Carbondale United Methodist History
1957 to 1972
Written by Gladys Gunsauls
Contents of Part I:
Preachers from the Church
Our Spiritual Leaders
The Music Ministry
In the Church, as in the Holy Family, the essential language is love. It does not matter what other language is spoken, love is the language that counts. The church centers in love - God's and man's. True warmth in the Church comes from the fire of Divine Love seeping itself into human relationships. It is the gift of God Himself.
It is in that vein that this history of the United Methodist Church in Carbondale, Pennsylvania is presented, covering a period of years between 1957 and 1972. Throughout the whole course of events, it really represents a people's devotion and dedication, so that the Church becomes a place where the glory of God abides; and man is the instrument whereby the past becomes our heritage, the present our responsibility and the future our destiny.
In April 1932, the Carbondale Methodist Church, during the pastorate of Dr. W. Gray Jones, became one hundred years old, and the birthday was observed with a gala week long celebration, with visits from previous pastors and former members and friends from far and near. The celebration was climaxed with a narrative pageant, depicting in twelve episodes, the growth and progress of the Carbondale Church from 1832 to 1932. This pageant was prepared by Mrs. F. L. Cagwin (deceased), Mrs. G. B. Sampson (deceased), and Miss Gladys M. Gunsauls (deceased), who also served as narrator, assisted by Louise Sutton (Swan) and Eleanor Geesey (McMeekine).
Then twenty-five years later, in May 1957, the one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary was held. One highlight, on this occasion, was a congratulatory letter from Bishop Fred Carson, who retired in 1969. In his letter, the Bishop said that historically Carbondale Church stood in an honorable position in the Wyoming Conference with a wonderful tradition of service. On Sunday evening there was participation in the Community Night Service, with District Superintendent Russell J. Haroke, now Director of Wyoming Conference Homes for the Aging preaching. At this time, a booklet was sold for fifty cents per copy, incorporating the highlights of the one hundredth anniversary, plus the activities of the ensuring years, prepared by Mrs. F. L. Cagwin and committee listed in the booklet. The pastor was Rev. Paul J. Hulslander, who, after leaving Carbondale for "Greener Pastures", suffered a very serious automobile accident returning from the west coast, after a most enjoyable vacation visit with his son Loring and his family. He was hospitalized for a long period of time and was on disability leave from preaching, but has recovered and in 1970 assumed a pastorate again, retiring at the 1974 Conference in Scranton. He will make his home in Waverly, New Jersey.
It appeared, that after the work, excitement and pleasure attendant to these two anniversaries, there was a tendency to sort of rest on our laurels. In 1959, at the instigation of Rev. Theodore I. Hubbard, a group was named, with Mr. Henry S. Lee as Chairman, but who passed to his reward in 1969. The function of this group was to perpetuate the history of Methodism in Carbondale, so that, as the older members, and probably some of this same group, passed on to that Home on High, the torch would be handed to the next generation to hold it high. It would be like the Spirit of the Past handing the torch of faith to the Spirit of the Future to carry on our glorious heritage. After the passing of Mr. Lee the committee became dormant until in 1970 when Mrs. H. N. Lake was named to assist. By this time the original group was dwindled down to Mr. Alvin Roberts and Miss Gladys Gunsauls. A great deal of research was involved in preparing this record from 1957. At the death of Mrs. Lake in April 1971, that left only the above named two, and by 1972 during the pastorate of Rev. Wilmot Mather, he removed these two people feeling this contribution no longer useful and appointing a committee of his own liking. That is the reason this record is completed only up to and including 1972.
How true the adage "great oaks from little acorns grow". The little acorn in this case, being that small group of pioneers, who met at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Vene Lee in 1828 and started Methodism in Carbondale. This group met in various homes from 1828 until 1832 when the first Church was erected. The Great Oak is the magnificent edifice in which we now worship and which has been made possible by dedicated people with the love of God and their fellow men foremost in their hearts and minds. To these faithful, dedicated pioneers, who gave us this beautiful structure, we are most deeply and humbly grateful, realizing the hardships and inconveniences under which they labored and the heartbreak they suffered when what they had worked so diligently and faithfully for went up in smoke. But they 'buckled right in with a trace of a grin' and rebuilt the beautiful Church which is our heritage from them. We must not fail them, but must carry on more valiantly, realizing we have so much more with which to work than did those dedicated Methodist of yesteryear. These men and women have left an incandescent "Luminous Trail" that is difficult for us to follow, but oh, how inspiring and comforting.
Preachers from the Church
We are proud and honored to have had representatives from our Church family respond to the call of preaching and teaching in the service of our Lord and Master. Those who in 1972 serve Wyoming Conference are:
Donald Bartholomay, Ordained in 1958, present Pastor at Sidney, New York
Merle Correll, Ordained in 1958, presently in Baltimore, Maryland Conference
James E. Edwards, Ordained in 1965, present Pastor at Nanticoke, Pennsylvania
William Grilman Ordained in 1936, present Pastor at Sherburne, New York (retired in 1972)
Charles Schuster, Supply Harry Spangenberg, Ordained in 1962, present Pastor at Ashley, Pennsylvania
Also outstanding and exceptional in the field of religious education are Miss Thelma Stouffer and Miss Elsie Lewis.
Thelma was a graduate of National College of Kansas City, Missouri with degrees from New York University, Director of Religious Education for twenty-six years at Broadway Temple, New York City, President of Northeastern Deaconess Association and in 1971 employed in the Board of Missions Office, Riverside Drive, New York City.
Elsie received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Scrovitt College, Nashville, Tennessee. She was Director of Christian Education at Endwell Methodist Church, Associate Director Wyoming Conference Board of Education and in 1970 Director of Christian Education United Methodist Church Haddonfield, New Jersey and in 1971 transferred to First Church Oneonta, New York.
Our Spiritual Leaders
In 1954 Rev. Paul J. Hulslander became our spiritual leader until 1959, followed by Rev. Theodore I. Hubbard for nine years and in 1968 Rev. Frederick W. Reinfurt was the leader until his retirement in 1971. These men with their gracious wives left nothing to be desired in their association with the members of the church. Upon Pastor Reinfut's retirement at the May 1971 Conference held in Oneonta, New York, Rev. Wilmot Mather, who was ordained an elder at this Conference was appointed as Pastor of Carbondale, having transferred from the North New Jersey Conference. He took up resident in the parsonage with his wife Lenore and two sons. He was still attending Drew University and commuted there each week securing degrees in 1972. At the 1974 Wyoming Conference held in Elm Park Church, Scranton, Rev. Mather was assigned to the Dalton, Pennsylvania Charge leaving Carbondale without a pastor until September of 1974, when we were happy to welcome Rev. Irwin L. Brand, his charming wife Ruth and handsome son Robbie. During the interim Rev. Arthur Davis, Pastor at Jermyn, Pennsylvania United Methodist graciously filled our pulpit along with his own for three Sundays, showing he was truly a good friend and neighbor. Rev. Brand has a challenge as membership and finances had reached an all time low, but we feel with his dedication, his friendliness and his love of God, he will overcome every hurdle.
The Music Ministry
Special credit must be given to our faithful choir members, who through wind, rain, sleet or snow, will be found in their accustomed places each Sunday, blending their voices in praise to God, the giver of all good things, We have been greatly blessed, indeed, having over the years, so many gifted musicians, who have been organists, directors and singers, giving of their God given talents so generously, making this one of the outstanding churches in the Wyoming Conference.
The congregation was deeply saddened on December 17th, 1953, by the passing to his Eternal Home of our long time faithful and devoted organist Mr. John B. Evans, who maintained a perfect attendance record at Church and Sabbath School for fifty years.
On June 10th 1954, Mr. Tom Evans from Scranton, Pennsylvania became our Organist and Choir Director and gave brilliant service until 1959 when he resigned.
He was followed by Mrs. Floyd Hallock, from Waverly, Pennsylvania who served from November 1959 to July 1960.
During vacation time, we have union services with the Presbyterians and Baptists, thus giving our ministers six weeks of well earned vacation and parishioners the privilege of worshipping in the sister churches. In September 1960, Mr. William Loftus took up the duties of Choir Director with Miss Beatrice Bensink at the console. However, their tenure was of short duration and in November 1960 Miss Nan Seigle, (now Mrs. Joseph Doyle of Alexandria Virginia) and one of our own girls, took up the duties of Organist, with Mrs. T. I Hubbard (Carmel) wife of the pastor, nobly performing as Choir Director, until May 1963, when they completed their duties after serving loyally for over two and one half years. Their efforts were thoroughly appreciated and gratitude and best wishes of the entire congregation were extended to them.
On May 19, 1963, Mr. William Richards, became Organist and Choir Director. The music committee, headed by Mr. David Stephens, were most fortunate in securing the services of Mr. Richards. He came to Carbondale very well qualified, having been Organist in German Lutheran Church and Throop Methodist Church, for eight years director of the Choral Choir at Bradley Memorial Methodist, and for thirty-eight years Organist and Director of St. John's Lutheran Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is a Methodist and resides in Jermyn, Pennsylvania. A cordial welcome was extended to him and his wife who will be an asset to the choir, blending her voice in praise to God. Also, their daughter, Elvia, possessor of a magnificent voice, will be guest soloist from time to time.
On October 27th, 1963 a new group, called the Youth Choir directed by Mr. Richards, made their debut. This was an inspiring sight, having such a group of young Christians using their talent in the worship service. In January 1964, plans were being formulated for new robes for the Senior Choir, the maroon ones having seen hard service. The Choir held a bake sale which gave them a start on this project, and were in hopes that individuals would make substantial contributions to this worthy cause, since the dedication of the choir members is deeply appreciated. Well, mission accomplished, and on April 10th, 1964, the choir members entered the sanctuary arrayed in their new green choir robes, with a reversible white and gold stole. These robes were a memorial from Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Clark, both of whom worked untiringly in the church, and sang in the choir. It is most fitting that they should be remembered in this way. Each robe bears a memorial label. The entire congregation was deeply grieved by the serious illness and saddened by the subsequent death in December 1996 of Mr. William Richards, our revered Organist and Choir Director, but know he's making beautiful music in Heaven. During the illness of Mr. Richards, Miss Nan Seigle, again graciously substituted in the interim. This was only a temporary arrangement and the music committee, headed by the dynamo Mr. David Stephens, were again faced with the problem of securing someone to fill the important post of Organist and Choir Director. Miss Jean Rizzo of Lafton, Pennsylvania was contacted and accepted the offer coming to Carbondale in September 1969. She was very well qualified with a Master's Degree from Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, Organist at American Protestant Church in Paris, France, and also a student of organ and harpsichord in Europe. Her tenure ended on June 1st, 1970 when she accepted a position as organist in a Philadelphia area Methodist Church in Annapolis, Maryland, so our loss is their gain.
Mr. Bruce Tonkin, a splendid young Carbondale boy, who is majoring in Music at Mansfield State College, capably filled in as organist in the interim, until union services. He filled the position so admirably. We were almost sorry to have him return to college, as we would have liked to have kept him permanently, but realized in order to be the success we know he will be, he must complete his education.
Since the merger and the new format of the United Methodist Church, the commission on worship is responsible for the ministry of music. Miss Miriam Frethaway, Director of The Organist Guild, was contacted and highly recommended Miss Renee Shugg of Blakely, Pennsylvania, a second year Music Major at Marywood college in Scranton, Pennsylvania, having served as organist at the Primitive Methodist Church and studied with Mrs. Bryant and Miss Frethaway. On Sept 13th, 1970 the congregation welcomed the new Organist and Choir Director of the senior and Junior Choirs, Miss Renee Shugg, who served faithfully until July 29th, 1973. She resigned on account of her impending marriage, which occurred on August 4th, 1973 to Mr. John Kruper. They moved to Endwell, New York where she is serving another church.
Well, there was the same old story again; this time a young Honesdale man was contacted and in September 1973, Mr. Martin Yazdzik, a senior at Honesdale High School became Organist and Choir Director resigning in June 1974, upon graduation, presumably to further his musical education. On June 16th, 1974 Miss Maureen Mussari, a Carbondale girl, graduate of Marywood College with a Masters in Music and presently teaching music at the Carbondale Area Schools was appointed Organist and Choir Director.
On June 24th, 1973 an $800.00 increase due to high cost of living was granted to Pastor Rev. Wilmont Mather.
Carbondale United Methodist History
1957 to 1972
Written by Gladys Gunsauls
Then there are the ushers, who like the Choir members, brave the elements each Sunday to assist in the service, while so many parishioners relax in the comfort of their homes. The ushers are members of the Men's Club and assist in all worship services and communion. These men are responsible to a Chief Usher who works out all details attendant to the services. Chief Ushers over the years have been: Harry Atno, Richard Llewellyn, Frank Wilcox, Alvin Roberts, Willis Snedeker, Robert Avery, Donald Ely and Edwin Stoddard.
The faithful sextons deserve special mention. Over the years they have done such a splendid housekeeping job. Special mention must be made of Mr. James Stephen. He was sexton back in the hand fired furnace days, when there were morning and evening services, Junior League, Epworth League each Sunday with Thursday evening prayer meetings, not to mention all the other stated meetings. Incidentally, Mr. James Stephens was an Uncle of Alvin Roberts. Following Mr. Stephens and serving valiantly over the years were: Theodore Sperl, who helped out so much with plumbing problems; Austin Barrows, Lewis Roberts, and Morgan Thomas, who, after leaving the church and arriving home for his lunch period, suffered a fatal heart attack. There was also Ernest Evans, who resigned to work in New Jersey; and Earl Rogers, who for some time was ably assisted by one of our younger members, John Griffiths. Earl Rogers retired June 1st, 1975, so now the search is on for a Sexton.
The men of the Church have been organized for many years and have been brought together in meetings with interesting speakers at various times. One of the main projects of this group is the annual pancake supper with the host Mr. David Stephens and Chief Pancake Maker, Mr. Alvin Roberts.
The "Master's Call" comes to the men of the conference each year. This is a dollar a year plan which the laymen of the church have adopted, with the hope each man will contribute his dollar to the fund, which will aid worthy young men in their ministerial preparation. Visitation of the members of the church for the annual budget is also an important performance of this group, and they are to be commended for their untiring efforts in this respect year after year. The President in 1971 is George Wallis.
In October each year, a Communion Breakfast of participating churches, Methodist, Berean Baptist and Presbyterian men, enjoy the fellowship communion held at seven thirty in the morning in one church, followed by breakfast in another. The Protestant Men's Lenten Communion Service is planned for men of Peckville, Jermyn and Carbondale, rotating in the various churches. Laymen's Sunday in this Church each October finds the Church service, in its entirety carried out with our own members, including an all male choir, with the address given by one of our own members or an invited guest. At one of these Lay Sunday Services, Mr. Rexford Evans, who grew up in this Church and was a one time Binghamton District Lay Leader, brought the message which was well received. In 1969 the speaker was Mr. Robert Avery, who grew up in this church, being active in all branches. He was one time Chief Usher and who is now Assistant District Attorney in New York State. He is the son of Mr. Raymond Avery, a most active member. It is most gratifying to see these splendid young men, who received their early Christian training in this Church, making their mark in the world. Featured in the Church for many years, is the annual Men's Rally, held on Layman's Sunday in October, with an evening service. This meeting includes all churches in the Scranton District, the attendance reaching, some years, six hundred men. The District Lay Leader presides and a choir of thirty-five to forty men render special music. Lunch is served by the Host Church Men's Club. These meetings help strengthen the ties of brotherly love and kindness in our midst.
During the ministry of Rev. Paul J Hulslander, an organization was formed to highlight the year 1955, called the Triple M's, so named to include Mr., Mrs. and Miss as Members. This group has been most active in various ways and have added much to the social, economic and spiritual welfare of the church. One feature of their response was their gift to the sanctuary of five sets of beautiful pariments; red, white, green, purple, and black antependice, typical colors of the religious seasons of the year. These were for the altar, pulpit and two flower stands. Another gift at Christmas season was the erection of a Nativity Scene on the lawn of the Church Edifice, displayed for the first time in 1959. Projects they have sponsored are auctions; rummage; cookie and candy sales and sea food dinners each spring and fall. Their President in 1971 is Donald Perry, who with his wife Beverly are avid workers. In 1965 this group purchased and installed an electric water fountain in the dining room. This equipment is greatly appreciated. They have also remodeled the kitchen and make generous donations to church expenses and any worthwhile cause. They are a most active group.
One very important part of the Methodist Church is the Church or Sunday School, organized in 1840, just twelve years after Methodism came to Carbondale. It has been from the first, a real live progressive organization, presided over by many dedicated men who have watched it expand and develop over the years to meet the growing needs of the Church. Since 1957 the Superintendents have been Mr. Carl Camin and Miss Mary Hall, who, passed away suddenly after arriving for a meeting at the Church December 1968. Since the reorganization and the new format of the United Methodist Church, the Church School became the responsibility of the Work Area on Education. The program has been carried out in an impressive manner by Mr. Donald Perry and Mr. Walter Bartholomay. In 1971 Mrs. Robert Dietz is Superintendent. The position of Secretary of any organization is often considered as negligible, but when taken seriously, it involves plenty of careful and painstaking work. We should mention Mr. Raymond Reynolds, who for twenty-one years (1970) has, through rain or shine, with no thought of praise or pay, carried on as Secretary of the Church School, ably assisted by Mr. Robert Fasshauer for thirteen years until 1970 when he resigned. Other officers of the Church School besides Raymond and Robert are Treasurer, Mr. Haydn Llewellyn and Assistant Secretary, Mr. Charles Crocker. In the area of education, the Church School has been the means of bringing Christian training and Christian living to every age. In 1970 statistics show the membership of one hundred and sixty-eight, with an average attendance of eighty. Though the classes became fewer in number, there was no lessening in the ability, quality and character of those who committed themselves to direct instruction in the Holy Word each Sabbath. Raymond passed away July 1969.
The vacation Bible School has been an important factor of the Church School since 1925. Following the service of Mrs. Harvey Williams, for three years and Mrs. Clarence Drake for twenty-eight years, Miss Dorothy Nichols became the director, then Mrs. Stanley Shellhammer and Mrs. Jennie Collins who is acting in that capacity in 1970. Due to lack of leadership, when at one time the School numbered one hundred and twenty-five, from Kindergarten through eighth grade, the roll in 1970 has been reduced to fifty-three from kindergarten through sixth grade. Bible school has not been held since 1970.
The Cradle Roll has been discontinued. For many years, Miss Mable Jadwin gave wonderful service to this department as Director. This was no small job, listing each new born baby whose parents were affiliated with this Church. After her passing it was continued for ten years under the direction of Mrs. Robert Reeves.
Throughout the years many dedicated women have aided in the distribution of the magazine, formerly called the Home Department, but later changed to the Mature Years. For a great many years this group was headed by Superintendent, Mrs. Maria Thompson who gave yoeman service. After her death the work was most efficiently carried on by her daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Thompson Bryden until she moved to Florida. This Mature Years is a service to our shut-in members, thus keeping in touch with those who are interested in news of the church, but unable to attend services. In 1971 the gracious Capable Superintendent of this branch is Mrs. Henry Lee, who is also President of the Friendship Circle, a group of women who are active in many ways and especially with shut-ins. It has been said that our daily lives and our association with people is the magic mirror that reveals what lies within and that is true of Mrs. Lee.
The Methodist Youth Fellowship was organized in September of 1940, at the time of the merging of all women's societies into one group. At this time all the children up to twelve years, and youth from twelve to twenty-four, including Junior and Senior High School boys and girls were members of this group. The MYF have been most active in the Harvest Festival, wherein they collect gifts and money to be divided between the Binghamton Children's Home and Sky Lake. The Sky Lake summer program is advantageous for Juniors through adults for various camps and study opportunities. The MYF occasionally visit the Children's Home for supper, including a devotional service. They have sponsored the Consistory Choir from Scranton, who presented a sacred concert of Christmas Music for several years. They organized a Missionary rally and have been most active, and for fun, have as a group, journeyed to Lake Como for a roller skating party. Each year at Christmas time, regardless of weather, they visit shut-ins, hospitals and nursing homes, bringing gifts and cheer to those confined, and filling the air with their Christmas carols. They are, also, very active in UNICEF. They have sponsored the Consistory Choir rendering the Messiah, a wonderful musical service. The MYF members are to be commended for their energy and enthusiasm for any project they attempt, including a spaghetti Supper, prepared and served by this active group of young people, who are the Church of tomorrow. The latest project to be undertaken is the painting in 1970 of the dining room, which will be supervised by the Property Committee.
The uniting in the USA, in the year 1946 of the Evangelical church and the United Brethren in Christ, brought into being the Evangelical United Brethren or EUB. In 1940, three Methodist branches, the Methodist Episcopal, the Methodist Protestant, and the Methodist Church South, became the Methodist Church and the Women's Society of Christian Service (WSCS) was organized with 19,468 charter members, and 1,113,000 total members. The merger of the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist Church in 1968 brought into focus the United Methodist Church and the WSCS with 33,500 societies and 1,500,000 members. Carbondale Methodist became one of these societies and a new charter replaced the former one. In 1971 the name of the WSCS was changed to United Methodist Women. In 1960 the twentieth anniversary of the WSCS was observed with the reading of the first minutes in 1940 and all one hundred seventy-five member names. Mrs. Eva Carpenter and Miss June Butler, the two oldest living members at this time were presented with corsages, as were eight past Presidents. In 1965 the twenty-fifth anniversary was held, highlighted with a sketch, "This is your life Mrs. WSCS." This skit portrayed the workings of the society with various parts played by officers. At this occasion all past President were presented with a red rose. From 1957 to 1971 the Presidents have been; Mrs. Gerald Alexander, Mrs. Raymond Eathorne, Mrs. Willis Snedeker, Miss Dorothy Nichols, Mrs. Paul Swan and Mrs. John Keyes. Treasurers for this same period have been: Mrs. David Stephens and Mrs. James Reynar. Appreciation is extended, also to the Vice Presidents, who have given thought and inspiration to promote the presentation, cultivation and adaptation of the many programs presented over these years. The WSCS budget for 1970-1971 is $1,481.00. Officers elected for 1971 are: President, Mrs. John Keyes, Vice President, Mrs. Wilmont Mather, Secretary, Mrs. Robert Mitchell and Treasurer, Mrs. Jamey Reynar. In January 1958, at a Quarterly Conference the WSCS turned over to the Official Board and the Property Committee, the responsibility and care of the parsonage home, which for years had been under their jurisdiction. In lieu of this care, the WSCS offered to pay fifty dollars per month, which was increased to seventy five dollars in 1971. In April 1961, a committee, composed of members of the WSCS, Triple M's, the current Building Committee and the Property Committee, were appointed to consider plans to renovate the Church kitchen. The Official Board approved the plan of using the current building fund of $4,000.00 to pay for the new Church Office and the balance as a nucleus for the renovation of the kitchen, which was approximately $10,000.00 Unique projects have been one teaspoon of dirt, church soil, plus one dollar to the Methodist Church at Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1956; and one teaspoon of dirt, church soil, plus one dollar to a Methodist church in Oregon in 1958. Many and varied have been the projects of this dedicated group of women, including rummage and sample sales; food and candy sales; bazaars, the last one being held in 1966. Also the sale of Zip Code Information, Calendars, religious books, household items and other things which all add to the coffers and benevolences of the church. The bazaars were renewed in 1973 and 1974.
Special mention must be made of the sale of three hundred cookbooks of the WSCS in 1962, containing one hundred recipes and three miniature folders in 1951, all recipes guaranteed for quality by expert cooks, who have received their experience from the original Methodist cookbook of long ago, published by the Young Lady workers in the early days of the Church. The first output was five hundred books in 1898 followed by six editions, making 18,000 books in all. Requests have come in from time to time, from far and near, for this cookbook, but it was not considered feasible to reorder it in this day and age. To the best of our knowledge, Mrs. John Stoddard and Mrs. S. T. Burnard are the only owners of a copy of the first edition. The last edition was printed in 1924. Of great interest to Carbondale Methodists is the fact that this cookbook has been printed in Chinese and sold through the Sanghai Recorder. The ad read as follows:
The Carbondale Cook Book of Tried and Tested Recipes
Translated by Mrs. Charles Lewis
Each recipe is printed in both English and Chinese
Indispensable for housewives in China
Price - - - - Paper Cover $ 1.00
Board Cover $ 1.50
For sale at Mission Book Company
TFM 18 Peking Road, Shanghai
Truly this cookbook has reached around the world.
In April 1962, Holy Communion was served to the WSCS and members of the Church, one hundred and five in all, by Rev. T. I. Hubbard, at a special "Meet With the Master". The food partaken of was similar to that of the time of Jesus. Other spiritual retreats have been needful and inspiring to all present, with programs including Meditation, Communion and Prayers requested by those desiring spiritual messages and loving concern for those in need of prayer.
Carbondale United Methodist History
1957 to 1972
Written by Gladys Gunsauls
Of great significance in Methodist history was the merger in 1949 of the Methodist Protestant, the Methodist Episcopal and the Methodist Church South. In 1968 the union of the Methodist Church and the United Brethren (Evangelical) was accomplished, adopting the title The United Methodist Church. At this time, the fiscal year was changed and at present runs from January to December. However, the program was left unchanged with the Conference meeting in May of each year. This was later changed to early June for convenience of Pastors having school age children.
In the format of the new United Methodist Church some changes must be noted: Charge Conference, Administrative Board, Council of Ministries, Work Areas, Worship, Ecumenical Affairs, Education, Evangelism, Missions, Social Concerns, Stewardship, Age-Level Coordinator, Family-Children, and Youth - Adults.
In 1957 - Church members numbered 1,147
In 1970 - Church members numbered 669
In 1957 - Pastor's salary was $4,800 plus $300 travel expenses
In 1971 - Pastor's salary was $6,500 plus all utilities and $600 travel expenses. (In 1973 - $800 was added to salary.)
In 1957 - the Church Budget was $20,055.91.
In 1971 - the Church budget was $28,964.00.
In 1971 the Trustees of the First United Methodist Church are: Mr. John Stoddard, Mr. Harry Stephens, Mr. Alvin Roberts, Mr. David Stephens, Mr. Ralph Dunn, Mr. Carl Camin, Mr. Edwin Stoddard Mr. Robert Vandenberg, Mr. Robert Reeves (deceased 1/72) and Dr. John Keyes.
The Sunday services have been broadcast for many years over radio station WCDL of Carbondale, four times per year, along with all other Churches in the Carbondale - Honesdale area in their turn. This service has been made possible by a substantial donation and through the courtesy of the personnel of the radio station, thus giving the shut-ins and indisposed fold the opportunity of hearing and responding to the reading of the Scriptures and Hymns.
Bible Study classes for everyone were initiated by Rev. T. I. Hubbard and Pastor Frederick Reinfurt during their pastorates. According to age, the youth have been instructed in the liturgy and fundamental principles of Methodism. The Confirmation class each year is a tribute of the youth associating with the Church.
Under the Committee on Membership and Evangelism, evening services in the autumn were conducted by Rev. Hulslander and followed by Rev. Hubbard, with speakers from various out-of town churches, to emphasize these spiritual "Nights for Christ". They are especially needful and most rewarding in their prayerful atmosphere of meditation, prayer and song.
Released time week day religious instruction was discontinued in 1959. Junior and Senior students time being held in the churches and the elementary grades being instructed in the schools.
The Fellowship Room has been the meeting place at times for Scout activities, The Brownies and Boy Scouts as well as Girl Scouts have been most welcome for their regular meetings when desired.
On November 10th, 1957, the Rev. T. V. Philipos from India, who came to this country to study at the Russian Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania was the guest speaker at the morning service. He had been engaged for eighteen years in Missionary work for the Syrian Orthodox Church in a movement known as "The Servants of the Cross". He expected to remain at St. Tikhon's for four years.
Programs for Children's Day and Student Day add much to the life and interest of our youth. Offerings on these days increased the benefits and interest of our youth and are used for the Conference Student Fund loan as well as the conference Ministerial Loan fund. The last Sunday in December each year is especially worthwhile, when college students on vacation preside at the podium throughout the service with the sermon as an essential production. At graduation time many of our youth find themselves at the end of their carefree high school days. Always the group is honored at the morning service on the Sunday before Commencement by the minister, and all who attend and hear the congratulatory remarks made to them will long remember the service. A token of pride and joy in their success is given to each one as well as a warm reception at the Chancel.
At the morning service November 12th, 1957, we were honored to have as guest, Mr. Wallace Jones with Tommy. After appearing in the church School and talking to the Youth, they attended Church and preached the sermon of the hour. Mr. Jones was a former night club entertainer, but after conversion became a consecrated ventriloquist, working in this manner for the Lord with a real gospel message.
The gift of a tape recorder was presented to the Rev. T. I. Hubbard, by Mrs. H. F. Clark, to be used for recording sermons for the benefit of our shut-in members and friends. The worship service was first recorded on November 29th, 1958.
The Church office was removed from the parsonage and in January 1960 was formally opened in the church edifice, off the Assembly room on the south side of the Church, thus giving the resident of the parsonage a room to be used as a study.
Another service of the Church, to be employed by the members, originated and supervised by Dr. D. Deane Maxwell, is the endowment fund of the First Methodist Church of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, established in May 1960 by purchasing shares of the Wellington Fund as the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees was instructed to do. On January 5th, 1961, one hundred and twenty-two shares were purchased. Dividends and Capital Gains returned to the fund amounted to $121.58 and by December 28, 1961 the total shares reached 129.801. At a meeting of the Board of Trustees on January 10th 1962, a motion was passed that, when the fund reached $5,000.00 or at the expiration of five years, the assets should be reappraised and reconsidered. The principal of this fund to be held intact, the interest to be used at the discretion of the Trustees. The pledges the first year amounted to $2,085.00. The consideration of all members for this fund will be appreciated. At the January 1971 meeting of the Board of Trustees, it was voted to transfer the $3,000.00 which had accumulated in this Wellington Fund to the Windsor Fund for quicker growth and better returns. This transfer was accomplished January 29th, 1971.
In February 1961, the Commission of Membership and Evangelism inaugurated, for Ash Wednesday, a prayer vigil from noon to midnight with the congregation being assigned fifteen minute periods to enter the sanctuary for meditation, prayer and silent communion. On the first Sunday in October of each year, the Church participates in a World Wide Communion. What a privilege to know, that all over the world, on that day every Christian has the opportunity of partaking together of the Lord's Supper.
Many and varied have been the Sunday service bulletin covers, depicting the architecture of the Church. The one being used in 1971 was first put in service September 18, 1960.
During the years of Rev. Hubbard's pastorate, it was his pleasure to have the Christmas tree in the sanctuary at the holiday season, with it's symbolism of life, light and beauty. At the close of the Christmas season, the tree was bereft of its beauty, and its branches and kept before the congregation as a cross, until springtime and Easter arrived to remind us of the rebirth and resurrection of all things alive and holy. On Good Friday the cross, crude and forlorn was wound with black, then on Easter Day appeared arrayed in beautiful white lilies as an emblem of the Risen Lord. This truly was a physical symbol of the Divine, that we, in Carbondale will always remember when a Christmas tree became a Cross.
In May 1968, from May until September a church pictorial album project was undertaken with a photographer and assistant from out of town. Information, relative to this project, was sent to each family of the church beforehand and sittings were arranged by a capable twosome. Mrs. Willis Snedeker and Mrs. George Tite made all the contacts and arrangements. This album proved to be a most attractive folder, with small inserts of the pictures taken and a complete list of all members of the Carbondale Church.
Congregational dinners have been a vital means of fellowship for all ages and groups of our Church members for understanding the yearly budget, for workers, for commitment and for the missionary trend of the study for the current year. One such meeting in 1966, sponsored by the Secretary of Missions assisted by the WSCS Secretary of Missionary Education was extremely interesting. A skit with characters portrayed by Miss Mary Hall and Mrs. Harry Cox was well received.
On April 10th, 1963 there was held for all a "Meal with the Master". This was a most unique meal including Holy Communion at the table and the meal very similar to that of which Christ partook with his disciples on that memorable night, so long ago.
In November 1956, the Christian Advocate, after one hundred and thirty years of publication for Methodist Constituents, was reborn as "together", the magazine for Methodist families. It has been hailed as the best all around religious magazine being published by Protestants. "Together" united the morals and ethics of the Church with everyday interests and problems of families. It serves the Church, while it inspires, informs and entertains. The Advocate became a counselor for the clergy and educators of Methodism.
The "Upper Room" has been of service and inspiration to believers everywhere for many years. It is interdenominational, interracial, international, being published in forty-seven different editions around the world. Our constituents have been privileged in receiving this helpful, spiritual booklet for many years through the Committee on Membership and Evangelism for which we are deeply grateful.
Helping in the work of Missionaries and Church education Leaders in various places, "The Methodist Women" have been of great service to the WSCS. In 1968, when the new United Methodist Church came into being, this magazine was discontinued and "Response" became the guide and information Magazine.
In June 1969, the first issue of the "Grapevine" was coordinated in the church office by our efficient Church Secretary, Mrs. Ivan Mahady and mailed to all our church families. The editor was Pastor Frederick W Reinfurt, who received much commendation for his efforts in informing all the members of the activities and news pertaining to the Church, thus lessening the communication gap in our midst. Two editions were mailed in 1969 and two more in 1970.
In June 1964 the sanctuary floor was painted. The Property committee completed plans for this project, which was long overdue, during the summer vacation period at a cost of $400.00.
Many times, throughout the years, we have been privileged to hear and enjoy beautiful music. On October 10th, 1957 the Salvation Army Band of Binghamton, New York presented a program, under the auspices of the local Salvation Army corps. Refreshments were served by officers of the local group aided by the WSCS.
On November 24th, 1957, the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Charles Wesley was celebrated at the Morning service with Rev. Paul Hulslander as Pastor. Wesley Hymns were sung by the choir and congregation. Three special Hymns were sung which formed the keynote of the sermon and musical background by the organist, Mr. Tom Evans, whose ability at the organ added much to the Ministry of Music in the Church. His compositions and adaptability became an inspiration to all, along with the musical talent of his wife Jean. His composition " the Creation" was rendered many times as well as the beautiful song he composed "Thank Your God for Everything. "
Thank Your God for Everything
Morning with the rising sun, Sees a new day just begun. Yesterday has come and gone, Leaving thoughts and cares behind. Weighing every thought and care Live to-day the best you can. Be Good- Be True - Be Kind. When the eventide shall come, At the Close of day, Cast your thoughts and cares aside Bend your knee and pray.
Thank you God for all the things That life's fullness to you brings, Thank Him for your friendships true, Like a vine around you cling. Thank Him for the stars that shine. Thank Him for His Love Divine. Say a prayer to Thank Your God For Everything.
Words and Music by Mr. Tom Evans, Scranton, Pennsylvania
Carbondale United Methodist History
1957 to 1972
Written by Gladys Gunsauls
On April 19th, 1959, a music conference in two sessions was held in this Church sponsored by the Scranton District Conference with Dr. Bliss Wyant, Director, Minister of Music of the General Board of Education, Nashville, Tennessee. Persons interested in music attended. Inspiration and knowledge were the result of the Hymn Sing, Workshop Session, instruction and interpretation in the use of the Hymns in worship by Wyant. Dinner was served at five thirty o'clock by WSCS. On March 15th, 1959, a sacred concert, sponsored by the MYF was rendered by the Choraleers, a group of women from Scranton and vicinity. This splendid program was directed by Miss Virginia Froster, Great Neck, New York.
During 1959 and 1960, a special thrill and enjoyment was given by the choirs from Embury Methodist Church of Scranton, Pennsylvania composed of seventy-five members in a Gymanfu Ganu, with all the singing of the wonderful Welsh hymns and songs. The Director, Mr. Sidney Lewis and the Organist, Mrs. Evelyn Camp were from Scranton. Favorite Welsh Hymns and sacred music were rendered by choirs and congregation.
On April 23rd, 1960, The Drew University Chorus of forty voices, from Madison, New Jersey rendered selections at the morning service. Mr. Lester Berenbroich was director. Malcom Hulslander, son of Rev. and Mrs. Paul J. Hulslander, and a student at Drew was a member of the group. Dinner was served to the group following the service by the Triple M's.
On March 14, 1967, a program with a Welsh background was enjoyed, sponsored by the WSCS as a regular program. Mr. Ivor Price, harpist, vocal solos by Miss Mary Morris and Mr. Albert Thorne, accompanied by Miss Marion Williams were presented. A social hour followed, highlighted with a Welsh atmosphere.
On October 24th, 1969, an organ recital by Miss Jean Rizzo, organist, added much to the inspiration and appreciation of this talented young artist educated in the areas of music here and abroad. Miss Rizzo charmed all by her selections and performance at the King of Instruments. Following her forty-five minute recital the Junior and Senior choirs were hostesses at a tea in the fellowship room. Proceeds from this affair were donated to Berean Baptist Building Fund, since they had suffered a devastating fire.
In the spring of 1969, we were privileged to hear the choir from St. John's Russian Orthodox Church of Mayfield, Pennsylvania. Numbers of the selections were announced by Rev. Hubbard. Standing in the choir loft, the group was most impressive in their renditions of chosen selections without any accompaniment. Fellowship hour, with certain Russian delicacies was enjoyed by all present. The decorations and the tea table were most attractive with an Easter motif, arranged by the WSCS fellowship committee.
We have always been exceptionally proud of one of our Carbondaleans who has achieved great success as a coloratura soprano, Mrs. Elsie Widman Belascio, of Moosic, Pennsylvania, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Max Widman, Carbondale. On an evening in December 1969, Mrs. Belascio presented a varied program of solos, accompanied by Mrs. Beatrice Bloomer of Forty Fort. Pennsylvania, Organist and Choir Director of the Presbyterian Church, Forty Fort. This concert was held as a regular meeting of the WSCS with refreshments in a holiday mood following. As a Christmas program, this was a memorable and delightful occasion.
On Palm Sunday March 30th 1969, an impressive candlelight service "Tenebrae" was observed with Miss Nan Seigle at the console and Mrs. F. W. Reinfurt directing. This service portrayed the Holy Week Passion with seven musical selections, by the combined choirs in commemorating the shadows of our Lord's suffering from His betrayal through His crucifixion on His Way to the tomb. The acolyte was Miss Mary Ann Rushworth.
On Palm Sunday evening 1970, the Berean Baptist, First Presbyterian and United Methodist Churches enjoyed an evening of choral numbers presented by the Catholic Choral Group from Scranton, consisting of thirty voices, directed by Mr. Norbert Bette, of Scranton. Refreshments were served in the fellowship room by members of the Senior Choir.
In December 1969, a Christmas dinner was served in the fellowship room to the elderly and lonely retired folks of our town. About eighty persons were present and thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship meal, provided by the merchants, townspeople and workers from the Carbondale Community Center.
From the earliest days of the institution of the Methodist Church in Carbondale, there has always been an understanding and interest in the services and programs of other denominations. For many years the congregations of the First Methodist, First Presbyterian and Berean Baptist have joined in worship services during a special week of prayer in the New Year and during Holy Week, with services, also, at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Also, these three churches have followed a plan of three weeks preaching and responsibility of all members, thus giving vacation and rest to each leader of his flock during July and August, for a period of six weeks each. A ministerium of a pastor and a layman from each church is responsible for all yearly plans.
In later years, the Lenten period, up to Holy Week, specialized in a Thursday evening service with other Protestant Churches: St. Paul's Lutheran, Trinity Episcopal, Assembly of God and Salvation Army; with the ministers and leaders participating in pulpits other than their own. These very satisfying interfaith movements in our community were augmented by a Thanksgiving service with the parishioners of St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church. The first annual ecumenical service was held on Thanksgiving morning November 23, 1967 at ten o'clock in St. Rose Church. Five clergy participated. The address of welcome was given by Rev. William Fleming, and the Thanksgiving message by Rev. Charles Starzer, pastor of the Presbyterian Church. Scripture was read from the Old and New Testament, each followed by quiet meditation. Hymns by choir and congregation were rendered with Miss Elaine Coggins at the organ. Combined Choirs were directed by Sister Miriam, IHM. Other ministers participating were Rev Arthur Meneely, Baptist; Rev. Theodore Hubbard, Methodist; Rev. William Culnane, St. Rose.
The second ecumenical Thanksgiving service was held November 29th, 1968 in St. Rose Church with the following participating: Address of welcome, Rev. Charles Starzer; Scripture, Professor Leland Brunner, St. Paul's Lutheran; Rev. Cottone, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel; and Pastor F. W. Reinfurt, United Methodist. The message was by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Thomas Horan, St. Rose and benediction by Rev. William Ellinger, Trinity Episcopal. The general chairman was Rev. Arthur Meneely, Baptist Church. The Holy Spirit was manifest in Scripture and Meditation, in the repeating of the Lord's Prayer in unison and singing of hymns by the joint choirs and the congregation. The ancient Christian custom of imparting the "Kiss of Peace" was manifested by all present. Miss Elaine Coggins was at the console and Sister Saracene, IHM was joint choir director.
On November 27th, 1969 the ecumenical service was held at ten o'clock in the First Presbyterian Church. The address of welcome was given by Rev. William Ellinger, Trinity Episcopal and Scripture was read by Rev. F. W. Reinfurt, United Methodist; Rt. Rev. Msgr. Thomas Horn, St. Rose and Professor Leland Brunner, St. Paul's Lutheran. Each reading was followed by meditation. The Lord's Prayer was repeated in unison. Rev. Michael Zipay, Assistant Pastor of St. Rose, gave the message. The joint choirs, directed by Sister Joan Paskert, IHM, rendered an anthem. Mr. Donald Hoyle, Organist at First Presbyterian Church presided at the organ. Four hymns were sung by the choir and congregation. Benediction was pronounced by Rev. Charles Starzer, First Presbyterian, This was followed by the participation of the "Kiss of Peace" ceremony directed by Rev. Arthur Meneely, Baptist.
The fourth ecumenical service was held in the First United Methodist Church, November 26th, 1970 at ten o'clock with Rev. F. W. Reinfurt in charge. The Rev. Arthur Meneely delivered the sermon on the theme "For What". Other participants were Rev. William Ellinger, Rev. Charles Starzer and Rev. Michael Zipay. Music was furnished by combined choirs directed by Sister Joan Paskert, IHM.
In the fall of 1967, a crusade for Christ and His Church here at Carbondale was authorized by the Official Board, to initiate a crusade for funds for renovation of the Church property. In 1941, during the pastorate of Rev. John N. White, the sanctuary was redecorated with carpeting and painting. No other major improvements had been made since the installation of the boiler, more than sixty years ago, and the purchase of the present organ, costing $10,000, thirty-three years ago. So, in January 1968, six hundred and sixty-nine members embarked on a renovation and improvement crusade to finance necessary projects. The Methodist Board of Missions Office in New York City was enlisted for one of their staff of twenty-six clergymen who devote their full-time helping churches in fund raising. The Rev. Gordon Merritt was assigned to Carbondale for the appeal during January 18th to 31st, 1968. Plans were put into effect and by January 28th the membership, having been instructed and educated by many letters and by telephone and meetings of all canvassers, with a commissioning service at the morning worship service, the crusade reached its climax. Great enthusiasm was shown at the reports received, and at the report of the $50,000.00 mark all workers joined in singing the Doxology. However, the total kept climbing and at seven o'clock many lingered to discuss the fulfillment of the dream and the pledges reaching over the mark amount of Crusade Estimate $50,000.00; Total Canvas Pledge $71,986.00; Total amount paid December 31, 1969 $43,845.00. The Fund Raising Group was made up of the following: Crusade Director, Rev. Gordon Merritt; General Chairman, Carl Camin; Enlistment Chairman, Robert Vandenberg; Publicity Chairman, Ralph Dunn; Large Gift Chairman, Edwin Stoddard; Telephone Chairman, Mrs.. H. N. Lake; Refreshment Chairman, Mrs. John Stoddard; Crusade Secretary, Willis Snedeker; Auditor, William M. Davis; and the pastor Rev. Theodore I. Hubbard. The renovation program was compiled as follows; Installation of two new gas heaters; Repair organ; New bathroom in parsonage and redecorating where needed; complete redecorating of interior of sanctuary, assembly room, hallways and stairways; Artist's painting on divided doors; replacement of Choir Chairs; cleaning pew cushions; lowering ceiling in Assembly Room as a heat economy; renovating Men's and Women's Lounges; removing skylight and roof dome over the sanctuary; installing artificial lighting for dome (interior); repairing chimney; placing concrete basement drainage forms on north side of edifice; renewing front steps. All these were completed as of October 1st, 1970. Expected repairs are renew carpet in Assembly Room; new carpet for Sanctuary which was accomplished in 1972 while the carpet for the assembly room was completed in January 1974 in time for Bishop Ault's meeting. The money for this carpet was taken from the memorial fund depleting same and a bronze plaque was to be placed in assembly room denoting where the money came from.
Carbondale United Methodist History
1957 to 1972
Written by Gladys Gunsauls
Remember the words of our Master, when He said "But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion on him". This is the power of the gospel of Christ showing interest, concern and compassion for those in need. The Children's Home in Binghamton, New York is Christ's gospel in action, serving boys and girls orphaned or from broken homes. For years the Harvest Festival has been the main means of securing food and funds, but in 1969 this was discontinued and there will be held one joint offering for the Christmas appeal and harvest festival. This will be held on the last day of November and will be called Thanksgiving Advent Offering. This home is very near and dear to all Methodists of Wyoming Conference and is such a happy place for children bereft of parents and home. Particularly close to Carbondale Church for years was Clara Lesher Burdick and her sister Carloine Lesher Swingle, both of who grew up in this church and were active in so many ways. Carrie was Financial Secretary. For a time both were employed at the home and gave the same dedicated service there as in Carbondale. We were all saddened at the sudden death of Carrie on April 20th, 1971.
It is a sad thing to grow old alone with no family and friends. The Wyoming Conference decided to do something to alleviate this condition and in 1959 opened their first home for the aging in Scranton, Pennsylvania. One of the first guests there was Mrs. F. D. Hartsoct, wife of a former pastor. Since 1959 three other homes at Narrowsburg, New York; the Elizabeth Church Manor, Binghamton, New York and one at Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, have been opened and are filled to capacity. An anonymous donor has given the initial gift toward a new home in the Oneonta district. This is truly a wonderful enterprise, wherein women and men have a homey atmosphere with others near their own age and a Christian environment. Here is where Methodist women from various churches and particularly our own, bring sunshine to the guests of these homes, celebrating the guests' birthdays and enjoying programs and social hours. This work of care and love is the project of the Women's Guild to which every woman in every church is a member. We should all count our blessings for the foresight of the pioneers who inaugurated this plan for these splendid homes for the aging, remembering the lines 'grow old along with me, the best is yet to be'.
Carbondale Church has been blessed indeed in having so many dedicated Christian members, who give so lavishly of their time and talents. It would take volumes to list them all, so we can mention only a few. God knows what each and everyone has done, and He loves us. and understands our every deed and someday we will hear Him say, "Well Done".
It has been said, that no one else can do the work God has marked out for you, and that is the sentiment concerning Miss Ruth Maters, who was Church Secretary from 1946 to 1950, serving Rev. L. W. Bouton and Rev. R. B. Glazier. She organized in 1942, with the help of Rev. J. N. White, a high school student choir, which rendered excellent service. She also organized a children's choir and served as its leader, resigning in 1969, when Mrs. Joan Cosgrove took up the reins and has given good service, with Mrs. Ethel Britton, serving as pianist, until her resignation, when Mrs. Ruth Caporelli took up the work. She resigned in December, 1973 and Mrs. Harry Cox is filling the position up to and including 1974. Ruth Masters has been a member of the senior choir for over forty years doing a great deal of solo work. Just as a rose gives out its fragrance, so Ruth, by her patience, sympathetic understanding and willingness to give her time and talent, has made her life like the flowers, pouring their fragrance on everything and everyone with whom she comes in contact.
Especially worthy of mention is our most efficient Church Secretary, Mrs. Maybelle Mahady, who has served faithfully since September of 1950. She is really a walking encyclopedia of information. One has but to ask and the information is forthcoming. She is a port in a storm, a guiding light and truly hers is service with a smile. Maybelle retired in September of 1971 and Mrs. Lenore Mather, wife of the pastor was appointed. She held the position until November, 1971 when she resigned as the work was too much for her. While she was secretary the office was moved from the Church to the parsonage for her convenience. After her resignation applications were received and one Sunday morning slips were passed out to the congregation for voting on three applicants with the resultant winner, Mrs. Dorothy Tyson. She held the position until 1975 when she resigned and the position in now being admirably filled by Mrs. Marion Barhight. Incidentally the office was again moved from the parsonage to the Church.
Then there is Mr. Alvin Roberts, Chairman of the Property Committee, Treasurer of the Trustees, official board Member and general all around Church worker. There is a saying " let George do it" but in this day it is "ask Alvin". He does so many things over and beyond his assigned duties with no thought of prize or pay. Truly the Church would be a much poorer place without Alvin. His personality is his real capital. The friendly word, the kindly deed are the coins of life that have given him his rating.
Another person worth mentioning is Mrs. H. L. Lake. She is Official Board Member, and in 1957 organized and headed the Methodist Quilters, who have given countless dollars into the Church Fund. The work of this group of women who meet in the Church social rooms, each Wednesday is truly outstanding and the quilts they make have been sent all over the nation and there is always a waiting list for these exquisite creations. Mrs. Lake was called to her Heavenly Home on April 16th, 1971. Mrs. J. L.Varker took over the leadership and her ability and dedication to this worthy cause is limitless. She is an artist and does exquisite work. We were deeply saddened when she became ill and more so when she passed away June 11th, 1974. She is sadly missed. The work is now being headed by Mrs. Margaret Nakonenhsy, who resigned in 1976 and it is being capably filled by Mrs. Ruth Wagner. The women who comprise the group are: Mrs. Meta Campbell, Mrs. Ruth Wagner, Mrs. Lillian Faatz, Mrs. Estella Ogborne, Mrs. Mima Lloyd (who passed away February 2nd, 1973), Mrs. Mae Wallis, Mrs. Eloise Snedeker, Mrs. Marion Barhight and Mrs. Mary Ellen Mitchell.
Another bright and shining light in the Methodist Church is Mr. David Stephens, a member of Trustees, Official Board, Choir Member, Wyoming Conference Officer and all around Church worker and most generous as to time and talent. "Life needs us all, the splendid few who rise to fame, with all their skill, your place and mine could never fill" is especially applicable to Dave. He is always ready to lend a helping hand, to do more than his share and to go that extra mile.
We would be sadly remiss, if we failed to mention Mr. Ralph Dunn, who for years has master minded the every member canvass; been Lay Member; trustee Board Member and President of same; chairman of the Renovation Committee, which is a job of great proportion and responsibility, but to him a challenge is what makes life more interesting.
Also, we must mention the following: Mr. Carl Camin, Lay Leader; former Church School Superintendent; very active in Triple M's; The Perry Family, Donald Sr., Financial Secretary: Triple M's President; Church School Worker; Usher; His wife Beverly does such yeoman service at all luncheons and dinners with always a happy smile. Daughter Barbara is active in MYF and choir; Donny Jr. who, we understand, expects to enter the ministry and last but not least Chuck, Assistant Usher.
Mr. William Tyrell does such an excellent job as Church Treasurer, which is a most exacting and responsible position. He goes about his work in a quiet, self effacing manner, but so efficiently. Mr. Tyrell resigned in June 1972, due to the press of his own business and some controversy, and Mr. Robert Tyson, husband of the Church Secretary, was appointed Church Treasurer with all matters pertaining to money to be handled by him. Mr. Tyson resigned in 1974. Mr. Donald Perry, Financial Secretary was relieved of all work excepting the collection of the pledge envelopes each Sunday.
Dr. John Keyes was appointed the Board of Trustees to fill the vacancy created by the untimely death of Mr. Robert Reeves.
We could go on and on listing scores of good people, who have built their lives into the Methodist Church. There are so many who richly deserve to be mentioned, but space will not permit our listing them all, and so to each and every member, great or small, thank you for everything and God Bless You.
In 1972 the Carbondale Methodist Church became one hundred and forty years old. One hundred and forty years is a long time. Of course Methodism officially came to Carbondale in 1828, when a few dedicated people, feeling the need of more religious life, met at the homes of the members for worship and prayer. This custom continued until 1832 when the first Church was erected. What a time of rejoicing. This was not a pretentious building, being only one story and the entire building 36 x 56 feet. How different from the magnificent structure of today, but the pride and dedication of those early Methodists in their little building was greater than we of today who take so much for granted. But we can all rejoice that the Methodist Church has made its mark in the community of Carbondale down through the years. We do thank God for the past years and pray God to guide us in the years to come. We are not a monument, because if we just wanted a marker where the first church stood, we could close the doors, and with a little maintenance, keep the building in good shape for centuries. However, we are a living message, a heritage, the carrier of good news and as such we often falter, make mistakes and fail to live up to the high standards we know to be right. This has been true down through the past one hundred and forty years and yet the Lord heard the prayers of those first Methodists and they came through and He will hear ours as we pray, believing that He can use us in the years to come, not as a building, but as people willing to serve. Ours is a Christian Church founded on the principle that Christ died that we might live.
God has given His Children memory, so that in life's garden there might be June roses in December. It has been said that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step", and what has been written is the first step toward furthering the continuing history of the First United Methodist Church in Carbondale, Pennsylvania.
I have counted it a joy and a privilege to have been able to write these pages of the history of our beloved Church.
Gladys M. Gunsauls
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