The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

June 13, 2014

Doylesville United Methodist Church will celebrate homecoming June 22

MADISON COUNTY — Faith has kept this small community church alive. The Doylesville United Methodist Church sits in the heart of the rural Madison County community called Doylesville.

It was named after one of the community’s first merchants, Pat Doyle. Located about 12 miles northeast of Richmond, Doylesville is about one mile from the Kentucky River.

The community once had a grain mill called Weddle’s Mill, a general store, a ferry, a school and a church.

Camp meetings and revivals in the community got the church started. People came from up and down the Kentucky River for the preaching and singing. They came on foot, in wagons, carts and on horseback. Circuit riders came through the area to preach, usually staying with local families.

The Doylesville congregation was started in 1839 by Henry Brock. For many years, services were conducted in the home of Brock’s parents. Later, services were conducted in the community’s school house.

By 1879, it was time to build a church. It was located across from the school house on Doylesville Road. Hiram Jett gave a small tract of land on the bank of Clear Creek. He also donated materials and labor.

His father, Curtis Jett, owned an 1,100 acre farm in Breathitt County. He cut and hewed durable poplar logs on his land and they floated them down the Kentucky River to Ford in Clark County, not far from Doylesville. May Griggs, as a young boy, helped drive wagons to Ford and haul the logs to the church site one mile from the river.

Many church members lived in Clark County. They crossed the river on the Jackson Ferry, run by Bill and Al Hisle, before the river was dammed

In 1908, Magistrate John Griggs helped get a bridge built over Muddy Creek, which helped members get to the church.

Some names of the church’s many preachers include: Peoples, Cropper, Combs, Wells, Roberts and Buskirk. These men of God were shared by other churches in the area.

In 1930, College Hill Methodist, Doylesville Methodist and Red House Methodist shared a preacher. By 1938, Pine Groove Methodist was added. In 1940, Doylesville and Red House were together. The two churches then jointly owned a parsonage on Fifth Street. In 1952, the parsonage was sold, and the money was divided.

Since 1952, pastors have included McCloud, Hardy, Hart, Ray, Kaleb, Degemkolb, Frohardt and Coon. Currently, Bro. Arthur Ray preaches three Sundays a month with Ron Frohardt preaching the fourth Sunday.

Mrs. J.W.(Ann) Wall donated a parcel of land on Doylesville Road for a new parsonage. The house is now rented, with the money helping support the church. The table and two chairs in the sanctuary were donated by Walker J. and Gladys Wall.

In 1948, under Bro. Hart’s leadership, the first vacation Bible school was conducted. In 1957, under the leadership of Bro. John Begley, Sunday school rooms were built onto the church.

In March 1948, Harry Black gave the church a clear title to the land.

Bro. Rudd helped replace the windows with stained glass, and a gas stove replaced the coal burner.

The ladies of the church organized a missionary society and joined together during the Great Depression to raise money for a piano.

They had bake sales at Muncy’s Furniture Store (then located on Main Street in Richmond) on court days. They sold eggs for five cents a dozen and cakes for 50 cents.

After enough money was raised and the piano was purchased, Lloyd Griggs, a local farmer agreed to haul the piano to the church.

However, Griggs was accustomed to hauling cattle, not pianos. He picked up the piano in town and headed toward Doylesville over hills and around curves. Griggs rounded a curve and was going down a hill when he heard a crash. The piano lay shattered all over the road with piano keys scattered everywhere.

The next Sunday, Griggs put $25 on table before the congregation for a new piano. He had borrowed the money to replace the piano.

In December 1978, the faith of the members of this small church was tested, but they members rallied together. The flood that hit Madison County took its toll on the church. The members had moved the piano up to the altar for protection, but the water reached 54 inches deep in the sanctuary. In 1979, the basement was again flooded.

Still, church members kept their faith. New pews were ordered, and the Methodist denomination donated money for repairs. Betty Hatton donated a piano.

Music is and always will be a very important part of this church. Macie Wells played the piano for many years. Often she would have a small child sitting on the bench with her.

In 1956, Leola Bush and Ruth White played the piano. Today, Ruth White, who will turn 90 in August, still plays the piano regularly. Mary Louise Sewell, a retired music teacher helps keep the music alive in the small church.

The church has had a very faithful congregation over the years. Families counted among its members include: Walls, McKinney, Tracy, Dunbar, Baber, Isaacs, Wells, Eades, Reams, Kearns, Griggs, Lanter, Gosser, Abney, Frost, Hampton, Hatton, Tribble and Bush.

The church has traditonally celebrated its annual homecoming on the first Sunday of June. This year, however, the church members voted to schedule homecoming on June 22.

On homecoming Sunday, services will start 10 a.m. with a potluck lunch at noon. A special singing with Faded Blue is planned for the afternoon.

Come join the fellowship of a small, but a loving church that has stood the test of time.


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