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Traveling the Circuit #11: Old Hay Bay Church
Posted by Charles Harrell on

By Charles L. Harrell the old hay bay church On the shore of an inlet off Lake Ontario stands a stout but charming frame building, the oldest structure of the United Church of Canada.  Known as the Old Hay Bay Church, it was actually founded as a Methodist chapel, the first...

Traveling the Circuit: Bridgetown Church
Posted by Charles Harrell on

On the edge of Queen Anne's County, Maryland, close to the geographical center of the Delmarva Peninsula, stands a tiny but significant sentinel of Methodist history. If walls could speak, the stories these could tell would surely make for a dramatic miniseries. It's not the first...

Traveling the Circuit: Dudley's Chapel
Posted by Charles Harrell on

In Queen Anne County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore stands one of the oldest Methodist chapels in America. It was built in 1783 along Red Lyon Branch on a 1.5-acre parcel known as “Sarah’s Portion” that had been donated by Joshua Dudley, a local farmer.  Dudley’s Chapel – earlier known as Queen...

Traveling the Circuit: Rehoboth Church and Museum
Posted by Charles Harrell on

Edward Keenan’s conversion to the warm-hearted religion of the Methodists occurred about twenty miles away from the picturesque hollow where Old Rehoboth Church has sat for more than two hundred years.  Keenan, a Roman Catholic immigrant from Ireland who had long been well-disposed toward the...

Traveling the Circuit: John Street Church, New York
Posted by Charles Harrell on

“Philip, you must preach to us, or we shall all go to Hell together and God will require our blood at your hands!” Safe to say, this is not a typical reaction to seeing friends playing a hand of cards. Then again, Barbara von Ruckle Heck was not typical, either. A native of the Palatinate (part...

Traveling the Circuit: Willamette Heritage Center
Posted by Charles Harrell on

Methodism’s influence sometimes surfaces in surprising places and unexpected ways. If your education was like mine, you were taught that the first settlers in the Pacific Northwest in the wake of Lewis and Clark were the trappers and traders following the Columbia River, following lure of gold...

Traveling the Circuit: Historic St. George’s
Posted by Charles Harrell on

How wonderful the Dispensations of Providence! Surely the very hairs of our heads are all numbered. These words, taken from the journal of the Rev. Joseph Pilmore (or Pilmoor), John Wesley’s designated organizer for the Methodist societies in colonial America, celebrated the acquisition of the...