CLOSED CHURCHES WITHIN THE PRESENT BOUNDARIES OF THE

SUSQUEHANNA CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
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SULLIVAN COUNTY PA


0. 1850 Loyalsock Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Taken from the 1887 History of the East Genesee Conference, page 95 
     There was one church building and one parsonage at Forksville.  All the remaining appointments were in homes, schoolhouses, or other buildings.

This is the two-week circuit
    1. Loyalsock Forks [Forksville]
    2. Hillsgrove, nine miles down the river [Hillsgrove]
    3.
Elkland, ten miles back on the hills west of the river [Estella]
    4. School-house, five miles farther on [Bethel]
    5.
Glass Works, or Little's, eight miles up the river
    6. Elkins, seven miles on toward Muncy Creek
    7.
Taylor's, on Muncy Creek
    8.
Big Bottom, on Muncy Creek
    9.
Elk Lick (Davidson's), up Muncy Creek [Cherry Grove]
    10. Wilcox's (now New Albany), twelve miles from Loyalsock Forks to Wonder Creek
    11.
Cherry, up the south branch, now Dushore, to Haverly's
Laporte was added that year as a new appointment, and there were also "several appointments for preaching in private houses" [assumed to be intended for the family of the house, and not open to the public].   Another circuit rider on that circuit tells of having to once spend the night in a tree while hungry wolves circled all night.  Yet another tells of coming to a house and seeing door knobs on their doors: "We wept, like seeing the face of a friend.  Nothing but homemade handles, or the famous latch string to pull up the wooden latch had greeted our sight for months."
   


1. Bethel ME

bethel

Location: north of Estella, in the community of Bethel
Municipality:
Elkland township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     Travel north from Estella 3 miles on county road 4009 to the cross road with county road 4011.  Turn left and go 1 mile to the next cross road.  This is the community of Bethel.  The church is on the left, just before the intersection.

Historic Conference:
     Central New York Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Journal references:

Brief History:
   
The 4-point Forksville charge (Bethel, Estella, Forksville, Hillsgrove) was transferred from the Central New York Conference to the Central Pennsylvania Conference in 1952.  The charge's final 1952 report in the Central New York Conference journal credited Bethel with 10 members (4 active members), a Sunday School of 29 members (with an average attendance of 24), and 1 church building worth $1700.  Beginning in 1953, the Central Pennsylvania Conference carried a line for Bethel with 0 members, and listed only 3 owned church buildings on the charge.  When the Conference was reformed in 1970 following the 1968 Methodist-EUB denominational union, the Bethel line was dropped and Forksville was listed as a 3-point charge.  Adona Sick's 1965 History of the Churches of Sullivan County calls the structure a school house that served as "a house of worship for the Wesleyan Methodists and Methodist Episcopals" and states that "regular church services were discontinued at this point in 1954."

Final disposition:
    The structure appears abandoned.


2. Cherry EV

[no picture]

Location: Turnpike Street
Municipality:
Cherry township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     From the center of Dushore, go 1 block east on PA 87 to Turnpike Street.  Turn right on Turnpike Street and go south for 2 miles.The site was near Fairview [Bahrís] Cemetery.

Historic Conference:
     Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Evangelical Church

Journal references:
   

Brief History:
†††† The Cherry circuit was formally organized in 1847 and covered all of Sullivan County and eastern Lycoming County, but there had undoubtedly been Evangelical preaching in the area for some.This congregation worshiped in the Bahr school house before purchasing property in 1849 and erecting a 30x40 church building.In 1862 adjoining property was purchased and a parsonage constructed.Worship in the church was discontinued when the church in Dushore was erected in 1872, but the parsonage was used until 1879.

Final disposition:
    According to Strebyís 1909 History of Cherry township, the church and parsonage were still standing and occupied by a Mr. Ralston Hunsinger.


3. Cherry Grove ME

Description: Description: cherry

Location: near the village of Nordmont
Municipality:
Davidson township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
    

Historic Conference:
     Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Journal references:

Brief History:
      As early as 1829 arrangements were made for Methodist circuit riders to visit the settlers in this area.  Meetings were held in homes until the erection of the Elk Lick schoolhouse in 1837.  In 1858, land was deeded for a church and cemetery in the nearby cherry grove ― but it was not until 1890 that construction actually began for a church building.  The church was completed in 1892.  As the years passed, the area was depopulated.  Regular services were discontinued in 1918, and the remaining members merged into St. Paul's United Evangelical (now United Methodist) in Nordmont

Final disposition:
    The property is owned and maintained by the Cherry Grove Cemetery Association.  The building continues to be used for special services.


4. Colley EV

Description: Description: colley

Location: PA 87
Municipality:

County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     From Dushore, go 7 miles east on PA 87.  The church is on the right.

Historic Conference:
     Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Evangelical Church

Journal references:
    1969,205 - "unused"
    1980,A80 - closed
    1982,255 - sold to Cemetery Association

Brief History:
     

Final disposition:
    


5. Estella ME

Description: Description: estella

Location: county road 4009, in the community of Estella
Municipality:

County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
   The community of Estella is on PA 154, 2 miles northwest of Forksville.  The church is on the right, at the intesection of PA 154 with county road 4009.

Historic Conference:
   Central New York Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church 

Journal references:
    2003,171 - merged into Forksville

Brief History:
   
This building was constructed as a union church in 1888, the with Wesleyan Methodists and the Methodist Episcopal Church being the primary cooperating denominations.  Eventually the latter denomination prevailed, and Estella became a regular appointment on the Forksville charge.  In 1952, the charge was transferred from the Central New York Conference to the Central Pennsylvania Conference.  In 2003 the congregation merged into the Forksville United Methodist Church.

Final disposition:
    


6. Fiesters ME

[no picture]

Location:
Municipality:

County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     This is believed to have stood along the old US 220, south of Laporte.

Historic Conference:
     Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Journal references:
    1874,97 - listed in the missionary report as an appointment [as Frister's]

Brief History:
      The Laporte area has generally been part of the Muncy Valley circuit.  In 1872 the pastor of that circuit held a camp meeting on the Fiester Grounds.  There were several conversions.  In spite of there being an established congregation in nearby Laporte that was already planning to erect a church building, the enthusiasm from continuing revivals in the immediate area led to the formation of another class.  Soon two Methodist Episcopal church buildings were dedicated within months of each other: the first at Laporte on May 31, 1874, and the second at Fiesters on January 10, 1875.  The fate of this class, and the fate and exact location of this building are not known.

Final disposition:
    Unknown.


7. Lopez EV 

    Description: Description: lopez        Description: Description: X:\image\closed_churchs\sullivan\lopez.jpg

Location: Church Street, village of Lopez
Municipality:
Colley township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     The village of Lopez is on PA 487, 8 miles southeast of DushoreWhen PA 487 comes to a T in the village of Lopez and turns to the left, turn right onto county road 1004.  Go two blocks and turn left on Church Street.  The church building is on Church Street, on the left side of the street.

Historic Conference:
     Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Evangelical Church

Journal references:
    1969,205 - "unused"
    1971,97 - discontinued
    1977,A74 - permission to sell

Brief History:
   The Evangelical preacher at Dushore began preaching in Lopez in 1890.  The work in the area was so successful that by 1894 a separate 4-point charge was formed consisting of Bernice, Lopez, Ricketts and Shinersville.  The congregation met in the public school until the above building was erected in 1896.  In 1909 a parsonage was purchased.  By 1930 only Lopez still had a viable congregation, and it was placed back on the Dushore charge, where it remained until it was closed

Final disposition:
    The building was sold by the trustees of the Dushore congregation and has been remodeled into a private residence.  Apparently the adjoining cemetery is still the responsibility of the Dushore congregation.


8. Lopez MP 

Description: Description: lopez mp     Description: Description: lopez

Location: 211 Main Street, village of Lopez
Municipality:
Colley township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     The village of Lopez is on PA 487, 8 miles southeast of Dushore

Historic Conference:
     Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church

Journal references:
    Pennsylvania Conference MP 1908,15 - discussion about the situation in Lopez
    Pennsylvania Conference MP 1910,27 - "Lopez remains in the hand of the Church Extension Board"

Brief History:
   
This structure was erected by the Methodist Protestant Church.  The congregation began to dwindle in the early 1900's.  The property appears to have been sold and come into the hands of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1907, although there are continuing discussions about the congregations and/or the property in the Methodist Protestant journals at least until 1910.

Final disposition:
    The building now houses St. Vladimir's Orthodox congregation.


9. Maple Summit EV

Description: Description: maple summit

Location: community  of Maple Summit
Municipality:
Fox township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     From Canton, go 9 miles south on PA 154 to the village of Wheelerville.  At Wheelerville, turn right on county road 4003 toward Tompkins Corners.  The community of Maple Summit is about 1.5 miles down this road, about half way to Tompkins Corners.

Historic Conference:
     Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Evangelical Church

Journal references:
    1952,38 - permission to sell parsonage [charge had been combined with East Point, and used that parsonage]
    1960,94 - permission to sell church

Brief History:
    This building was dedicated February 22, 1913, by Bishop W.M. Stanford.  The area was never well-populated, and the congregation never was large ― and winter services were typically held in farm houses, for the church was too cold and  travel was difficult.  The church was near the center of a charge that also included Beech Flats, Ellenton Grover and Shunk ― and so a parsonage was built across the road from the church.  Over the years most of the area farm houses were sold for hunting cabins, leaving a very small permanent population in the area.  Services were discontinued in 1955, and the building was later sold to be converted into a summer cabin. 

Final disposition:
    The organ and stained glass windows were taken to the Grover Church, and the 500 pound bell was given to a mission in Mexico.  The building is now a summer residence.


10. Mount Vernon ME
    [Edkin Hill]

[no picture]

Location: Edkin Hill Road
Municipality:
Shrewsbury township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     From the village of Muncy Valley, go 4 miles south on US 220 to the village of Strawbridge and Edkin Hill Road.  Turn right on Edkin Hill Road and do about 2 miles.  The church building is across the road form the Shrewsbury township barns.

Historic Conference:
     Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Journal references:
    1887,58 - "At Mount Vernon, on Picture Rocks Charge, a neat frame building meeting the wants of that locality has been erected."

Brief History:
      The land on which the church stood was donated (actually, sold for $1) to the class by George Washington Bennett on August 25, 1866.  The 1883 minutes of the Kedron charge state that a subscription for the purpose of raising money to erect a new church on Edkin Hill was circulated and about $500.00 subscribed.  The appointment appears to be called Edkin Hill prior to this date, and Mount Vernon afterwards.  There is also a Mount Vernon Cemetery located some distance down the road.  While no precise statements have been located about the closing and/or sale of the building, it appears that the membership dwindled and was absorbed into the Muncy Valley Church in the 1920's.

Final disposition:
    The church building has been converted into a private residence.


11. Muncy Valley ME

  Description: Description: muncy site    Description: Description: X:\image\closed_churchs\sullivan\muncy.jpg

Location: Church Street, village of Muncy Valley
Municipality:
Davidson township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     From the intersection of US 220 and PA 42 in the village of Muncy Valley, go 100 yards north on PA 42 to Church Street.  Turn rigfht on Church Street and go 100 yards.  The church stood on the left.

Historic Conference:
     Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Journal references:

Brief History:
    Methodism has a long history in the Muncy Valley.  The charge was known as Laporte when it was transferred from the East Genesee Conference in 1857, and then as Tivoli and as Muncy Creek before being Muncy Valley.  The exact date of the first appointment in Muncy valley is known, but the property was deed to the Methodist on February 13, 1884.
   
In 1969 the Muncy Valley ME, Sonestown ME and and Sonestown EV congregations united to form the present Valley United Methodist Church.  In 1972 they moved into their present facility north of Muncy Valley on US 220.

Final disposition:
   
The building was razed.  The site of the church is the empty lot in the photo on the left.  The house in the photo is the former Muncy Valley ME parsonage.


12. Sonestown EV

Description: Description: site     Description: Description: X:\image\closed_churchs\sullivan\sonestownev.jpg

Location: old US 220, village of Sonestown
Municipality:
Davidson township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     Go 3 miles north of Muncy Valley on US 220, to old US 220.  Turn right on old US 220 into the village of Sonestown.  Go 0.5 miles.  The church stood on the right.

Historic Conference:
     Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Evangelical Church

Journal references:

Brief History:
    The Evangelical congregation at Sonestown was organized in 1846 and the deed for the property is dated December 19, 1889.  For many years Sonestown was the home church of 6-point charge that included Bethel, Ebenezer [Fribley's], Franklin, Nordmont St. Paul's, Sonestown, and Unityville Salem.
   
In 1969 the Muncy Valley ME, Sonestown ME and and Sonestown EV congregations united to form the present Valley United Methodist Church.  In 1972 they moved into their present facility north of Muncy Valley on US 220.

Final disposition:
    The building was razed and replaced by the workshop pictured above.


13. Sonestown ME

Description: Description: X:\image\closed_churchs\sullivan\sonestownme.jpg       Description: Description: sonestown   

Location: Outlet Road, village of Sonestown
Municipality:
Davdson township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
      Go 3 miles north of Muncy Valley on US 220, to old US 220.  Turn right on old US 220 into the village of Sonestown.  Go 1 mile to OPUlet Road.  Turn left on Outlet Road.  The church is on the right.

Historic Conference:
     Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church

Journal references:

Brief History:
    Methodism reported entered Sonestown [then known as Georgetown] from Forksville about 1827 and became a regular preaching appointment in 1841.  The congregation formally organized in 1862.  The church property was surveyed October 20, 1866, and deeded November 12, 1869.
   
In 1969 the Muncy Valley ME, Sonestown ME and and Sonestown EV congregations united to form the present Valley United Methodist Church.  In 1972 they moved into their present facility north of Muncy Valley on US 220.

Final disposition:
    The building is abandoned.


14. Warburton Hill MP

Description: Description: warburton hil

Location: Warburton Hill Road, near Voughts Corners
Municipality:
Forks township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     From Forksville, go two miles north on PA 87 to Warburton Hill Road.  Turn left and go 4.5 miles.

Historic Conference:
     Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church

Journal references:

Brief History:
   
This building was erected by the Methodist Protestants about 1850.  The church was on the 3-point Albany charge, the parsonage being in New Albany.  The congregation existed into the twentieth century, but eventually their membership gradually dwindled and the property was sold to the Wesleyan Church.

Final disposition:
    The building was known as the East Forks Wesleyan Church until that denomination stopped serving it in the 1950's.  For many years the property was maintained by local families, with annual services starting in 1987.  In 2009 the East Forks Community Church began holding worship services every Sunday.


15. Wheelerville EV

Description: Description: wheelerville

Location: PA 154, village of Wheelerville
Municipality:
Fox township
County:
Sullivan
State:
PA

Directions: 
     Go 9 miles south of Canton on PA 154 to the village of Wheelerville.  The church is on the left.

Historic Conference:
     [undocumented]

Journal references:

Brief History:
   
This structure was dedicated September 10, 1905, as the Wheelerville Union Sunday School Building.  This small community was once a lumbering center and a station on the Susquehanna and New York Railroad.  The services which led to the erection of the building began in the boarding house of the lumbering operation.  Because of the interest shown in these services, it was decided to erect a church building.  The Evangelical pastor from Grover presided at the dedication, as that denomination was the most active in the area ― with surrounding buildings in Grover, Beech Flats, Shunk, Ellenton and Maple Summit.  The Evangelicals served the building occasionally until about 1920.
      While there is a tradition that Methodist also held services in the building, the property apparently was never owned by any group within United Methodism.

Final disposition:
    The Mennonites began holding VBS in the building starting in 1950, and regular church services starting in 1958.  The building now houses Faith Mountain Fellowship, a Mennonite congregation.