CHURCHES WITHIN THE PRESENT BOUNDARIES OF THE

SUSQUEHANNA CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

 

The information for each church is arranged in alphabetical order within counties.  Select a county.

 

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ADAMS COUNTY PA


1. Bendersville United Methodist Church

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Address: 131 N. Main Street, Bendersville 17306
Municipality:
Bendersville borough
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: from Biglerville, north on PA 34 3 miles to a Y where PA 34 bears right and the road straight ahead becomes S. Main Street in Bendersville.

Historic Conference: Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Brief History: This congregation is the outgrowth of an early 1830's Methodist class led by Ludwick Group.  They met in the "yellow house" on what was then known as the Hunterstown Road (now the Aspers-Bendersville Road) until the Union Cabin Church was opened 1840.  The present structure was dedicated September 8, 1867.  The church was part of the York Springs circuit from 144 until 1939, when a local parsonage was built and the Bendersville charge was formed.  In 1992 the Bendersville (former Methodist) and Biglerville (former EUB) charges came together to form the Upper Adams Cooperative Parish ― several United Methodist congregations united in ministry and served by multiple pastors.


2. Biglerville Centenary United Methodist Church

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Address: 99 N. Main Street, Biglerville 17307
Municipality:
Biglerville borough
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: on PA 34, on block north of the intersection of PA34 and PA 234

Historic Conference: Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren Church

Brief History: The first United Brethren class in Biglerville was organized January 10, 1850.  The people met in homes until erecting their first building in 1874 the first church building of any denomination to be erected in Biglerville.  The edifice was named Centenary as part of the denomination's celebration of the 100th anniversary of Philip William Otterbein's 1774 move to Baltimore to become the pastor of the German Reformed Church there now known as Old Otterbein United Methodist Church.  Following the pattern of the day, the building had separate entrances for men and women, and a low partition down the center of the church to separate the genders.  Revivals swelled the membership to more than the old building could accommodate, and ground was broken for a new building on June 17, 1951.  The old church was razed, and the congregation met in the community auditorium until the present building was completed and dedicated on August 24, 1952.  Two rural churches long connected to the congregation Bethlehem and Clines, were closed and merged into Centenary in 1952 and 2008 respectively.  Centenary is presently part of the the Upper Adams Cooperative Parish of the United Methodist Church.


3. Fountaindale Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church

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Address: 654 Old Waynesboro Road, Fairfield 17320
Municipality:
Hamiltonban township
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: 7 miles west of Rouzerville. 1 block north of PA 16 on old route 16 in the village of Fountaindale

Historic Conference: Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Brief History: The present building was completed and dedicated in 1857 on land donated by Jacob Buhrman and his wife Nancy.  The grave yard was originally at the rear of the church, but the ground there proved to be too wet and Samuel Buhrman donated land from his farm on Valley Road (about mile west, south off PA 16) for the present burial ground.  The social hall behind the chapel was completed in 1948.  Wesley Chapel is served by the pastor of the Rouzerville charge.


4. Gettysburg United Methodist Church

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Address: 30 W. High Street, Gettysburg 17325
Municipality:
Gettysburg borough
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: 2 blocks south and 1/2 block west of the town square

Historic Conference: Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren Church

Brief History: The United Brethren denomination has always had a rural orientation.  In 1891, after several years of discussions about the possibility of starting a United Brethren congregation in the town of Gettysburg, a few persons acting on their own purchased a former Presbyterian building with the hope that the Annual Conference would make it the nucleus of a new charge.  This being done, the work grew rapidly.  A parsonage was erected in 1893, and in 1897 the original small Presbyterian structure (built in 1806 as the first church building in Gettysburg) was replaced by more commodious facilities.  In 1959 the congregation, now part of the Evangelical United Brethren denomination, added a substantial educational unit.
     The Methodists also had a presence in Gettysburg, dating from the preaching visits of Francis Asbury and Freeborn Garretson in the late 1700's.  In 1822 a small chapel, now a museum owned by the Sons of Union Veterans, was erected on E. Middle Street.  In 1874 a larger sanctuary was erected on the other side of the street, and in 1958 a substantial education addition was dedicated.  In January 1968, however, the Methodist sanctuary was destroyed by arson.  With the union of the Methodist and Evangelical United Brethren denominations scheduled to take place in April 1968, it was decided to merge the two Gettysburg congregations and use the Evangelical United Brethren building on High Street.  The Methodist education addition that had been spared in the fire now serves as the Adams County Judicial Building.
     The present Gettysburg United Methodist congregation officially dates from 1968.  In 1973 the old United Brethren sanctuary and adjacent house were removed to make way for new construction of the present sanctuary, while the educational unit and fellowship hall were retained.


5. Guldens Salem United Methodist Church

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Address: 224 Low Dutch Road, Gettysburg 17325
Municipality:
Mount Pleasant township
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: From Gettysburg, go 5 miles east on US 30, 1 mile south on Low Dutch Road.  Guldens is the local name of the general area.

Historic Conference: Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren Church.

Brief History: In 1835 John H. Miller, one of the pioneer settlers in the area, built a wagon shed on his farm with a second story room to be used as a Sunday School for the neighborhood children.  This led to the erection of a church house on his land in 1840.  In 1888 the original structure was replaced by a brick building.  In 1904 the new building was destroyed by lightning, and the present structure was dedicated November 26, 1905.  The social hall that forms the south end of the facility was dedicated May 27, 1956.  The church property includes a community cemetery in which are buried John Miller, four of his eight children, and many other of his descendants.  Prior to the 1968, Salem was part of the Gettysburg EUB charge; since the denomination union, Salem has been on a charge with the former Methodist church in New Oxford.

Final Disposition:


6. Idaville United Methodist Church

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Address: 3725 Carlisle Road, Idaville 17337
Municipality:
Huntington township
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: Carlisle Road is PA 34.  The church is located in the north end of the village of Idaville.

Historic Conference: Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Evangelical Church.

Brief History: Evangelical Association preaching is believed to have begun in the area about 1835.  The congregation worshipped in a school house until erecting a stone church building in 1850 on land purchased from John B. and Mary A. Group.  In 1896 a frame structure was erected to replace the old stone building, and the present brick sanctuary was dedicated December 19, 1937.  This is the only church of the Evangelical denomination remaining in Adams County.  For many years Idaville was part of a charge with other Evangelical churches (Uriah and Mount Holly Springs) in Cumberland County.  Idaville is now part of the Upper Adams Cooperative Parish of the United Methodist Church.


7. Littlestown Barts-Centenary United Methodist Church

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Address: 50 E. King Street, Littlestown 17340
Municipality:
Littlestown borough
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: King Street is PA 194.  The church is 1/2 block east of the intersection of PA 194 and PA 97.

Historic Conference: Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Brief History: The first known Methodist in Littlestown was Mrs. Rachel Sweeny, who converted at a revival in Gettysburg in 1819.  A class consisting of Mrs. Sweeny and five others was formally organized in 1827.  Services were held in the United Brethren church (a congregation which later disbanded, and whose building stood on property now occupied by the Catholic church) until the first Methodist building was dedicated December 25, 1845.  Subscriptions for the present structure were taken in 1875, the building was named Centenary in honor of the country's 1876 centennial, and the sanctuary was finally dedicated in 1877.  In 1992 Centenary merged with Barts (former United Brethren) to form Barts-Centenary United Methodist Church a single congregation meeting on two campuses.


8. Mount Calvary United Methodist Church

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Address: 228 Cashtown Road, Biglerville 17303
Municipality:
Franklin township
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: 3 miles west of Arndtsville (or 2 miles northeast of Cashtown)on the road connecting Arndtsville and Cashtown

Historic Conference: Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren Church

Brief History: This church used to be known locally as Sheeley's Church, after the family who donated the land  The church building was erected in 1861 and grew out of large camp meetings held on the Jacob Sheeley farm in the grove west of the church in the 1850's.  Until the renovations of 1963, the church had separate front doors for the men and women and a low partition through the center of the church to keep the genders separate.  The church property includes a cemetery and a pavilion.   Mount Carmel is presently part of the Upper Adams Cooperative Parish of the United Methodist Church.
     In 1955 Pastor Roger Burtner prepared a historical sketch of Mt. Calvary that included an interview with William Cullison, then the oldest living member of the congregation.  As a boy of 8 or 9 about 1870, Bill remembers walking barefoot for 2 or miles across stubble fields to attend services.  He joined the church in the early 1880's as a young man of 22 or 23 after being converted in the big revival meeting led by evangelist Group [see the histories of Mount Carmel and Mount Hope].  The services were held nightly for 8 weeks, and there were more than 100 conversions reported.  Bill remmebers the folks leaving as early as sundown for the Mount Calvary church each evening in order to be sure of a seat for the crowded meetings.  The aisles of the church were filled with people, and there was standing room only.  Often there would still be people at the church as late as 2 a.m. in the morning.


9. Mount Carmel United Methodist Church

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Address: 1455 Mount Carmel Road, Orrtanna 17353
Municipality:
Franklin township
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: Mount Carmel Road is the road going west from Orrtanna.  The church is 3 miles west of Orrtanna.

Historic Conference: Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren Church

Brief History: In the winter of 1890-91, United Brethren local preacher Irvin Group conducted a very successful revival meeting in the Poplar Springs school house about one mile north of the present church.  A congregation known as the Poplar Springs class was organized, and they continued to worship in the school house until the Mount Carmel church building was dedicated December 10, 1893.  For many years Mount Calvary, Mount Carmel and Mount Hope were a three-point United Brethren charge.  In 1953, a modern parsonage was erected on Mount Carmel Road between Orrtanna and the Mount Carmel church.  In 2000 Mount Carmel and Mount Hope were linked with the former Methodist church in Orrtanna to form a three-point United Methodist charge.


10. Mount Hope United Methodist Church

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Address: 1945 Mount Hope Road, Fairfield 17320
Municipality:
Hamiltonban township
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: Mount Hope Road goes west from PA 116 about 1 mile north of Fairfield.  The church is 5 miles west of 116 in the community of Mount Hope.

Historic Conference: Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren Church

Brief History: This United Brethren class was formed in 1892, shortly after the Mount Carmel class was organized.  The church building was erected under the leadership of local pastor Irvin Group and dedicated May 7, 1893.  A vacant school house adjacent to the church was purchased in 1946, and it 1958 it was remodeled to to provide facilities for children's Sunday School and a social hall for the church.  For many years Mount Calvary, Mount Carmel and Mount Hope were a three-point United Brethren charge.  In 2000 Mount Carmel and Mount Hope were linked with the former Methodist church in Orrtanna to form a three-point United Methodist charge.


11. Mount Tabor United Methodist Church

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Address: 1290 Gablers Road, Gardners 17324
Municipality:
Menallen township
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: at the Y at the north end of Bendersville, bear right onto Mt. Tabor Road, follow Mt. Tabor Road 3 miles to the intersection with Gablers Road

Historic Conference: Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren Church

Brief History: In the 1850's, the United Brethren and the Methodists alternated services in the area's Turkey Foot school house.  The Methodists eventually abandoned the appointment, but the United Brethren purchased property after two of the trustees walked 14 miles each way to make the arrangements with the owners ― and dedicated their own church building January 12, 1862.  When the original structure could no longer accommodate the growing congregation, it was replaced by the present brick sanctuary dedicated on May 30, 1909.  Originally the parsonage for the rural circuit that included Mount Tabor was located in Bendersville.  In 1919 a parsonage was erected next to the Mount Tabor church.  In 1933 the three-point Mount Tabor United Brethren charge was formed to consists of Mount Tabor, Clines and Mount Zion (east of Mount Holly Springs in Cumberland County).  This charge functioned for 30 years, until the charge rearrangements associated with the 1963 merging of the overlapping former United Brethren and Evangelical conferences to form an integrated EUB conference.  Mount Tabor s now part of the Upper Adams Cooperative Parish of the United Methodist Church.


12. New Oxford Emory United Methodist Church

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Address: 35 Center Square, New Oxford 17350
Municipality:
New Oxford borough
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: The church is on US 30, on the southeast corner of the town square.

Historic Conference: Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Brief History: The first Methodist society in New Oxford was organized in 1829 through the efforts of Mr. John Banitz.  Services were held in homes until a small log meeting house was erected the following year, also under the leadership of Mr. Barnitz.  Soon thereafter Bishop John Emory visited New Oxford and urged the formation of a Sunday School.  This was accomplished, and the resulting organization was henceforth known as the "Emory Sunday School."  In 1845 the log building gave place to a new structure one and a half blocks east of the square, on the north side of the road.  The present sanctuary on the square, the congregation's third building and third location, was dedicated November 27, 1887.  That valuable lot had been purchased and given to the congregation, along with $1000 cash toward the erection of the building, by the widow of long-time member Dr. J.W. Hendrix, a medical doctor and Dickinson College trustee known for his Christian benevolence.
    


13. Orrtanna United Methodist Church

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Address: 1717 Carroll's Tract Road, Orrtanna 17353
Municipality:
Hamiltoban township
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: Carrolls Tract Road is the old highway, the only north-south road through the actual village of Orrtanna.  The church is in the village proper, just below Third Street.

Historic Conference: Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Brief History: The Orrtanna church is the successor of the Chamberlain church, a stone building dedicated November 3, 1850, which stood in Franklin township along the present Mount Carmel Road about 2/3 of the way from Orrtanna to the Mount Carmel church.  By 1890 the congregation had become too large for the building.  Since the Chamberlain structure was not in a village, and most of the congregation resided in Orrtanna, it was decided to rebuild there.  The present building was dedicated July 23, 1893, and a kitchen and social hall were added to the back of the building in 1937.  Recognizing the need for arger facilities for education and other purposes, the congregation decided in 1977 to replace the 40 year old social hall.  The present addition housing the new social hall, kitchen and classromms was dedicated July 8, 1978.


14. Rock Chapel United Methodist Church [Historic Property]

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Address: Oxford Road
Municipality:
Huntington township
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: from the intersection of PA 234 and the old US 15 in Heidlersburg, go 1 mile north to Oxford Road, go one mile west on Oxford Road to the church

Historic Conference: Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Brief History: Rock Chapel is an historic site of the Central Pennsylvania Conference, under the care of the York Springs church, and no longer has a congregation.  Tradition says a Methodist circuit rider preached here about 1770 possibly Robert Strawbridge or one of his associates, and possibly the first Methodist sermon within the bounds of the Conference.  That same tradition says that construction of the chapel was begun in 1773 and completed in 1776.  The first documented reference to Rock Chapel occurs in the 1803 quarterly conference records of the Carlisle circuit.  While there never was a village associated with the location, Oxford Road was at one time the major thoroughfare from New Oxford to Carlisle.  Other scattered records and references provide insight into this historic site.
     A quarterly conference held at Rock Chapel in August 1815 included a camp meeting.  From 1827 to 1844 Rock Chapel was part of the Gettysburg circuit and.  Historian Samuel Milton Frosty (1825-1906) says of that period: "Rock Chapel in those years was a point of great attraction.  The congregations were large, the revivals were frequent and extensive, and the membership embraced many of the finest families in that section."  As the circuit riders could visit but infrequently, much credit for the success belonged to the local class leaders and lay preachers.  Ludwick Group used to walk from his house near Idaville, hold class at Rock Chapel, walk to Bendersville and hold class, and then walk home ― completing a circuit of 18 to 20 miles on foot in a single day.
     The chapel was rebuilt in 1849 and has changed little since then.  The adjacent graveyard was established in connection with this rebuilding.  Before the Battle of Gettysburg, blankets from a nearby woolen mill were reportedly hidden between the ceiling and roof to keep them from the invading Confederates.  The membership gradually dwindled over the years, and the last reported membership was 3 in 1967.  The building is kept in good repair and available for tours and special events.  A fall homecoming service and a candlelight Christmas-season service are held at Rock Chapel each year.

 


15. Wenksville United Methodist Church

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Address: 2010 Wenksville Road, Biglerville 17307
Municipality:
Menallen township
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: follow N. Main Street in Bendersville  (which becomes Wenksville Road by bearing left at the Y at the north end of town) 5 miles to the community of Wenskville

Historic Conference: Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Brief History: A Methodist society was organized in the community about 1844 and met in the Wanks school house.  On December 25, 1872, the Lutheran and Methodist societies of Wanksville dedicated the Wanksville Brick Union Church, located on the site of the present United Methodist building.  That same year, Wanksville along with Bendersville and Pine Grove Furnace were separated from the large York Springs circuit to form the three-point Bendersville charge.  In 1881, the variant spellings associated with the community were abandoned in favor of Wenksville.
     In 1891 the Brick Union church was destroyed by fire, and each denomination decided to erect its own building.  The Methodists purchased the lot on which the union structure had stood and dedicated the present sanctuary September 25, 1892.  The same year, the Lutherans erected and dedicated St. James Lutheran Church directly across the road.  Over the years the two congregations have continued to cooperate, sponsoring combined Vacation Bible Schools and holding joint services on special occasions. 
     The congregation has enjoyed a steady growth that has prompted several major additions and renovations to the building.  In 1947, the basement was excavated to be used for Sunday School classes.  The sanctuary was completely remodeled and enlarged in 1958, and a ten room education unit and large social hall were added.  In 1974, the basement was remodeled for youth ministry.


16. York Springs United Methodist Church

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Address: 840 Trolley Road, York Springs 17372
Municipality:
Huntington township
County:
Adams County
State:
PA

Directions: from Main street (PA 94) in York Springs, go east 1 mile on E. High street.  Trolley Road is an extension of E. High Street.

Historic Conference: Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Brief History: Originally named Petersburg, York Springs is known to have been a preaching point on the old Carlisle circuit.  The oldest detailed records of the appointment date from 1826, when the work became part of the newly-formed Gettysburg circuit.  In 1844, the Gettysburg was divided and the northern portion organized into the York Springs circuit.  The first Methodist Episcopal building in Petersburg was dedicated August 1, 1847.  On April 18, 1851, John Sadler and his wife Mary transferred to the trustees a more desirable plot of ground in town on which was to be erected a church building to serve the Petersburg congregation and a parsonage to serve the entire circuit.  The church building thus erected soon proved inadequate to meet the needs of the congregation, and a large brick building with the sanctuary on the second floor was dedicated on the site November 10, 1867.  That structure, which still stands on N. Main Street, served the congregation for over 100 years. 
     In May 1083, the congregation purchased 22 acres of land on Trolley Road, just outside the borough, on which to erect a new church and parsonage.  The church and parsonage at the present location were completed in 1987 and 1988 respectively.