Flint Hill (Wesley) Church History

Below are various documents relating to the history of Flint Hill Church

Flint Hill (Wesley) United Methodist Church and Cemetery is located in Franklin Township, Chester County, PA on Flint Hill road two miles south of Kemblesville, PA or ¼ mile north of the PA/MD state line on Flint Hill road.

 The Flint Hill United Methodist (UM) Congregation was formed prior to 1829 and held meetings at Daugherty’s paper mill. In 1831, Flint Hill Methodist Church was organized at Flint Hill when Robert Wittendale and his wife Elizabeth sold the UM Congregation the land for one penny. The church was built in 1832 and was destroyed by fire in 1854. After the fire, the UM Congregation worshipped with the Presbyterian Congregation until 1860. In 1860, the church was rebuilt on the original location and used by the UM Congregation until 1901 when they united with the Kemblesville UM Church and took over the Presbyterian building. In 1903, Flint Hill UM Church was opened again for prayer meetings and Sunday school with occasional preaching. In 1913, Flint Hill UM Church again became a regular preaching appointment. In 1963, the UM Church Conference in Philadelphia, PA officially closed the Flint Hill Church Congregation. In 1965, Flint Hill UM Church was again destroyed by fire not too long after the local police chased a group of rowdies from the church. Harry Lee Swain acted as the Flint Hill UM Church Archivist, and upon his death in 1989 his son Earl Eugene transferred all church and cemetery records to the Kemblesville UM Church. Within two years, the Kemblesville Church burnt with the lost of all church and cemetery records. The church was also known as Flint Hill Wesley Church. The site is now called Flint Hill Cemetery. As of March 2003, the Flint Hill UM Church remains in ruins with the cemetery slowly deteriorating

 Myrna Faye Peterson and Robert Lewis Herold were the last couple married in Flint Hill Church on 19 September 1958.

 

Marriage Certificate of Last Marriage Performed at Flint Hill Church
 (Permission granted by "bride" to include this image.  Faye notes that this marriage ended in 1979.)

Thelma’s Letters

As of 1 April 2003

 

Thelma Ann (Knight) Maiorano for many years has researched Cecil County Maryland, Flint Hill (Wesley) Church and has shared three letters (documents) with Arthur Craig Mizner that are replies to her research letters. As these documents are copies of hand written letters or typewriter copies, Craig key stroked the letters into MS Office Word, corrected typos, and attempted to duplicate the style and format of the original documents.

 Thelma has given her permission to share these research documents with you.

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Document 1

 George L. Caley

HISTORICAL – GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH SERVICE
118 South Delaware Street
SMYRNA, DELAWARE 19977
302-635-8844
April 8, 1984 

Mrs. Thelma Maiorano
14 Haileys Trail
Newark, Delaware 19711

 Dear Mrs. Maiorano:

 First off, I trust, that I have spelled your name correctly.  If not, I apologize, however; the third letter looked like a v yet it had a dot above it - so forgive my misinterpretation.

 From the tone of your letter I really could not understand just exactly what you wanted from me, but I will write about what I think were your intentions.

Flint Hill Methodist Church conjures up two closed and abandoned churches of the same original name.  One of them is in Cecil County, Maryland, near the Delaware line, and the other-renamed Wesley, now a private home, on (Route) 896 out of Newark (Delaware) towards Pennsylvania – both approximately five miles from Newark. The one in Maryland I know about; the other in Delaware I know nothing about.  The one in Maryland has an abandoned cemetery - some of my wife’s relatives were buried there, but I did NOT know, or I do NOT know anything about a cemetery near that one on (Route) 896.

I can write that the so-called Flint Hill Church, whose correct name was Wesley, was closed, it was sold to another denomination – I think the denomination may have been Mennonite or another plain sect.  Just a few years ago it was sold to a private individual who has turned it into a private dwelling. I have driven up (Route) 896 from Smyrna (Delaware) to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for the past thirty-five years, and again in all of that time I never knew that there was a cemetery there.  If that is the Flint Hill Church about which you have written.

In either case of the churches, there are not any cemetery records. METHODIST just did not brother to keep any sort of records, let alone cemetery ones.  From its founding two hundred years ago in 1784 until just prior to the Civil War, Methodist records for 95 percent of the churches in Delaware are non-existent.  Once in a great while some preacher’s grandchild might find that preacher’s records, which he carried with him, and turn the old book, a zerox copy or a typed copy of it over to the State Archives in Dover.  As the Parratt’s Chapel (Museum) repository is only 20 years old we have NOT had any accumulation of old records.

According to my notes here in front of me SOME baptisms, marriages and member lists of the Cecil Circuit of the ME Church 1850 through 1869 are to be found in Volume 20 of Church Records at the Delaware State Museum in Dover.  The Cecil Circuit at that time included McClellandsville, (Delaware).

BUT if Robert Sargent were alive in 1868, I doubt whether or not he would have been dead and buried by 1869.  Yet one never knows. Try U.S. Censuses right there in the Morris Library University of Delaware and New Castle Tax Assessment Lists in Dover in hopes of finding his death date IF that’s your request.

I probably have not answered your question, but I tried.

 

Sincerely yours,
(signed)
George L. Caley
Peninsula Conference UM Church – Historian 

P.S.

IF IF IF there was a tombstone on the lot in the cemetery in Delaware, and IF it was standing in 1930, then there is an off chance that it and any others in the cemetery may have been taken in the 1930 Cemetery Tombstone Census.  That is really NOT its name, but between 1930 and 1934 in order to give the unemployed work, the Secretary of State, Walter G. Tatnall had a survey made of every cemetery within the state of Delaware.  The actual work is called THE TATNALL TOMSTONE RECORDS and it, too, is on file at the Delaware State Archives.  NOW, fifty years later, we know that all of the cemeteries were not done, and thus the RECORDS are not complete, but the majority of those in exist then (at that time) were found.  RECORDS of the cemetery were NOT included; just the essential data from the tombstone.

You might also try the Historical Society of Delaware on Market Street in Wilmington.

If the Flint Hill MARYLAND one is the one you are seeking, then try the Cecil County Historical Society in Elkton, Maryland, or the State Archives in Annapolis, Maryland.

 

Sincerely,
(signed)
George

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Document 2

Letter contains typed header with hand written (very shaky) message. 

Charles I. Carpenter
P.O. Box 206
Milford, Delaware 19963
April 16, 1984 

Dear Mrs. Maiorano,

          I am sorry to have delayed in answering your letter of April 5th, but some research was necessary in order to ascertain such merger information as I can give you.

           First – IT is necessary to realize that the Wilmington Conference of the Methodist Church was established in 1869.  Prior to that time the Philadelphia Conference had jurisdiction of the Methodist from Philadelphia to Cape Churches on the (Delmarva) Peninsula.  Flint Hill M. E. Church, was built prior to 1853 was given an appointed minister by the Philadelphia Conference. Flint Hill Methodist Church burned in 1853.

         The big discussion started among the officials of the church as to the place in which the church would be built. Finally some official gave land to build the church the area of McClellandville (Delaware).  The church was rebuilt there in 1854 and renamed Wesley M. E. Church and was damaged by fire in 1890. The church was improved in 1915 but was ordered sold in 1929.

         Part of this information may be found on page 251 in Hallmen’s book “The Garden of Methodism” Other information may be found on page 259 of the same book. 

The original Flint Hill Church Methodist Church was situated near Strickersville, PA. The new church Wesley M. E. Church was built near McClellandville (Delaware). 

Since the Flint Hill Methodist Church was within the boundaries of the   Philadelphia Conference (prior to the establishment of the Wilmington Conference) I presume that records of that church and the construction of the new church (Wesley M. E. church would be in the records of the present Eastern Philadelphia Conference. It would be especially true of the cemetery at Flint Hill since the entire area was under the jurisdiction of the Philadelphia Conference at the time you mentioned (1853 and beyond). Old cemeteries are really difficult to established responsibility. 

I hope I have helped you, the information given above can be found in the museum at Parratt’s Chapel, Delaware.

                                                          Sincerely
                                                                   (signed)
                                                                   Charles Carpenter
                                                                   Curator - Emeritus

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Document 3

 

Office of                                                            Commission on Archives and History
ARCHIVIST-LIBRARIAN                                and the Historical Society of the
326 NEW ST.                                                      Eastern Pennsylvania Conference
PHILA., PA. 19106                                    Of the United Methodist Church                       

 

4 May 1984

 

Mrs. Thelma Maiorano
14 Haileys Trail
Newark, Delaware 19711 

Dear Mrs. Maiorano: 

Your April 30th letter is before me.

Since we last communicated one of the retired pastors of the conference came out with a book which lists practically every church that ever existed in this conference and a one paragraph history of same.

I quote, “The Flint Hill Church was closed in 1901 when they united with the Kemblesville Methodists and took over the Presbyterian building.  Wesley (Flint Hill) was opened again for prayer meetings and Sunday school, with occasional preaching in 1903, and in 1913 it again became a regular preaching appointment.  Flint Hill Church was finally closed in 1963”.

If a church merges in with another one the records traditionally go to the merged location.  Since we don’t have them they should have gone to Kemblesville.  I tried phoning them this morning but there wasn’t any answer.  I’ll put here the address so you are able to write them.

                                                                        The Rev. R. Youngdahl
                                                                        Kemblesville U. M. Church
                                                                        Box 35
                                                                        Kemblesville, PA 19347

Sure hope this helps.  Good luck!

                                                Sincerely, (signed)
                                                Brian McCloskey
                                                Administrator

 

Contributed by Arthur Craig Mizner <acmizner@charter.net>

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