Journal of the Historical Society
Milton W. Loyer
Volume XXIV spring 2013
Editor's Preface ........................................................................................................2
Stephen W. Barninger, 1966
Raymond Martin Bell, 1991
Milton Loyer, 2012
William T.S. Deavor, 1896
A Life Ruined Among Saving Influences . . ... . 60
William T.S. Deavor, 1896
My First Pastorates . . ... ... 74
David Y. Brouse, 1902
Semi-Centennial Committee, 1918
Alfred S. Bowman, 1918
B. Fifty Years of Growth .. ....105
Milton K. Foster, 1918
On behalf of the Historical Society of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, I present volume XXIV 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This year we present a series of previously unpublished papers from the Methodist (as distinguished from Evangelical or United Brethren) collection in the conference archives. The papers are introduced in chronological order according to main content and embrace a wide range of topics and styles, but all concern Methodist work within our conference boundaries from the first circuit riders serving in the 1700s while the mid-state was still part of the Baltimore Conference, to the 1918 celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Central Pennsylvania Conference.
The authors for this volume represent a mix of perspectives. Stephen Barninger was teenager from Duncannon when he delivered his paper Forever Beginning in 1966; he later studied theology and medicine and has worked primarily as a corporate consultant. Raymond Bell was an 84 year old retired physics professor when he wrote his article Methodism Moves into Central Pennsylvania in 1991.
William Deavors two papers were written in the 1890s, while he was a young pastor, and provide a glimpse of the family background and educational experiences of the pastor of yesteryear. David Brouse writes in 1902 as a preacher approaching mid-career and reflecting on his early service, first as a supply pastor and then as an ordained minister.
Finally, Alfred Bowman and Milton Foster come to us as retired pastors charged with leading the 1918 Central Pennsylvania Conference in a meaningful celebration of and appreciation for its first 50 years. Bowman presents an insightful narrative involving the personalities and congregations of the Beginnings and Early Developments of the Conference, while Foster focuses on the statistical and financial aspects of that development.
Nestled among these accounts is a paper by the editor on the 1830s Coffman Class of the New Bloomfield Circuit illustrating that there are still stories about our heritage waiting to be discovered. Our prayer is that this issue of The Chronicle will inform and inspire us all to continue studying our heritage and making those discoveries that will mold us into better witnesses for Christ.