Rockland Methodist Church
(Also known as Methodist Episcopal Church, South)
Land for this church was deeded August 30, 1891 by Martha Chapin containing 59/100 of an acre. Trustees at this time were A.S. Rhodes, considered a pillar of the church, Tobias Stickley, W.F. Powers and Thomas J. Fritts. The church held preaching the first and third Sundays of the month and Sunday school each Sunday. There were no individual classrooms so there was at least four classes holding lessons in the sanctuary at the same time. There was a Ladies Missionary Society and youth group that met monthly. Each second Sunday in June was children's day, the whole service centered around them, songs, recitations. Mrs. Sarah (Sally) Fritts was church organist for twenty years. Lesley Trenary Stickley followed Mrs. Fritts as organist, she was believed to have been in her early twenties. She continued playing the organ until the churches combined in 1948. Miss Mary Powers was music director.
The minister lived at White Post in parsonage owned by the four churches on the charge. Boyce, White Post, Rockland and another made up the charge. He preached at two churches each Sunday. In quite a few families, the husband would be a Baptist, wife a Methodist, or other way around and there seemed to be no conflict. In fact, each Sunday after Sunday school whichever church was having preaching, the other congregation would walk across the road to worship together.
The church was a member of the Methodist Conference and a quarterly conference meeting of the district would be held once a year at Rockland. The ladies of the church would fix a dinner in the Woodman Hall. (Story is it was quite a feast). This structure was just below the school house.
MINISTERS OF THE METHODIST CHURCH: 1914--1948
Methodist Episcopal Church was formed in Baltimore, Maryland on Christmas Eve of 1784. In 1828 the church split because some of them wanted laymen to have a greater voice in the church. They called themselves the Methodist Protestant Church. In 1844 another group broke away from the Methodist Episcopal Church over the issue of slavery. They were known as the Methodist Episcopal, South. These three churches existed for nearly 100 years independently of each other. There were nearly sixty churches in the world carrying the name Methodist, twenty of them in the United States, which joined together in 1939 to form the Methodist Church. In 1968 the United Brethren united with the Methodist Church changing the name once more, to read the United Methodist Church. All three denominations have a common historical and spiritual heritage. Their faith and doctrine was based on the Word of God --The Holy Bible--. "In all matters of faith and morals the authority of the Holy Bible stands supreme".
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