In 1835 a new school was erected in the North District, and church services were held there. At that time the Rev. Samuel Salisbury was preacher on the Burlington Circuit. He formed a class of Wesleyan Episcopal which flourished. Alba Burnham, who had come to Armenia in 1833, was active in the church. When a Sunday School was organized in 1839, he became the first Sunday School Superintendent and kept the position until 1877.
In 1845 the Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal switched to Wesleyan Methodist over the question of slavery, which the Wesleyans opposed. The church decided to build their own House of Worship and on Dec. 19, 1878 they dedicated the new Wesleyan Methodist Church of Armenia, South Bradford Charge. The parsonage was completed in 1880.
A motion was made by Miss Addie Field on August 9, 1891, that a committee of three be appointed by the church to be known as the Music Committee. Miss Emma VanNess, neice to Adaline (Addie), was organist.
The Wesleyan Methodist Church invited the sisters Ecroyd of Pennsdale Pa. to serve the church as pastor about twice a month for a year. Sarah and Mary Ecroyd accepted. This was in 1910. Soon committees were formed to visit backslidden members, members not living up to the discipline and members belonging to secret societies. Mary Ecroyd married Harry Lyon, from Armenia. She served the church well, while raising their two boys, Richard and Jim. She taught until 1955, seeing their grandchildren in the congregation. In the 1940-50’s it was an active church. Besides Sunday Services, they had a productive Missionary Society, still semi-active, dedicated to the church upkeep, and the support of missions and missionaries.
After Mary Lyon left, the church had no regular services. There are two days every year that the church is in use. On the first Sunday before deer season there is a hunters service. The Field Old Home Day is held there on the first Sunday in July. It is a large and well-attended gathering. Special events are also held in the church. Quite a few couples come here for their weddings.
The building is now administered by a board of trustees, consisting of Jim Lyon, Richard Lyon, Happy Tiller, Roy Sherman and Brenda Brewer. The rains leaked in arount the cupola, so it was removed. The carriage shed was a part of the memories of the church. Lately, a committee tried to repair the shed. It had been built over 100 years before, without a foundation. It had withstood all weather conditions, but it’s time had come. It collapsed, and had to be removed.
The parsonage was purchased in 1982 by Jerome and Katherine (Vreeland) Kupchin and their two boys, Bill and Bob. Bob is now owner and is in the process of moving into this home with his new bride. Much could be said of the Field family, of which Bob is descended, and their strong link to this Church.
PASTORS OF THE OLDE CHURCH
|Rev. Mr. Ainsworth||1846|
|Rev. William Harrison||1847|
|Rev. S. Adams||1848-1850|
|Rev. N. Fessenden||1851-1853|
|A. Chapman & P. A. Johnson||1854|
|Rev. D. W. Marvin||1855|
|Rev. S. Adams||1857|
|Rev. M. L. McFarland||1858-1859|
|Rev. G. M. Hardy||1860-1862|
|Rev. William Warner||1863-1865|
|Rev. B. O. Sniffen||1866|
|Rev. J. W. Fanchor||1878-1879|
|Rev. S. Bedford||1880|
|Rev. E. J. Pope||1881|
|Rev. O. D. Fields||1882-1883|
|Rev. D. Porter||1885|
|Rev. G. L. Paine||1884-1885|
|Rev. O. D. Field||1887-1894|
|Could not Secure Pastor||1894-1899|
|Pastor William Clow||1900-1902|
|Rev. Sylvester Bedford||1903|
|Rev. William Clow||1905-1906|
|John L. Furguson||1910|
|Pastor Sarah Ecroyd||1911|
|Rev. Lawson Everts||1912-1914|
|Mary Lyons (33 years)||1922-1955|
|From Margaret L. Spencer October 2005
The attached picture is a 5 by 7 photo of an original painting. This little copy hung on my mother's dining room wall for nearly 20 years. On the back of the picture it says (too faded to scan):
Armenia Wesleyan Methodist Church
Roy Sherman has original painting
Charles S. Biechler
Roy Sherman (in SRGP database) died in 1997. He and Charles Biechler's wife, Eloise Sherman, were children of Libbie Ross and Milton S. Sherman d. 1937, Covert.