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SWAN CREEK METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Early in the year of 1800, the first settlers came to the mouth of what is now Swan Creek. They came down the Ohio River by boat, and it is said they lived on the boats until they had cleared land in preparation for their future homes. The firsts Cabin was built by a man names Younts, and is still standing on the farm of A. E. Waugh.
Sometime during the year 1802, they erected a school house. This was built out of round logs, with “slab” benches and a huge wood burning fireplace. This was to be known down thru the years as the Hobbs School House. The first teacher was a Mr. Richards.
Both the Methodist and Baptist faiths held their services in the School House. But on January 1, 1833, the first Religious Organization was formed, that of the Methodist Episcopal Church, or Class as it was then known. The first Minister was Ebenezer Webster. All ministers were then alluded to as “Circuit Riders”, and as the Circuit reached from Letart Falls in Meigs County to Wheelersburg in Scioto county in length and embraced both sides of the river, it is impossible to determine the scope embraced, however it was known that the only transportation was horse or foot, therefore, the visits from the “Circuit Rider” were few and far between. They had a Class Leader who held forth until the preacher returned.
The first Class Leader was James Guthrie, and some of the early members were Mrs. Henry Hannan, Mrs. Henry Campbell, Mrs. George Campbell, J. King and Wife and Mrs. Hannah Blake.
Tradition has it there were no musical instruments in those days, and they used a device called a “tuning fork” by striking this on some object the leader of the group could catch the note and start the tune. Their Hymnals had no music, just the verses, and were sung in a long meter.
Nothing could be found of an authentic nature until the year of 1855. This was the year that Mr. D. Q. (Quinn) Guthrie gave the land for the church and cemetery. It is said he also contributed largely to the expense of building the church.
As many of the old records have been lost or destroyed it is impossible to give a correct list of the ministers and the years in which they served.
We hope will remain with us for a good and profitable ministry in the upbuilding of the Kingdom of God in our community, as well as the other communities, which he serves.
In regard to the lapse of time, there were ministers Viz. Rev. Cherrington, Rev. Rose and Rev. Butts also Rev. R. P. McCarley who at times filled the pulpit, but we have no record.
For the past 100 years this small white church, dedicated to the worship of Almighty God, has stood as an emblem of good. It has been ravaged by flood and lightning, yet one believes it is truly built upon a rock as it is still unshaken. Luke 6-48
Within its walls have been, sorrow, joy and peace. Could it speak what a wealth of good information would come forth. For its founders were truly staunch consecrated Christian folk.
Whatever be its fate in the years to come, may the hand of man not be the instrument of destruction of that which was dedicated to the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, but rather let it stand that the world may see and know that, that which belongs to God endureth forever.
From the Swan Creek Methodist & Episcopal Church Bulletin
Transcribed by Marian Schoonover
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