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THE CHRONICLE

 

Journal of the Historical Society

of the

Susquehanna Conference

of the

United Methodist Church

 

Milton W. Loyer

editor

Volume XXIII                                                                                             spring 2012

__________________________________________________________________________

Editor's Preface .........................................................................................2

George Berkstresser……………………………………………………………….3

Methodist Episcopal pastor at Gettysburg during the Battle

John Brown………………………………………………………………………..6

American Abolitionist

Charles Buhrman…………………………………………………………...……11

Methodist layman

Charles M. Burnett………………………………………………………………18

Methodist layman

Rachel Bowman Cormany……………………………………………………….25

United Brethren soldier’s wife

Jacob Hoke……………………………………………………………………….35

United Brethren layman

Abraham Lincoln……………………………………………………………...…46

President of the United States

Carrie L. McMillan…………………………………………………...……….…49

Methodist Episcopal youth (and missionary)

Abraham Rudisill…………………………………………………………...……53

United Brethren soldier (and preacher)

William Van Orsdel………………………………………………………...……83

Methodist Episcopal youth (and preacher)

Jesse Bowman Young…………………………………………………..………101

Methodist Episcopal youth (and preacher)

EDITOR'S PREFACE

 

On behalf of the Historical Society of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, I present volume XXIII of The Chronicle.  For over twenty years, the society has produced a mix of scholarly, entertaining, informative and inspiring stories of United Methodism – all united by a common theme.  This volume continues that tradition.

 

This year’s unifying theme "The Battle of Gettysburg” was chosen to coincide with the Susquehanna Conference’s May 2012 joint hosting of the annual meetings of the Historical Society of the United Methodist Church and the Commission on Archives and History of the Northeastern Jurisdiction in Gettysburg PA.  A copy of this journal is being presented to each participant.

 

Featured in this volume are the stories of local persons within United Methodism who had significant contact with the Battle of Gettysburg and/or the events associated with that monumental conflict.  The presentations and tours of the joint meetings will highlight the persons and places appearing in this issue of The Chronicle.  The persons are presented in alphabetical order.  Except as noted, the articles were assembled by the editor from materials in the conference archives. 

 

While each article stands alone, at least three of the featured persons were active in the Gettysburg circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church and are connected via the that circuit’s Quarterly Conference Minutes. 1815 – When the Gettysburg class was formed, it was led by local preacher Hezekiah Van Orsdel, uncle of William Van Orsdel, who came from Hunterstown once a week.  This arrangement continued until 1822, during which time the area was part of the very large Carlisle circuit.  The Gettysburg circuit was formed in 1827 and existed until Gettysburg became a station in 1876.  February 9, 1839 – David McMillan, father of Carrie L. McMillan, was granted an exhorter’s license. May 27, 1843 – Exhorter Abraham Rudisill of the Hanover class applied for and was granted a license to preach.

 

Two of these individuals witnessed the Battle of Gettysburg first hand as teenage civilians and went on to contribute in major fashion to the global advancement of Methodism and the gospel of Christ – and they are the ones featured on the cover of this volume. William Van Orsdel became the patriarch of Montana Methodism known as “Brother Van,” and Carrie L. McMillan became the “Mother of Methodism” in India and labored beside her noted husband Philo Melvin Buck to establish Methodism on that sub-continent.  Each of them is named in the 1974 definitive two-volume Encyclopedia of World Methodism.

            May the stories of the persons in this “Battle of Gettysburg” volume of The Chronicle encourage us all to be brave soldiers for Christ in the battles of life.