MEMORIES OF MT. ZION M.E. CHURCH
By Mrs. Amanda Burtsfield
Originally published in "The Crossroads Genealogy Magazine" Oct-Dec 1964
Submitted & transcribed by Barb Ziegenmeyer
I was only ten years old when the house we now occupy was built. The Westons were here before my people and I think were likely one of the families that started the church, for Mother Weston would not be long in her new home until she started at least a prayer meeting. From what I can learn there were cottage prayer meetings. They may have used the old Wesleyan Church which was very small and somewhat dilapidated which stood northeast of the present building, about where the Leyda and Hague burial plots are in the cemetery.
I only remember one of the members of the Wesleyan Church, Wm. Morehouse, who donated his library to the M.E. Church when he came into the church. It was contained in an old fashioned hair trunk, and was thankfully received, as they did not have much along that line in those days.
There were other families who moved into this neighborhood, among them my father's family, John Patterson. They came in 1827 and organized a Methodist Episcopal church, and some time later built the old log church which stood northwest of the present building, across the road a few rods. It was built about 1840. I do not know who the Charter members were, except the Weston and Patterson families.
The burden bearers of the Church at my first remembrance were: Mrs Grace Weston and son Francis, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Caskey, Mr. and Mrs Nosset Hannum, Mr. and Mrs Jacob Leyda, Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Cassidy, Mr. and Mrs Cyrus Dennis, Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Calerdine, Mr. and Mrs John Patterson, Mr. and Mrs. David Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Weston, Mr.and Mrs. Levi Pennock, Mrs Mary Ward, Mrs. Hart, mother of the late John Hart, Jas. Hyatt, grandfather of W.G. Hyatt.
Through the years that have elapsed since the time of those whom I have mentioned, the Church has practically been kept up by the children and grandchildren of the good old mothers and fathers and others who moved into the neighborhood in earlier years.
I recall the names of the following preachers in the old Church: Rev. Gilmore, Rev. Andrew Huston, Rev. Fisher, Rev. Vail, Rev. McCall. Rev. McCall served one year in the old church, with Henry Neff as Junior pastor, and one year in the new church which is our present one built in 1859, with Geo. Dennis, Junior Asst. Rev. Jas. Rogers came about the year 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War.
Other ministers who served later were: John Freshwater, W.H. Hamilton, H.C. Huddleson, Jas. Bray, Sr. and Jr., O.R. Roller, Jimmy Russel, W.D. Stevens, A.M. Scott, D.D. and John Hunter, Jos. Hollingshead, R.H. Wright, A.C. Leggett, L. Weaver, E.P. Edmons, A.H. Keeler, A.M. Billingsley, J.A. Rutledge, A.M. Merchant, J.A. Young, C.C. Chain, A.A. Gilmore, A.W. Harris, T.H. Kerr, J.A. Hollingshead, Thos. Taylor, R.N. Ball, W.M. Gamble, T.L. Carson, Wm.Gardner, Wm. Power, Wm. Mitchell and J.F. Ellis.