Centennial of The Jackson Center United Methodist Church
MEMORIES OF THE PAST
We have asked our friends and former pastors for "favorite memories" from the years when they attended Jackson Center Methodist Church. We hope you will enjoy reminiscing with us through quotes from their letters.
Albert F. Gaige.
"Some memories of my boyhood days are attending Church and Sunday School at Jackson Center. I was pretty young, but old enough to walk down to Church (one mile), in December, with a few inches of snow on the ground, and having to wear my long woolen leggings and rubbers, to keep warm; and it worried me, thinking everyone would be looking at my feet.
My Grandfather was the first Superintendent of the Sunday School. My father, Fred Gaige, was ten years old when the Church was built.
The long horse sheds, back of the Church were started being built by my Grandfather and Uncle Davis Gaige. Then many other families donated the material and built their stalls, making a real long string of sheds. When a boy, I saw these stalls all tied full of horses and wagons, and horses tied to posts between, and outside, the many stalls, on many Sundays. The near-by people would walk to Church.
The greatest revival I ever saw was with John Darrow as minister; another minister was there, and everyone (but one man) was at the altar.
The reason why there was a Meeting House at Maple Ridge before Jackson Center Church was built, was that the only road then was from Tioga over the hill, Button and Hughes Town to Maple Ridge. Jackson Summit was not there; no road there yet."
"As I think of the time when People came to Church in the "horse and buggy" and "horse and cutter" days, they seemed to get out as good or better than today. The first car in Jackson Center was a 1909 Model T Ford, owned by Sheff McClure. The old country store was owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Johnson. I also remember when the Church basement was built and the big fair that was held after it was completed."
"My early memories of Jackson Center Church go back to when Rev. Leonard Giles was minister, probably a round 1925. We either walked to Church or went in horse and buggy. The Sunday School was well attended with young people and their parents, where today the parents are too busy, so send the children.
Our entertainment back then was centered around the social activities of the Church. We all looked forward to the Sunday School Picnics and Ice Cream Socials. I have many found memories of the forty-five years that I have been in regular attendance at this Church."
Eva Everitt Smith.
"Re-call leads to a deeper love and appreciation of the spiritual teachings, inspirations and kind acts of Rev. John V. Darrow, which motivated the young people of this Church, and the "Willing Workers Class" of which I was a member.
The climax came when Rev. Darrow, accompanied by his wife, the former Grace Andrews, returned to take my wedding vows, at my home before our immediate families.
As one perceives the devotedly hard work which has been, and is being done to keep "God’s House" in the community, the past enters in. Wilson Gaige owned a small pond south of the Church. In summer one could view beautiful white water lilies at one side of it. In winter it froze over and the men formed a work bee. They cut the ice, and with horses and bobsleds drew it to the Church sheds and packed it in sawdust. Summer came and every two weeks the dairy ladies would each make a gallon of custard and deliver it to the Church. About noon, women would appear to flavor and sweeten the custard, rinse and fill the three gallon cans. The men and boys would come, get out the ice, rinse it, crush it, and turn the cranks until the custard was frozen. Then it was packed for the evening.
Ice cream from the ladle or a dish from an overfilled can was the boys’ reward. One time only two women and the daughter of one appeared. The daughter did the man’s work until the women were able to help turn the ladles. The five freezers were packed and all walked home to help with chores and prepare the farm meal. Later they returned to help serve and wash the dishes."
Hazel B. Everitt, Elmira, N.Y.
"In talking with Fara we seem to remember most clearly that Dad used to say that he was very proud of the fact that his father, George Everitt, placed a dollar bill in the corner stone for him and his brother."
Rev. Jesse Fritz, Fenton, Pa.
"You wanted a favorite memory from us. Well, we have several which include the Fellowship Suppers and Singspirations, but what we talk about most when we think about Jackson Center, are the wonderful friends that make the Church. We just love you all. Your people were so wonderfully warm to us and we’ll never forget it."
"You asked if I had any particular memories of the past concerning our Church. I sure do remember the old revival meetings we used to have with our own pastor to do the preaching.
The men would come with their work clothes, or just as they had finished chores in order to get there on time. We had a very good attendance and successful meetings. There was probably about a dozen boys of around twelve years of age who went forward at the time Rev. Fanning was the minister. There was Cecil Jewell; the Garrison boys, Walter, Manley and Norman, Albert and Perry Gaige, and a few others.
Rev. Paul Smith held the meeting one night, and I remember his exhorting some of the backsliders to make another start, that they might die on a start. This was about the time our stained glass windows were put in, probably about 1910.
I also remember a few years before when they raised the Church and put up the wall to give us a basement and furnace. I know as a boy I thought that was quite a bit of engineering. Before we got the basement the Church was heated by two stoves in the back of the Church, one in each corner. A deacon or two usually sat near the stoves where it was nice and warm and often resulted in a good nap being taken by one or more of them."
Rev. William Barnes, Burlington, Pa.
"How does one choose choice memories? There are so many. Reflection does reveal two worth sharing. One, that in the Jackson Center Community I found a wife and helpmate of worthy mention. Secondly, we found in Jackson Center, its’s Community, and Church, a religious experience of more profound value than we had ever dreamed in our highest moments of anticipation."
Ruby Hamilton Barnes.
"One of the memories of my life in this Church was about the time I had a Sunday School Class of young children, aged about six to nine. My sister, Iva Jean, LaRue Garrison, El Rena Hart, Marjorie and Marilyn Stevens were a part of this class. One Sunday morning during class, LaRue swallowed a dime and became very upset. Of course there was no way of putting that dime in the collection."
"People today are money hungry. I remember when I used to work for twenty-five cents a day, and as a boy didn’t expect wages for work done at home. My folks used to give me ten cents to spend at an Ice Cream Social. Later years I helped dig ditch and pour concrete for the addition on the Church basement."
Arvilla remembers driving over the hills to pick up children for Sunday School when she served seven years as Sunday School Superintendent of Jackson Center Church. Many boys and girls made their decision for Christ, the Savior, at that time.
A. Ford Johnson.
"During the pastorate of the Rev. Clyde Rosecrans, he was the first and only one to persuade my brother Paul to unite with the Church. This meant so much to my family, as those who knew the circumstances will readily realize.
The date I do not remember but it was a long time ago when I was quite young, that plans were made to prepare a basement under the Church. No backhoes were in use during those times, only strong backs, shovels, picks, and dogged determination."
Pearl Adams ?osier.
"The only specific memory I have of the "old days" is the Celebration of the Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary of Floyd Adams and Hattie Woodford Adams, which took place Nov. 27, 1934. And it happened to be Thanksgiving Day. As part of the Anniversary they were remarried by Rev. Clyde Rosecrans. After the Ceremony A Thanksgiving Eve Party was held and the public was invited. A nice dinner was served and everyone seemed to enjoy the party."
Esther Lind Ferris, Pine City, N.Y.
My memories of the Jackson Center Church are so varied and altogether pleasant that it is difficult to say which one stands out above all others.
Teaching a fine group of young people in the Sunday School, or filling in as a teacher of the Women’s Bible Class, helping to make ice cream in the Church basement on a hot summer’s day, or to prepare a meal to serve to the people at harvest time,-all of these things are stored up in my memory.
Why are these things noteworthy? In themselves they wouldn’t be, but people were involved.
My mind is flooded with precious memories of good, hardworking, courageous people who loved God, their Church, and their Community, and were willing to work and sacrifice for them.
Being in the homes, the hearts, and the Church of these saints of former years is perhaps my most precious memory."
Norman and Mildred Garrison.
"When asked to write down our memories of the Jackson Center Church and Community, we have to go back a long way, 41 years, but the entire time has been so wonderful, we feel God has been so gracious to us to have had the privilege of living among so many God fearing people, that had worked and sacrificed to have this lovely building to worship in.
What a lift it was to me to know many of the old time women of those days, and listen to their sincere prayers and ways of caring on the business of the Women’s Organization, and Oh! What cooks – and never a stingy hair on their heads, in spite of feeding large families of their own. We have been blessed with wonderful pastors to guide us through the years.
Norman and I, as Sunday School teachers have seen many of our young people grow up and go on to become a real asset to society, and feel at the present time we have an above average amount of clean cut young people coming up in our church.
In living so many years beside the church, Norman was saying the building always seemed to be a symbol to him, standing year in and year out straight and tall, never wavering or bending according to the times.
May we always be faithful and true.
Our prayers are that the next generations will stop and consider what a heritage they have in the Jackson Center Church."
Rev. Earl L. Smith.
"The revival while were there was a milestone in our ministry, and certainly in the history of the Church at Jackson Center. It was during this time that Bill Barnes decided to enter the ministry. It was during this time that Linda Jones joined the Church, who is now serving as a minister’s wife. It was during this time that a number were saved, sanctified, and dedicated in a new sense to the work of the Lord. A number of young people joined the Church. The weekly prayer service was a real blessing. These are cherished memories.
We send greetings to all the members and friends of the Jackson Center United Methodist Church. May the next one hundred years be greater than the first, and may many times of revival be sent from the Lord."
Mrs. Herman Fish, Elkland, Pa.
"My fondest memories of going to Church at Jackson Center are many. I remember the Ice Cream Socials, singing in the choir, Church suppers, meetings during the week; we had fun and games of some sort after the meetings. I missed very few Sundays at Church and Sunday School. Rev. Rosecrans and Rev. Guiles were the only preachers I can remember. I can still remember many who attended at that time. The Hamilton girls, Ruby and Lillian, the McCann boys, Donald and George, the Sisson brothers, Elwood, and Preston, Louise Smith, Bill Tillotson and Morton Murdaugh. Miss Esther Lind and Miss Myrtle Hill were our teachers. It was many years ago, but it is fun to look back on."
Rev. George Severance, Dryden, N.Y.
"Margaret and I have many fond memories of the good people with whom we became acquainted while I was minister at the Jackson Center Methodist Church. We still hold them in our hearts as dear friends and brothers and sisters in the Lord.
I will remember one Sunday afternoon when Brother Norman Garrison, Dewey Hamilton and the pastor kept part of a freezer of Ice Cream from spoiling by eating it. It had been left from the Ice Cream Social the day before. Being unaccustomed to eating ice cream which was made with real cream, I was sick for a couple days. We will never forget our dear friends at Jackson Center."
Sherman and Lois Warner.
We came to Jackson Center as bride and groom thirty-five years ago, not realizing that we would spend the rest of our lives here. Our greatest memories are of Aunt Jessie Gaige and Frank Gaige, and their influence on our lives. We will never forget Mark Gaige and his dedication to the Church.
The warmth and friendliness of the Church and Community made becoming a part of them easier through the years. We hope it will leave a lasting impression on our children.
Rev. Gilbert Mitchell.
"We want to extend our greetings and Congratulations to you in the Jackson Center Church. We have happy memories of the work we did together there, and pray God’s guidance and blessing on the work you continue to do for him in that community and in the world.
God be with you . . . ."
Rev. Charles Ackley.
"I have a number of memories on our years at Jackson Center, from 1943 to 1945.
It was the closing years of the War, and what a lot of fun a group of us had putting out a monthly letter to our men in the service. You will remember that we made it a general news sheet for all the men in the area.
We had a number of enjoyable letters from the men in different parts of the world, voicing great appreciation for the news in that letter.
Another memory I have is of the good food we always had at different gatherings at the Church. I used to enjoy the oyster dinners served at Dairymen’s League Occasions.
We remember the number of friends we made in the Community. Our greetings to everyone and best wishes to you all for another 100 years."
Elnora Sisson Waltz.
"As I think back to the "old days" at the Jackson Center Church my first recollection is of a Sunday after Church about 50 years ago. Gladys Goodwin took a picture of my brother Willard and me on the Church lawn. This picture is on display on the Church Bulletin Board. Note the Creamery in the background.
The next that comes to my mind is the Children’s Day Programs and the hours of practicing. The Christmas Programs with the arrival of Santa Claus with his jingle bells and jolly Ho! Ho! Ho! (For many years this was Raymond Goodwin.) Often we went on bob sleds or horse and cutter at this time of year. In the summer we walked to Church or rode in buggy or surry with fringe on top and tied the old gray mare in one of the long sheds in back of the Church.
Now very well I remember the Sunday School teachers and the Bible stories they brought us.
As a teen-ager I remember the lively game of "Winkem" played in the far corner of the Church Basement after an Ice Cream Social.
Later I remember the feeling of a joy well done after our hard work of putting on an Ice Cream Social, harvest supper or Bazaar.
The thing that really stands out in my mind about the little white Church in Jackson Center is the friendly people."
Raymond and Gladys Goodwin.
"I was born and raised on the former Jasper Woodford farm, where I spent many happy years until we moved to Elmira, in 1951.
I have many cherished memories of the Jackson Center Church, where I served as organist and Sunday School teacher.
My memory goes back to the one time of the new basement being built under the Church. I became a member in 1907. My Mother, Clara McClure, would always take me with her to the Ladies Aid Society Meetings, where many plans were made for projects to support the church, such as a new recipe my Mother had for making ice cream custard for socials. The same recipe is in use today.
I remember the first carpet in the Church was a beautiful green in grain wall-to-wall carpet, which was in later years torn apart and washed by the women of the Church and rewoven into runners.
I remember my father, Jay McClure, telling of hauling 25 loads of stone for the Church basement walls.
I have many more happy memories, which are too numerous to mention."
"I moved to Jackson Center as a small boy with my parents, Samuel and Mary Goodwin, and lived on the farm now owned by Thomas Brown. In looking at my father’s dairy, written in 1893, it states that we all joined the Jackson Center Church and it tells of attending many Epworth League Meetings and Testimonial Services, which were held following the regular Church Services. I remember when the new pulpit set was purchased; the chairs with the red velvet seats and backs. The first pulpit was made by Albert M. Gaige.
Edson Gaige was Sunday School Superintendent for many, many years and urged me to take over the job. I finally accepted and served many years; also was Secretary and Treasurer for 21 years. Many happy memories will always remain with me."
Rev. Clyde Rosekrans.
" I do want the Church people and friends of the Church to know how much I appreciate the privilege of being your Pastor for five years.
There are many humorous events I will remember, but cannot speak of, because it would involve personalities.
There is one however I am proud to mention which has always been a highlight in my ministry. It was the time I baptized and received Paul Johnson into the fellowship of the Church and how it all came about. It was worth the five years I spent at Jackson Center.
I want to congratulate you on this 100 years of service to Jesus Christ and the world. May it continue for all time to come as, a Church, pointing the way to Eternal Life to all who listen."
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever.
EARLY HISTORY OF THE JACKSON CENTER METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Some glimpses into the preorganization days of our church
The earliest record we have is a report of the minutes of a quarterly
conference meeting held Jan. 17, 1846 in the Southport Methodist Episcopal
Church for the Southport and Jackson Circuit. Those present were R. L.
Stilwell, Leslie Lawrence, Isaac Spencer, Amos Baker, William French and
Cyrus Jewell. At this meeting it was resolved that we raise $260.00 this
year for the support of our preacher Rev. Dodge. It was divided among the
different appointments as follows:
Services were held in the one room school houses of Cotton, Everitt Town and Maple Ridge, where the 1st Post Office was located on the stage route, and mail was delivered once a week. Lay leaders and circuit preachers had ministered to the people. Rev. J. W. Putnam and Rev. G. Stratton were two of these circuit pastors from 1863 through 1865. Another, Rev. Charles Weeks, who lived at Daggett at the time, served the circuit in 1869-1870, and was destined to play an especially important part in our church. The 1864 edition of the Annual Register of the East Genesee Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church has this note, "At this session Charles Weeks was admitted, on trial into the ministry". Five years later in 1869 he was circuit pastor of the Jackson area of the Troy, Pa. District of that conference. In recounting the early days of the church, Edson B. Gaige wrote "Much credit is gived to Rev. Chas. Weeks for his good sense and
sound reasoning in bringing harmony to the differences of opinion in regard to the site, etc." An unknown writer said "Honor and credit are due him and his undaunted courage, faithfulness and perserverance in over-coming the existing difficulties and for both faithful and manual labor performed."
On May 22, 1870 "we the undersigned inhabitants of Jackson Township, believing that the cause of religion demands that a house for the worship of Almighty God should be built near the corner of the road by Jacob Larrison’s, therefore, we agree to pay the sum set opposite our respective names, to the trustees, who shall be appointed by the court, to hold in trust the said property for the use of the Methodist Church. The exact location, the size, and arrangement of the house shall be decided by Henry Trowbridge, Samuel Baker and David Everitt. The building shall be commenced in the spring of 1871. The first trustees shall be elected by the congregation at the Maple Ridge School House on the first Tuesday in June 1870 at 5 o’clock, and notice is hereby given. The above shall be subject to the Charter granted by the Court." Subscriptions totaling $1,457.00 were recorded and another church was born. At a June 1870 meeting at the Maple Ridge School House the Congregation elected the first trustees as follows: Andrew C. Jewell, James Hamilton, Edward Everitt, Albert Gaige and Jerome Barnhart, who were recommended to the Court and subject to the Charter Granted. On October 12, 1870 the cornerstone was layed and an additional $675.00 in subscriptions were recorded.
The first meeting of the subscribers for this Jackson Center Church was held on March 7th 1871, at the home of James Hamilton. Paul Smith was elected President Pro-tem and Oliver Hamilton Secretary Pro-tem. Other elected officers were George Larrison-Clerk and Secretary to keep accounts of labor, time and accounts of the Church, Oliver Hamilton, Charles Orcutt and George VanHart estimation committee. Rev. Charles ????? ????charge from 1??? To 18??. The March 18th meeting the
business included electing Rev. Charles Weeks as moderator, and James Hamilton to serve as foreman of the building arrangements. It is of interest to note a few of the original pledges or subscriptions.
$50.00 to be paid in hemlock lumber
50.00 to be paid one half in labor
50.00 to be paid one half in teaming
25.00 to be paid in chestnut and basswood lumber
25.00 to be paid by boarding workers
25.00 to be paid in carpenter work
25.00 to be paid in pine siding
15.00 to be paid in logs at Orcutt’s Mill
Lumber for building the church was sawed at the mill owned by Oliver and James Hamilton, located about one-half mile north of Jackson Center. It is known James Hamilton have lumber for the church project he had sawed to build his own new home.
Minutes from this March meeting included this quote, "moved and seconded that the frame be put up by the day, and the subscribers will meet at the home of James Hamilton the last Saturday evening of the month until further decided." Elected officers were James Hamilton, treasurer, Merritt Barnes, Collector and Oliver Hamilton secretary. Before this meeting adjourned it was voted to withdraw an earlier motion to have a basement under the church and instead have a solid foundation.
On May 29, 1871 the 34’ by 52’ church building was raised, and the meeting regularly scheduled for that night was postponed until Monday evening May 31st. This meeting was especially significant as it provided for "letting the job of finishing the carpenter work both inside and outside" to A. Stilson for $400.00.
On May 19, 1871 Oliver Hamilton, Jacob Larrison, John B. Everitt, presented to the Court of Common Pleas of Tioga County, Pa. an application for a charter in the name of The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Jackson Center, Pa. The Court granted this immediately on May 31st, being signed by P. C. VanGelder-Notary Public, and James Donaldson-Prothonotary.
Another red letter meeting was convened on August 31, 1871. This was the first meeting to be held in the church building, with Henry Trowbridge presiding as chairman. Later the dedication ceremonies scheduled for October 12 were postponed because of stormy weather. However, Rev. Curtis of Syracuse preached to the few who braved the storm. At the rescheduled ceremonies on October 26th the activities were favored with beautiful weather and a large crowd.-Presiding Elder Huntington, Dr. Curtis of Syracuse and many other persons interested in the new Church.
On August 6th 1877 a one acre plot was bought of Ruby & Jacob Larrison for a burying ground at a cost of $50.00.
From the 1878 report of the 65th Genesee Annual Conference of the Troy, Pa. District, written by J.B. Wentworth it was written "On the Jackson Charge, the faithful and laborious pastor, Brother N.B. Congdon has succeeded in providing for a debt of six hundred dollars against the church at Jackson Center, and in improving the parsonage property at Millerton.
The first marriage performed in our new church was Ira Jewell Baker to Clara Butts on Feb. 26, 1878.
The first Sunday School Superintendant was Mr. A.M. Gaige.
Rev. Paul Smith served the charge from 1881 to 1884. Rev. Smith was a local man, and served faithfully as a circuit preacher. Rev. Smith was converted at Daggett, Pa. Licenced to preach in Mar. 1865-Admitted on trial in 1872, and joined in full connection in 1874 – ordained as Elder October 1876. He preached in school houses, held prayer meetings and did personal work as an Evangelist. He served Rutland, Lawrenceville, Tioga, Forksville, Burlington, Millerton, Chemung and N. Chemung. Last service he attended was at Jackson Center Church preaching on the second coming of Christ. His last words spoken with great emotion were "More than once I have pleaded with you all. I plead once more in the name of Jesus to be ready when he comes for you, for the Son of Man cometh in such an hour as Ye think not."
A board fence was built around the cemetery in 1888.
In the early years of our church, a Bible class was held each Sunday following the worship service for prayers and testimonials. Samuel Goodwin was a faithful leader of this for many years.
In August 1889 during Rev. John H. Day’s pastorate, it was necessary to put a new roof on the church. At an August 27th meeting a motion was made to start this work on September 9th and an order to be drawn on the "Ladies Tea Party Society" for the painting of the church. Still another, that the subscriptions for fixing the church be left to Rev. J.H. Day for collection. At the February meeting the treasurer reported a balance of $1.01 after settlement for the repairs of the previous summer.
And so the work went on, new faces, more effort and church community grew. The years went by – The two side chimneys were replaced by a single chimney – two new stoves were purchased.
A grocery store was built adjoining the church property on the South by Chas. Johnson, who was a storekeeper for many years.
In 1894 a Post Office was established here called "Pipeline". First Mail Carriers were Robert Adams and Lillian Stephens. Previously a line had been layed through this section for pumping crude oil from Athens, Pa through the northern part of our County.
In 1897 during Rev. W.W. Hunt’s pastorate the Jackson Center Creamery Co. was organized and factory built adjoining the Church property on the North, where choice butter was made for several years. Later equipment was installed for making full cream cheese. Men employed were: George Berry, Charles Wilson, Frank Mosher, Alphonso Rohrbasser & Wellon Smith. Patrons paid .02 ½ ¢ per lb. for making. The average selling price for butter was .27¢ and cheese .07¼ per lb.
1898 to 1901 Rev. P.J. Bull served as pastor
1901 to 1902 Rev. Charles Reynolds was pastor. In 1901 the Church Steeple was struck by lightning. A new one was built later in James Hamilton’s barn
and transported to the Church. A small boy was a passenger in the new belfry while being transported. He was Robert Gaige, who now resides in Millerton, Pa.
1902 to 1903 Rev. U.S. Hall was pastor.
In 1904 – 1906 during the pastorate of Rev. O.A. Retan, the Church walls needed repair, so it was voted in October 1905 to construct a full basement under the church, and a contract was let to Barton Buchannan for $345.00. It was voted to construct a double door center entrance to the church, a wider center aisle in the church, a concrete front porch and a concrete center front walk to the road. The two side chimneys were abandoned and one large chimney was built on the back of the church for the stoves and furnace in the basement. The pews were re-arranged making a wider aisle with two side aisles.
During Rev. J.W. Miller’s pastorate in 1906 – 1909 the young people made a project raising money to purchase a piano cased organ and the Ladies Aid Society paid the expenses of remodeling the platform of the church.
In 1909 – 1911 during the pastorate of Rev. C.M. Fanning new shingles were put on the roof at a cost of $61.75, the church was painted for $63.59, and 6 beautiful stained glass windows were installed at $35.00 each plus a little extra for lettering. Our former pastor Rev. Paul Smith died Feb. 28, 1910, funeral was held in the Jackson Center Church.
From 1911 – 1913 Rev. John V. Darrow served this charge. He married Grace Andrews of Millerton. He was a wonderful young preacher, and through his ministery many, many Hearts were changed, and accepted the Lord as their Savior. He came back to us in 1917 – 1919 and our membership rolls show so many people were added during his stay. Feb. 7, 1912 a certificate of Recognition was received from the State Sabath Sunday School Assn. for 4 consecutive years of excellence as a front line Sunday School. In September 1919 the Ladies Aid Society paid his expenses to the Great Centenary Celebration held in Columbus, Ohio Sept. 3, 1914. The Pegaway Bible Class was formed
and a certificate of recognition was awarded by the International Sunday School Assn. Charter members were as follows: Davis Gaige, Ora McClure, Pearl Hamilton, Gladys McClure, Rebecca Fish and Minerva Trowbridge.
Rev. James Gordon, father of the present Rev. Herbert Gordon of the Central N.Y. Conference, came to serve us from 1920 – 1922. During this time a new oak floor was layed in the sanctuary at a cost of $242.46. A new organ was purchased at a cost of $168.00.
Rev. Leonard Guiles served as pastor from 1922 – 1928. In 1924 306’ of ¾ water pipe was layed to bring water into the church kitchen and utility area at 9¢ a foot. Men of the church dug the ditch and the women served free dinners to the workers. At last a water system! After the work was done it was noted the women said "We were all very tired", but the ladies joined in singing "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow". As the church sheds were no longer needed they were torn down in 1925, the same year a new coal and wood furnace was installed at a cost of $256.50. In 1927 the Church was painted at a cost of $142.63. A new ceiling was put on the basement for $80.24.
Rev. Leon Northrup came to us in 1928-1929.
Rev. Harold Sharp served from 1929-1931.
Rev. Robert Pendlebury served from 1931-1933.
Rev. Clyde Rosekrans served 1933-1937. During his ministry an Epworth League of 25 or more young people was organized. They were very proud to have won the picture of Christ, which is hanging in the front of the Sanctuary, as first prize for the largest attendance at an Epworth League Institute held in the Penn. Ave. Methodist Church for six weeks. This included all of the Elmira District of the Central New York Conference.
November 29, 1934 Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Adams celebrated their Golden Wedding at the Church. During this time they re-exchanged their vows. Rev. Clyde Rosekrans officiating. Their attendants were their children and grandchildren. Mrs. Hattie Adams wore the original dress she was married in 50 years before.
Raymond Goodwin, one of our faithful workers, served as Church Treasurer for 21 years 1915 – 1936.
Rev. Ernest Devine served 1937-1941. In 1938 it was necessary to raise funds to put electricity in the church. The Ladies Aid Society suggested a name quilt. Each person who contributed would have their name embroidered on a block. The finished quilt was auctioned and contributions amounted to $101.15. A contract was given to Earl Schneck for $74.70 to install electricity in the church. On Oct. 9, 1940 the ladies of the Church formally dis-banded the Ladies Aid Society and reorganized as the Women’s Society of Christian Service. Rev. Ernest Devine, pastor had charge of devotions and chaired the business meeting. Our first president was Mrs. Lilly McCann, she made a wonderful leader. New runners were installed in the Church at a cost of $60.00.
During the war years, socials and most of the other social activities of the Church were curtailed. Rev. Charles Ackley served from 1943-1945 and he was a wonderful help to a group of women, who undertook to publish a bi-monthly newsletter to all the service men of the sur-rounding area. Those who worked on this paper were Jessie Gaige, Louise Smith, Josephine Smith and Mildred Garrison. Our new Church mimeograph machine was really put to work. This newsletter was continued for the duration of the war and the men returned home. Many letters of gratitude were received.
By 1944 the basement badly needed to be painted and the W.S.C.S. accepted the challenge. With $27.85 worth of paint, and lots of enthusiasm, they painted as they had the time and the job was soon finished.
Rev. Charles Terrill served the charge in 1945 – 1948. Plans were being made for a 75th anniversary of the dedication of the church. Rev. Terrill was chairman of the Anniversary Committee. The celebration was held on Friday night Oct. 4, 1946. The people assembled at 7:30 P.M. for a banquet and program honoring former pastors. Rev. John Darrow and Rev. Charles Ackley both formerly on the charge, spoke to the assembly. At this time many friends and
Descendants of the founders of our church gave memorial gifts honoring
those early Church families. Following are some of the Memorial Gifts:
|A.C. Jewell family||Illuminated Cross|
|R.J. Stilwell||Altar set of Cross and Candelabra|
|A. M. Gaige||Communion table and runner|
|Pulpit light and scarf|
|American and Christian flags|
|25 Song books for Sunday School|
|25 Song book racks for pews|
In memory of the Hamilton, Everitt, Garrison and Stilwell families, cash memorial gifts were given.
Rev. Geo. Arthur Severance served part of the term from 1948-1950. Rev. Duane Hauser of the Jackson Summit Church finished the term.
Rev. P.C. Buona served 1950 – 1952. During this time our neighbor Church at Webbs Mills, N.Y. burned in the spring of 1948. Jackson Center Church extended the hand of fellowship to that congregation and this quote is taken from a letter from Mrs. Clara Breese secretary of the Webbs Mills Church. "The congregation of the Webbs Mills Church want to thank you for this gift of money (65.00) you sent us. No one can realize how lost one is without a Church, and will be so glad when we can have one again."
It would be a grave omission to neglect to mention one especially ingenious way the men of the church contributed to the expenses. In 1950 a landowner in the area donated the use of a piece of land. Other men plowed, seeded and harvested a crop of buckwheat. The $154.00 proceeds from this project were used to pay for a new oil burner to be put in our present furnace to heat the church. This at a cost of $252.67.
In 1951 the roof needed new shingles, and a committee discussed the problem of how to raise money to pay for the shingles and labor. The solution was novel and effective. Mrs. Jessie Gaige wrote this jingle:
Eighty years ago, in eighteen seventy-one
The Jackson Center Church was dedicated.
Many sacrifices and toil our ancestors have done
That this generation might be in faith united.
Now the old church roof has sprung a leak
We are planning a new shelter over head.
Who will buy a ten-cent shingle? Or others seek
To help us? ‘T’will be quicker done than said.
Every donor of a "single" will have his name
Recorded in the "Church Memorial Book."
Every child from here to yonder, will acclaim
The honor of having his name in such a book.
How many shingles? How many names may we record?
This jingle was mimeographed onto postal cards and mailed to members, citizens of the community, as well as relatives and former members and friends, both near and far. $493.93 was raised, far in excess of the $210.80 needed for the job.
1952 dated the redecoration of the Sanctuary. The extremely high ceiling was lowered to make heating easier and new interior wall finishes were applied. The completed job cost $825.40. In April 1953 Reverend Lester Schaff the District Superintendant conducted the re-dedication services.
Rev. Leonard A. Guiles came back in 1953 and stayed until 1955. In 1954, at a June 28th W.S.C.S. meeting it was decided that the basement needed repainting. Paint was purchased and there was a mad rush to get it painted before an ice cream social July 31st. Mission accomplished. (It was said that the WSCS had some of the best plaster masons and painters in the country)
The same fall a project was initiated by the W.S.C.S. to each take $1.00 and see how much it could be made to grow into, in a year. Mrs. Effie Jones was the most successful, by crocheting lace on handkerchiefs and selling them, her $1.00 grew into $10.00.
Rev. Gilbert Mitchell served the charge from 1955 – 1957. In 1955 the stained glass windows were re-leaded at a cost of $300.00. An electric hot water heater and two double sinks were donated to the W.S.C.S. for the church kitchen.
The W.S.C.S. May 15, 1956 meeting dated the first discussion of supporting a war orphan. In July of that year the W.S.C.S. and the Sunday School voted to
jointly support a Korean Orphan at $120.00 a year. This project was continued for two years.
Rev. William Jenkins served the charge in 1957 – 1961. In 1957 Millerton became a separate Church unit, and Jackson Center was joined with Daggett and Roseville.
In 1961 an Olson pulpit rug was purchased bye the W.S.C.S. with some of their hard earned candy money.
In 1962 our kitchen was modernized by changing some partitions, installing a new floor, rearranging equipment and redecorating at a cost of $218.78.
Rev. Earl Smith served the charge from 1961-1963.
Rev. Walter Webb served the charge from 1963-1964.
Rev. William Pipp served the charge from 1964-1966.
In late 1964 the W.S.C.S. discussed purchasing an organ and voted to place the $200.00 earned in the previous Easter candy project in an organ fund. At a trustees meeting the following June, a committee, Mrs. Clyde Jones, Mrs. Norman Garrison and Mr. John Busia was appointed to pursue this project.
Before the fund had grown appreciably the death of our beloved member Ruth Hamilton (Mrs. Dewey Hamilton) saddened our community. The family asked that, in lieu of flowers, the money be given the "Ruth Hamilton Memorial Fund" for the purchase of the Jackson Center Church Organ. This fund grew to over $300.00 and the memorial contributions to the same fund, from Mr. & Mrs. John Busia, Miss Lillian Hamilton, Mr. & Mrs. Sherman Warner & Mr. & Mrs. Norman Garrison made the purchase of the organ possible. It was dedicated at a service on Sunday Nov. 8, 1964. The cost of same was $1,031.70. A memorial plaque recalling the dedication of the organ was placed in the church. The beautiful music at our services should be a rededication memory to those who remember Mrs. Hamilton. She saw, heard, and appreciated the beauty around her.
Several gifts were presented to the church in 1965 in memory of early church families. Major and Mrs. A.F. Johnson gave $100.00 part of which was
used to purchase an out-of-doors bulletin board and the remainder placed in the furnace fund, in memory of his brother Paul, who was much loved by everyone. I am sure that it will be of interest to readers that Major Johnson’s grandfather, Rev. Paul Smith, was one of the early organizers of our church.
A number of families and individuals contributed money to a fund used to purchase the following memorial items:
Baptismal Bowl – In memory of Jay McClure
Communion Glass Filler, Candle Lighter and Extinguisher, Tapers and Wax Savers – In memory of Rev. Paul Smith
In 1965 a project of building an additional 12’ by 36’ on the back of our Church to house our two new furnace units, two rest rooms and utility space for storing our Ice Cream equipment was undertaken by the men of our Church. A professional job was done. In 1966 the natural gas lines were layed in our area which was the perfect answer to our heating problems.
In 1965 the ninety-fourth year of our church, Our Pastor William Pipp was married to Miss Linda Jones a member of our Jackson Center Church in a ceremony that marked the first time a minister on the charge was married in the church during his pastorate. The friends and relatives at the wedding filled the sanctuary and social room at the reception.
In 1966, Rev. Walter Webb, who had been our pastor in 1963-1964 and current assistant pastor, was married in our church to Miss Kay Dunham, a member of our congregation. Again the sanctuary was filled with friends and relatives of two worthy young people, and the reception over-flowed the social room.
In 1966 40 copies of the new revised Methodist Hymnals and choir robes were purchased. In this year Millerton re-joined the Jackson Center, Daggett and Roseville conference unit making a four point charge.
In 1966 during the pastorate of Rev. Jesse Fritz many changes were made. The District Superintendant Gilbert Bennett in looking over the three parsonages, advised that no more money be put into the Roseville or Daggett parsonages. Rev. Jesse Fritz coming on the charge in June 1966 was temporarily
housed in the Roseville parsonage. Much discussion and planning had to be done.
A final decision to repair the Millerton Parsonage was decided upon at an estimated cost of $6,000.00. Millerton church would go ahead with the repairs and the other churches were given the choice of paying their percentage of the cost or a flat $80.00 monthly rent. At our Official Board meeting on Oct. 4, 1966 Jackson Center decided to pay our 17.86% of all costs, which amounted to $1,049.81. Remodeling was done by Aubrey Gilbert Construction Co, and they did a beautiful job.
In November of 1962, the Rev. R. Odell Brown, Conference Evangelist came on our charge for services at Roseville, Daggett and Jackson Center. He was a wonderful man to stir the minds and hearts of our people. One of the young men of our church, William H. Barnes became converted and has gone on into the Ministry, serving Genesee and North Bingham for 6 years. At the present time E. Smithfield, Burlington and Luther’s Mills. Great progress has been done under his leadership. June 1967, William was ordained Deacon at the Williamsport Annual Conference. We are so proud of both he and his wife Ruby Hamilton Barnes, a descendant of one of our church founders.
To bring our church record up to date in this September 1967, we wish to call special attention to a joint Church service of the Millerton, Daggett, Roseville and Jackson Center congregations. This was organized by Rev. Jesse Fritz, our pastor, and was held on a hilltop on the farm of John Busia of our Jackson Center Church.
It was a beautiful morning, as the sun, about 9 A.M. began to shine through and extremely heavy fog, the hilltops came into view. Later by 9:30 the landscape was bathed in lightly hazy September sunlight, except for the bottoms of the low lying valleys, which still had heavy fog. At 10:15 cars began to drive up the hillside farm road to the field where the service was held. Well ahead of the 10:30 service, we were assured of a perfect day. The wind was calm and sweaters were not necessary. By 10:30
as far as the eye could see we could view God’s wonderful creation in all directions. Rev. Jesse Fritz led the singing and introduced Rev. Grantas Hoopert, our recently appointed District Superintendent, who delivered the sermon. This was especially appropriate as he developed the theme of "The beauty in this present-day world of our Lord 1967, and our place in the appreciation of that beautiful world." We believe most people present felt God’s nearness to us, for truly we were gathered in his name. At 12:15 the group re-assembled at the Jackson Center Church Social Room for a covered dish luncheon. About 100 of the 140 attending the services came for the lunch. The Methodist Men’s Club furnished five beautifully baked hams. Later at 2:30 the First Quarterly Conference convened in the Jackson Center Church Sanctuary with Rev. Grantas Hoopert presiding.
Due to the strong South winds, our stained glass windows needed protection, and storm windows were put on the south side of the church in 1968.
The women of the W.S.C.S. had been continually making Easter Candy. Sometimes as high as 2500 of these divinity filled Easter Eggs, with the hopes of one day having enough money to buy new pews for our church sanctuary. Finally we reached our goal. The pews were the original ones, which were 100 years old. It was decided we could not put in new pews unless the interior was redecorated. Jan. 10, 1970 the work began. Only the ceiling was hired painted by Claude Gilbert. The walls and window trim was painted, the altar rail and chancel was stripped of the old finish and redone in the natural wood, which turned out to be beautiful chestnut woor. Paneling was put on over the old wainscoting, the oak floors were sanded and refinished, and the piano refinished with an antique finish. This was all done by several men and women of the Church and our left handed preacher painter Rev. Wayne Richards. He was a wonderful help to us. The new pews were installed March 5, 1970 at a cost of $2,198.00.
After painting the interior a bad leak came in the Belfry, it just had
to be fixed. The belfry was repaired and painted two coats, and nearly all the outside of the church was painted two coats, and finished in 1971. The vestibule needed work done on it, so it was decided to put wood paneling on it and this was done by Fred French, Norman & Walter Garrison. We want to mention how much help Fred and Frank Belknap have been during all this painting we have done. The work crew for all our work was Sherman and Lois Warner, Russell Thomas, Norman & Mildred Garrison, Walter Garrison, Preston & Marie Sisson, Fred & Frank Belknap, plus that good minister again Rev. Wayne Richards.
New storm windows were installed on the west side of our church in September 1971 at a cost of $298.48.
These are the material things that have happened to our church, but there is much more, the good times, the sad times and spiritual times. Our forefathers built this church, believing the cause of religion demanded a house of worship of Almighty God. It is their fore-thought that we have our Church today. Many have left the home church to continue the work of God. We are very grateful to God, for the bountiful blessings he has bestowed upon us as a Church body.
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the
earth abideth forever. Ecclesiastes 1-4