Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Ministers of the Mt Zion Methodist Church of Orlando

by David Parmer

To the right is Orlando's Methodist Church on Oil Creek seen approximately from the former St Michael's Roman Catholic Church.

The Mt Zion Methodist Church of Orlando has been in existence for over one hundred twenty five years. The church was founded in 1872. Additional history of the church will be provided in a follow-up article. Many ministers served this parish over those years. But for the written records, most of the ministers would be anonymous. This list of Orlando Methodist ministers has been compiled largely with the help of the archives of West Virginia Wesleyan College, the official repository of records of the Methodist Church in West Virginia. There does, however, seem to be a few inconsistencies with other sources in the records of the church regarding the list of ministers. This author has tried to reconcile those differences in order to obtain a correct list.

1872-1873 John J. Poynter, the first minister of the Mt Zion Methodist Church, was a native of St. Mary’s in Tyler County. He was born in 1841 and died in St. Mary’s in 1924.

1874 S. S. Honaker

1875-1877 Mark Hersman

1878-1879 D. C. Weese

1880 A. B. Johnson

1881-1882 David Batten was a native of Lewis County. He was born in 1848 and died in Berlin, Lewis County in 1897.

1883 J. Y. Gillespie

1884-1885 M. L. Smith

1886 M. M. Everly

1887-1889 J. W. Bibbie

1890 W. A. Law

1891 J. W. Hollen was born in 1852 and died in Clarksburg in 1917. He also served at Mt Zion in 1895.

1892 M. Ireland

1893 J. C. Cogar

1894 Unknown

1895 J. W. Hollen

1896-1898 John H. Mossburg was a native of Washington County, Ohio and was born in 1865. He died in Morgantown in 1934. He also served at Mt Zion from 1917-1919,

1899-1900 Thomas Jackson

1901-1902 G. B. Stewart

1903-1905 J. R. Jones

1907 M. Steele

1908-1910 L. B. Douglas

1911-1914 J. H. Green

1915-1916 J. H. Ramsey

1917-1919 J. H. Mossburg

1920-1922 Sylvester Bennett was a native of England. He served as minister of the Orlando church in 1920 and 1921. He was born in 1872 and died in Tyler County in 1934.

1923-1924 William H. Hart also served Mt Zion from 1928 to 1929. A native of Morgantown, Hart died in Jane Lew in 1953 at the age of 92.

1925 Paul Riegel

1926-1927 W. A. Harpold

1928-1929 William H. Hart

1930-1935 John H. Hardesty was a native of Gilmer County, born in 1883. He was ordained in 1924. He retired to Baltimore in 1951 and died there in 1967.

1936 E. L. Arnold

1937 J. A. Richmond

1938 Unknown

1939 Ulysses R. Hinzman was born in 1879 in Spencer. He died in Colfax, Marion County in 1956.

1940-1941 Ralph McCoy

1942-1946 Hayward Rowh was a native of Spencer. He graduated from Burnsville High School in 1943, from Glenville State College and from Westminster Seminary. He served as minister while he was still in high school. He later served the Calvary Methodist Church in Martinsburg. He died at age 66.

1947 Maynard Crawford

1948 Sydney Davis

1949-1950 William McKibben

1951 Ronald Browning

1952 Ralph Malcomb

1953-1958 Forrest R. Armentrout A native of Webster Springs, he died at age 74 and was buried in Burnsville. His son, John, married Margaret Bragg, daughter of Presley and Jessie Riffle Bragg of Clover Fork.

1959-1961 Neal Dent

1962-1968 Arden "Buck" Dean was from Gem. He served as mayor of Burnsville. He later lived in Salem and died there. at the left with his wife Dora (Frame) Dean

1969 V. C. Decker

1969 Ronzel Roberts

1970 Lester Colthorn

1971 Van Arthur Blake

1972-1976 William E. Griffin

1977-1980 Arthur Lee Gibson

1981 Dennie Heater

1982 Unknown

1983-1984 Arthur J. Spring

1984 Fred Mulneix, Lay Minister

1985 Clara J. Peggs

1986 Chester Herndon, Assistant J. Russell Furr

1987 J. Russell Furr, Assistant Billie G. Meese

1988-1989 J. Russell Furr

1990-1994 Danny L. Mick was the son of Orlando native E. B. “Dink” Mick and Emma Hinkle Mick. He died in 2005. He was married to the former Jeanetta Ramsey. Danny loved to play the guitar and mandolin and to sing.

1995 Janet Hamilton

1996 Billy J. Cochran

1997 Jennifer Barker

1998 Robert Mitchell

1999 William Hunt

2000-2001 Sue Lowther

2002 Daniel Lowther

2003-2007 Robert Mitchell

The ministers shown to the right are, from the top,
1. David H. Batten
2. Hayward Rowh

3. F. R. Armentrout
4. Arden Dean with his wife Dora (Frame) Dean
5. Ronzel Roberts and his wife Leona
6. Bill and Unimae Griffin with their son Tim
6. Arthur J. Spring and his wife Regina at their anniversary party
7. Fred Mulneix
8. Danny L. Mick
9. Sue & Daniel Lowther
Robert Mitchell
The Methodist Church seems to have spent an inordinate amount of time and resources in making constant changes in the organizational charts of the Church. Orlando, for example, was originally part of the Lumberport (later Burnsville) Circuit. from its founding in 1872 until around 1968 when the Methodist, Evangelical United Brethren and the United Brethren congregations merged. From that time to the present, it has been one administrative change after another, at least in name. From a researcher’s standpoint, these constant changes in districts are confusing. For example, since 1968 the District in which Orlando is located has been called the Weston District, the Central District, the Midland North District, the Wesleyan District, the Orlando Blended Ministries, and back to the Wesleyan District.

To the left: Reverend Bill Griffin assisted by Reverend Ronzel Roberts baptising Peggy Gay and Diana Ramsey in the 1970s. (Diana is sister of Jeanetta Mick who is the wife of Danny Mick, later himself the pastor at Mt. Zion.

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