United Church Pilgrimage To Bethel Gilead This Sunday

People / Aug. 10, 2017 11:33am EDT

The United Church of Randolph will hold its annual pilgrimage to the historic Methodist Church of Bethel Gilead, Sunday, Aug. 13 at 10 a.m.

According to author Leyland Wood’s “Two Vermont Hollows,” the first gatherings were before 1801, out-of-doors and in homes. He also notes that Methodism was not welcome and often persecuted. It is estimated that the building itself was built considerably before the re-shingling in 1841.

By 1893, there was no resident minister at this church, with supply ministers coming from the Methodist District or surrounding towns. Even after membership dwindled, services were held at least once a year. In 1972, Rev. James Lupton, of the United Church of Randolph, who lived in the old William McIntosh home in Gilead, held services during the months of July and August.

The building has been the victim of many storms and floods. In Wood’s words, “The old church has survived storms, hurricanes, disastrous flood, depredations and the elements of time. When one sits in the old straight-backed, un- padded pews, it would seem that the spirit of Washington Granger (a former minister) still watches over us.”

“Old Home Sunday” will feature Pastor Roger Wotton preaching, as well as special music

A potluck picnic will follow. For more information, call Harriet Chase at 728-6677.

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