Park M.E. Church, 1914

News & announcements
Saving your history
Early accounts
Nearby towns
The mines
Ethnic groups

Home -:- Site map -:- Links -:- Print resources -:- Contact
History 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.Park M.E. Church, 1914

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.

Directory listings:
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)

Park M.E. Church, 1914 Main Street, including Park M.E. Church 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 typed notes about 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.

Pioneer ministers were Rev. Gideon Day, G. V. Savidge, R. H. Colburn and Rev. Cuddy, etc. First presiding elder, Rev. Buckingham. Services were held in school buildings in Upper Lehigh, Highland and Woodside (Freeland).

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 1875 the South Heberton circuit was organized, serving South Heberton, Upper Lehigh, Highland, Sandy Run, Eckley, Jeddo, Ebervale, Harleigh, Milnesville, Humboldt.  Services conducted in school houses other than at churches in South Heberton and Milnesville.  Rev. John Horning in charge, assisted by Rev. C. J. Bush.

Priscilla Society, postcard Priscilla Society, verso of postcard 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.]

Park Methodist
Episcopal Church Park Methodist
Episcopal ChurchRev. H. C. Stenger, Jr. 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 reorganized in 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.

--- TOP OF PAGE ---

Site contructed by C. Tancin.
The URL for this page is: