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of Freeland, Pa.
Park Methodist Episcopal Church
| [Images from C. Tancin
unless otherwise credited.]
Park Methodist Episcopal Church - Built on Main Street near the Public Park, this church replaced an earlier one, Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, which was located in South Heberton on Birkbeck Street. Here's the cornerstone of the church, laid Aug. 18, 1895.
On the Sanborn maps for 1900, 1905, 1912, 1923, 1929 it's still being referred to as the Trinity M. E. Church, but the city directories call it the Park M. E. Church.
1897 - Park M. E. Church, Park cor Main street, R. E. Wilson, pastor (home east Main near Washington)
1921-& Park M. E. Church - Main cor Park; Rev. J. M. Brennan, pastor
1928 - Park M. E. Church - 600 Main (listed in Polk directory)
At left, a colored version of the image shown at upper left, showing the church as it looked in 1914. At right, a view looking east on Main Street toward the Public Park, with the church barely visible at the end of the block on the right. The more recent photos further below show its end-of-block location more clearly. I can't remember what year I took those two photos but they show that the church building has held up quite well over time, looking substantially the same as in the postcard photo at left.
What follows below comes from what Charlie Stumpf left in his
this congregation, under the heading "Park (Avenue) M. E. Methodist
Church." I have not yet done the additional research to fill in gaps or
make any corrections that might be needed.
The South Heberton Trinity Methodist church was built on
Birkbeck St. on
land donated by Joseph Birkbeck and his wife Elizabeth. It was built
under the direction of Rev. John T. Brown, pastor of the Conyngham
Methodist circuit, at a cost of $3,077.00. The cornerstone laid Sept.
20, 1874, and the first sermon was preached by Rev. Hammer, the
Presbyterian minister of the
Upper Lehigh church.
In 1890 the Freeland circuit was organized with Rev. J. W. Belford, pastor. Upper Lehigh withdrew. The Jeddo circuit was established in 1895 with Rev. Edmund White, pastor, succeeded by Rev. Reuben Wilson. While the new Freeland church was being built services were conducted in the Lindsay building on the corner of Washington & Front streets. The cornerstone for the new church was laid Aug. 18, 1895. Rev. W. A. Hough of St. Paul's Methodist Church in Hazleton officiated. The parsonage was added in 1905 at a cost of $3,500. That same year an organ was installed in the church at a cost of $1,600. The parsonage was also located on Main St. The pastor in 1915 was Rev. John E. Beard.
[This paragraph in brackets is not from Charlie's notes. The postcard shown just above at left comes to us courtesy of Carol Jones and is a photograph of the Priscilla Society of the Freeland Methodist Church, according to what is written on the back of the card. The writer of that note states that her grandmother, Jennie Oberrender, founded the Priscilla Society. I'm not sure if it's the same person, but there is a Jennie O. Oberrender buried in the Freeland cemetery who was born in 1873 and died in 1917.]
Rev. H. C. Stenger,
came to Freeland in July 1931 and continued as pastor. On Sept. 15,
1932 the churches of Jeddo, Lattimer and Milnesville
united with the Park Methodist church in Freeland, to be known as Park
Methodist Episcopal Church Consolidated.
The Jeddo church was closed in Nov. 1947. The Lattimer church
was destroyed by fire in 1947 and rebuilt the following year. In Jan.
1946 the Freeland Methodist Men's League was formed, and was
1955. The Junior Choir with 14 voices was organized in 1946, and
in March 1947 the Adult Choir was under the direction of Edward Davis.