Sunday, December 16, 2012

1952 Methodist Church new wing

1952 was a big year for the New Vienna Methodist Church, with the completion of a new Sunday School wing at a cost of $16,000.  Consecration service was held on Sunday, December 7, 1952.  The original steeple was removed for safety reasons and a new steeple was erected in 1971 in memory of Thomas Rudisill who had been an active church member and school administrator.In 1973 a floor above this was built with most of the labor being donated.

Fifty years later (2002) the building was destroyed by lightning/fire.  A history of the church from 1952, information about the parsonage, and a list of ministers from 1877-2006 follows.  Partial transcription also follows.
New Vienna Methodist Church Bulletin - Dec. 1952
Methodist Church dedication of education unit - Dec. 1952, Rev. Paul W. Steele

A word from the pastor
God's word tells us and we have found it to be true that "without a vision the people perish."  We have dreamed and planned and worked for this day.  With the consecration of this new educational unit and its more and better facilities, opening up a vista of greater usefulness and service, our day has dawned.  We heartily thank all who have had some fitting part in the building of this addition. 

The Building Committee – Homer Bohl, R.W. Mongold, George Neffner, Henry Waits, Cecil J Uible.
Architects – Homer Bohl, George Neffner, Cecil J. Uible
Builder – Cecil J. Uible
The Finance Committee – Ralph Cornelius, Everett Penn, Mrs. Henry Waits, Miss Emma Woods, Harold H. Uible, Homer Bohl.
New Vienna Methodist Church Bulletin - Dec. 1952
Many familiar names found on the back page of the Bulletin....

Church Directory
Bishop – Hazen G. Werner, Columbus
District Supt. – George B. Parkin, Wilmington
Pastor – Paul W. Steele
Church School Supt. – A.W. Hause
Lay Leader – Homer Bohl
Chairman of the Official Board – Everett Penn
Church Treasurer – Ralph Cornelius
Youth Representative – Roger Ames

Board of Trustees
Homer Bohl
Fred Eaton
A.W. Hause
Geo. Neffner
Everett Penn
R.W. Mongold
C.J. Uible
Henry Waits
Doyle Wright

Board of Stewards
Ralph Carey
Mrs. Arlene Chestnut
R.W. Cornelius
Mrs. Mary Custis
Joseph Eaton
Geo. Henderson
Glenn McElwee
Mrs. Helen Morton
Howard Penn
G. Southerland
Eugene Smith
Frank Terrell
Harold Uible
Mrs. Gertrude Waits
Miss Emma Woods
Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson

Special Stewards
Recording – George Neffner
Communion – Miss Emma Woods and Mrs. Helen Morton

Departmental Heads
Women's Society of Christian Service – Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson
Intermediate Youth Fellowship President – Robert Wolfe
Senior Youth Fellowship President – Miss Jane Fenwick
New Vienna Methodist Church History written in 1952 for the dedication of the education wing.

Church History – 1849-1952

The earliest record of facts we can gather is that from 1820 to 1830 the Methodist itinerants in charge of the Hillsboro and Milford Circuits visited the different local communities at irregular intervals holding services in the homes of the people, and in the summer in the groves at various places.

Among the earliest established preaching places were the Morgantown, Snow Hill, Pleasant Hill and the Woodmansee (afterward named Auburn) societies.

These churches were on the Hillsboro circuit until 1842, when Hillsboro became a station and the Highland Circuit was organized; and continued until 1849, when the work was again divided and the northern part of the work became the New Lexington Circuit, including the newly formed society of New Vienna.

The last change was made in Sept., 1889, when New Vienna and New Lexington [Highland] became half stations, with New Vienna as a charge we we know it now, namely New Vienna, Auburn, and West Chapel.

The first regular preaching and the organization of the first class was in 1842 or 1843 by Revs. R.S. Fulton and Norman Cummins, of Lynchburg, local preachers who were invited to visit New Vienna, and the first services were held in the home of Jonathan Wright.  The first know class leader was Thomas Hale and the first steward was Jonathan Wright.

Among the first members were Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hale, Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Wright, Mr. and Mrs. William Noble, and Mr. Thomas Williams, Mrs. Mary Bowers, wife of Rev. Bowers, and Mrs. Julia Moyer.

For the first few years after the class was organized, it met in the homes of its members, and later the Society rented the Baptist Church and held services there.

In the year 1850, the first Methodist Episcopal church edifice was erected.  It was a plain, one-story brick house and occupied the site of the present building [which was destroyed in 2002], on the corner of Church and Second streets.

During the pastorate of Rev. G.M. Edgar, in 1876, a building committee consisting of Jonathan Wright, E.M. Woodbury and B.A. Hines was appointed to superintend the erection of the present church building.

The Church was erected and the basement finished and dedicated the following year by Rev. D.H. Moore, D.D. during the pastorate of Rev. R.E. Smith.

The Society continued to worship in the church with varied minor improvement until in December of 1951, during the pastorage of Rev. Paul W. Steele, Mr. Homer Bohl, lay leader, and Mr. George Neffner were instructed by the Official Board to make preliminary drawings and obtain estimates.  On March 23, 1952, a called meeting of the congregation was held and after an affirmative vote, a campaign was launched, which resulted in the building of a new Educational unit o the rear of the church building.  This new addition will serve for Sunday School purposes, Youth Fellowship purposes, and for the fellowship of the congregation.

Pastors and Parsonages

Methodist parsonage families have lived in three different residences owned by the church.  The first one on Church St. was purchased in 1892 for $2000.  The second one was adjacent to the school property on College St., and was last occupied as a parsonage by the Schamaun family in the 1950s.  The present parsonage is located at 50 East College Street and was built in 1957 at a cost of $22,000 by C.J. Uible.

List of New Vienna Methodist  Ministers 1877-2015
1877-1880 R.E. Smith
1880-1883 J.G. Black
1883-1886 J.S. Pumphrey
1886-1889 C.L. Conger
1889-1893 R.K. Deem
1893-1894 D.D. Cheney
1894-1897 J.A. Easton
1897-1902 John Wilson
1902-1905 A. Hamilton
1905-1908 John H. Lease
1908-1911 W.C. Lewis
1911-1914 J.R. Troxel
1914-1918 Gilbert P. Austin
1918-1920 Charles W. Sultzbach
1920-1922 Luke Davis
1922-1923 W.B. Bonham
1923-1928 W.C. Peters
1928-1935 Burt E. Wright
1935-1937 W.P. Sharpton
1937-1940 Robert E. Lindner [Roland E Linder – see comments]
1940-1945 Clarence Wamsley
1945-1946 Rodney Long
1946-1948 Kenneth Enright
1948-1951 Bert O'Conner
1951-1954 Paul W. Steele
1954-1955 Harold Hugus
1955-1959 Marvin G. Schamaun
1959-1966 K. Albert Kuntzman
1966-1969 John W. Beers, Jr.
1969-1973 Henry M. Lynd
1973-1974 Clarence Wamsley (interim)
1974-1977 Robert Rider
1977- 1981 James A. Wise
1981-1985 Homer A. Thompson, Jr.
1985-1988 R. Creed Culbreath
1988-1995 Edward R. Johnson
1995-1997 Ray King
1997-2006? Mike Barthell
2006?-2010 Dale Hatch
2010 (July-Nov.) Heather Webster
2011 (Feb.-Sept.) Henry A. Green
2011-        Sarah Chapman


  1. I agree! Great entry.

    So the upstairs was completed in 1973?

    Wow, so the Methodist church, in one way or another, had been on the corner there since 1850 until 2002--that's neat!

    I remember the special lift chair attached to the side of the stairs which carried your Grandmother up to the top floor.

    I remember downstairs if it was your birthday you would be called (not by name) to come up in front of everyone to put coins in a bank...the bank was shaped like a church I believe.

    This is the church I grew up in.

    I remember Homer Thompson Jr. and Creed Culbreath.

    Thanks much!

  2. Sarah and Link, thanks for your comments. The part of the upstairs that was added in 1973 was the part behind the pulpit that would have been above the Sunday School rooms. Not sure what was back there – choir robes and communion supplies? That was after my time in NV.

    The birthday money was a long standing tradition and I think was supposed to be in pennies, giving everyone a chance to guess how many years by the number of pennies. I had forgotten about the bank shaped like a church though. The last minister I remember well was Rev. Kuntzman.

  3. The pastor from 1937-1940 listed originally as Robert E. Lindner, was most likely Roland E. Linder, 1907-2002, listed in the 1940 New Vienna Census as minister of a local church. He lived in New Vienna with his wife Martha and children Alice Rose, age 3, and Howard, age 1. In 1958 He was serving as pastor at the Bethlehem Methodist Church in Cincinnati.

  4. Updated the list of ministers through 2015.