History of the Beech Grove United Methodist Church
at Newells Run, Route 1, Newport,
Washington County, Ohio; by Patty
In the early history of the work
of the United Brethren in Christ in Ohio there was occasional preaching at or
near Marietta The adherents of the church living in the Eastern portion of
Washington County, Ohio were, at first, under the care of the Wills Creek
In 1856 a Rev. H. Rice was
appointed to take charge and became a pastor of the Kinderhook Church
which was later called the Beech Grove Circuit.
The Beech Grove
Church was organized in a
school house at Newells Run in 1868. The congregation was not large but with
firm conviction that they would prosper the people went forward and made
arrangements for the erection of a church. The site of an old Methodist Church,
near the mouth of Newells Run, was thought the most eligible, and it was
accordingly purchased from Jonathan Hoff for the sum of $1 50. This church was
built of log prior to 1840 and was organized by Rev. Jones The old church,
which had years before been deserted by the Methodists and had been since used
as a tobacco shed, was torn down and a very neat little frame building put in
its place Mr. Lewis Rowland and sons hauled the stone for the foundation. O’
Blennis was employed as the carpenter and others donated their labor. Mr. and
Mrs. Augustus Leonard donated their board. This was in 1870 and in the
following year the house was dedicated to the honor and glory of God
The first minister of this
little church was Rev. George Athey. The succeeding ministers have been
Reverends AL Moore, Riddle, Miller, George Moore and John Coleman. Rev. Athey
had been re turned to the church once since he first had charge of it.
Some of the early Trustees of
the church were Isiah Bogard, L Phillips, William Guiten, Jacob Gario and Peter
Hasley. The pews of the church were made by Basil and Benson Edwards
From records in our church, in
1891, the Beech Grove Circuit consisted of five churches: Mt Zion, Beech Grove,
Yankeeburg, Mt Gilead and Zion Hill. In 1893 Mt Gilead and Zion Hill were
dropped from the circuit leaving Beech Grove, Yankeeburg and Mt Zion.
In March of 1903 it was brought
before the Quarterly Conference members at the Beech Grove class to start a U. B.
Church at Newport Ohio, In July of 1903 it was voted to add Bear Run to the
circuit bringing it back to five churches in the circuit
At the April 3, 1915 Trustee
meeting, the Board of Trustees were to get a permit from the common pleas court
to sell the U.B. Church at Newport John Shaw gave a report of the condition and
stated that there was no use made of the Newport Church and it should be sold
The proceeds received from the sale were to be applied to the parsonage. In the
April 24, 1915 record, two of the trustees, J.H. Mendenhall and Sherman Rowland
were to purchase the Abbie Newlen property for a parsonage and they were to
purchase it in their names and hold it until the churches of Newport Circuit
paid them $1,000 cost and interest to be added Then J.H. Mendenhall and Sherman
Rowland were to deed the property to the United Brethren Church Circuit or as
the Quarterly Conference of the Newport Circuit may direct. The assessment for
the Parsonage made by the trustees was as follows: Beech Grove — $500, Mt. Zion
— $250, Yankeeburg — $150, Bear Run — $100. The Parsonage Trustees requested
the Quarterly Conference to take action to have the proceeds of the Newport church property
after it was sold to be applied to the purchase of the Parsonage.
For the record, in 1921 the
pastors salary was $250.
From an August, 1931 report a
Quarterly meeting was held at Beech Grove with the following churches
represented: Yankeeburg, Fairview,
Beech Grove, Mt Olive and Mt.
In 1936-37, Beech Grove, Bear
Run, Yankeeburg and Fairview
were recorded as being in the Newport Circuit East Ohio Conference. At a
meeting on May 6, 1 938 Rev Arnold spoke concerning the preacher pension
campaign which was to be put on in all United Brethren Churches.
In 1942 the Annual Conference
took action that the salaries for each church be raised 1 0%. Dr. Arnold set
the goals for each church as follows: Beech Grove — $240, Bear Run — $110,
Yankeeburg — $80, and Fairview
In a 1944 report Dr. Arnold
talked again on the preacher pension fund and encouraged it for all churches
In an October 13, 1946 report Yankeeburg,
Beech Grove and the First
Church at Marietta went together.
At this time all three churches were without a pastor. Our records show that
Rev. Donald Smith came as pastor in late 1 946 or early 1947. Marietta was in our circuit until 1970.
Against the same background
which produced the United
at about the same time and in the same section of the country, the Evangelical Church was born. Jacob Albright was born
near Pottstown, Pennsylvania on May 1, 1759. He joined the army when the
Revolutionary War broke out. After the war he returned home. With sinfulness
around him he attended a summer evening prayer meeting and was converted He
united with the Methodist
Church, but due to his
absence from prayer and class meetings because of preaching tours, he lost his
membership in the Methodist
Church. While he found
fine fellowship with the Methodists, it was because they were not so inclined
to work among the German- speaking Americans that the Albright movement became
a separate one. Two new churches were formed and finally in 1922 the union of
the two churches was consummated under the name “The Evangelical Church.”
Even before the United Brethren
and Evangelical Churches were well established in the east, they were pushing
westward across the Alleghenies wherever German people migrated In the United
Brethren Church, Christian Newcomer was ordained bishop by Otterbein in 1813.
According to Bishop Newcomers own diary as early as 1813 there was a distinct
effort put forth to unite the United Brethren and Evangelical Church.
They shared similar discipline, doctrine and practices. This union was approved
by the two churches and on November 16. 1946 in a great conference held in
Johnstown, Pennsylvania the two groups forming
“The Evangelical United Brethren Church” with a combined membership of
more than 750,000.
The Methodist Church
and the Evangelical United brethren Church had always shared theology, doctrine
and a similar Book of Discipline. The Major difference between them had been
language. By the mid-twentieth century his was no longer a barrier. So, on
April 23, 1968, in Dallas Texas the two churches joined to form the United