Church History

On June 15, 1831, the Davidson Class was formed, consisting of eleven members.  Samuel Davidson, Sr. was the class leader and Thomas Millard was the first pastor.  The Davidson Class was on the Easton Circuit, Asbury District, Philadelphia Conference.  George Banghart was the Presiding Elder.


The first written record states "The members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Moore and Bushkill Townships obtained a tract of land in the township of Bushkill from Joseph Titus and his wife Mary for sum of $1.00.  This parcel of land contained one acre and two perches,  sufficient for a church and cemetery.  The first Trustees of the church were Joseph Titus, Sr., Jacob Davidson, Samuel Davidson, Jacob Kostenbader, Joseph Titus, Jr. and David Hawk.  Although the land was purchased in 1832, because of the  distance, one had to travel from Bushkill Township to Easton, the Deed was not recorded until August 14, 1871 when Samuel Davidson, Sr., the sole survivor of the first six trustees, recorded the deed. The church, a 28' x 45' structure was erected by seventeen men who began in October 1832 and dedicated the church in December 1832.

In 1848 the church was in the Reading District, Allentown Circuit.

James McFarland was the Presiding Elder and Joshua Turner was the minister.  Samuel Davidson, Sr. continued as class leader.  In 1850 Robert Gerry was the Presiding Elder and George McClaughlin was the minister.  By 1861 the congregation had 22 members.  The membership decreased to so few that services were discontinued until 1868 when, in March of 1868 at the conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, the Chapmansville Circuit, Philadelphia  Conference was organized.  J. A. Cooper was appointed as the pastor. By 1869, the congregation was steadily growing.  In 1870 ten new members were received on one year probation, which was the procedure at that time for anyone wishing to join the church.  After one year a vote was taken to accept or reject  each probationer.  The new members wereE. Cole, L. Davidson, A. Davidson, T. Davidson, Mahlon Williamson, L. Williamson, R. Williamson, S. Williamson,  and H. Williamson.   In 1870, the old log cabin church was torn down and a new church was erected.

The altar was dark brown in color and shaped in a half-circle, according to Mary Hahn.

The choir corner and the Amen corner were elevated (one step up) and then another step up for the pulpit.  The front of the church was where the two lecterns now stand.  The church was lit with carbide lights and made a “large air noise”, according to Alice Heckman.  The carbide was kept in a small shed outside the church.  (This is where the current restroom addition is located.)  The choir was seated on the left as you entered the church.  Music was played on an organ that had two foot pedals.  The organ sat against the front wall of the church.  The church did not have a piano at that time.  Jennie Titus was organist and she taught Pearl Knecht and Viola Werner to play.  Pearl and Viola later became organists themselves.  Organists were elected and there was a tie vote between Jennie Titus and Edith Rissmiller so they played on alternate Sundays.  The pipe organ was purchased and installed in 1940.  The Amen corner was on the front right hand side as you entered the church. (This is where the present day choir sits.)  The Amen corner had three short benches with about five men sitting on them.   Alice Heckman remembers walking to church from the corner of Clearfield and Mountain Roads with her grandmother, Susanna Hawk.  The circuit ministers rode on horseback to Slateville (Pen Argyl), Belfast and Chapman Quarries.  Sometime, prior to 1949, the church purchased a bus to transport people to church, according to a newspaper article.  The general bus route was Bushkill Center Road, Clearfield Road, Old Grade Road, Mountain Road, Old Allentown Road, Male Road, Broadway, Moorestown Road (Rte. 512) and back to the church.    The bus drivers were volunteers and took turns as they were available.  The drivers were Roy J.B. Ackerman, William Dilcherd, Raymond Faust, Wilson Rissmiller, Richard Charles, Sr., William E. Dilcherd, James Kessler, Sr. and Marcus Yeakel.  Marcus is the only driver still living today.