Home : Quarterly Archives : Volume 13
Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
Source: October 1964 Volume 13 Number 2, Pages 44–48
Berwyn Methodist Church 1940-1964, compiled from pastor's reports
In 1940 Rev. E. F. Hoffman was appointed pastor. During his pastorate the church underwent many repairs and improvements. Irvine Armstrong completed the social hall to be used for church activities, new sinks were installed in the kitchen, gas stoves rearranged, new cesspool dug in the driveway, oil tank for the heater placed underground, and a new connection made with the drainage system. All of this work was due to Mr. Armstrong's untiring efforts and the generous contributions of Mr. and Mrs. Manypenny and other members of the Church.
The parsonage also received some attention. The rugs were cleaned and new shades for the dining, room and sitting room were provided. This was taken care of by the Ladies Aid Society. The Daily Bible School received $50 from the Sunday School and $10 for the bus to bring the children. Thirty attended. At this time the membership was approximately 150 members, of which 60 were contributing members.
Price Collins was appointed as pastor in 1940 and served until 1944. Luring his time the interior of the church was redecorated and a partition added.
Henry Hamer who took over in 1944 had a comparatively quiet time. New mahogany doors were hung inside the church and added much to the general appearance. While he was pastor the congregation seemed to rest and take a breather.
In 1945 John W. Kuschel was made pastor and during his pastorate the Sunday School was reorganized and the Junior Choir organized. On February 11, 1945, the Junior Choir wore gowns for the first time. The Church started having church bulletins in November, 1945.
In 1946 we find George E. Thomas as pastor. Under his leadership the Bible School flourished. There were 58 members enrolled.
George Connard became the pastor in 1947 and served until 1950. Recognizing that one of the basic needs of the Church was an overall recreational schedule , this idea was worked out as follows; in addition-to setting aside certain nights for the various fellowships, other activities outside the h church building were arranged, such as bowling and skating. The young adult group was active in this. A lighted bulletin board was installed on the front lawn of the church. Mr. Manypenny made the board and Mr. Hurd electrified it.
Alteration plans were completed in which the Youth Choir loft was raised to match the Senior Choir loft; the chancel was divided, and the sanctuary made altar-centered. Mr. Manypenny made the pulpit, Mr. Maurice Hoskins and son the lecturn, Mrs. Harold Brace, the hangings, Mr. Richard Porte did painting, Mr. Edward Wolfe and sons changed the radiators, Mr. Stafford Walker made the scale working drawings, Vera Kugler painted the sketch, and Mrs. E. Lewis made the altar coverings.
The women's group was responsible for "doing over" the floor and papering the parsonage. The church kitchen was completely renovated. The church membership was 188 at this time.
Rev. Henry Heavener served as pastor for the year 1950.
From 1951 to 1953 Aubrey Goudie was the pastor. During his tenure of office there was more renovation to the church property. The parsonage was painted, the whole totaling more than $1000. Mr. Manypenny bought the paint and the men of the church did the work. Carroll Hughes furnished spouting at a small cost and again the men did the repair work. Mrs. E. C. Buckwalter and the Young People cleaned and varnished floors and chairs in the Sunday School Room.
The present pastor Stacy D. Myers, Jr., was appointed May 22, 1953. During 1953 three groups were organized, the Married Couples Club, the evening circle of the Women's Society of Christian Service for those who were unable to attend the day meeting, and the regular Visitation Committee, who visit new people moving into the area, as well as inactive members of the church.
It was about this time that a new carpet was laid in the sanctuary, a new heating unit was installed in the church, the sanctuary was painted, and the parsonage was given a new roof. In line with the improvements to the church building twenty chairs were purchased for the choirs, a new stairway loading downstairs was built by Miller Hoskins, and a radiator was put on the ceiling downstairs in the church hall. The pipe organ was thoroughly renovated and put in good working condition. The interior and exterior of the church building were painted and the downstairs floors were tiled.
The Methodist Youth Fellowship recently published a newsletter which is distributed among the congregation monthly. It consists of varied topics for Sunday evening services and a calendar for the month listing regular business meetings, rallies and social events.
The Sunday School completed extensive redecoration of the church hall. The downstairs and kitchen were redecorated by the Women's Society of Christian Service. All the renovation plans have been finished and paid for at a cost of $3000.00.
The Older Youth Fellowship held a bake and made $437.70 which was used to redecorate the powder room. Other unusual ways of making money for the church work by various groups were. "A Georgia Open Pit Barbeque" held on the church grounds by the Young Married Couples. They served 350 people. The Adult Fellowship had a seafood dinner in 1955 and 1956 the proceeds to go to the building fund. An "Italian Street Fair" put on by the Women's Society of Christian Service resulted in a fine financial return as well as enjoyable fellowship and fun. The annual Smorgasboard Dinners were started in March 1958 by the Women's Society of Christian Service.
Since 1953 seventy-two members have brought with them thirty-seven children. On January 1956 the membership was 238.
At a congregational meeting held in October, 1954, Pastor Stacy Myers presented the need and the challenge of relocation. For two years the Building Committee under the leadership of Howard Williams, Chairman, in cooperation with the Conference and the District Superintendents, Dr. Moore and Rev. Yrigoyen, studied the problem. Then in 1956, after careful study and research, the property, owned by the Misses Coates, located on the west side of Waterloo Road, south of First Avenue, Berwyn, WAS purchased for the church by the Philadelphia Conference Board of Church Extension.
In December, 1956, work was begun on the new parsonage by a dedicated group of men assisted by an equally dedicated group of women under the supervision of the President of the Trustees, C. Miller Hoskins. It is a "Briarwood" home purchased from the "Ridge-Pike Lumber Company." In January 1957, a campaign under the direction of Nelson Creamer and Stafford Walker was conducted, which yielded approximately $50,000 in cash and pledges.
In September of 1957, soon after the Congregation had adopted the final plan of Architect Fridtjof Tobiessen and selected C. Raymond Davis as the builder, ground was broken by Dr. J. Vincent Watchorn, Executive Secretary of the Board of Missions, the Lay Leader, Elton C. Buckwalter, the heads of the various Church organizations, the Pastor, and others for the erection of the new Berwyn Methodist Church.
At 11 A. M. Sunday, May 25th, 1956 the first two units in the relocation process were consecrated. One is the parsonage which includes four bedrooms, two baths, living room, dining room, kitchen, and laundry. The other includes a Fellowship Hall or Temporary Sanctuary seating over 225, and two stories of classroom, kitchen, storage, bathroom and recreational Facilities.
CHURCH OFFICIARY 1955
Bishop Fred Pierce Corson, Resident Bishop of the Philadelphia
Rev. Charles Yrigoyen, District Superintendent of the West District of the Philadelphia Conference of the Methodist Church
Rev. Stacy Myers, Jr., Pastor
Memorial gifts presented to the Church among other things were a new communion set, a missal stand, a display case, communion cushions, a rose vase, and 10 banquet tables.
In 1959 the church started a Methodist Sunday Evening Fellowship. This program, put on once a month, involved dinner, worship, and activities for children, youths and adults. The program met with immediate success. The new facilities were improved with the paving of the drive; Venetian blinds; vertical louvers in the sanctuary; air-conditioner for the parsonage; an aluminum canopy over the rear sanctuary door; a new concrete walk; and coat racks.
In 1960 an Expansion Committee under Mr. Howard Williams was named to begin work on our future needs. During the two-year leadership of "Hap" Williams the badly needed ground floor was completed, greatly increasing its capacity. The parting area was more than doubled and surfaced, and negotiations were begun for the use of the Coates' house for Church School purposes.
In 1962 the Expansion Committee was divided into two sections, one to deal with property improvement and the other to continue to deal with expansion. The latter section has been named the Development Committee,under the leadership of Mr. Allen Weir. In March, the Development Committee, with the permission of the Official Board retained the services of Mr. A. Hensel Fink, noted Methodist architect and advisor to the Board of National Missions. Mr. Fink recommended that several things be done to the temporary sanctuary to improve its general appearance and brighten it up. These improvements were kept to as minimal a cost as possible.
Mr. Fink worked out a master plan for the entire property which included the locating of the new sanctuary. Following the approval of this, a subcommittee of the Development Committee visited various lending agencies to explore the eventual financing of the new sanctuary. They also sought the advice and guidance of the Fund Raising Section of the Division of National Missions. In the early spring of 1965, the church will break ground for the new sanctuary, and they hope to occupy it by Easter of 1966.
In the last ten years the church has increased from 120 members to 700 members and has invested $250,000 in new facilities.
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