East Jewett ME Church

The United Methodist Church

East Jewett, New York


150th Anniversary Service
Sunday, July 3, 1983

"The Church’s One Foundation Is Jesus Christ, Her Lord."

July 3, 1983
1:15 p.m.

Contributed by Lois Eastgate. Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin

Organ Prelude………………………..Linda Varelas
Invocation………………….…….….Rev. Llewellyn D. Dean
*Hymn No. 22 – "The Church’s One Foundation"
Scripture Reading
Prayer and Lord’s Prayer
Special Music…………………….….Children of Sunday School
History Of The Church………………..Thomas Hitchcock
*Hymn No. 638 – "Faith of Our Fathers"
The Church At Present………………..Rev. Llewellyn D. Dean
Special Music………………………...Charge Choir
The Future Of The Church……………Rev. Robert Smyres
*Hymn No. 738 – "America The Beautiful"
Dedication of Oak Tree With Commemorative Plaque………….Thomas Hitchcock

The History of the East Jewett
United Methodist Church

The East Jewett Methodist Church was organized in 1833 with three elected trustees, Matthew Winter, Lemuel Woodworth and Henry Fairchild, representing the first three Methodist families. In 1834, Mr. and Mrs. Woodworth deeded about three-fourths of an acres of land for the sum of $15 for a church building and the original church was built in 1834 with lumber drawn from Preston Hollow, probably by ox team.

For many years the church was served by "circuit riding" pastors, In 1858, however, the Methodist Church in Big Hollow (Maplecrest) was built and in 1875, the Hensonville Church was erected. The three churches became the Hensonville Charge with a resident pastor in 1878.

The first church building, having deteriorated during the years immediately following the Civil War and having been damaged by fire and a severe hail storm, was completely rebuilt and restored in 1873. It was considered one of the finest in the mountains. During the last quarter of the century, there was a great growth in the church. The congregation was large with a fine choir, the Sunday School was active, and Sunday School conventions, revival meetings, and special services were held in the church. At this time the community was busy and thriving. Life was good.

About 1910 a Ladies’ Aid Society was organized which functioned for a few years. In the fall of 1924, however, the Willing Workers was organized and is active at the present time.

In 1955, the church was incorporated and in 1963 the Eastkill Valley Methodist Church and the Lower East Jewett Methodist Church united, forming the East Jewett Methodist Church.

During the past thirty-five years many improvements have been made to the church building and property including the following: In 1960-61, the church sanctuary was completely renovated by Reinertsen & Reme; new pulpit furniture and 10 new pews were installed and a new basement was excavated by Henry Cramer and a new concrete floor and walls were laid by Merritt DeLong. A new oil furnace was also installed.

In 1963 a new kitchen, rest room and stairway was built on the rear of the church by Lewis, Frank and George Ruoff and the church was painted by Merrill DeLong. In 1964, Mr. South of Acra drilled a deep well which provided hot and cold water for the new kitchen. This was done with a gift from Hilda Munson of Windham. Also, a new Thomas Symphony Transistor organ was purchased and dedicated to the memory of William O’Byran. In 1966 a retaining wall of bluestone was erected by William Hoyt in front of the church in Memory of Lt. William Elwood Hitchcock, Jr., USNR, 1939-65; and a new vestibule was built on front of the church by Martin Reinertson. The church bell from Glasco was obtained and installed in the rebuilt belfry in 1969 and new light fixtures were place in the sanctuary. In 1970 a small porch was built on the east side of the church by Gerry Loucks and in 1971 a 15 ft. illuminated steeple was built and erected by Thomas Hitchcock. In 1972 a new oil furnace was installed. In 1982 and addition was built on the kitchen with a $5,000 gift from Mrs. Charles Phelps; and an automatic electric bell ringer was installed which rings at 12 noon and 5 p. m, on week days and for the church services on Sunday. The bell ringer was given by Thomas and Lonna Hitchcock. This year, 1983, a new roof has been put on the building – the work being done by the members and friends of the church.

For several years, the church sponsored Boy Scout Troop #55 which held meetings in an upstairs room of the church. At one time there were as many as 15 boys in the troop. Six of the boys became Eagle Scouts; Thomas Conley, Theodore Gooss, Richard Hitchcock, Thomas Hitchcock, William Hitchcock, Jr. and Richard Weber.

God has wonderfully blessed the spiritual life of the East Jewett United Methodist Church in recent years. The great goal of the Church is to exalt and praise the name of Jesus. For Jesus said, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." John 12:32

Glory to God in the Highest. Amen and Amen.

The Sunday School

During the 1930’s there was a strong and active Sunday School, but in the next decade farms were sold and young families moved away seeking employment, so there was no Sunday School. There were few if any children in the neighborhood. The congregation at the preaching service also dwindled on some Sundays to less than a half dozen people.

Beginning with the last of the twentieth century, young families moved back into the area. The Sunday School reopened and grew rapidly with classes of all ages.

A library was established, colored slides and 16 mm pictures were shown, The Sunday School supported several over-seas orphans through World Vision. Children began earning their expenses to a week summer camp by a Bible memorization program.

Monthly picnics with softball games and contests were held during the summer months and during the winter months family night evening programs were held with a covered dish supper followed by a film, speaker or a slide presentation of local scenes.

The children and young people of the Sunday School presented special programs at the Easter Sunrise Service, Thanksgiving and Christmas. They also took part in the church services on special family and patriotic occasions, such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day and other such occasions.

During the pastorate of the Rev. Merton S. Cady there was an active MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) in the three churches of the Hensonville Charge, and a large Daily Vacation Bible School each summer.

Special trips with picnic lunches were taken to nearby places of interest including the Catskill Game Farm and Howes Caverns.

The Sunday School convenes 12 months of the year. In recent years, the average attendance has been between 50 and 60. At present the Sunday School is active and strong with classes for all age groups.

The Church Cemetery

The old graveyard at the rear of the church is on land given by Lemuel and Lydia Woodworth in 1835. John Beach, one of the first settlers in the valley, was the first person buried in this cemetery in 1835. Among the common family names found on the monuments are Woodworth, Winter, Slater, Showers, Beach, Mallory, Northrop and Distin. In this old cemetery are the headstones of the five children of Horace and Elizabeth Winter who died of diptheira within a period of 33 days between May 9, 1863 and June 10, 1863: Emory, aged 6; Stephan, 4; Jennie, 9; Horace, 12; and Watson, 20.

In October, 1965, Merriott and Marguerite DeLong gave four-fifths of an acre of adjoining land to the north for an addition to the old cemetery. This land was surveyed by Merrill Robinson and James West, Jr. Dayton Slater of Detroit, Michigan, whose parents are buried in the old cemetery gave a gift of $1,000 for the development of the new cemetery.

At a church board meeting on September 18, 1969, a resolution was approved stating that the cemetery should be known as the East Jewett United Methodist Church Cemetery and that the trustees of the church should also serve as the trustees of the Cemetery Association. A total of 444 grave sites have been surveyed and marked which sell of $100 each, including perpetual care. The first person buried in the new cemetery was George Woodworth on August 23, 1969.

Seven war veterans are buried in the old and new cemeteries including John Beach, Joseph Chadakowski, Henry Distin, William E. Hitchcock, JR., Alvin Ritch, Lewis Showers and George Woodworth.

The Willing Workers

In 1924, the ladies of the East Jewett Methodist Church met at the home of Libbie Slater, now the home of Joseph Sheehan Family, and organized a group which was called The Willing Workers. The year 1984 will mark the 60th anniversary of this group which has worked hard to strengthen and sustain the spiritual and financial life of our church.

Charter members of the Willing Workers included Cecil Beers; Marguerite DeLong; Florence DeLong; Jennie Losee; Mildred Mallory; Mary Northrop; Ruth Northrop; Ida West; Frances Woodworth and Estelle Woodworth.

During succeeding years, other ladies who became active members were Ann Green; Marian Losee, Viola Losee, Elsie Fluhr, Marguearite Ruoff, Amy Sackett, Leudora Woodworth; Grace Woodworth; Betty Meehan; Bertha West, Madge Ruoff, France Fox, Edna Woodworth and Betty Cady. Both Ann Green and Marian Losee served as president for many years; and Mildred Mallory served as secretary-treasurer for 42 years before retiring in 1976.

The group meets weekly during the winter months and makes large quilts, baby quilts, sofa pillows, aprons, balsam pillows and many other fancy articles which are sold at the two Fairs during the summer. A record number of 22 quilts, both large and baby, were made during the winter of 1963-64; and 25 during the winter of 1981-82.

In addition to the Fairs, the group over the years has also sponsored Spring and Fall Rummage and Bake Sales; have helped with the Easter Sunrise breakfast; supported the East Jewett Rescue Squad; helped Dan and Nancy Miles at Children’s Bible Fellowship Hopetown School; sponsored family Night Suppers; given many bridal and baby showers; sent flowers to the ill in hospitals; packed fruit baskets for the older folks and bought gifts and candy for the children at Christmas; and have helped the church and Sunday School with their expenses.

During 1982, The Willing Workers supported the church by a pledge, paying the telephone bill and the insurance bill, and helped with the repair of the parsonage with a total amount of $1,944. They also gave to the Building Fund the amount of $5,616.65 for replacing the roof and the ceiling in the sanctuary. The roof has already been put on by the men of the church at a cost of $700 for which everyone is grateful.

The present membership of the Willing Workers includes two charter members Marguerite DeLong and Mildred Mallory; also Lillian Miles, president; Dena Lawrence, vice-president; Linda Varelas, secretary-treasurer; Susan Neugebauer; Marge Loucks, Myrtle Legg, Carol Muth, Myra Drossel, Lorraine Dean, Ethel Phinney, Connie Canfield, Lonna Hitchcock and Alvena Hitchcock.

Officers of the East Jewett United Methodist Church

Dr. Roy C. Nichols……………………Resident Bishop
Rev. Robert W. Smyres………….……District Superintendent
Rev. Llewellyn Dean…….……………Minister
James Varelas…………….………..….Lay Leader
Thomas Hitchcock….……...…..….…Administrative Board Chairman


Gene Drossel, Susan Neugebauer, Steve Canfield, Alyce Schauffert, Janet Trach, Carol Muth, Ch.

Sunday School Officers

Thomas Hitchcock – Superintendent  
Susan Neugebaurer – Secretary-Treasurer
Kathy Varelas – Pianist

Willing Workers Officers

Mrs. Lillian Miles – President
Mrs. Dena Lawrence – Vice President
Mrs. Ling Varelas – Secretary-Treasurer

Church Membership

Resident Members

Barber, Colon

Hitchcock, Thomas

Phinney, Edward

Barber, Elizabeth

Lawrence, Dena

Phinney, Ethel

Barber, Robert

Lawrence, Robert

Rappleyea, Debbie

Bliss, Donald

Lawrence, Sharon

Robinson, Dorothy

Bonestell, Martha

Legg, Donald

Robinson, Merrill

Canfield, Connie

Legg, Myrtle

Robinson, Peggy

Canfield, Steve

Loucks, Gerry

Ruoff, Vivian

DeLong Marguerite

Loucks, Marge

Trach, Janet

Drossel, Eugene

Loucks, Marian

Trach, Susan

Dorssel, Kevin

Mallory, Mildred

Trach, William

Drossel, Myra

Miles, Lillian

Varelas, James

Hitchcock, Alvena

Muth, Carol

Varelas, Kathy

Hitchcock, Elwood

Muth, Tamara

Varelas, Linda

Hitchcock, Lonna

Neugebauer, Susan

Warfield, Eunice


O’Bryan, Adelaide.



Non- Resident

Edson, Leona – 37 Branch Drive, E. Hartford, Conn. 06118
Geiselhard, Donna – Village 1, Apt. M6, Manands, N. Y. 12204
Hall, Eva – 138 Edgewood Dr., Radcliffe, KY. 40160
Liese, Laure – Port Ewen, N. UY. 12466
Loucks, George – 95 Skyway Dr., Scotia, N.Y. 12302
Northrup, Milton – New Paltz, N. Y. 12561
O’Bryan, Margaret – Green Co. Nursing Home, Catskill, N. Y. 12414
Omichi, Alice – Bloomington, N. Y. 12411
Saunders, Beatric – 7124 Beulah St. Alexandria, VA. 22310
Speenburgh, Marjorie – 31 Early St., Apr. A-5, Morristown, M. Y. 17960

Record of Pastors

1833 East Jewett Circuit Established

  1. Henry W. Reed – Samuel N. Knapp
  2. I. Broadhead – W.W. Reed – D. Bullock
  3. Phillip L. Hoyt – Joseph H. Grost
  4. Elbert Osborne – Goodrich Horton
  5. Joseph D. Marshall – G. Horton
  6. F. W. Sizer – D. B. Turner
  7. O. B. Turner – O. W. Munger
  8. O. W. Munger – Russel S. Scott
  9. O. G. Headstrom – Wm. F. Gould
  10. William Lull - W. F. Gould
  11. William Lull – John Davy
  12. Daniel S. Wright – David Bullock
  13. David I. Wright – C. T. Mallory
  14. Ezra S. Cook – C. T. Mallory
  15. E. S. Cook – Wm. R. Mitchell
  16. Luther W. Peck – W. R. Mitchell
  17. G. C. Bancroft – W. F. Gould
  18. Silas Fitch –Robert Kerr
  19. Jason Wetts
  20. Jason Wetts – Noble Lovell
  21. James W. Smith – Ashel M. Hough
  22. James W. Smith
  23. Wm. Gap – James M. Burgar
  24. Wm. Gap – James M. Burgar
  25. Wm. Gap – George Woodworth
  26. United with Windham and called "Windham Circuit"
  1. J. H. Chapman – George Woodworth
  2. W. T. Gould
  3. East Jewett Organized Separately

1860 – 81 G. B. Crippen 1867 – 68 G. W. Martin
1862 – 63 J. T. Burger 1869 – 70 Robert Kerr
1864 F. G. Slater 1871 R. Decker
1865 W. W. Taylor 1872 –73 Seeny Martin
1866 Aaron Rogers 1874 H. F. Odell
1875 – 77 C. H. Travis


1878 United with Hensonville and Maplecrest to form the "Hensonville Charge"

1878 – 80 George Woodworth             1927 – 28 George N. Callaway
1881 – 83 A. B. Barber                           1928 – 29 Fred W. Stein
1884 – 86 A. H. Haynes                         1929 - 32 Leon Booth
1887 – 88 Charles A. Holla                   1932 – 34 Charles B. Livingston
1889 – 90 E. M. Kniskern                      1934 – 37 Charles E. Hewitt
1891 E. R. Ackerly                                 1937 – 39 Oscar Lockett
1892 – 93 J. P. Race                                1939 – 43 Robert C. Reynolds
1894 – 98 J. Keogan                                1943 – 45 Gene Black
1896 – 95 B. E. Smith                             1945 – 46 Clement Brown
1898 – 00 W. E. Morse                           1946 William L. Comstock
1900 – 04 George R. Abram                  1946 – 53 William A. Fox
1904 – 06 F. A. Coons                            1953 – 72 Merton S. Cady
1906 -- D. N. F. Blakeney                      1956 –72 Colin Campbell
1911 – 17 William L. Comstock           1974 Elmer A. Bostock
1917 – 18 Joseph E. Spencer                 1974 – 76 Kenneth Baldwin
1918 – 19 W. S. Empleton                     1976 – 80 Paul Woodward
1919 –21 Nicholas Hess                        1980 – 82 Robert Cronk
1921 – 24 Fred Hults                             1982 Paul Allen
1924 – 27 Harry Lammond                  1982 Llewellyn Dean

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