HISTORY

Of the

WALTON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

 

 

 

The Episcopal South Methodist church was organized in 1879 under the leadership of Rev. W.W. Spates who was pastor of the Williamstown Methodist at the time.

                                                                

The nine charter members were: Mr. and Mrs. W. Ran Rouse, Mr. and Mrs. A. M. Rouse, Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus Coffman, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Harmon, and another member of the Harmon family. For a number of years, these people worshiped in the Public School building and in the Baptist and Christian Church. As their numbers grew, they began planning for the erection of a church building. Everyone in the community helped in this project - not only the members themselves. On Wednesday evening, July 23, 1884, an entertainment was given by the Walton High School at the Baptist Church for the benefit of the Building Fund of the Walton Methodist Church. The admission was 25¢. This was a program of plays, music and recitations. On January 28, 1884, a building lot was donated by John Walls Murphy and his wife.

The deed was made to A. M .Rouse W. R. Rouse, and Frank Harmon, trustees of the church. The land was given in memory of Rev. and Mrs. John Walls of Cincinnati, Ohio. This property was located in the north end of Walton next to the old school building.

 

On June 6, 1886, the first Methodist church in Walton was dedicated. Rev. W. F Taylor, pastor of the Scott Street Methodist Church, gave the dedication message. This first Methodist church in Walton was named Wall's Chapel in memory of Rev. and Mrs. John Walls. Rev. J. W. Current was the first regular pastor. The church has been served since by 46 pastors and has grown from its original nine members to more than 243 members.

 

In August 1888, Miss Amelia Hughes and Miss Sarah Hughes organized the first Missionary Society. There were nine charter members. This was interesting because there were nine charter members in Walton’s first Methodist church.

 

The earliest records which have been located concerning the Ladies Aid Society are of the year 1906. At that time there was a rather large well organized group. Twenty-six names   were on the roll. The organization seemed to be the back bone of The Methodist church. They attended to such matters as cleaning the church or having it done. They had some fences built. Eventually their business ventures were responsible for taking the money to build a parsonage about 1916. Mrs. Pearl Hughes Bedinger donated the land on which the parsonage was built. After the parsonage was completed and after a move of the church was decided, the Ladies Aid began to work toward the building of the present church. All the work of painting the inside and the outside of church property, the giving of ice cream festivals, putting on entertainments, making and selling pies, soup and sandwiches at the Farmers Tobacco Warehouse, and quilting one day each week at Anna Belle's (Mrs. William Lancaster, the grandmother of Robert Lancaster) This present church building was finished in 1930. It would be hard to describe all that the Ladies Aid did to make money for the parsonage and the church. Besides all of  those things they did much, much more.

 

After 44 years of worship in Walls Chapel, Walton Methodist church building was dedicated on August 8, 1937, by Rev. Robert R. Rose, assisted by Rev. J.R. Louis, Rev. D. E. Bedinger, and Rev. John E. Roberts. The total .cost of the building and equipment was $27,835.00. A six room annex was added later and dedicated during Rev .George W. Hoffman's second pastorate, 1947-54.

 

On October 9, 1940, the Missionary Society and the Ladies Aid blended into and became "The Woman's Society of Christian Service." Mrs. Robert Conrad (mother of Louise Conrad), the new organization's first president, led the members in a Marching Pageant of Initiation on the above date. In 1968 the name changed to United Methodist Women

 

Rev. Robert Rose, who was the pastor from 1935 to 1939, wrote the following account of those depression years - "Walton had a new house of worship but with serious building problems and about $2,200.00 debt on a mortgage held by the General Board of Church Extension (which board was threatening to sell the property). The church had a group of devoted disciples. So with faith and trust in our Heavenly Father, Almighty God, whom we knew loved His people and is vitally interested in His house, we went to work with our faith in Him. However, many were discouraged and thought the problems were too great, but we found that our God was much, much greater.

 

At a gloomy time one  evening when the Board of Trustees, Stewards and other officials had met to see what could be done about the debt at the Walton Church, we called the group to the altar to talk to the Lord about the depressing debt. When we arose from the altar, Bruce Wallace said to me privately, Brother Rose, I thought I would talk to you privately about it. I said, that’s fine. Give me your pledge card, Bruce, and say nothing about it, and I will read it to the church at the Morning Worship Service.' He did it, and I read it at the Worship Service at which we had already sung the Doxology. Brother D.E. Bedinger rose to his feet and said, 'Let us sing the Doxology!' It was sung with feeling. From then on we began paying off the debt until all was satisfied. We went right on until we had bought and paid for an organ and the parsonage was plumbed with city water and the bathroom furnished. Praise the Lord and thanks to the good people of that church. To Him be the glory!

 

Rev. George W.Hoffman adds in a final paragraph, "Much hard work, many prayers, and a great amount of faith in God have gone into the Walton United Methodist Church in the nearly 100 years since it was organized. Certainly the work is far from finished, and perhaps we as members need to take account of what we are doing for the church. Are we as zealous and active as the ones who have gone on before?" ( the support of the Hoffman’s has continued over the years through their daughter, Dorothy Beighle, and her family.)

In 1968 merger of United Brethren church and the Methodist church created the United Methodist church.

 

The altar was remodeled in 1996 when Rev Todd Brenner was minister. The church sanctuary was renovated in 2008 under the pastorate of Rev.Wm. Conatser. The United Methodist women and the  Men’s Bible Study remain active in the church. Each working to improve the community. The men are doing a ministry at the Walton Village for seniors. Clint and Jennifer Coleman worked with a very active youth group for 10 years.

 

As we record the events of the past, we see all about us the memorials of the saints whose names shall be recorded in future records.  Perhaps time will permit the mention of a very few of the more visible memorial objects in the sanctuary and on the rostrum out of the great number that exist and are in record.

 

The handsome communion table is in memory of Miss Lavenia Edwards from her family. (Lavenia organized and taught the Happy Helpers Class) The splendid Altar Set, cross, and candle holders, is in memory of Mrs. Hattie Metcalfe from her daughters, Lucile Brakefield and Fay Conner.The elegant candelabras on the rostrum, which are lighted at each service and are so decorative, are a memorial to Rev.George W. Hoffman from his family. Mrs. Sam Jones Hudson (Lucile), organist and choir director, and son, Marvin Hudson, in memory of Samuel Jones Hudson, gave the noted painting, "Head of Christ", by Sallman, which hangs in the sanctuary.

 

Pastors who have served this church are:

1879                    organized

1884-1885         W.W Spates, H.P, Walker,   E.G. Mann

1886                    J. I. Current

1890-1893         O. F. Duvall,   W. C. Pryor

1893-1894         W. A. Cooper

1894-1896         P. H. Hoffman

1896-1898         W. F. Rowland

1898-1899         J. W. Crates

1899-1901         E. E. Holmes

1901-1903         H. R. Willis

1903-1905         Ed.   Allen

1906-1907         C. M. Humphrey

1907-1909         J. B. Harris

 

1909-1911         Will B. Campbell

1911-1912         H.C. Martin

1912-1913         R.B. Baird

1913-1914         C. J. Nugent

1914-1916         D. E. Bedinger

1916-1917         W. B. Garriott

1917-1918         G. W. Hoffman

1918-1922         H. W. Whitaker

1922-1925         W. H. Cardwell

1925-1927         C. B. Rule

1927-1931         J. H. Lewis

1931-1934         G. B. Traynor

1934-1935         E. L  Ockerman

1935-1939         R. E. Rose

1939-1942 J      H. Talley

 

 

1942-1947         C. G.Dearing

1947-1954         G. H. Hoffman

1954-1955         W. Patton

1955-1957         A. E. Atkinson

1957-1962         J. R. Whealdon

1962-1964         W. Garrott

1964-1966         C. G.Dearing

1966-1975         R. W. Yates

1975-1977         W. O. Patton

1977-1981         J. B. Stilz

1981-1985         C. E. Johnson

1985-1995         M. Gibbons

1995-2002         T. Benner

2002-2005         R. Jones

2005-present     W.M Conatser