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Wesley United Methodist Church

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Wesley United Methodist Church

Educational Building

On March 31, 1969 the first survey of the congregation was made concerning the need for an educational building. Plans and discussion began, and in 1972 a Building Committee was elected by the Administrative Board. Those on the committee were: Rev. Stanley G. Harrell, Chairman (1966 - 1974); Mrs. Etta Ruth Heird, Secretary; George Brooks, Treasurer; Rev. William M. Balderson (1974 - 1978); Norville Baker; A. Paul Garrett; Wallace Lippy; and Wayne Rill. 

Hamme Associates of York, Pa. was chosen as architect, and on February 24, 1974 the congregation approved accepting the bid of I. H. Crouse & Son, Inc. of Littlestown, Pa. to construct the addition. Groundbreaking took place on March 24, 1974. Upon completion of the building the Consecration Service was held on April 6, 1975. 

The building is ninety-eight feet long by fifty feet wide and has a total of fifty-four hundred square feet. It was constructed in such a way that a second floor can be added. It contains rooms for the Nursery, Kindergarten, Young Adults, Elementary V & VI, and Junior and Senior High classes. The pastor's study, office, furnace room, janitor's room, restrooms, corridor, and a two-story stairwell are also in the building, which on the west end connects to the church and on the east end connects to the fellowship hall. In addition to church activities, Wesley Playgroup and area Boy Scouts meet regularly in the facility.           

A total of $143,987.25 was paid to the contractor. Cost of the building, including architect's fee, painting, carpeting, and furniture totaled $166,186.59. $76,500 was borrowed from Hampstead Bank at 8% interest for fifteen years. $10,000 was borrowed from Wesley's cemetery fund at 5% interest. A check in the amount of $2,000 for the Building Fund was given to Wesley by the Conference Board of Missions. This money was a conditional donation. The leadership of the church returned the $2,000 in three annual installments in 1982, 1983, and 1984 so that it could be used to help finance building projects for other churches.

Solicitation was handled through two three-year pledge campaigns of church members, friends, church organizations, and Church School classes. Their methods of raising money were numerous, such as: holly marts, bike-a-thon, skating party, and Mother's Day and Father's Day bulletins. In 1973, a project of stuffing travel maps in envelopes for the 3M Company, Westminster, Maryland, was undertaken. A total of 445,500 envelopes were stuffed for a profit of $3,500.           

All loans for the Educational Building were paid off by November 1980 and a Note-Burning Service was held on Anniversary Sunday, November 23,1980. 

A plaque listing memorials and gifts is in the hallway of the Educational Building. Many people of the Church and Community contributed time as well as money to make this building possible.

The Church School 

The Sunday School (now Church School) had its beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century in England and spread to America. The development of the movement and its timing is reflected in the story of Wesley, as well as that of many other churches. The Quarterly Conference minutes of the 1860s to 1880s tells of the difficulty with which the pastors began the work of Sunday Schools in the churches. 

It is quite usual to read where the Sunday School was organized anew in April or May after having been closed for the winter. The Junior Pastor on the Circuit had as his chief responsibility to get it organized and going again. Through the years of beginnings, the Bible was used without any other literature. The division of the group into classes did not take much account of the student's age. All classes were taught by men, regardless of the age of the members. By the late 1880s there were both male and female teachers. When such helps as the Berean lesson leaflets were published, it was extremely difficult to persuade the people to use them because many thought the Bible alone was sufficient. Gradually and reluctantly these helps were adopted for use, but the practice of having warm weather Sunday School persisted for a long time. 

In the early years it was called the Sabbath School and had a very active Missionary Society. In 1888 they had five male and five female classes. Children up to first grade were in Class #1, up to second grade #2, up to third grade #3, up to fourth grade #4, up to fifth and sixth grade and adults were in Class #5. Some years a reward was given to all "who attended all but one Sunday." In 1887 one hundred twenty-five Testaments were purchased as a reward and given at Christmas. Another expense that Christmas was for gilt paper to cover the letters "Christ was Born in Bethlehem" for the tree. For many years a "confectionary treat" was given to all the children. Many present members remember receiving an orange and a box of candy from Santa. This was discontinued in 1979. 

Beginning as early as 1873 we see names of Superintendents for each year and they appear again and again after the lapse of a few years. Names that are repeated from time to time are John W. Abbott, F. T. Newbelle, Joel Ebaugh, and Atlee W. Wampler. A number of other names appear for only one year. In 1898 Thomas W. Buchman was elected and served consecutively through fifty-two years. He was succeeded in 1951 by Chester W. Rill. Since then, the Superintendents have been (in order): T. Edward Lippy, A. Paul Garrett, Charles Beck, Wilford E. Barnes, Elwood P. Rill, and Wallace W. Lippy. From 1969 to 1979 there was no general superintendent, but there were work area chairpersons and coordinators in Youth, Family, Adult, and Children's Divisions. In 1979 these divisions were reorganized to include a Young Adult Division and once again a General Superintendent. Since 1979 the Superintendents have been (in order) Mrs. Rosemary Lippy, Mrs. Helen Gunnarson, Mrs. Barbara Dougherty, Mrs. Dayna Lane, Mrs. Connie Wiegel, and Mrs. Pamela Phillips.

 

 Wesley Sabbath School, Photo circa 1892 beside Wesley Chapel

The Sabbath School met in the one room church in the Brown's Meeting House and in Wesley Chapel. In the new Wesley Church, the full undercroft was considered the Sunday School room and again, all met in that room. As time passed and the work of the Sunday School was guided by church Boards of Education and other councils, the desirability of more separation of classes and departments was accepted. The Sunday School came to be called the Church School because this name was considered more truly descriptive. With some reluctance, the adult classes began to use the sanctuary for their Church School classes. Later this became the Adult Department or Division. The Youth and Children's Divisions continued to use the Sunday School room, but with increasing difficulty. As a result of the remodeling of the Social Hall, quarters were provided for the Youth Division to meet separately. 

The Adults were organized into several classes. The younger married ladies were known as the "Ruth and Naomi" class, the single ladies as "Queen Esther," and the senior ladies as "Daughters of the King." The young men's class was known as "Jonathan and David" and the senior men as the "Leader." 

The Children's Division continued to meet in the undercroft of the church and worked under a great handicap. In 1963, this room was separated by a system of partitions so that it provided three departmental rooms for the Nursery, the Kindergarten, and the Elementary I-III. The Elementary IV-VI met in a part of the Social Hall. 

In the earlier years, the work of the Sunday School was directed by a Board made up of the elected officers and teachers. In the late 1950s the work became the responsibility of the Commission on Education which is composed of representatives from all phases of the life of the church. 

The people of Wesley have been interested in doing their best for the development of the children of the community. They have conducted a Vacation Bible School to supplement the teaching in the regular Church School. Through the years, various programs are presented to the entire congregation by the children, such as Children's Day, Promotion Sunday, and a Christmas Program. 

The Church School had extra activities. During the early 1950s several Chesapeake Bay beaches, including Alpine and Maryland Beaches, were popular for the annual outing. The Annual Picnic held on the church grounds was the most popular. It was looked upon as a Reunion for many families. At first, the Annual Picnic was held to have fun and games and was held all day. It was even held the day after the Wesley Chapel burned. Later it was held only in the afternoon and evening. The records of 1886 list expenses for ice cream, confectionary, lemons, and cigars. The profits were very small at first and were used to support the Church School. Later, sandwiches, soda pop, cakes and candy were sold and even later, platter suppers were added. In the evening a musical program was held, and a local Band entertained during the afternoon and part of the evening. The Annual Picnic continued until 1982. 

When the Educational Building was finished and occupied in April 1975, the two adult classes met in the Fellowship Hall and the Young Adults, Junior and Senior High, Elementary V and VI, Kindergarten, and Nursery met in the new building. Elementary I-II, and III-IV continued to use rooms under the sanctuary. This continues to the present.

 

Caption: Wesley M. E. Sunday School Float in 1932 George Washington Bicentennial Parade, Main Street, Hampstead. Banner reads: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6.

In 1986, the Church School began helping to support a Missionary Family, Revs. Richard and Kimberly Brown-Whale and their children, Sarah and Richard, who live in Angula, British West Indies. The Brown-Whales served several churches in Carroll County before leaving for the mission field. They keep the Church abreast of their progress and the Church School Classes correspond with the family also. Although the Church School and Church have participated in other mission projects, this is the first family that has been supported on a regular basis.           

The work of the Church School is most important as it seeks to mold the lives of its children and youth and give guidance to the adults. 

Women's Class 

The Ruth and Naomi Class of younger married ladies was organized in October 1933 under the leadership of Mr. E. J. Hoffman, teacher. Officers were: President, Mrs. Marianna Buchman; Vice President, Mrs. Virginia Houck; Secretary, Mrs. Marie Buchman; and Treasurer, Mrs. Beulah Stocksdale. Meetings were held monthly in the homes of members at first and later in the social hall. They had worship and study programs and held many functions to raise money for the church, such as bake sales, strawberry festivals, and plays. They held their first strawberry festival in June 1937 and it became an annual affair through 1965. 

The Class always helped whenever money was needed for new things or repairs. Some of the items with which the V helped were lights, organ, kitchen equipment, Missionary Projects, and sustaining memberships to the Home for the Aged at Gaithersburg. In 1948 they had carpet placed in the church at a cost of $1,035. In April 1939 this class began and carried on a Cradle Roll for the Sunday School. 

At one time they had a "Secret" or "Peanut" Sister project in which they would draw names and send cards and gifts to the "Sister" on holidays and birthdays. Each year they would have a banquet and reveal their Secret Sister and draw names for the following year. 

In 1960 they decided to discontinue as an organized group and joined with the Women's Society of Christian Service. However, they continued to meet as the Ruth and Naomi Class on Sundays with Mrs. Beulah Blevins as their teacher at that time. In 1967 the class was discontinued and some of the members combined with the Daughters of the King Senior Ladies Class and some joined the newly formed Young Adult Class, organized by Rev. Stanley Harrell who shared teaching of the class with Lester Houck.









Men's Bible Class 

The Senior Men's Bible Class was earlier known as "The Leader." It has had many dedicated teachers during the years, the most devoted one being Herbert W. Allgire, Jr., great, great, great, grandson of John Allgire, founder of Wesley Church. In the late 1930s he began by teaching the young men's class for several years and later the Men's Bible Class. He was known for his knowledge of the Bible and his manner of teaching which was clearly understood by the men whom he taught. He retired in the late 1970s after teaching for over forty years. 

Mr. Norville (Ned) Davidson succeeded him as teacher. At the present time, the senior men and women are meeting as one class with Mr. Davidson and Mrs. Walter Hitchcock alternating in teaching the class.

Young Adults 

This Church School Class was organized in 1967 by Rev. Stanley Harrell for married and single young adults. The Class was taught by Lester Houck and Rev. Harrell. 

In the fall of 1974 Rev. William Balderson re-organized this class to include a monthly meeting held at the homes of members for fun and fellowship. The class was taught at that time by Mrs. Florence Balderson, then by Lester Houck, and later by Carl Rill. For a while different members of the class took turns teaching. When the educational building was being built they had a Bike-A­Thon and raised $1,000 toward the building fund. The monthly fellowship evenings were discontinued from 1978 until 1982.  At the present, the Young Adults have their monthly meetings and Rev. Lane is teaching the church school class.

Vacation Bible School 

Vacation Bible School was first started at Wesley in the early 1960s by Mrs. Beryl Haskin. It was held for two weeks in the summer Monday through Friday from 9 A.M. until 12 Noon for Bible studies, crafts, music, and recreation. It was open to all children in the community age three years through the ninth grade. At the close of the school a program was presented to the congregation telling about their work and showing their projects. On the last day a picnic would be held on the lawn. To meet the changing needs of our community, the Vacation Bible School now concentrates its activities into a single week.

Wesley 4-H Club 

The Wesley 4-H Club was organized in 1975 by Mrs. Frances Crispin. The project leaders were William (Bud) and Margaret Harris and Carl Rill. They started with nine members and had grown to thirty-eight members by 1983, when it was discontinued. The boys and girls earned money by helping the United Methodist Men to collect old newspapers, which were sold, and used this money for a bus trip to New York City. The Wesley 4-H Club was sponsored by the Church and met there regularly. This was a very active organization and had outstanding leadership.

Boy Scout Troop #380 

Boy Scout Troop #380 was formed in 1970 and sponsored by Wesley United Methodist Church. Under the leadership of Jesse Doster as Scoutmaster it grew from three boys to twenty-four. The troop continued to grow with Charles R. Beam as Scoutmaster. Charles had become an Eagle Scout in 1954 in Troop #495 which met at Emory Church and was sponsored by the Emory Circuit Methodist Men. At that time Wesley was part of the Emory Circuit and representatives from each church on the circuit served as committeemen for the troop. 

Troop #380 was reorganized in 1978 by Greg Wiegel, Scoutmaster, after a brief period of inactivity. Scott McCullough completed his requirements and became the first Eagle Scout of the Troop. Gary Zahn became Scoutmaster in 1981, followed by Jim Cron. In 1982 Tobin Porterfield earned and received his Eagle Scout. 

At the present time, Jim Watkins is Scoutmaster and has a very active troop of sixteen boys. A variety of programs and activities are offered to help the boys complete their requirements and encourage them to reach their goals.

 

Scoutmaster, Jesse Doster; District Executive, Charles Heibler; and Rev. Stanley Harrell planning original charter of Boy Scout Troop #380.

Wesley Playgroup 

Plans for the Wesley Playgroup, a private parent-cooperative pre-school program, began in the fall of 1977. After meeting all the requirements, a license to operate was granted in March 1978 to Mrs. Cheryl Zuskin. Two classes were begun under her direction shortly thereafter in the Wesley Educational Building. Each class met once a week. There were six two year olds and nine three year olds in the first two classes.           

By September 1980 a class for four year olds was added and the staff had increased to include Mrs. Brenda Benson and Mrs. Linda Rill. 

At present the schedule includes five morning classes (Monday to Friday) and four afternoon classes (Monday to Thursday) with an enrollment of seventy children and a staff of three teachers and many parent volunteers.           

The Playgroup, which is not owned by Wesley Church, leases the use of the Educational Building.

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