St. Paul's United Methodist Church — Celebrating 200 Years

Celebrating 200 years in Christian Ministry 1816 - 2016

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church Poseyville, Indiana

St. Paul’s UMC History


Introduction What a story of blessings, growth and service! From six people gathered in Jonathan Jaquess’ cabin to a congregation of over three hundred members. From the confines of a frontier cabin, to a church campus that occupies half a city block. From waiting and hoping that a Circuit Riding Preacher would stop by, to a professional staff. From hoping to provide worship services to family members, to worship, missions and ministries that reach across our nation and around the world. Yes! The story of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church is a story of God’s blessings, of Christian growth and of service to Jesus Christ. Few congregations can speak of such humble beginnings and few can lay claim to such growth and ministry. It is one of the joys of my life and one of the blessings of my ministry to be added to the role of preachers to serve St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. It is my hope that as you read through this book, you will be amazed, feel blessed and find hope in the wonderful things God has done and is doing in St. Paul’s. And may we always keep in mind God is not finished yet! A third century of blessings, growth and service is being written. May our chapter be a reflection of those who have gone before us. In Christ’s love, Pastor Paul

VISION STATEMENT OF ST. PAUL’S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH The vision of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church is to make our community and the world a better place. Spiritually: by making Disciples of Jesus Christ; Morally: by Biblical teaching and being living examples; Physically: by strengthening families through Christian missions and with responsible stewardship of the earth.

St. Paul’s UMC History




In the Beginning – Pioneers In the year 1815 (some accounts give the date as 1816, but the earlier accounts give it as 1815), there came down the Ohio River in flat boats three families. The first boat contained the family of William Casey and his son-in-law, Joseph Endicott (some histories also list the name of a second son-in-law, Stephen Eaton, on the Casey boat). The second, Jonathan Jaquess and family. The third, Alexander Ferguson and family. The wives of these three men were sisters and daughters of a Scotchman named George Frazier. They located in what is now Robb Township, Posey County. In this colony from Harrison, Kentucky, counting women and children, were 44 persons. An article in the “Indiana Magazine of History,” March, 1921, gives this additional information on one of the pioneer, Jonathan Jaquess:

St. Paul’s UMC History


“Prominent in early Methodism in southern Indiana was Jonathan J. Jaquess, who came to Indiana from Kentucky in 1815. He was born in New Jersey in 1753 and served in the American Revolution under Colonel Sheldon, commander of the 7 th New Jersey Regiment, afterwards known as the Light Horse Brigade. He moved to Kentucky, settling near Cynthiana, and in September, 1815, with his family, wife and nine children: Garreston, George, John Wesley, Ogden, Fletcher, Asbury, Elizabeth, Permelia and Rebecia (sic), together with other relatives came to Indiana

and settled in Posey County…” A Church in the Wilderness

In 1800, the national census showed Ohio to have 45,356 residents and the population of Kentucky had reached 220,955. But Indiana was little more than a wilderness and could boast of a total population of only 2,517. A history of the Indiana Conference (Indiana Conference of the Methodist Church by Herbert L. Heller) states that in 1808 the Western Conference was reorganized and a new District was formed, known as the Indiana District. This placed the name “Indiana” on the Methodist Church records for the first time. Early Methodist meetings were around the Charlestown, Indiana, area but by 1814 Circuit Riders were traveling throughout all of the Wabash and Ohio River country of southern Indiana. An indication of the wilderness condition can be noted by action take at the second Illinois Conference session, which met at Charlestown in 1825. The Indiana circuits were still a part of the Illinois and Missouri Conferences. “The 1825 Conference was not a lengthy session and was marked by the usual affairs except for the approval of an agreement entered into by Jesse Walker and the chiefs of the Pottawatomie Indians, permitting him to engage in missionary work among them” (from Indiana Conference of the Methodist Church). It should be noted that the first session of the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was held in the Wesley Chapel M.E. Church at New Albany in October of 1832. Of special interest is that this church had been founded in 1817 by Reverend John Schrader, an early minister of St. Paul’s Church, about which more will be said later. In this Indiana wilderness several settlements began to take shape. In this area of Posey County a community called Goshen was developed on a section of land near where the Dr. Paul Boren now lives. It was a community patterned after the “group living” of the Rappite community of New Harmony. The common goal was the growing of produce, which was to be shipped by river flat boat to the city of St. Louis and points south. The loss of one summer’s crop when a flat boat broke up south of St. Louis also broke the economy of the Goshen community and the people went back to their own farm

St. Paul’s UMC History


homes. Some of the Goshen residents moved about half a mile south and formed a settlement that was officially platted and named in 1840 by Talbott Sharp and Ellison Cale. The place was called Palestine. In 1852 the name was changed to one that is now more familiar – Poseyville. The Year – 1815; The Event – The Birth of Our Church Before leaving for the far west, Jonathan Jaquess and wife, who were members of the Episcopal Church and knew they would find no church of this kind in their new home, asked their rector with what church they should unite. He told them, “You will find Methodists there, unite with them, for they are the best people in the world.” As soon as they could, they opened their home to the circuit rider. In the autumn of 1815, the first class was formed in this part of Posey County by Amos King at the residence of Jonathan Jaquess and consisted of Jonathan Jaquess, Rebecca, his wife, and Katherine Rankin, their daughter-in-law. During the same autumn, Rebecca and Amelia, daughters of Jonathan Jaquess and Anna Gale were added to the number. The class was officially organized as a church in the year 1816. This was the beginning of the

Methodist Church in what is now known as Poseyville. The Jaquess home was located about one mile northwest of the present Town of Poseyville on land that is owned now by Jesse Marse. Soon after building his log cabin, Jonathan Jaquess’ home became a regular preaching place for the circuit rider. It was not only a place to preach but a place of rest. One room was set apart as the preacher’s room, and always called by that name. In this room they rested and wrote. The first Methodists who rode the

circuit in this county were Reverends Thomas Amos King and Tommy Davis, who came in 1815 and 1816. The “Good Old Days” (The following is edited from notes and receipts by Katherine Jaquess Roberts Johnson, written by Sarah Bozeman.) “Services were conducted differently then from now. Often, the only hymn book in the congregation was carried by the preacher, who lined the hymns, which consisted of reading two lines, the congregation joining in the singing, continuing thus until the whole hymn had been sung. The minister or someone in the congregation leading. Sermons were often an hour long, followed by an exhortation (sic) of almost equal length of local talent.

St. Paul’s UMC History


“While the homes were being used for preaching, it was customary after each service to call everyone in and about the community in for class meetings to receive religious instructions. Perhaps no man did more for the young of the community than did Mr. Preston Talbott. For more than 20 years, he was the Sunday School Superintendent. “Well do I remember another, Mr. Dooks, a quaint old Englishman, who by his honest and upright life commanded the friendship and respect of all. He was the sexton who for many years cared for the church, keeping it pure and clean for the service of the Master. Then, there was Benjamin Weaver, the Class Leader, who never grew weary or faltered in the service. He had a good voice and dearly loved to use it in songs of praise. He moved from here to Illinois and enlisted in the Civil War. We are told by a comrade that his singing cheered them on many a long and weary march. There were a host of others loyal to the Master and his cause. Among them were the five Jaquess brothers: Garrettson, Wesley, Ogden, Fletcher, Asbury and Thomas. Also, Joseph Davis, Logan Westfall, John Weaver and George Trainor. Also, the Endicott brothers: James, George and Samuel. “In the early days, the circuit was large and quarterly meetings came only once or twice a year. But what an even it was! People talked of and prepared for it for days before its coming. The visitors began to arrive on Saturday morning and remained until Sunday afternoon. They usually came on horseback, man and wife both on one horse, sometimes each carrying a child. Some times each rode a horse carrying children in their arms and two on behind. “They came from all the country around – New Harmony, Owensville, Mt. Vernon, Beach Grove, Blue Grass and Evansville. People took ten, fifteen, twenty or even thirty of the visitor’s home with them to care for and feed, and thought nothing of it. Beds were made on the floor – the farmer’s own stock was turned out of the barn to make room for the strangers. Love feasts were held early Sabbath morning, and at a stated time the doors were closed and locked and none was allowed to enter until the doors were thrown open for the 10:00 service. This had the effect of making all prompt. For many years, camp services were held on the grounds near the church. The camp being formed into a hollow square. At night, log heaps, bonfires, torches and lanterns burned all round. This with the singing and preaching made a strange and weird picture.

“The Sunday Schools then were quite different from now. They had no Berean system or helps. They usually began with the second chapter of Matthew; each teacher using his or her own pleasure or judgement in the questioning or catechizing. As the Sunday School was usually disbanded at the end of Fall or the beginning of winter (to be reorganized in the spring), the scholars never got farther than the

This frame church replaced 2 log structures and was built in 1861 on the corner of Second and Cale Streets. It was sold to the Baptist church in 1903 and moved to a location on west Main Street

St. Paul’s UMC History


first four or five books of the New Testament. There was usually a good attendance, the children coming for miles.” Where We Worship From the meeting in the home of Jonathan Jaquess in the fall of 1815 to our present day, the Methodist congregations of this community have worshiped in four buildings. Two log churches located on a lot on West Main Street were used from 1818 to 1860 by the Methodist Congregation. The third, a frame building, was constructed in 1861 on the present site, Second and Cale Streets. When the present brick structure was built in 1903 the former building was moved to a lot north of the cemetery to be used by the Baptist Church. Of the church buildings, Mrs. Bozeman gave this descriptive writing: “The first church (log structure) built in 1818 by this society was in the West end of Main Street (on the lot now occupied by the Espenlaub Equipment Company). The land was given by one Talbott Sharp and in the deed was a clause that stipulated if the land given should ever be used for any other purpose than a church, it should revert to the Sharp heirs, which it did, the building of the second church (log structure) was erected in 1836. It was dedicated by Pres. Simpson who later became Bishop. “As time went on, the church grew old and not comfortable for winter. It was decided to build a new one. Thomas Jaquess gave the lot, the same on which the present building now stands. It was finished in the fall of 1904, and dedicated in November by the presiding elder Charles D. Battelle and Pastor W.E. Davis. Asbury Jaquess gave the Bible and hymn book, and Father Schrader and wife the Communion set. “Now we come to

the building of the present church. In 1904, the second church building was sold and the present church erected. The building contract was awarded to Bean & David of Princeton, for their bid of $7,193. The building was to be completed by August 15, 1904. It was dedicated December 11, 1904, by Rev. Levi Gilbert, D.D., Rev. J.W. Turner, D.D., Presiding Elder Rev. P.C. Lisman was the Pastor.”


It is interesting to note that from 1904 to April of 1913 the lighting in the church was by gasoline. The generating unit was in the basement. In 1913, a group of hard

St. Paul’s UMC History


working women who were organized as a service group called The Business and Social Union, had the electric fixtures installed around the sanctuary dome. The cost of this modern step was $47.45. The Poseyville Light Company had been formed and a new power plant was in operation. Since the use of electricity at that time was limited to lighting, the company only ran the power plant at night. A few years later, when the electric iron was introduced, the company kept pace with the advance by running the plant from 9-12 each Wednesday morning. Although there have been four buildings used for worship since the beginning of our church, only two structures have been built as parsonages. As was noted in the history written by Mrs. Sarah Bozeman, the early circuit riders were lodged in a room built on the Jaquess home. There is no indication that there was any other living quarters for the minister until the building of the frame church in 1861. The frame church faced Cale Street and sat on the north side of the lot. On the south end of the lot a house was constructed for the parsonage. Although we cannot find a date of construction it is assumed that the house was built about the same time as the church. It was used as a parsonage until 1913 when the present parsonage was constructed. When the frame building was moved to the west end of Main Street and sold to the Baptist congregation, the present brick building was built and only a few feet separated the church and the parsonage. The steps to the church study were just at the edge of the porch steps of the parsonage. In 1913 the present parsonage was built as a gift from Mrs. Sarah Bozeman. The old parsonage was rented until about 1930 when it was sold for $150. The lumber was used to build a house that was just recently torn down to make room for the V-C Soil Service Center. The cost of building the present parsonage was $3,153.58. In 1955 the kitchen of the parsonage was extensively remodeled and other improvements were made. The first pipe organ was installed in the present brick building and dedicated on December 6, 1904. The wind for the bellows came from leg power. Several sets of strong legs were employed to operate a mechanism not too much unlike a bicycle. As the boys pedaled, power was provided for the compressor. One story that seems to have truth to it was that some boys would stuff paper in the organ pipes because the less the pipes could play the less wind was required. In 1922, Mrs. Sarah

Bozeman gave the money to purchase a new pipe organ, from the Mohlor Pipe Organ Company. It was dedicated on July 10, 1922. Its compressor was powered by a motor. The Bozeman Organ is still in good condition. A major rebuilding of the organ was undertaken in the remodeling program in 1965.


St. Paul’s UMC History


Two building programs have brought changes to the church in the last 13 years. The present annex was completed in 1953 at a cost of $15,000. In this program, the kitchen was moved to the south end of the annex basement and equipped with gas range, refrigerator, sinks and dish washer. The old kitchen area was used to house the heating plant which serves the annex. An assembly room with dividers, table and chairs, two classrooms and two restrooms were built on the main floor. The Reverend Theron R. Castleman was the minister during this building program and Mr. Harvey Davis was chairman of the building committee. In 1965 the building, with the exception of the annex, was rewired. The basement under the original structure was changed by lowering the ceiling, new lighting was installed and the old stairway moved from the center of the building to the north wall. Recessed lighting in the sanctuary replaced the original fixtures and the chancel was extended the full width of the sanctuary. The study was enlarged and an infant nursery was built over the old stairway area. Folding doors were placed in the basement and the “overflow” area for increased division of the Sunday School classes. As mentioned above, the Bozeman organ was rebuilt with the most notable changes being the moving of the console to the east wall in the chancel and the replacing of the exposed pipes from the front of the organ to the rear of the pipe room. Mr. Paul Fletchall was chairman of the remodeling program and Reverend Charles R. Armstrong was the minister. The budget for this program of improvements and repairs was $12,000. A Bell With A History Although every church is 1960 – Choir & Director Myron Westfall

thought to have a bell and would not, therefore, merit any particular mention, the history of the bell in our tower cannot be easily passed by. It wasn’t until the building of the frame church in 1861 that the Methodists were called to worship by a bell. The log structures had no tower for a bell and perhaps the economy of the

church would not permit the purchase of such extras. But when the frame church was built in 1861 a bell was purchased. When that building was removed in 1903 and sold the bell was not a part of the sale, but proudly placed in the bell tower of the new (our present) church and is still in use. The writing of Mrs. Bozeman is again quoted, as she tells of the bell. “The old church had never had a bell, but it was decided that the new one should. In due time it came, was hung and when its clear notes were rung out on the air, it filled the hearts of all with joy and gladness. The women of the church were asked or offered (not know which) to raise the money to pay for it. All took part, one of the most active workers was Mrs. Protzman, grandmother Elliotte of the Elliott family. Thomas Jaquess and John

St. Paul’s UMC History


Waters were chosen to select the bell. At the dedication services, I remember nothing so distinctly as the opening prayer. The minister prayed for the building; that it might long stand as a temple of the living God. Many and varied have been the messages that this old bell has sent out. In sad tones, it has toiled the passing away of all those who first heard it. There was a custom, now sensibly fallen into disuse, of tolling the bell when anyone died. If it stopped in the tens, a youth or maiden had died. If it reached the thirties or forties, we knew that strong manhood or loving womanhood had slipped away. But when it reached the three score and ten, we knew the ripe sheaf, ready for the harvest, hard been garnered in. Countless are the times it has rung out the old year and the new one in. Right merrily has it rung when the young men and maidens plighted their vows beneath its silvery tones. During the civil war, its uses were many and varied. It called the country to do honor to the soldier in his Army Blue, sleeping in the narrow bed in that ‘low green tent whose curtains never outwart turn’ until the last bugle shall have been sounded. Once it angerly clanged out the sharp notes of war when Morgan and his raiders crossed into Indiana. And again, on April 14, 1865, it tolled the sad message that Abraham Lincoln, our first martyred President, had been assassinated.” It is of interest that the same bell that tolled for President Lincoln also tolled for President John F. Kennedy. Roll of the Ministers It would be impossible to list the names of the ministers who have served our church without some reflections. Bishop Simpson, who helped dedicate the second log structure, built in 1836, was but one of four bishops that have been in our community. In

addition to Bishops Roberts and McKendree, there was also the leader of American Methodism, Bishop Francis Asbury, who was often in the home of Reverend John Schrader. Some of the men who have served the church have become District Superintendents, others have also been noted for leadership in the general church administration. The daughter of Reverend M.O. Robbins is a Methodist Missionary in India. Several sons of the ministers who served our church have entered the ministry. Under the pastoral care of ministers who have served the church several young men of our congregation have become ministers. When speaking of past ministers of the

John Schrader

congregation it would be impossible to overlook one whose name is almost symbolic with early Indiana Methodism and our St. Paul’s Church. They called him Father John Shrader. A book could well be written about him, but space does not permit us to do so. John Schrader (spelling later changed to Shrader) was born in Baltimore on October 18, 1792. His father was Jacob Schrader, who came from Germany, settled in Baltimore then moved to east Tennessee and settled near Knoxville in 1795. In the fall of 1814 John Schrader was admitted into the traveling connection of the Tennessee Conference, which included in its bounds Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas and a

St. Paul’s UMC History


part of Indiana. W.H. Grim, in an Indiana Methodist periodical, tells us that “His first circuit was Green River Circuit, Kentucky, which had ten appointments and was four hundred miles in circumference.” He was ordained Deacon in 1816 by Bishop Asbury and Elder in 1818 by Bishop Roberts. In 1815 he was placed on the Vincennes Circuit, Indiana Territory. The next year he traveled the St. Charles, Missouri Circuit but in 1817 was again placed on the Vincennes Circuit. It was in 1817 that under his auspices a log meeting house was erected at New Albany. The church was dedicated as Wesley Chapel on November 20, 1817. When the first session of the Indiana Annual Conference was convened in 1832 a charter member was John Schrader, who must have been deeply proud of the fact that the Conference was being held in Wesley Chapel, a church he had organized fifteen years before. It was in serving the Posey County area, while working out of the Vincennes Circuit, that young John Shrader met the lovely Permelia Jaquess. Permelia (later spelling was Pamelia) was the daughter of Jonathan Jaquess, a founder of our church. Reverend Schrader was serving the Corydon Circuit (1820-1822) when his voice began to fail him. The rigors of the traveling ministry took a heavy toll among the ministers and few of them could last over ten years as a circuit rider. It must be remembered that they traveled in all kinds of weather over circuits that were from two to six hundred miles long. When a minister was no longer able to ride the circuit he was then stationed in a community to do preaching to the several churches in his area of residence. Thus it was that John Schrader and Permelia Jaquess were united in marriage on October 9, 1822.

John and Permelia made their home on the Jaquess land where John farmed. On Sundays he would preach where needed. He was recalled to the full time ministry in 1853 and served for two more years in this capacity. The Jaquess home, where John and Permelia lived, was often the visiting and resting place of ministers and bishops, including Bishops Asbury, Simpson, Roberts and McKendree. The German Bible (printed in 1784) used by Reverend Schrader, as well as his Communion Service and Baptismal Bowl, are in the church study. They were given to the church by Reverend Schrader and his relatives.

Permelia Schrader

Father Schrader died at 6:00 p.m., April 15, 1879 in Poseyville. He lacked three days of living eighty-six years, six months. At the time of his death he was the oldest minister in the Indiana Conference and had been preaching the Gospel for seventy years. Pamelis (Permelia) died July 20, 1881 after an attack of choler-morbus. Reverend and Mrs. Shrader are buried on the crest of the hill near the north edge of Poseyville Cemetery.

St. Paul’s UMC History


The circuit rider responsible for the initial ministry to the community was Reverend Thomas Amos King. Reverend Schrader served this area in 1815 and 1818. Although no dates are available, others who served our church from 1816 thru 1855 were T. David, T. King, Mr. Stallard, Mr. Miller and J. Davis. After 1855 the dates of appointment and the names are listed in old journals and records of our St. Paul’s Church. They are as follows:

1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1867 1868 1869 1870 1872

W.H. Grim R.L. Cushman

1905-1909 O.E. Allison 1909-1910 C.L. Griffith 1910-1913 J.C. Lawburgh 1913-1917 A.R. Beach 1917-1919 W.C. Patrick 1919-1922 M.O. Robbins 1922-1923 J.A. Breeden 1923-1926 J.R. Bolin 1926-1928 A.S. Bastin 1928-1931 C.F. Glick 1931-1933 F.P. Bedwell 1933-1935 M.O. Moran 1935-1936 W.F. Russell 1936-1938 R.W. Wenner 1938-1940 M. Seeger 1940-1941 Jay Leatherman 1941-1943 T. Roberts 1943-1945 L.K. Thomason 1945-1947 C.P. Hert 1947-1950 R.J. Crider 1951-1953 T.R. Castleman 1954-1958 J.T. Heady 1958-1961 S.H. Davidson 1961-1963 B.J. Renner 1963-1969 C.R. Armstrong 1969-1977 Donald Goben 1977-1983 Edward Miller 1983-1985 William Patterson 1985-1989 Martha McKown 1989-2003 Claude L. Atkins 2003-2008 Don R. Cline 2008-2010 Janice Heseman 1951 R.J. Schmidt

A. Turner J. Binkley W.E. Davis J.P. Den E. Hawes G. Derment J.B. Likely Laverty J. Tansey J. Warring H.J. Barr L. Forbes M. Woods

R.L. Cushman

1874-1875 L. Johnson 1875-1877 E. Hawes 1877-1878 B. Carter 1878-1880 W.T. Davis 1880-1882 G. Heavenridge 1882-1883 McGinnis 1883-1884 J.T. Woods 1884-1887 H.C. Clippinger 1887-1888 M. Wood 1888-1890 S. Reed 1890-1891 E.A. Woods 1891-1895 J.H. Carnes 1896-1897 J.W. Culmer 1897-1898 F.A. Lester 1898-1901 S.S. Penrod 1901-1902 H.S. Hilton 1902-1904 R.A. Atkins 1904-1905 P.C. Lisman

2010 -

Paul Huntsman

St. Paul’s UMC History


From the Church Records We are fortunate that we have in the church’s possession many old record books of the church. The oldest records are dated 1855 and contain the names of the early settlers to this community. Entries can be found that were made by Reverend Schrader and other ministers and class leaders. Going through the old volumes of church and Sunday School records in preparing this Sesquicentennial history has been time consuming but never one of drudgery. The records are priceless and may be studied by you at any time. They have been placed in the Church Study. It is impossible to quote as much as we would like but a sampling of the records will perhaps give the “flavor” of the heritage that they contain. In a Sunday School record book covering the years of 1871-1878 we find these several records. J.M. Copeland, as Secretary, recorded on October 26, 1873 that there were 11 females and 22 males present for a total attendance of 33. He commented on the weather by saying, “All day the low hung clouds have dropt their garnered fullness down.” From March 9, 1873, we again quote J.M. Copeland: “School met and was opened as usual by singing. Prayer by Father Schrader. At roll call the Secretary and the Secretary’s book were found absent. Also, T.M. Weaver, Supt., Matt Snively, Sallie B. Jaquess, James Lockhart and J.A. Leonard, teachers. School catechized by the assistant superintendent (sic).” It should be added the J.M. Copeland was then Secretary Pro Tem. Sunday School was held in the afternoon in these years and often the hour, or hours, had to be shared with other events. This is well indicated by the following inserts made on the pages of the Sunday School record. November 9, 1873 – “Immediately after S.S., Goldsmith B. Walker and Dou. Knowles were united in the bonds of holy matrimony by Rev. Thos. Walker of Owensville.” (attendance that Sunday was 150.) November 16, 1873 – “Mrs. A.W. Spain exhibited to the School a heathen God.” November 23, 1873 – “A very rainy and unpleasant Sunday and no wedding in church, consequently the attendance is small.” December 7, 1873 – “Small attendance owing to the muddy roads. School opened later than usual on account of the burial of Mr. James Drake in the afternoon.” On May 17, 1874 the minutes of Sunday School carry this tone of frustration: “The attendance was very good. The Sup’t failed to appoint a teacher for Mrs. R.J. Weavers class. He also seemed to have forgotten that one tap of the bell calls the school to order and that three taps calls it to arise. With the exception of a little too much laughing in the class nearest the Sect’y good order prevailed.”

St. Paul’s UMC History


When the church was one hundred years old, Mollie Davis wrote a history of the Sunday School. The statement was on the back cover page of a Sunday School record, written in pencil. It is copied here as it appears: “The Sunday School as an important part of the church deserves special mention at this celebration of the 100 th anniversary of our church. Though the Sunday School work proper did not commence for about a quarter


century after the organization of the church, yet, we believe, existed in embryo form from the first movement to establish a congregation here. But the preliminary work of getting parents interested, building a church and preparing persons to take charge of the Sunday School had to be done. The first Sunday School in the world had been organized by Robert Raiber in London only about 30 years when our church was started and Sunday Schools were in their infancy. Sometime in the forties probably about 1845, the first Sunday School met in the old church that stood where John B. Davis and Ben Stallings now live. Preston Talbott was the first Superintendent. That he was a successful one was proven by the long years he held the position. The teachers were the fathers and mothers from the surrounding homes. In those days there were no buggies or carriages to convey the children to and from Sunday School. Many walked or rode horseback behind some older members of the family. Some even came barefooted carrying their shoes and stockings until near the church when they sat down by the roadside and put them on. In those days there were no lesson helps or papers. As many as could had a Bible or just the New Testament. Each class read a Chapter and the teacher questioned and explained. It seems hard for us to believe but at the first Sunday School back in the (eighteen-) forties, there were large boys and girls in their teens that could not read, and our first teachers did a little of the work Robert Raiber did in London at the first Sunday School in the world, taught them their letters and to read. They had a little blue back Spelling Book with A-B- AB & C and from this little blue book they taught reading. For many years the Sunday School held only half the year, commencing in the spring when the roads were good and closed in the fall. They would usually observe Christmas in some way by getting the children together and giving them a little treat. Someone who remembered hearing a scholar, who attended when Preston Talbott was Superintendent, say that Mr. Talbott sometimes would buy the treat himself; if it was only a stick apiece they were pleased. My father Joseph Davis was Superintendent after Mr. Talbott, and he filled the office faithfully and well for many years, the Sunday School was improving all the time. A new church was built where this one now stands, an organ was purchased and though a little one it seemed fine in those days. New song books with the notes were used. Mrs. Lula Walker, now Mrs. John B. Davis, was the first organist. The Berean Lesson Leaves were introduced. T.M. Weaver followed Joseph Davis as Superintendent.”

St. Paul’s UMC History


A few quotations from the Membership records are also of interest. When the Christian Church started there was quite an exodus of individuals who thought “The grass was greener on the other side of the fence”. In 1897, Reverend J.H. Carnes was the minister and witnessed part of the membership “shuffle”. He often records, in the section where you indicate how a person was removed, these words “Gone to the Camolites (sic)”. In one such entry he went even further, by saying “Gone to the Camolites without letters”. Reverend S.S. Penrod was the minister at the turn of the century. He saw fit to deal with dismissal of two members by making the following entries, “Dropped for immoral conduct and complete nonattendance at Church”, and for another removed member, “Gone, Let her go”. Reverend Penrod must have set some sort of record as a marrying preacher because in three years, 1897 to 1901, he united 15 couples in marriage. In a section of the marriage record page reserved for remarks, he always noted the fee received and the weather condition. For example, “$5. Fair and Cool”, “$1.50 Blustry” and $2.50 Clear and Cool”. At least, we assume he was speaking of the weather and not the climate of the marriage.


Celebration at the Legion Home, Bill Hendrickson

Gordon & Vivian Rumble in Sesquicentennial Attire

St. Paul’s UMC History


Rev. Heady, Nilma & Children

Bill Knapp & Children

Rev. Heady & Mr. Etherton

Nilma Heady, Vivian Rumble & Mattie Kight (Vivian’s mother)

150 th Anniversary Celebration - 1966

St. Paul’s UMC History




St. Paul’s UMC History



”To you who have come to this Church today, we welcome you. It is our prayer that we may share with you the riches we have in Christ, our Savior. To you who mourn and need comfort; to you who are weary and need rest; to you who are lonely and need a friend; to all who sin and need a Savior; this Church opens wide her doors. Enter to Worship. Depart to Serve.”

St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


Ruth Moutoux & David Davis 1990

David Davis 1990

175 th Anniversary Special Music 1990

St. Paul’s UMC History



St. Paul’s UMC History




St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History



St. Paul’s UMC History



St. Paul’s UMC History


MY FONDEST MEMORIES ABOUT MY CHURCH “Chowders, Ice Cream Socials, MYF Pitch-ins, Bible Schools, Christmas Eve Candlelight Services, Easter Services – for 64 years. St. Paul’s will always be a constant in my life! I love the LOVE we have for one another and for our community.” -- Anon

“How exciting it was to burn the mortgage on the Fellowship Hall after the committee’s hard work.” -- June Heilman

Burning the mortgage on the Church’s Fellowship Hall: Jim Newman & Phil Fisher

St. Paul’s UMC History


What I love about my church: “The members of St. Paul’s are our extended family. Since we have no family members in the area, the church members have become the support system we have counted on since moving to Wadesville in 1980. They are our friends as well as our family.” “Our fondest memory is not really our ‘fondest’ memory, but it is the most memorable. When our daughter, Colleen, was married in the church on July 21, 2001, it was an extremely hot afternoon. I noticed that those in attendance were beginning to fan themselves, and I went to adjust the

thermostat. What I hadn’t realized was that the church had no electricity! Someone

in the neighborhood had knocked down the transformer pole, which carries the electric line, when trimming trees. No electricity meant no air conditioning and no piano. Larry pushed an upright piano from the Fellowship Hall into the sanctuary. Our pianist was horrified when she began to play, as this piano had not been tuned in years –if ever. This was indeed a wedding that not only we, but also our guests, will never forget. No one lingered in the sanctuary after the ceremony!” -- Larry and Gayle Blunier

“I love the fellowship time after early church, and visiting with our wonderful church family. I have fond memories of my teenage years, in the late 50’s and early 60’s, of the Methodist Youth Fellowship group. The pastor at that time was Rev. Heady who drew in many new members to the church. It was also Rev. Heady that got the youth involved and active in a large MYF. Some of those who attended were Kent Cox, Steve Redman, Sarah Kingsley, Penny Williams, and Annette Pate.” -- Jim Nash

“I love my church family at St. Paul’s UMC. It is amazing how everyone interacts from the very youngest to the oldest. I am sure that we have the very best children of any church.”

“My fondest memory goes back to before I married Jim in 1967. We were just dating and I was a little nervous to be attending his church. Marijon and David Davis, with their children, were sitting behind us. While standing for a prayer I felt something grab my ankle. I

St. Paul’s UMC History


screamed very loudly as an involuntary response and so did Marijon. We soon discovered Patrick had crawled under the seat and my foot was in his way of making a complete escape from his parents.” – Donna Nash

The Family of Lucile Nash – Pictured are good friends Lucile Nash, Eleanor Boblin and Jean Manning dressed as the pioneer women of our early church for a 2004 celebration. “I remember Lucile talking about peeling bushels of potatoes for the annual church chowder. Then she would bake her delicious pies for dessert. Bob Davies would want to buy the whole pie before it was cut. Now when I help with funeral dinners, I often think of Lucile and how she helped with dinners as long as her health allowed. I think it is wonderful that our church has been able to pass the preparation of funeral dinners down through the generations. – Donna Nash

“What I love about my church is: we are a ‘People helping People’. Since I am a 73 year member, I have many special memories, too numerous to mention, so I will give a few outstanding ones. When I was about 7 or 8 years old our family was awarded the picture of Christ, done by ‘Howdy’ Ellis, who was a minister who did ‘chalk talks’ and had been holding services at our church for a week. This was a large picture and beautifully done! My parents let me put it on the wall of my bedroom, where it stayed for several years. Another outstanding memory is of our Confirmation Class going to Goodman’s daffodil patch to cut some daffodils for our Church Service the Sunday of our Confirmation. There had been rain just before we were to go get them, but the sun came out just beautifully as we cut them.

As a teenager in August 1945, our Youth Group went to the church to ring the church bell when the Second World War ended. What a joyous time! I also had lessons from Ruth Werry, Church Organist, in my teenage years, who taught me to play the pipe organ that was in our church at that time. Then in 1952, Don and I were married in our church by Rev. Rob Kell. Rev. Theron Castleman, our church’s minister at that time had suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized in Indianapolis.

Murlea (Webb) Maier, Betty (LaMar) & Don Espenlaub, Jerry Uhde 1952

St. Paul’s UMC History


Other ‘special’ memories are of our baby daughter, Donna, being baptized in 1955, and our twin sons, Dennis and David in 1958. There are many other happy memories of Don helping with the Annual Chowder and Ice Creams Socials. He was the Sunday School Superintendent for many years and served in other ways and on committees. He would say his special one was the building of the Fellowship Hall. I have memories of teaching Sunday School classes, then serving as the Financial Secretary (lost count of how many years), and also Church Organist for 18 years. These are happy memories because all was done ‘For the Gory of God!’” – Betty Espenlaub

“I love the sharing and friendliness of the people of our church.” “I was married in 1983 in the church. My daughter, Christine TenBarge, was married in 1985 in our church. My mother’s funeral was in our church; my husband Dave Saxe sang at the funeral in 2001.” Sue Saxe

“One of my fondest memories is when Jamia Gatewood asked me to play ‘When They Ring Those Golden Bells’ on the organ at church on All Saints’ Day. There’s not an All Saints’ Day go by that I don’t think of her and play her song again.” Margie Waible

“The think I love most about St. Paul’s is the love that is shown by our members and also the fact that when I was too low to pray, I always knew they were praying for me. My fondest memory is the church camping retreats held at Lincoln State Park, led by Rev. Chuck Armstrong. Attendees included Vivian and Gordon Rumble, Marge and K.O. Marsh, Doris and Myron Westfall, Jo and George Hamman and Jerry and I. And, of course, all of our kids and sometimes the kids’ friends. It was a wonderful time of fellowship, worship and Vivian’s caramel corn!” -- Nancy Wilder

St. Paul’s UMC History



2016 Picture taken by Laura J. Newman

St. Paul’s UMC History



St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History



St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


St. Paul’s UMC History


Archived Poseyville News Articles – 1904

July 24, 1903

March 4, 1904 (cont.) excellent building, being one of the best constructed in this locality. Besides the old building has many sacred memories clinging to it and all will be very much pleased to have the stately building retained as a place of worship. The NEWS sincerely hopes the necessary amount will be raised to purchase it. NEW CHURCH FOR POSEYVILLE Baptists have purchased the old M.E. Church Poseyville is keeping pace with the times in churches as well as other matters. Before fall she will have four church buildings within her borders, the fourth will be the Regular Baptists. The three churches already here are the Catholic, Methodist and Christian. The addition of a fourth speaks well for the town and all will welcome the new organization. The Baptists have purchased the old M.E. Church building and will move it to the lot just north of the cemetery, which has been donated by Isaiah Fletchall for this purpose. The church building is one of the best in this part of the country and the Methodists let them have it at a very reasonable figure, $250. The building will be moved to the new location as soon as the weather settles and the ground gets in condition. The Baptists have already raised about $500 to purchase, move and repair the building, and when this is done they will have a splendid building. They get everything in the building excepting the bell, pews and chairs. We congratulate them on their good luck so far and hope good fortune may abide with them. LAST SERVICE The workmen will begin work of moving the old M.E. church next week and the last services will be held next Sunday by the present congregation. The pastor, Rev. R.A. Atkins, will conduct the services both morning and evening at the usual hours. The public is cordially invited. March 18, 1904 April 15, 1904

A New Methodist Church The Methodist of Poseyville will probably erect a $10,000 church building within the next year. A committee was recently appointed by the church to get the feeling of the members on the question and we are informed that the sentiment is very strong in favor of the movement. A number of wealthy members seem disposed to be quite liberal in the way of a donation if the building is erected. Such a building would be a credit, not only to the church but to the town. The Building Committee of the new M.E. church to be erected at this place, received bids until Wednesday morning for the new church, the date to let the contract. There were five bidders and the prices varied considerably, there being $2,007 difference between the highest and lowest bids. The firms bidding and their respective bids were as follows: Jacob Rippus, Evansville……….$9,200 J.H. Klimer & Son, Vienna, IL…$8,157 E.H. Roberts, Evansville ……….$7,780 W.S. Mitchell, Poseyville……….$7,652 Bean & Davis, Princeton……..…$7,193 The last named firm having the lowest bid, the contract was closed with them for the building. Work on same will be commenced early in the spring. March 4, 1904 The Regular Baptists are circulating a subscription paper to raise funds to buy the old Methodist church. If they are successful in raising the amount the building will be bought and moved to a lot in the western part of town where Mr. Fletchall will donate the ground. This is a commendable move and we hope the citizens will respond as liberally as they can that the move may be successful. This is an February 26, 1904 CHURCH CONTRACT LET. Contract for the new M.E. Church secured by Bean & Davis

St. Paul’s UMC History


May 27, 1904 Brick laying was commenced on the Methodist church Tuesday morning.

June 10, 1904 (cont.) Names of Ministry – Bishop, Presiding Elder and Pastor Names of the Board of Trustees Names of Stewards Names of Members of Church and baptized children Names of Officers and Teachers in Sunday School Names of Ladies Society, Choir, Building Committee, Soliciting Committee, Contractors and Architect, Town Trustees, School Board, Library Board, Town Officers, Copy of Western Christian Advocate, Copy of Poseyville News August 26, 1904 Work on the new M.E. Church is progressing nicely, the work of plastering is being done this week. The dedication will be held the second Sunday in October according to present program. Dr. Hughes, of DePaw University, will be one of the orators of the day and Bishop Vincent will most likely be the other. Beside these there will, of course, be quite a number of other preachers in attendance. September 23, 1904 Speaking of Rev. P.C. Lisman, the minister assigned to the Methodist Church here the Oakland City Journal says: Rev. Lisman will move to Poseyville and his many friends of all denominations in this city regret exceedingly that the superior authority of the church has seen fit to transfer him from this charge. However his many friends are glad to know that his transfer is a promotion for him as far as salary is concerned. The Poseyville Church is a strong one and very active, having but recently completed a very handsome new church which is equipped with a fine pipe organ.

May 27, 1904 The M.E. choir has reorganized and will meet twice a week and practice under the directorship of Dr. C.C. Lester. The members expect to render some fine music at the dedication of the new church in August. CORNER STONE LAYING The corner stone of the new M.E. church at this place will be laid Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock. Short exercises will be held at this time, to which those that are interested are invited. The work on the new church is progressing very nicely by the large force of hands at work. Davis & Bean, the contractors, are hustlers and keep things moving at a rapid gait. June 3, 1904 The corner stone of the new M.E. church was laid promptly at 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon with a short but impressive ceremony. Quite a large crowd gathered to witness the ceremony, notwithstanding the threatening storm at the time. The ceremony began promptly at the appointed hour and many were taught a lesson in promptness, as they continued to arrive even after the services. The services opened with the singing of a song, after which prayer was offered by the pastor, Rev. R.A. Atkins. After prayer the pastor made a short talk and announced the names of the articles that were in the sealed box that was placed in the receptacle of the corner stone. The list comprised the following: A Bible One Hymnal Church Discipline Year Book of the M.E. Church June 10, 1904 CORNER STONE LAYING Ceremony at the M.E. Church attracted a large crowd

St. Paul’s UMC History


September 30, 1904 The dedication of the new M.E. Church which was announced for the second Sunday in October, has been postponed. On account of the delay in the shipment of part of the material it is impossible to get the building completed by that time. The dedication will likely be held the fourth Sunday in October or first Sunday in November. The exact date will be announced later. When the material arrives the date can be settled upon.

December 16, 1904

NEW M.E. CHURCH DEDICATED Pretty New Church Consecrated to the Service of God With Imposing Ceremonies Sunday

With imposing ceremonies and in the presence of an audience that tested the greatest capacity of the building, the beautiful new St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Poseyville was dedicated to the service of God on Sunday. In the audience were representatives from every town in the county who came to enjoy the splendid exercises of the day and rejoice with the local church on the completion of so noble a work. It was indeed a day that every citizen was made to feel a pride in the completion of a building that will redound to the honor and credit of the town for years to come. The dedicatory exercise were announced to begin at 10:30 o’clock, but long before arrival of this hour the people bean to arrive and by the hour named the seating capacity of the church was tested to its limit and chairs were placed in the aisles until this limit was also reached and yet others came and were obliged to occupy what little standing room remained. It was a splendid audience and although the morning exercise lasted two and one-half hours, the best of order and attention was given throughout. The exercises opened with an offertory on the pipe organ by Prof. Shears of Evansville, followed by a solo by Mrs. Grace Geissler. Dr. Levi Gilbert, editor of the Western Christian Advocate, was introduced by Dr. J.W. Turner, the Presiding Elder, who preached the dedicatory sermon using as his subject “The kingdom that is within me.” Gilbert is of pleasing address and puts his soul into his work and the masterly sermon was listened to with rapt attention. After the sermon the chairman of the building committee made his report, showing a balance of about $2,800 to free the new building from indebtedness. $2,000 was raised at the morning offering. At 1:15 the congregation was dismissed until 3 o’clock when Dr. Turner conducted a platform meeting for young people, which was largely attended.

October 14, 1904

M.E. Church Services The new M.E. Church is near enough completion that the regular services will now be held in the building. The Sunday School room will for the present be used. All regular services will be held in this room next Sunday. All are cordially invited.

November 25, 1904

CHURCH DEDICATION Poseyville new M.E. Church will be Dedicated Dec. 11 th

The exact date for the dedication of the new M.E. Church at this place has at last been definitely decided upon. The date will be Sunday, December 11 th . The officials have had a hard time to secure some prominent person to officiate at the exercises, all being previously engaged. They finally obtained the services of Dr. Gilbert, editor of the Western Christian Advocate, to be present and he will have charge of the work. Being an editor there is no question but the work will be well done. Besides Dr. Gilbert there will be a large number of ministers present and the day will be a memorable one in the history of the church. The frescoing of the building will be completed this week and there is now no question but what all the work will be finished by dedication day. In fact very little remains to be done and this will be rushed to completion. It will be a memorable occasion and hundreds of visitors will be in attendance on that day.

St. Paul’s UMC History


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