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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