew in and filled up the old sunken dirt roads, travel became a challenge. Local families found it difficult to leave their homes and preachers found it impossible to get anywhere. Another difference from yester-year was an old coal stove that sat in the center of the church. The dream team could remember that Smith Cramer and Teve King fired the furnace. Teve’s sons assisted when they became old enough. They also could remember smoke coming out of the furnace when it would take a spell. We also talked about how babies weren’t baptized in the old church. Teen-agers were baptized about the time they were taken into the church.

With the hour getting late, we were forced to end the interview. Although Dean, Evelyn and Gail have seen many changes within Wesley Chapel, our churches purpose to preach the gospel has always remained the same.     

December 2013

Sis (Henry) Wright

As told to Cindy Miller

Last spring, Forrest Stark told me of an old friend of his and Barb’s from Addison who attended Wesley chapel as a child. Her name is Sis (Henry) Wright, and she wanted to talk to someone about her time spent here.

Sis was born in 1924 to Jess and Iva Henry at New Lexington. Her grandfather Charles Henry began and operated the present New Lexington Market, which her parents eventually took over. Sis remembered coming to Wesley Chapel until she was 7 in 1931. In 1931 her father passed away in tragic accident. After that she remembered she and her four brothers walking to the bottom of the Gross Hill and from there one of the school teachers that lived there would drive them to New Centerville to church.

I asked Sis if she had any memories of Wesley Chapel. She said her dad drove them there every Sunday in what she believed was an old Chevy car. She also remembered the men using one door and the women using another door to come into church. She knew Lottie King played the piano and there were also regular evening services. She recalled  Rev. Koosier was the pastor at that time. He also held the funeral for her father. She said that little church was packed full of people and the field at the church was full of cars. Rev. Koosier had a lot of sons, and Sis’s mom would sometimes cook a Sunday meal for his family. Sis laughed because she said that with all of the Rev.’s sons and her four brothers her mother had to cook A LOT of food.

We ended our conversation with Sis telling me she was Pete and Gladys Henry’s niece. Many of us remember them as faithful members of Wesley Chapel. In fact, Sis and her husband built the home that Pete and Gladys lived in. She said that even though they didn’t have children of their own, Pete and Gladys were her favorite aunt and uncle. She said Pete really took over as her father-figure after her dad died.

Unfortunately, with conflicting schedules, I couldn’t go meet with Sis, so we talked over the phone. It was a nice conversation, and I’m glad I got to know her.

November 2013

Leon & Karen "Cook" Ohler Leon & Karen "Cook" Ohler

As told to Kim & Craig Smith

Leon and Karen (Cook) Ohler are two members of the Wesley Chapel congregation that we had the privilege of sitting with to reflect on the history of Wesley Chapel.  We listened to many memories and selected several to share with you.                            
Leon recalls one of his earliest memories of Wesley Chapel being that the church was separated, men on one side and women on the other.  Leon sat with his dad while his mom sat on the other side.  Another Sunday, his family went to church and there was such a bad snow storm that they couldn’t get home afterwards. 

As a small child, Leon’s family attended Wesley Chapel up until the end of second grade.   While at Wesley Chapel, he remembers on Sundays all the cars being parked under the big maple trees that were around where the current pavilion sits.  In the early 1950’s, when someone got a new car it was a big deal.  Certain families always drove the same make of cars. When asked how many people attended church at that time, he said it was easier for him to get a head count by counting cars.  He believes maybe eight or ten cars were parked under those trees but back then people had larger families and brought other people with them.  Cars were definitely something that caught his attention.  Then at the beginning of third grade Leon’s family moved to Ursina. 

Leon and Cook moved to the farm in 1972.  The current church was in the process of being built.  Both of them have always been very active with the church.  Leon helped Harold Henry work on the parking lot at the church, helped with work days, was on the trustees when the parsonage was being built, and many other church projects.  Leon also talked about when the church became a one point charge (which means when the church got their own pastor).  Leon remembers one time for a special service in the old church, on a Sunday which he believes to be Mother’s Day, he had to get up with a group of six or eight men and they all sang as a part of the service. 

They both fondly remember many of the activities that were done with the youth group in the 1980’s.  They recall there being quite a big youth group then.  They mentioned various activities that were done with the youth, to include spaghetti dinners, Halloween parties, making hoagies, hay rides, hikes, many unique games including climbing a ladder with marshmallows and pie football, outdoor picnics, and sled riding to name just a few.  They both said that back then they didn’t do anything spectacular or high dollar for entertainment.  The most expensive event they remember doing was going to see the Smurfs skate.  The many stories we heard while sitting on their porch created a lot of laughter.  Their time spent with the youth seemed to be a very big highlight of their time at Wesley Chapel and created many priceless memories.

Leon also talked about some of our older members of the church.  Both of them always enjoyed hearing the old timer’s stories and had many laughs with them.  We talked about when Wesley Chapel was a two charge church (the pastor was shared between two churches) and how the Superintendent had a very important role in the service.  If the pastor was running late, the Superintendent had to start the service until the pastor got there.  Leon was told, although he never heard for himself, that when Ed King was Superintendent and he came to a word he didn’t know in scripture, he would say “wheelbarrow.”

Leon reflected on the various pastors that served Wesley Chapel over the years.  He talked about how Arnold Kastner sat with them and asked him and Cook to come join Wesley Chapel and so they joined.  When Leon spoke of Steve Cordle, he told how Steve was very good at visiting people in the community to get them to come to church and how attendance picked up.  He associates John Hodge as helping tremendously with the youth.  He recalled moving a few of the pastors into the parsonage.  One time the moving truck broke down and many congregation members used their pickup trucks to get belongings to the parsonage.  Leon said that he has enjoyed all of the pastors through his many years at Wesley Chapel, even though each has been different.  He stated, “the one thing that each of them had in common is they all stuck to the Bible.  They didn’t try to force something that wasn’t biblical.”

Leon and Cook shared so many memories and so many laughs – I urge you to visit with them if you get the opportunity.  You too will enjoy the many laughs and fellowship.     

October 2013

Norma Jean Phillippi

As told to Linda Henry

            Many of us remember Norma Jean (Gary) Phillippi as a secretary at Kingwood Elementary School for many years.  Her pleasant voice and gentle manner was always recognizable as you entered or called the school.  Norma Jean, her sisters Doris and Lena as well as her two brothers, attended Wesley Chapel in the old church building.  One of her first memories is of her grandfather John Faidley.  Although he didn’t attend church very often, she remembers sitting with her mother and siblings singing a hymn and hearing a beautiful high tenor voice coming from the back of the church. When Norma Jean asked her mother who belonged to that wonderful voice, her mother replied that it was her grandfather John. 

Sunday school classes were often in the sanctuary of the old church since space was so limited.  Norma Jean remembers Ada King (Ross King’s wife and Mary Ellen Hoover’s great-grandmother) as one of her teachers when Ada had the younger 9-10 year olds in two pews within the church. She said that Ada had taught Sunday school for many years. Meanwhile, the men’s class was up near the pulpit with chairs in a semi-circle around it.  Norma Jean remembers watching from her class as the men pulled a curtain to separate their class from the rest of the room.

Finally, Norma Jean spoke about when the worship service ended, the women would leave by the right hand door and men from the left hand door of the church.  She remembers the women stood in clusters chatting after the service while the men did the same in their group.  Meanwhile, the children were all running around the two groups.  Norma Jean commented that there were two big trees outside the church building and she remembers that Teve (Samuel Cleveland) and his brother Ross King always seemed to park under those trees with their big cars.  In fact, she commented that unlike today, people seemed to park in the same spot around the church every Sunday.

July 2013

Ethel Pletcher

-as told to Cindy Miller

Last Tuesday I got to interview my Grandma Ethel (Betty) Pletcher for the newsletter. Now obviously I have known my grandma for 39 years so I figured that I knew all there was to know about her. Well, it didn't take me long to realize that there are A LOT of things I didn't know. Let's go back 91 years to 1922. Grandma was born at home on Chicken Bone Road about a half a mile past Eldon and Loretta Sechler's home. In 1940 she married a VERY handsome young man, Harrold Pletcher. At that point is when she moved to our side of Laurel Hill Creek. My grandfather built their home on Kanaul Road where she lives to this day. She started attending Wesley Chapel right around the time their firstborn daughter Myrna came along in 1941.

One of Grandma's earliest memories was walking to church with her neighbor Mrs. Lottie Pletcher (Ralph's mom) who lived in Brad and Lori's former home. When Grandma told me that they walked to church, I must have had a look of shock because I was picturing the two of them walking down 653, but Grandma told me they walked down Green King Road (past Cook and Leon's) to church. The winters in those days were much worse than they are now so Grandma remembered staying home during the winter months.

She also remembered that of all of her six kids Myrna was the only one who sang in the choir, and, of course, the old church didn't have much room. In fact, it must have been much smaller than our church now. So there was no choir loft, and the choir just stood up front between the pews and the pulpit.

Another funny memory Grandma had involved her brother-in-law Earl Pletcher. Now most of us remember Earl Pletcher as the Sunday School Superintendent. One Sunday morning after the church service he stood up front to begin Sunday school at which time everyone noticed he had one black shoe and one white shoe on. I'm figuring Zelma, his wife, must have been home sick that day.

Lastly, Grandma told me about the Cradle Roll program Wesley Chapel had. I learned that when families had a child they got a certificate with a gift. The certificate had the baby's name written on it with the Pastor's name, the Sunday school superintendent and the superintendent of the Cradle Roll.

I'm very thankful I went to interview my grandma. Not only was it a nice visit but what I learned about Wesley Chapel I'll always remember.

June 2013

Leora King

-as told to Maxine Temple

I visited Leora at Patriot Manor last week and she was resting in bed. I asked her when she started attending Wesley Chapel. She stated that she and William were married in Cumberland, Maryland and they attended Kingwood Church of God until they started their family. As the boys grew older, they started to attend Wesley Chapel. She thought the family should attend church together, so she and William started to attend Wesley Chapel approximately fifty years ago. She thought that Rev. Shultzabarger was the first pastor she could recall. Leora also taught Sunday school for many years.

May 2013

Eldon & Loretta Sechler

-as told to Ryan Sechler

Since this is Wesley Chapel's 150th year in existence, the Anniversary Committee has encouraged members to conduct interviews of some of the more seasoned members of our church. I was only too happy to volunteer to interview my grandmother, Loretta (King) Sechler.

Like many members of our church, she has attended Wesley Chapel her entire life. In fact, she is at least the fourth and possibly the fifth generation of her family to attend Wesley Chapel since our church's founding.

Her attendance began shortly after her birth at a farm west of Scullton near the county line on July 14, 1940. One of her early modes of transportation to and from church was a 1941 Ford Coupe. She recalls, with a smile, one Sunday parking in her grandparents' driveway, which is Diane Smith's driveway today. Later, some from the church witnessed the car drifting all the way down the driveway and somehow missing the original house that sat below the driveway.

One of the earliest pastors that she remembered was Mrs. Thompson. She couldn't remember any controversy over a woman minister but remembered that she seemed to have lengthy sermons.

One of Loretta's early memories of church was in Sunday school. Sunday school in those days consisted of going to a corner of the sanctuary and trying to block out the noise from the other classes. Her earliest class was held on the left side, all the way in the front, in front of the men and straight across from the choir. Aunt Ade was her first teacher. Aunt Ade was Ade King, Loretta's grandfather's sister-in-law.

In talking to my grandmother, I got the impression that sound traveled very well in the old church. First, during my grandparents' wedding in the old church, grandmother told me that when her dad went to enter the church the door made a loud "Boom!". Then part way down the aisle young Terry King fell out of his seat with a big "Boom!".

Some years later she recalled Jill Heiple, while singing with the choir, fainted and slumped to the floor with a "Boom!"

Loretta also remembered that, because the church did not own very much ground, whoever arrived first at church would leave last. This was because the cars were parked four rows deep.

When recalling the transition between the old and new church, she was reminded of an observation that her husband Eldon made. Upon moving into the new church, he noticed people leaving to use the restroom during the service. He remarked that that never occurred in the old church, especially on a cold winter day. With the hour growing late, I needed to end the interview. But I was struck by the fact that all of her memories were good ones, as I'm sure that is true for many in our church.

April 2013

Ida Mae Schmuck

-as told to Linda Henry

When told of the upcoming 150 year anniversary of the church, Ida Mae Schmuck stated that she couldn't believe it had happened so quickly. Mae Schmuck, Roy Schmuck's mother, would tell stories of the starting of the Wesley Chapel Church with the donation of the land by Reverend Lichlighter. Mae seemed to think a lot of the reverend. She often mentioned that when the roads were especially bad from Scullton to the church that as many as ten people would walk Sunday morning to get to church.

You see, it seems only yesterday that in 1942 Ida Mae Moore married Roy Schmuck. She remembers that when she was younger, she was baptized with five of her sisters, all at once, at the Rockwood Brethren Church. And after she married Roy, she attended Wesley Chapel at the old church building. She sat with her five children on one side of the church with the ladies and their children, while the men sat at the other side. Teenagers sat toward the back. After one unruly Sunday worship service, Ida Mae remembers that her children were especially rowdy. Upon returning home, Ida Mae told Roy that from now on he would help her with the children or she would not be going to church with him! Ida Mae was a faithful attendant to Wesley Chapel and has 15 years of perfect attendance to her credit. In fact, she loved the old church building so much that she didn't want them to tear it down. She said it was a fine old building and should be kept up. She was sorry to see it go with all its memories.

Another memory of the church was the tornado that came through Scullton. Her son Terry called from Normalville telling Ida Mae that the tornado was coming across the mountain and for her and Roy to get in the basement. She remembers the loud rush of the wind and how the storm went past Ken Schmuck's house with his wife Dorothy hiding in the basement. After the tornado went through, they were in awe of the devastation from the damage to Herb Shelley's timber and to the bricks torn off of Dorothy's house. All were amazed that no damage had been done to Wesley Chapel. The storm seemed to have jumped right over the church.

April 2013

The following is taken from the 1988 church pictorial directory.

Wesley Chapel’s Heritage

Wesley Chapel's beginning was the gathering of a few families led by circuit riders, who held services every two weeks. Records reveal a deed dated November 9, 1863, conveying the land, where a church and cemetery were to begin. This was to be a Methodist Episcopal Church from the estate of Rev. Levi Lichliter, who is buried in the existing cemetery. The trustees at that time were John Lanning, Messimer Cramer, John Phillippi, Norman Lichliter, Jeremiah Pile and Joseph Critchfield. Prior to this, a class had been functioning with David Lichliter as leader. Records indicated there were about thirty-five members. The church was built for approximately 41,000.00 and much free labor. The first ministers were Revs. Wilkson and Williams.

Around 1915, there occurred a renovation program, this included the raising of the roof of the church, raising the floor of the chancel section of the sanctuary, and the basement was excavated for a furnace, which replaced the old heating stove in the sanctuary. It has been noted that the old records of Wesley Chapel were destroyed in a fire at the home of David Henry, where the records were stored. Wesley Chapel, Berlin and Hopewell were a three point charge from 1937-1948, with the parsonage being located in Berlin. Wesley Chapel was served by a Mrs. Thompson, a lay person, from 1948-1950 when it became a two point charge with Calvary and the parsonage was in Somerset. During the pastorate of Rev. George Shultzabarger (1950-1953), an education wing was built onto the church at a cost of $5,000.00 and much donated time. It housed five classrooms. Rev. Clark Derby was the pastor from 1953 until 1958. he was followed by Rev. Milton Rhodes (1958-1961). Rev. Robert Doyle began his ministry in 1961 and was instrumental in the 100th anniversary of the church. A week of special services was held from September 8 through the 13th, 1963 to commemorate this occasion. At this time the chairperson of the official board was earl Pletcher, and the church treasurer was William King.

In 1968, Wesley Chapel became Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church due to the merging of the Methodist and EUB churches at a national conference in Dallas, TX.

Nineteen sixty-nine found the congregation establishing a building fund in excess of $37,000.00. the building and land site committee members were earl Pletcher, chairman; Harold Henry, Mrs. Delbert Minerd, William King, Arthur Henry, Roy King, James Pletcher, Roy Schmuck, Dean King, Eldon Sechler and Mrs. Gladys Henry who served as secretary. Edward King was the building fund treasurer. The first of September 1970, four adjoining acres of land were purchased from Oak Enos at the cost of $1,250.00 per acre. Plans were drawn to break ground for a new church in the spring of 1973 at a coast of $5,000.00. the trustees at that time were Delbert Minerd, Harold Henry, Ernest Henry, Elmer Pletcher, Edgar McMillen, Edward King, William King and Arthur Henry. The church treasurer was William King.

The present church was completed in 1974 at the cost of $183,00.00. Rev. Robert Doyle was pastor when the new church was built. A mortgage burning service for the new church was held September 9, 1979. rev. Arnold Kastner was minister at that time. Rev. Kastner served as minister from 1975-1980. a parsonage was completed by 1980 at the cost of $60, 100.00 under the pastorate of Arnold Kastner. In 1980, Wesley Chapel became a station church and Rev. John Hodge began his ministry here.

The old church was torn down in 1977 because of the poor condition of the structure. In it's place a pavilion was erected and picnic tables were built by 1982. this project was funded by the youth fellowship.

Wesley Chapel had a church membership of 147 as of April 1983. our church school consisted of 10 classes for all ages.

March 2013

Our first comes from Ruth Pletcher.

My experience with Wesley Chapel has been a good one. When we came over from Normalville we were happy thinking we had reached the Promised Land. Elmer Pletcher married my mother and a new family was born. Mother had four kids and Elmer had four. The blessing of a little girl was added to that. On Sunday was family time. He had a General Store and across the road was a store. I can still see it. He closed his store and took us all to church. It was a quaint little church, faded white with two steps going into the church. One side of the steps was for the women and the other side for the men to enter. I can remember turn buckles holding the door together. I loved that church. It stood where the pavilion now stands. Elmer Pletcher never thought we could build a new church but time changed things.

February 2013

Ballon Found

We were surprised to hear that someone found one of our balloons recently from our 150th Celebration balloon launch! Here is the email Pastor Denton received on November 17, 2015.


My name is Dick Powlison and today I found one of your balloon tags while working in the woods. The general location Bradford Co. PA. South Creek Twp. Approximately 1/2 mile west/southwest of the intersection of Rt. 14 and Kilgore Rd. on the property of a Mr. Scott Johnson. It was a ridge line (high ground) of hardwood trees. Hope this makes your day a little brighter.

Highest regards,