The Methodist Episcopal Church in Jefferson County 

Source History of Jefferson County 1888 pages 259-275

It was several years after the Presbyterian Church had gained a foot-hold in this region, before there is any record of the Methodist Episcopal Church having any ministers in the field.

Rev. G.W. Clark, of Meadville, one of the oldest ministers in the Erie Conference, having been admitted in 1836, and who has been a member ever since, for the greater part of the time being connected with Allegheny College, in giving us some facts concerning the early days of the church in Jefferson county says:

"The M.E. Church had considerable prosperity in others parts of the conference for several years before we accomplished anything in Clarion and Jefferson counties. The region had been pretty thoroughly occupied by the Calvinistic Churches, and the people were taught that Armenianism was another gospel, so that there was no encouragement to be given the Methodists as fellow-helpers of the truth. There were in those churches many devout Christians and excellent ministers, but most of them had little or no acquaintance with either our doctrine or usage's, and, as the 'sect was everywhere spoken against,' their prejudices were strong, and their doors, for the most part, closed against us."

Rev. George F. Reeser has given a full account of his thirteen year's work in the ministry in Jefferson county, which will be found in a preceding chapter; but since that time many gaps occur in the history of the church, as in most instances the church records have been so carelessly kept that much that was valuable in its history in the county, has been lost. Scarcely any record is had of these pioneers of Methodism; those who with tears and prayers watered the seed that has now grown to be a large tree, with fruitful and far-reaching branches. A much needed reform is necessary in this matter of keeping church records. If every pastor was obliged to keep a full account of all that transpired during his pastorate, leaving it intelligently spread upon the church books, the history of the church would be very easily gotten at.

The pastors now in charge of the different churches and charges have done their best to aid us with the few records left for them, in giving this history of the Methodist Church. The different congregations are taken up in the order in which they appeared in the county.

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