Skip to main content

Full text of "The Origin and Progress of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Warren, R.I.: Including Notices of ..."

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 

Ilartiarb College JMwcf 


One half the income from thb Legacy, which was re- 
ceired in 1880 under the will of 

of Waltham, MaMachoaettg, it to be expended for book* 
for the CoUi^ Library. The other half of the income 
it deroted to tcholanhipt in Harvard Unlrertity for the 
benefit of descendants of 

who died at Watertown, M assachnsetts, in 1686. In the 
absence of such dcMendants, other persons are eligible 
to the scholarships. The wiU requires that this announce- 
ment shall be made in every book added to the Library 
under its provisions. 




Methodist Episcopal Church 








M. ^. TALBOT, D. D. 




^£> /H4D3,/^.3t3 

JLCIH^DI 1^^''^ 



metfiotiijSt Spijscopal Cfjurcl) in barren, 


TiiR Writrr has passed an AaiiRRAiiLE Pastoratr, 






This does not claim to be a coniplcte history of tlie 
Church at Warren, as the reader of these pages will read- 
ily perceive. What is here written has been obtained 
with an amoant of labor and research which might have 
produced greater and more satlsfoctory results had the 
work been prosecuted some years earlier, when many ac- 
tors in these scenes were living, who have now passed 
away. All available sources of Information have been 
explored : attempts have been made to rescue facts of In- 
terest flrom the decaying memories of aged persons ; pub- 
lic records have been searched, and the writer has been 
much Indebted to published works, to which due acknowl- 
edgment Is made In the appropriate places. Some pages 
of manuscript prepared by the Rev. J. H. James, and a 
manuscript sermon of the Rev. Sidney Dean have rendered 
valuable assistance in the work; and the author's thanks 
are due to the Hon. Henry II. Luther, Town Clerk of 
Warren, for his cburtesy In affording access to the records 
of the town, and supplying valuable Information. The 
special Interest of the work Is limited to a single locality. 


"Willie It Is also an Item In the history of a great conncc- 
tlonal Church ivhose branches now extend tq all parts of 
the world. Its local character penults much detail which 
would not be appropriate to a work of a more general char- 
acter. Such are the accounts of persons, places and 
buildings, which are minutely followed In order that those 
now and hereafter living In the town may not be destitute 
of this Information. Quite probably defects In dates 
and In statements of supposed facts may be discovered as 
these sketches are read. The writer has endeavored to 
correct discrepancies In current traditions ; and If he has 
D&llen Into errors, they may be corrected In case another 
edition should be called for. 

Warren, February, 1876. 



IntTodnotory— Religion in Now England— Embury and Straw- 
bridge— Josse Leo in Conneoticnt— Visit to Rtiode Island- 
In Boston— First Visit to Warren— Daniel Smith— Samuel 
Pierce— First Sermon In Warren— L. Smith and M. Raynor 
First Close— Hartford Circuit-^ Worship in a bam-*E. Cooper, 


Fir6t Statistics— Warren Circuit— Martin Luther— Opposition 
—Philip Wager— John Chalmers^Church bnllding— John 
I^uther's will— Effects of the Revolution— Church Dedica- 
tion, ...... 85^e 

Finishing the Church— The lottery—** Herald of the United 
States*'- Death of Zadoc Priest— Lorenso Dow— Daniel 
Ostrander— Joseph Snelling- Warren Circuit— Anecdote of 
Lee— John Brodhead— Joshua Hall— New England Confer- 
ence organized— Warren and Greenwich— Snelling and 
Langdon, -.---- 47-08 

Changes— John Hill— Secession— Low state of affairs— Pray- 
ing women — Improvement — Ministers— Revival— Joshua 
Crowell— First list of members— Isaac Bonney— Henry 
Beehm— Samuel Merwin, ... - . 67-108 

A local ministry— J. Rexford— The Baptist Church— CoSpero- 
tion— Revival of 1820— An **old ftishioned quarterly meet- 
ing "—Conference at Bristol— Ministerial support— List of 
members— Obitnaries-Expenses-Longing for a change, 107-198 



Seeking a pastor— Isaac Stoddard— List of members— N. S. 
Spaulding— Reyiyal— N. Paine-Repair of church edifice 
General contribn tions — J. Porter — Incorporation — Anti- 
slavery— Orange Scott— I. Bonney, - • • ]S7>144 


Enlargement of the church edifice- List of pew-holders— 
Jonathan Alger— S. W. Wilson— A Pastor*s house built— 
Sunday School— B. Hagoun Superintendent— His first assist- 
ant— Hary G. Anthony— W. Liyesey—Bducation— Joseph 
Smith, ...... 145-165 


I. Bonncy again Pastor— Conference at Warren— Mew church 
built— The land secured— Charter amended— Capt. Wm. 
Carr—R. H. Hatfield— F. Upham— C. 8. Hazard— P. Towns- 
end— Collections— Town dock— B. Rich— R. W. Allen— Revi- 
yal—Caughey— Conference— D. Patten— 8. Benton— T. C* 
Williams— B.T.Fiotclicr— Death of Joseph Smith, .- 150-181 


S. C. Brown— Improyement»— Bell— Organ— New parsonage— 
J. D. Butler— Reyiyal-J. Q.Adams-Progress— G. H. Titus 
T. C. Williams' i^siguation— L. D. Davis— 8. Dean— W. P. 
Hyde— Sunday School- Enlistments— J. Livesey- Charter 
amended, • • • ... 188-103 


The centenary— Its observance— Centennial discourse, lM-217 


Remarkable revival— J. H. James— Continued interest— Mrs. 
Hannah Smith— Obituailes— Children's meetings— Declen- 
sion— Contributioiis—C. II. Titus— Alterations iu Uie church 
edifice- Reopening— S. Dean's sermon — Methodist State 
Convention— H. B. Hibben— H. S. Thompson— Death of 
Lydia Haile and Sally Ingraham— List of Pastors— Conclu- 
sion, ^ • - . . - - 818-888 


HE "Great Awakening," which visited the 
Congregational Churches of New England 
in 1740 and the following years, will ever 
be memorable on account of the impulse then given 
to religious activity and the spirit of propagandism 
in the churches of that denomination. The labors 
of Jonathan Edwards in the promotion of spiritual 
piety have secured for him a fame as enduring as 
that derived from his great philosophical writings, 
and of far greater value, as his activity in that 
direction has conferred so much greater benefit on 
mankind. Of the eminent Calvinistic divines who 
assisted in the propagation of primitive experimental 
religion in the last century, George Whitcficld was 
one of the chief; and his religious zeal and energy 
in evangelistic effort were the result of his association 


wiUi the Qrst Methodist '<club" at Oxford Univer- 
sity, in which he was a fellow-member with the two 
Wesleys, and other like-minded yonng men. He 
closed at once his labor and life at Newburyport, 
Massachusetts, in 1770. The effects of the great 
awakening through Whitefield's labors are still per- 
ceptible in the churches of the Calvinistic faith, in 
the quickened religious life and the carefully guarded 
doctnnes and requirements relative to experimental 
piety. This result has been especially observable in 
the churches of the Baptist order, which at the time 
referred to were neither numerous nor influential 
in the greater part of N^w England ; but have since 
increased greatly both in numbers and strength. 

The reaction which followed in the next half-century 
after Edwards' revival, exhibited a deplorable relapse 
f^om his heartfelt religiousness and the zeal of his 
times. Socinianism, Arianism and Universalism 
arose in great force in various quarters, over the 
ruins of the evangelical belief which he and his co- 
laborers had so successfully and zealously labored to 
establish. The religious character of New England 
passed through a revolution nearly as complete as 


that which was just about to take place in the 
political relations of the country ; the one control- 
ling theology and sect giving place to numerous 
bodies of varying forms of belief and modes of 
religious life. 

There was but little knowledge of experimental 
piety among the people. It was not generally be- 
lieved possible for any one to obtain the assurance 
of the pardon of sin in the present life ; and to enter 
into covenant relation with the church and attend 
to the external ordinances of religion was regarded 
as the way to " obtain a hope ;" while any who pro- 
fessed more than this were stigmatized as enthusiasts. 
The severest tenets of Calvinism were held with a 
rigor rarely exhibited in our days, and the encounters 
between these and the more liberal views which 
began to be introduced were frequent and warm, the 
hostility against the new ideas being often shown in 
legal enactments, mob violence and insults of the 
vilest descriptions. 

It was at this epoch of conflicting opinions that 
Arminian, or Wesleyan, Methodism appeared on the 
scene. In the year 1766, Philip Embury, in New 


York, and Robert Strawbridge, in Maryland, both 
of whom were Irishmen and had been licensed as 
preachers in connection with the Wesleyans at home, 
began to preach the doctrine of free, and full, and 
conscious salvation, through the voluntary surrender 
and personal faith of the believer. It was the same 
doctrine that the Wesleys were proclaiming beyond 
the Atlantic. These emigrants and their associates, 
having the experience in themselves, could not refrain 
from declaring it. Through their zealous exertions, 
societies were formed in many places. 

Widely different were the surroundings of these two 
pioneer apostles of Methodism. Emburj^'s work, be- 
gun in the heart of the national metropolis, languished 
and for some time, scarcely made a perceptible impres- 
sion upon the population in general ; his humble chapel 
gathered but small audiences ; and Methodism made 
its way to its subsequent commanding position in 
that city, and to the north and east, with slow and 
labored steps. At Pipe Creek, in Maryland, Straw- 
bridge erected a chapel of logs, twenty-two feet 
square, and having no floor, no door and no windows, 
to which the rustic population thronged, and from 


which an ibfluence rapidly spread to the adjacent 
colonies; and an influential people had been col- 
lected under the standard of Methodism, including 
rich and poor, colored and white, before the fires of 
the Revolution burst upon the land, with the accom- 
panyingdesolationof all religious interests. Preachers 
of the doctrine multiplied in tlie Middle States and 
extended tlieir evangelizing efforts far to the South, 
while as yet nothing was done in New England, and 
the name of Methodism had scarcely been heard in 
this section of the country. 

Such was the direction which the work followed 
for a fhll score of years after these first evangelists 
began their proclamation of the gospel. But the 
regards of Jesse Lee having been turned toward 
New Bngland, he resolved in 1789 on an effort to in- 
troduce Methodism into the Eastern States. He 
was of the Virginia family of the same name ; and 
as the pioneer of the new religious movement, he 
has laid the North and East under fully as heavy 
obligation to him as his relatives and namesakes 
have, for their part In the achievement of national 


Mr. Lee's ecclesiastical relation was with the Balti- 
more Conference, and with the exception of the 
years spent in introducing and superintending the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in New England, his 
ministerial life was passed in the Middle States. He 
was a man of strong intellect, of quick perception, 
ready repartee, and great administrative ability. 
He lacked but few votes of an election to the Epis- 
copal office at the General Conference of 1800. 
Says the Rev. Henry Boehm: <<As the Apostle of 
Methodism in the East he can never be forgotten. 
Ho was the pioneer of a noble army of Methodist 
preachers who have revolutionized New England and 
New England theology. All over its hills and valleys 
he has written his name in characters that will be 
read by succeeding generations until the end of time.^' 
He continued his earnest clerical labors until the 
very end. At a camp-meeting in Hillsborough, 
Maryland, he preached the second sermon after the 
opening on the 22d of August, 1816, and was almost 
immediately after prostrated with the disease which 
terminated fatally on the 12th of September. He died 
*< happy," in peace with God and all men, aiid sent 

JfiflSB LEE. 7 

final messages of special love to his brethren in the 
ministry. He was never married. 

In the month of June, 1789, he organized the first 
Methodist ** society" in New England, at Stratfield, 
in Connecticut. It was a dhiss composed of three 
women. Tliere were a few other Methodists in the 
towns in that State which are situated on the border 
of New York, connected with societies in the latter 
State ; and these constituted the sum total of the de- 
nomination in New England at that date. 

Mr. Lee, whose special field of labor was in the 
south-western towns of Connecticut, was not content 
to restrict his efibrts within any narrow limits ; but 
anxious to ascertain the prospect of advancing 
1 789. the work further toward the east, he made an ex- 
cursion into Washington County, Rhode Island, 
which was at that time almost exclusively an agricul- 
tural section. He preached in several places and was 
evidently gratified with his reception and the results 
of his visit. In his journal he says : " I have found 
a great many Baptists in this part of the country, 
who are lively in religion. They are mostly different 
from those I have formerly been acquainted with ; 


for these will lot men of all persuasions commune 
with them, if they believe they are in favor with the 
Lord." In all his journeys through places where 
Methodists were unknown, he found difllculty in 
penetrating the hard crust of Congregationalism; 
while access was comparatively easy to the warmer 
hearts of Baptist Christians, who had less distrust 
of men of different belief, and less fear of enthusiasm 
when they discovered evidences of true piety and 
experimental knowledge of religion..' In Connecti« 
cut the instances were rare in which he met a ready 
welcome. It was necessary, first, to settle upon a 
creed before hearts or houses were opened to him. 
In Rhode Island, where religion always had been free 
and consciences unrestricted, there was toleration for 
all beliefs, and each true Christiivn had a wann heart 
for all, regardless of the minor difTorences. More- 
over, the freedom fi*om State and church alliance, 
and the absence of any large member of Congrega- 
tionlist churches, in this State, had prevented the in- 
fluence of the great religious declension and the 
controversies which agitated the other parts of New 
England, from producing so disastrous results in 

JESSE lee's first VISIT. 9 

Rhode Island; and there was a good number of 
"lively" Christians in all parts of the common- 

In 1790, Mr. Lee made another journey eastward, 
penetrating still further into New England, which, 
except the small portion visited the previous year, 
was still an unknown laud to him. He now extended 
his tour to the metropolis, and on the tenth of July 
in the last-named year, he preached his first sermon 
in Boston, under the old elm tree on the Common, 
The people of the city and its vicinity were under 

the apathetic influence of the reaction from 
1790. the gi*eat revival, and of the theological 

disturbances which soon after this culminated 
in the division of the Congregationalist churches 
into two classes, "Orthodox" and "Unitarian." 
Strangely the voice of free grace fell upon an atmos- 
phere surcharged with the extreme elements of 
partial redemption and unconditional election and 
reprobation on one hand, and the most outspoken 
socinianism on the other ; and for it long time this 
messenger of a Gospel of free grace for man's in- 
ability and of free will for the discharge of his 


personal obligation, was scouted from tlie pulpits of 
the Bostonians, was refused tlieir hospitality and 
denied- a preaching place except on the common 
under the elm, — a place to which all had access, and 
from which none could be driven except as public 
enemies or disturbers of the peace. (This ancient 
tree was prostrated and destroyed in a gale on the 
16th of February, 1876.) 

On his way to Boston at this time, Mr. Lee passed 
through Rhode Island, crossing the Bay from Narra. 
gansett to Newport, travelling over the Island, and 
across the ferry to Bristol. He then made his first 
visit to Warren. At this place, says Stevens' 
Hiistory, '^ he was cordially admitted to the pulpits 
of other denominations, and treated with much kind- 
ness" by the people generally. What pulpits are 
referred to in this extract cannot now be ascei-tained. 
At that time the present town of Warren had no 
church except the Baptist church, which was desti- 
tute of a pastor from June, 1790, when the Rev. 
John Pitman resigned the pastorate, to October, 
1793, when the Rev. Luther Baker took the charge ; 
the pulpit having been supplied chiefly by the Rev. 


Nathaniel Cole. (Rev. J. P. Tustin's Historical Dis- 
course.) This was the time of Lee's visit. He was 
doubtless treated with courtesy by the people of 
this parish ; and it may be that his general remark 
applies to two or three churches of different orders 
of Baptists in the neighboring tov ns of Swansea 
and Rehoboth. 

Mr. Lee had been preceded in this town, the previ- 
ous year, by the Rev. Daniel Smith, who was, so far 
as can be ascertained, the first Methodist Minister 
who ever preached in Warren, and was one of three 
who came to assist Mr. Lee in the work in New 
England, that year. This occurred in the autumn of 
1789 ; and there is no record of a second previous to 
the visit of Jesse Lee in the summer of 1790. Mr. 
Smith was a native of Philadelphia, and at the time 
of his preaching in Warren, was but twenty years»of 
age. He continued in New England but three years, 
but gained a firm hold on the affections of the people 
and an enviable rank in the ministry by his excellent 
spirit and the precious results of his useful labors. 
For twenty-five years after this, he filled positions of 
honor and usefulness both as a citizen and asaminis* 


ter,' and then died in peace leaving the priceless 
legacy of a good name. 

The Bey. Robert M. Hatfleld, in a letter to the Rev. 
Dr. A. Stevens, in 1845, gave the following account 
of Mr. Smith's service here: <<Mr. Samuel Pierce, 
a Freewill Baptist residing in Eikamuit in the town 
of Warren, a little east of the village, on his way 
from Newport, fell in with Rev. Daniel 
1 789. Smith, whom he invited to his house to preach. 
Mr. Pierce sent a lad around among the 
neighbors to give notice that a Methodist Minister 
would address them at his house that evening. The 
boy, from mischief, or because he wished to call out a 
large congregation, varied his notice to suit the dif- 
ferent families upon whom he called. To Baptists 
he represented that Mr. S. was a Baptist, and among 
Univorsalists he was said to bo one of tlioir denomi« 
nation. At the time appointed the house was well 
filled, and the people were greatly pleased with the 
new preacher. What astonished them most of all 
was that he knelt when he prayed.'' (Stevens' His- 

Mr. Pierce lived in a house which stood on the 


western bank of the Kikamuit, or "Serpentine** 
river, a sliort distance soutli of the ancient cemetery, 
about mid-way between the two roads which cross 
that stream. Mr. Pierce's descendents, of the third 
and fourth generations, still reside in Warren. 

At the close of the service, the people, who had 
been much pleased and impressed, gathered around 
Mr. Smith, and made known their desire for repeated 
visits. He left appointments to be filled by himself 
or others ; but of these visits there is no record. 
• Oonbeming the next recorded Methodist service 
held in this town, which has already been referred to, 
the Rev. Sidney Dean, in his Historical Sermon, 
says: "In July, 1790, Jesse Lee came into town 
on horseback, and with the usual accompaniment of 
a Methodist Minister's outfit in those days, — a pair 
of capacious saddle-bags. In riding through the 
town, he was met by Joseph Smith, father of the 
late Joseph Smith, Esq., who inquired of the itinera 
ant: *Are you a Methodist Preacher?' The answer 
being in the aflSrmative, he Was further asked if he 
had secured a place in which to preach. The answer 
to that inquiry being in the negative, the good map 



at once made the offer of his kitchen for that purpose, 
and it was gratefully accepted. The information 
was generally circulated through the town, and Jesse 
Lee had an audience. There is no information as to. 
his text or sermon. The house ift which the 
1790. service was held is now known as the Job 
Smith house," and stands on Main street, 
between State and Jefferson streets. Mr. Smith, 
senior, lived to an advanced age, and his wife with 
whom he lived sixty-five years, survived him for a 
considerable period. They both took an active and 
patriotic part in the scenes of the Revolution, when 
Warren was attacked and several prisoners were 
canied off, among whom was Mr. Smith. He was 
confined ia a prison ship until the end of the war. 

About this time Mr. Lee, while laboring in Con- 
necticut, had the pleasure of preaching in the first 
house of worship erected for the Methodists in New 
England. It was at Redding and was a' rude struc* 
ture, but was the predecessor of a multitude of 
magnificent church edifices which have since been 
erected for the same purpose within the circuit which 
he was then travelling, and in which were no churches 
^nd very few members. 


Lee preached his second sermon in this town in 
1791. This was the 3'ear in which the first Metho- 
dist Episcopal church edifice was built in Massachu- 
setts, at Lynn. It was dedicated in twelve days after 
the foundation was laid. It was long since replaced 
by A grand and spacious structure which is filled by 
a numerous, intelligent and wealthy congregation. 
The original building is still, or recently was, in use 
for a school. 

This year, (1791,) Warren was "taken into a 
circuit" as one of the regular preaching places of the 
itinerant ministers, and Messrs. Lemuel Smith and 
Menzies Raynor preached here alternately, 
1791. once in four weeks, for six months. In that 
early period of the existence of our church, 
it was, as it still is, the duty of the Bishop to ''fix 
the appointments ;" and there was no limit to his ' 
authority as to the length of time a minister should 
be continued in one circuit. The majority of these 
being young men, just in the beginning of their 
ministerial career, were frequently appointed to a 
charge for three or si^ months, at the expiration of 
which they went to some other field of labor. The 


preachers of this circuit, for the time now under 
notice, were probably appointed in this method for 
six months ; or, Wan*en may have been included in 
the circuit but one-half of the ecclesiastical year. 
Definite information wanting, the. reason for their 
preaching here but six months is left in doubt. 

^^ Within this time a class was gathered, number- 
ing twelve or fourteen members, the majority of 
whom had been members of a Freewill Baptist 
Church worshiping in Rehoboth. It was with the 
advice and consent of their own minister that they 
adopted this course, as their place of worahip was 
several miles distant A'om Warren, and their attend- 
ance necessarily irregular." (Dr. Hatfield.) The 
doctrines preached by the Methodist Ministers agreed 
so well with those of the Freewill Baptist Church that 
there was slight difficulty in exchanging one of these 
forms of church fellowship for the other. The names 
of the persons composing this first class, and the 
date of its organization, have not been preserved in 
any record now in existence. There is traditionary 
evidence, however, that Smith Bo wen, Fi-ederio 
Luther, Samuel Pierce and their wives, Hannah S. 


Turner and Temperance Wheaton were of the num- 
ber ; and, probably, William Barton, James Goff, 
Jemima Goff, Daniel Kelley and Betsey, daughter of 
Samuel Fierce. But the facts immediately connected 
with the founding of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in WaiTen are veiled in obscurity, with the exception 
of the names of the regularly appointed ministers, a 
complete record of whom is in existence. Fifteen 
years, or more, passed away before a list of members 
was made in a form sufficiently durable to be pre- 
served and cared for as a source of information for 
later generations. 

The ecclesiastical connection of this Church ap- 
pears to have been, at this period, with Hartford 
Circuit, as the Conference which was held at New 
York, in May, 1791, had among its appointments 
the New England District, with Jesse Lee, elder, 
and Hartford Circuit, with Menzies Raynor and 
Lemuel Smith, preachers. This circuit included 
Wllbrafaam, Mass., together with several towns on 
both sides of the river in Connecticut. It is 
1791. difficult to surmise how the preachers ap- 
pointed to that circuit made Warren one of 


their preaching places, but it is very possible that 
they labored one half of the year in that section and 
then transferred themselves to this. But if they ex* 
tended the borders of their circuit so as to embrace 
Rhode Island, it would give them a field not more 
extensive than circuits iVequently werein those days. 
Once in «ight weeks, each of these men traveled on 
horseback over this extensive temtory, nearly as 
large as the whole of Pi^vidence Conference, ex- 
clusive of Cape Cod and its vicinity. They preached 
at numerous points, wherever opportunity offered. 
After preaching they met the classes, when there 
were any, and then hastened on to the next appoint- 
ment. Little is known of their personal history, 
save that, like many of the early itinerants, after a 
few years of this kind of labor, they ^' located,'- and 
Mr. Raynor subsequently withdrew fh>m the Church, 
and became a minister of the Protestant Episcopal 

Mr. Lee again visited Warren in 1792. He was 
on a tour through the central portion of the State, 
prospecting for a circuit within the limits of Rhode 
Island, to be formed the ensuing year. He preached 


in Providence, and several towns on each side of tlie 
Bay, preparing the way for the laborers to be 
1792. appointed by the Bishop at the next Con- 
ference. On this visit he completed aiTange- 
ments for Providence Circuit, which was recognized 
the following year. (Stevens' Memorials.) 

It is most probable that the Rev. Ezekiel Cooper y^ 
accompanied Mr> Lee on this tour, as it is known 
thiat he preached at Warren, and he is said to have 
organized the Church in due form. How much labor 
he expended here is not known ; but it is probable 
he made this one of his appointments while traveling, 
and that his service was not protracted, even if it 
was not irregular and occasional. Perhaps, indeed, 
this may have been his only visit, and Lee himself 
may have organized the Church, as would have been 
most proper, in view of his official position. There 
is no evidence that Cooper had any official appoint- 
ment in New England, this ecclesiastical year ; but 
before its close, (March, 1793,) he was with Leo in 
Boston, when the latter was just setting off for 
Rhode Island. At the next Conference, held at 
Lynn, Mr. Cooper was appointed elder, and Warren 


was one of the circuits under bis charge. We con- 
clude that his first visit here was made while on a 
preliminary tour of inspection of the work he was 
about to undertake. 

About this time, or possiblj^ earlier, the congrega- 
tions having become too large for Mr. Smith's kitchen, 
which had continued to be their place of worship, the 
society graduated to a barn which was of large 
capacity and had been fitted up and made con- 
venient, and was generously offered by the owner 
for the use of the worshipers who flocked 
thither to listen to the living word. This bam 
stood near theold road to Eikamuit and Fall River, 
on the west side of the ^' Back Road," or Park street, ^ 
nearly opposite the site of the cottage belonging to 
Captain F. P. Cornell. A portion of the foundation 
still remains, and the cellar of the dwelling house, a 
little neai*er the road on the northern boundary, was 
filled up not long since by Captain Cornell, who now 
owns the land. This lot of land was a part of the 
estate of General Nathan Miller, a man of note and a 
member of the first United States Congress. After his 
decease, his widow, administering his estate, sold 


the land, barn and crib to Samuel Buffinton, of 
Swansea, by deed dated May let, 1792. They 
were .sold by him, March 2l8t, 1795, to Joseph Whit- 
marsh, who held the property till 1813. It was about 
the time of Mr. Bufldnton's ownership that the barn 
was used as a preaching place. It is not known who 
then occupied the premises. The barn was purchased 
by Smith Bowen and removed to his farm, near his 
residence, which was then farther east, on the road 
to Eikamuit. He afterward built the house at the 
comer of Child and Park streets, and again removed 
the barn near to that house. Mr. Bowen was the 
grandfather of Mr. Lemuel Fales, who states that he 
always heard it said that his grandfather bought the 
barn of General Miller. If so, it must be the fact 
that this occurred some time before May, 1 792, and 
that the religious services were held in it principally, 
if not entirely, after it became the property of Mr. 
Bowen. Mr. Bowen was a leading member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in those days. His 
name is one of those constituting the oldest list of 
members now in existence, and he is believed to have 
been one of those who composed the first class that 


was formed here. Mr. Fales was a member of a 
Six Friuciple Baptist Churcli in Swansea ; and after 
its rupture never united witli any Chui*ch ; but has 
for many years been in close fellowship with the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Warren. With his 
wife, who was, for more than a half century, a mem< 
ber of the Church at Bristol and Warren, he lived f&r 
many years on the homestead of his deceased grand- 
father, Mr. Bowen, and they have entertained many 
itinerant ministers beneath their hospitable roof. Mrs. 
Fales was one of the converts in the great revival at 
Bristol, her native place, in 1820. She maintained a 
faithAil and active Christian life until the eleventh 
day of March, 1876, when she suddenly died, in the 
79th year of her age. When, in later j^ears, this 
barn, around which cluster so many happy associa- 
tions of souls converted and blessed in it, was de- 
molished,, a portion of the material of which it was 
composed was used in the structure of a woodshed 
which now stands on the land of Mr. Salisbur}', at 
the corner of Main and Washington streets. 

It is supposed that the service was held in this 
building when Mr. Cooper preached in Warren. This 



was the seyenth year of a heroic ministry which Mr. 
Cooper commenced In 1786, and prosecuted with zeal 
and efficiency for many years in various sections of 
the country, closing his labors and his life at the age 
of eighty-four, February 2l8t, 1847, Tlie New 
England District, over which he presided, included 
almost the whole of the Eastern States, extending 
from the eastern border of Maine to the mouth of 
Providence River. ** He was a man," says the Rev. 
J. H. James, '* of some eccentricities and much real 
ability. His memory is precious, especially in the 
Middle States, where he spent his later years. There 
is a beautifhl marble tablet on the front of St. 
George's Church, Philadelphia, bearing his name and 
recording his labors.'' That there was something 
extraordinary about his preaching is evident from the 
fact that, fifty years after his preaching here, some 
of his texts were remembered by one of his hearers. 
They are Rom. 1 : 16, *' I am not ashamed of the Goel- 
pel," Ac. ; 1 Cor. 16 : 22, '* If any man love not the 
Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema ; " 1 Kings, 
6:8," The door for the middle chamber was in the 
right side of the house, and they went up with wind- 


ipg Stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the 
middle into Uie third/* ^^ The last," remarks Dr. 
Hatfield, ^^ a rather singular text, and he iVamed out 
of it a singular and ingenious sermon, which excited 
much interest in those days." 


.T the close of tlie occlcsineticnl year last 
named, the first statistics were reported 
from Warren and inserted in tlie minutes of 
the Annnal Conferences in the report of the New 
England Conference held at Lynn, Mass., August 
Ist, 1793. The number of members returned was 
fifty-eight. Warren appears in the list of appoint- 
ments for the ensuing year, with Philip Wager as 

the first preacher in charge, or pastor, of the 
1793. Methodist Episcopal Church in this town. 

Warren Circuit was formed by setting off 
the principal portion of what constituted Providence 
Circuit, the previous year. The parish assigned to 
Mr. Wager Included Warren, Bristol, Newport, 
Cranston, Providence and (says Mr. Lee) " several 
towns in Massachusetts.** 


Dr. Hatfldd, in his letter to the liev. Dr. Stevens, 
remarks : '^ It need hardly be said that Methodists 
were opposed in Warren, as ignorantly and with as 
blind a bigotry as in the other New England towns. 
For years after they had preached there it was cur- 
rently reported, and by many believed, that they 
made no use of the Bible in preaching, but took 
their texts from polemical books which they carried 
in their saddle-bags." This report originated Arom 
the fact that they carried small copies of the Bible 
with Uiem ; and, preaching in kitchens, or barns, or 
out-of-doors, where neither pulpits nor pulpit Bibles 
were to be had, stood holding their small Bibles in 
their hands as they spoke. ^^ The devoted itinerants 
found an early friend in Mr. Martin Luther. His 
house was for years their home. Several members 
of his family were converted and united with the 
church, and one of them remains to this day, one of 
its most esteemed members." ' Reference is here 
made to Mrs. Patience Child, who died about 1854. 
Mr. Luther was a man of extensive property, whose 
residence was in the house yet standing on the south 
corner of Main and Church streets, which was also 


the property of his father, John Luther, and de- 
scended to Martin Luther by will. 

During the time that the Methodist Ministers were 
entertained at his house, Mr. Luther " received an 
anonj'inous communication in which lie was warned 
against harboring tliese ' vagrant impostors,' and in 
conclusion, was threatened that, if he did not turn 
them out of doors his house would be pulled down 
• about his head." The welcome which Mr. Lee re- 
ceived at his first appearance here was withdrawn 
from his successors when it was known they had a 
purpose to locate a church organization and become 
permanent ; and the sects who claimed to be called 
to do all the religious work for the community, made 
indiscriminate war, as was their wont elsewhere, 
upon the Methodist intruders. Neither of the 
events in the alternative presented Mr. Luther, how- 
ever, occurred. 

Notwithstanding the embarrassments and difficul- 
ties of his position, Mr. Wager was faitliful to his 
calling. He labored earnestly and, as appears, suc- 
cessfully. At the end of the year lie reported more 
than twice as many members in the circuit as he 


found at the beginning, — the nnmber now being one 
hundred and twenty-seven. Mr. Wager then de- 
parted to other fields of labor, and was succeeded at 
Warren by John Chalmers, who was at that time 
twenty-two years of age, having entered the itiner- 
ancy in the Baltimore Conference six ycai-s previousl}^ 
when he was sixteen. The Rev. Dr. A. Stevens 
says of him: ^'Inspired by the example of the 
many heroic itinerants who had already left that 
prosperous section of the church to assist Lee in 
fields of the cast, ho came hither himself in 1794. 
His first New England appointment was Wan*en 
Circuit." It was also his last, as he returned to 
Maryland the following year, and two years later 
located, after nine years of service in the itinerant 

The Society still continued to worship in Mr. 
Miller's barn; but during the ministry of Mr. Chal- 
mers the need of a more commodious and 
1794. suitable place was deeply felt, and it is doubt- 
less due to his energy that measures were 
taken early in the year toward supplying that need, 
the result of which was the erection of a house of 


worship upon the site occupied by the present church 
edifice. At this point in the history of the Society 
the friendship of Mr. Martin Luther was manifested 
in a more substantial and enduring form than ever 
before, in the appropriation to their necessities of a 
lot of land over which he held control, and which 
had been set apart by his father, in his last will and 
testament, for the purpose of a church. The estate 
of Mr. John Luther extended from Main street to 
the water, on both sides of what is now Church 
street, which he himself laid out through his own 
land. He also owned considerable tracts of valuable 
land in other parts of the village* Massasoit, the 
friendly Indian chief, had his residence on this estate, 
or just over its northern boundary, not many rods 
from where the church now stands. 

Mr. Luther's will was dated : "This fourteenth day 
of June Anno que Domini Seventeen hundred and 
Sixty-two." The testator begins by describing 
himself as " weak of body, but of a sound dispos- 
ing mind and memory, thanks be given to God there- 
for." He then proceeds: "Principal and first of 
all, I give and recommend my soul into the hands of 


God who made it, and my body to the earth to be 
buried in Ohnstian manner, .... nothing 
doubting but I shall receive the same again by the 
mighty Power of God at the General ResuiTection. 
And as touching my worldly estate wherewith it hath 
pleased Almighty God to bless me in this life, I dis- 
pose of in the following manner.'* This preamble, 
which is evidently the product of a devout mind, is 
followed, first by the bequest of a certain lot of land, 
in these words : " To the Society of the Church of 
England to build a church upon, or a house for the 
public worship of God, .... when a sufficient 
number of persons of said Society shall agree to- 
gether and shall be able to build said house." Then, 
it is provided that whoever may be in occupancy 
shall give possession to said Society for this use for- 
ever. After this follow the items giving the rest of 
his homestead estate to his wife, during her life, and 
after her decease to his four daughters : Elizabeth, 
wife of Caleb Salisbury ; Jemima, widow of Amos 
Thomas ; JSusanna, wife of William Eastabrooke ; and 
Robe. To his son Martin he gave all the rest of his 
real estate of '^housing," wharf and lands, with all 

MB. LUTnEU's WILL* 81 

the tools of his calling,— that of a shipwright, — and 
named him executor of the will, which was approved 
and the appointment confirmed, March 4, 1771. 
After the proving of the will, and while the estate 
was in the hands of the executor^ the Revolution 
took place, severing all connection t)f the United 
States with Great Britain, both in State and Church* 
There was not, and in the nature of things there 
could not thenceforward be, anj' ** Society of the • 
Ghnrch of England " in Warren, nor in the United 
States. The body which was, in its organization, 
more nearly related to the Church of England than 
any other then existing in America, and the immedi- 
ate successor of that church, was the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, whose clergy ^liturgy and articles 
were all derived immediately from her. It was or- 
ganized at once after the close of the Revolution, the 
leading minds in the transaction being regular clergy- 
men of the Established Church who rejected the 
prelatical and sacramentarian views held by a portion 
of her clergy and people. It was, by several 3'ears, 
the first body organized in the Episcopal mode in the 


country, and the only Episcopal Church4hat had, at 
that date, any organic form in New England. 

Previous to the Revolution, the Methodists in 
America were chiefly in the middle colonies, especially 
in Maryland and Virginia, where the Church of 
England was the principal religious body, and in the 
latter of which it was established by law. Their 
first Bishops, following the example of Mr. Wesley 
. in England, would have continued the connection of 
the people with that church, and would have had 
them depend upon its clergy for the sacraments, as 
they had done in the colonies Just named. But the 
Revolution scattered the clergy, most of whom were 
loyalists ; parishes were left without any to perform 
the offices of religi<yi ; converta were multiplied by 
the labors of the Methodists ; and there was an 
urgent demand for the administration of the sacra- 
ments to themselves and of baptism to their children. 
No Bishop of the Church of England was in the 
country, to ordain ministers for these offices ; the 
people had gi*eat aversion to dependence upon the 
clergy of that church ; and the Methodist Episcopal 
Church was early organized with its own Bishops, 

MR. luthkr's will. 33 

who received their orders tlirough the Church of Eng- 
land, and transmitted to others the authority of 
ordained ministers in the church of God. 

The author of the appendix to the Rev. Mr. Tus- 
tin's historical discourse says: '* Mr. John Luther 
gave by will a lot of land for the erection of an Epis- 
copal Church, which land, however, afterwards be- 
came converted to another use ; " a statement which 
he would not have made had he consulted the will 
itself, or the facts of ecclesiastical history. The 
word ** Episcopal," does not occur in the will, but 
the phrase ** Church of England " does. To erect a 
church for the Church of England after the Revolu- 
• tion would be absurd. But if, as the Appendix inti- 
mates, Mr. Luther's purpose is defined by the term 
** Episcopal," then it is accomplished in the erection 
of a Methodist Episcopal Church, and the land is not 
"converted to another use" than that intended by 
the testator. The wilter above quoted evidently 
knew this church by its first title, — " Methodist," — 
and overlooked the other descriptive appellation, 
"Episcopal." . The purpose of the subscription, ac- 
cording to its preamble, is the erection of an " Epis- 


copal" Church, *' for the use of the Preachers of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church " 

With similar inaccuracy the same author speaks of 
St. Mark's by its second title, overlooking the first, 
which distinguishes the body to which it belongs from 
similarly organized bodies, and calling it ^^Episco- 
pal," in forgctfulness of its real name, — " Protestant 
Episcopal;" and says the first Episcopal minister 
preached in Warren in 1812, whereas ministers of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church had constantly preached 
here since 1790. 

Martin Luther, therefore, being attached to this 
Church, did as nearly as was practicable, cany into 
execution his father's will, by making over to the ' 
Methodist Episcopal Church the land left for the 
Church of England, and thus adjusted by his own act 
any ecclesiastical queries that might arise in regard 
to the matter. The State of Rhode Island subsequently 
settled the possible legal questions and gave confirma- 
tion to his act by its Legislatupe, in whom the sover- 
eignty was vested, if Mr. Luthei-'s power as executor 
lacked validity, there being no opposition, on the part 
of the legal hei rs, to this disposition of the property. By 


special acfi of the General Assembly the parish was 
authorized to hold the ground for its church edifice. 
The lot given by Mr. Luther, however, extended to 
but half the depth of that now occupied by the church, 
the remainder, toward Baker street having been a 
part of the estate of the late Colonel Sylvester Child, 
and liaving been sold at auction at the division of his 

The minutes of the Society meeting at which the 
erection of a house of worship was resolved on, are 
as follows, and are copied from the sermon of the 
Rev. Sidney Dean : '' At a meeting of the Metliodist 
Society in the t(»wn of Warren, on the 31st day of 
May, 1794: 

" It is agreed by the said Society to build a house 
for the public worship of God, of the following dimen- 
sions, viz. : forty-eight feet long and thirty-eight feet 
wide. Length of posts to be twenty feet. Said house 
to stand on a lot of land given by Mr. John Luther, 
in his last will and testament. 

•'Further agreed, that Mr. Martin Luther, Mr. 
James Goff and William Barton be a committee to 
superintend the building of said house." 


Mr. Barton lived in the house at the southwest 
corner of Water and Miller streets, and was the pro- 
genitor of a family still resident in the tov n, several 
of whom are well known as holding highly respectable 
and prominent positions in business circles. He had 
had experience in church building, having been one 
of the committee that superintended the erection of 
the Baptist Church, nine years earlier, in 1785 ; he 
gave freely, both in time and means, to the new en- 
terprise. He was one of the earliest members of the 
MeUiodist Episcopal Church here. His name is on 
the oldest register that has been found. 

Mr. James Goff lived in the house in South Main 
street, now occupied by his son, Nathan Goff. He 
also was a leading member of the Church, and a lib- 
eral subscriber to the building. He and his wife, 
Jemima, were enrolled in the earliest list of members 
now extant. He died, August 20th, 1886. Both Mr. 
and Mrs. Goff were steadfast adherents to the church 
to the end of their lives. 

Mr. Dean's narrative continues: '^Subscription 
papers were at once put in circulation to secure funds 
for the prosecution of this important enterprise. A 


'X)py of one of these is here presented for the purpose 
of showing how clearly these Christians and primitive 
Methodists apprehended t}ic dnt}' of worshipping God, 
and the rights of individual conscience as to matters 
of faith and modes of worship ; and their settled con- 
viction that the new form of worship just now brought 
to their knowledge would be a permanent fact in the 
town, and not an experiment." 

" sunsciiirTioN 
" For the building of an Episcopal Church, or Meeting- 
house, in the town of Warren, for the use of the preach- 
ers of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
** TMiereas it is our duty, as moral agents and rational 
creatures, to promote the worship of Almighty God, by 
making necessary provision for the comfortable accommo- 
dation of those who see cause to attend public worship 
from time to time, undpr whatever name or mode, which 
our or their consciences may dictate or direct ; — and where- 
as the Methodist Preachers, for a considerable time, have 
preached among us, and pursuant to the request of sundry 
inhabitants, they intend to favor us with their ministry for 
time yet to come ;— wherefore we judge it to be proper to 
erect a convenient Church or Meeting-house for the use of 
the said Methodist Preachers, and our own beneflt; and to 
solicit the patronage and Cliristiau aid of all Mendly per- 
sons who wish the prosperity of religion. 

** The house to be built upon a lot of land now held by 
Mr. Martin Luther, for the purpose of building a Church or 
Meeting-house upon. 


/* Although the proposed Church, or Meeting-house, is 
particularly mentioned, and intended, for the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, nevertheless any approved Ministers of 
other denominations, will have the use and privilege thereof, 
when not used or occupied by the Preachers of the Meth- 
odist order. 

** You are hereby presented with an opportunity of evin- 
cing your Impartial regard to religious Institutions, and 
desire of promoting the same, by contributing to the ad- 
vancement of the above. 

<* We, the under subscribers, do promise to pay, or cause 
to be paid, the sums annexed to our names. Severally, 
unto the persons who shall be appointed managers, to carry' 
on the above mentioned Church, or Meeting-house, to bo 
by them applied toward building the same, for the use and 
purpose as above named." 

The subscriptions to this paper are as follows : 




Martin Luther, 



James Qoft*, 
Jeremiah Eddy, 
John Stockford, 
John Stevens, 





0, paid 10 dollars. 

Jeremiah Rogers, 
Samuel Huilc, 
Ezra Ormsbee, - 





0, In work. 

WUliam Barton, 



Joseph Liudscy, 
William Lludsey, - 
Daniel Kelly, - 
Not In port, J. Davis, 






0, Paid. 






Isaac Barrns, - 



Preserved Alger, - 




Cosh paid. 
5 dollars, paid. 

Ebeii Lather, Jr., 


Daniel Eastcrbrook, 


James Vauncc, 



William Hoar, 




in work. 

Allen Hoar, 


Joseph Smith, 



Moses Turner, - 


This paper contains, in addition, the following 
memorandum : ** Dunken Kelly paid Martin Luther, 
by Charles Collins, £3 in part of subscription." 

Another paper contains the subscriptions of Charles 
Collins, for £9 (nine pounds) , of Samuel Child, for 
£6 (six pounds) , and of Dunken Kelly for £4, (four 
pounds) . 

A third paper was circulated among the female 
members of the parish, and this is the result : 




Hearty Luther, 


Patience Luther, 



DebyCole, - 



Amy Easterbrook, 


Abigal Salisbury, - 


Sarah Bowen, - 



Temperance Wheaton, 







Mary Luther, - 
Sarah Tripp, paid, 
Lucy Cole, 
Sarah Can-, - 





Betsey Pease, - 
Polly Cole, - 




Warren was, at this time, just recovering from the 
prostrate condition in wliich all the financial and 
business interests of the place had been left at the 
close of the Revolutionary war. The town con- 
tained probably less than a tiiousand inhabitants. 
In 1778 the population was 789. The people took a 
highly patriotic part in the war in furnishing men 
for active duty, and supporting them while in the 
service, thus involving tliemselves in gi*eat expense, 
which was increased by necessary expenditure in 
guarding and defending the town. An attack was 
made, by British soldiers, upon the village in May, 
1778. The Bafitist Church was burned, together 
with the parsonage, a number of other buildings, and 
property of various kinds. Houses were pillaged, 
and several persons carried off as prisoners. The 
pastor of the Baptist Church was one of these. His 


church T^as disheartened and disbanded, and its 
members again became connected with the church 
in Swansea, of which that in Warren had originally 
been a branch. This connection continued until 
after the return of peace, Warren being in the mean- 
time destitute of any church or minister. 

During the war a great portion of the shipping 
belonging to the place was destroyed, and business 
nearly annihilated. At its close the people were 
poor ; a valuation of the real and personal property, 
made three years earlier, showed the total amount in 
the pface to be $126,000. The town was heavily in 
debt and there was little employment and small re- 
muneration for those able or disposed to active busi- 
ness. In 1785 the Baptist Church was rebuilt, and 
efforts were made, from that time, to restore the town 
and reconstruct the buildings and streets ; and it was 
during this period of recuperation that the services 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church were introduced 

These facts help to explain the difficulty of erect- 
ing a church by this new congregation in 1 794, and 
the necessity of repeated efforts among themselves, 


and of resorting to such measures as were adopted 
to obtain assistance from the public. 

Making the best possible use of the means tlms 
placed at their command, and availing themselves of 
such labor as was offered in aid of their enterprise, 
the building committee pushed the work forward with 
all practicable rapidity, so that in the month of 
September, the edifice was in such a condition as to 
be preferable to the bam as a place of worship, 
though far fi'om being finished. It may well be sup- 
posed that the day on which they would occupy their 
own sanctuary was anticipated with great interest and 
gratification. The existence of the Society would 
from that day cease to be a doubtful question, and it 
would assume its position as one of the permanent 
institutions of the town. The interest was height- 
ened by the advent of the Rev. Jesse Lee, the 
apostle of Methodism in Warren, to conduct the 
services of the dedication. When he arrived the 
house was by no means in such a condition as would 
now appear suitable for dedication, but feebleness 
and poverty often turn hardships into comforts* Lee 
says, in speaking of his arrival here: *^The Lord 


has dealt kindly with the inhabitants of this place 
since I was here last. We have a considerable 
Society formed, a preaching-house raised, and the 
top of it covered. I have no doubt but that God is 
among these people." 

It was on Saturday, the twentieth of September, 
that Mr. Lee anived at Warren. He was gladly 

received by the family of Martin Luther. 
1794. During the week he had paused in his almost 

Incessant journeying, and spent a day and 
two nights at the house of General Lippitt, in Cran- 
ston, where he often found a quiet home and bounti- 
ful hospitality. It was one of those places to which 
the itinerants were always welcome ; and was one of 
Bishop Asbury's favorite retreats for brief rest from 
his continuous labors. Mrs. Lippitt and her daugh- 
ter, at this visit, informed Lee of their awakening 
under a sermon preached by him on a previous oc- 
casion. They both obtained the grace of God, as 
did the General afterwards. He became leader, 
steward and trustee, and built a house of worship on 
his estate, a short distance from the present village 
of Fiskville, which was standing a few years since, 


though long disused in consequence of the changes 
of population and the springing up of villages around 
the neighboring manufacturing establishments, and 
the more convenient places of worship there erected. 
Mr. Martin Luther was of like spirit with General 
Lippitt, and his hospitality equally generous ; and 
the itinerant ministers were received at his home 
with the warmest frankness and cordiality. Here 
Mr. Lee now fixed his headquarters for a few days, 
during which the church, which he found with its 
" top covered," was made ready for dedication. On 
the day following his arrival he preached in the bam 
at ten in the forenoon, from Jeremiah 23 : 19. '^ Is 
not my word like as a fire, saitb the Lord ; and like 
a hammer, that breaketh the rock in pieces ? " He 
^* found freedom in preaching, and was much com- 
forted." At two o'clock he preached again from 
Eph. 4:7. " Nieither give place to the devil." In 
the evening he preached at Bristol ; and of this day's 
labor he says, he '^ found much of the divine presence 
at Warren ; " and at Bristol, **it was a good time to 
my soul, and' a solemn time amoilg the, hearers. I 
felt willing to spend my life and my all for God, and 


for the good of precious souls.*' The next day he 
passed over to Rhode Island and had a '* most pre- 
cious season in delivering his message *' at Ports- 
mouth ; and at night met " the little class " which 
was then in existence tlicre. 

Wednesday, the twenty- fourth day of September, 
1 794 is to be regarded as an epoch of no little im- 
portance to lilethodism, not onl}'. in Warren but also 
in llliode Island. On that day the first house of 
worship in this State, and the third in New England, 
for Christians of that designation, was solemnly con- 
secrated to the service of Almighty God, in the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, (ind of the Holy 
Ghost. At four o'clock in the afternoon the service 
of consecration was held, and the sermon was 
preached by Mr. Lee from Haggai 2 : 9, — " The 
glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the 
former, saith the Lord of Hosts ; and in this place 
will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts." Says 
Dr. A. Stevens: *' The preacher had little difficulty 
in proving the first proposition of his text, for their 
onl}' sanctuary hitherto had been a barn or a private 
house." Lee " had liberty in preaching." He writes : 


^^ It is the first meeting-house which has been built 
in the State, and this is the first sermon preached in 
it. I hope God will own the Methodists in this town." 
^^ His prayer," adds Stevens, ^' has been prevailing 
in heaven ever since. Though trials have tested the 
Societ}', and at one time reduced it almost to extinc- 
tion, yet God has ^ owned' it and raised it up from 
apparent ruin to a destiny worthy of its distinction 
as the parent Church of the State. This festal day 
was closed with more private and sacred devotions. 
The little company of disciples met to mingle their 
praises and tears of joy in a class-meeting which was 
conducted by the great evangelist, (Lee.) * Tlie 
power of the Lord was among us,* he exclaims, ^ and 
many souls were happy in his love.' " 


IIREE-FOUUTiis of the ecclcsinstical j^ear 
remained after the congregation entered their 
newly consecrated sanctuary. Worship was 
conducted in the Church by Mr. Chalmers during the . 
remaining months of his term, at the close of which 
the Conference of 1795 for New England, was held 
at New London, Connecticut. Bishop Asbury opened 
the session on the fifteenth of July. Among the cheer- 
ing reports from the scenes of their labors was that 
of Mr. Chalmers, who gave an account of his success 
in Warren Circuit, and of the erection of the first Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church in Rhode Island. The 
1795. number in society in the circuit was one hun- 
dred and twenty-seven. This was the close 
of his labors in New England. He now returned to 
the South and was appointed to a circuit in Maryland. 


He labored in that region two years and, in 1797, 
located. Thirty-five 3'ears later, he reentered tlie 
Conference and performed a part of the work of a 
pastor for a year, and on the third day of June, 
1883, fell asleep in ^^undisturbed peace" and 
" complete triumph." The '' Reminiscences" of the 
Rev. Henry Boebm make frequent references to Mr. 
Chalmers and his labors subsequent to his return to 
Mar3iand. After his withdrawal from the itinerant 
ministry he resided in Baltimore ; but continued to 
perform the work of a clergyman as occasion per- 
mitted. Being a man of great energy of character 
and religious zeal, and an eloquent preacher withal, 
his services were frequently required at camp meet- 
ings and revival meetings, for many 3'ears; and his 
word was often attended with marvelous and power- 
ful results. He was the *' spiritual father" of John 
Emory, afterwards a Bishop of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church. Mr. Boehm speaks of him as the 
'' old hero," and the ''old warrior," and says, "I 
never knew a more courageous soldier, oue that used 
sharper aiTows, or had more splendid victories." 
Mr. Chalmers* son, also named John, became a 


preacher at a very early age, and is described as " a 
noble son of a noble father," and " a connterpart of 

The Meeting-house, though dedicated and used 
for religious services, was still incomplete ; and the 
money raised by the methods at first adopted was 
inadequate to the accomplishment of the purpose. It 
became evident that for this end efforts must be made 
to secure the assistance of a larger number of people 
than would be interested in the purpose of simply 
erecting a church for the Methodists. To accomplish 
this, recourse was had to a method of raising funds 
which, for the aid and support of charitable, reli- 
gious and educational enterprises, was frequently 
emploj'ed in this State, and more rarely in the parts 
of New England adjacent. However repugnant 
such a proceeding may be to the views of propriety 
and morality which prevail in more modern times, it 
appears to have been quite in accordance with the 
convictions of the best people then. The plan 
adopted was nothing more nor less than the establish- 
ment of a lottery, the proceeds of which were to be 

employed in finishing the " Church, or Meeting- 


house," for which the friends of the enterprise had 
alre»*idy taxed themselves so heavily. A charter was 
granted by the General Assembly under the unique 
title of " The Warren Church Lottery" ; and a copy 
of the prospectus which has been preserved, and 
which has the imprint: ^'Warren: printed by 
Nathaniel Phillips," reads as follows : 




Granted by the Honorable General Assembly of the 
State of Rhode IJland^ ^c, at their Seffion held in 
O^ober, 1794, for the Purpofc of finilhing 
a House for public Worship ; confil'ting 
of 3000 Tickets, at three Dollars 
each, to be paid in the following 
Prizes, fubjedi to a Deduc- 
tion of Twelve and an 
Half per Cent. 

I Prize of 1000 Dollars, is 1000 Dollars. 
1 500 500 


2 Prizes of 250 arc 500 
















1089 Prizes. 


191 1 Blanks. 

3000 Tickets. 

As this Lottery was granted for promoting publie 
Worjbipt and the advancement of Religion^ we flatter 
ourfelves, that every Well-wifher to Society and good 
Order will become cheerful Adventurers. — For thofe 
who adventure from Motives of Gain, the Scheme is 
advantageoufly calculated, there being lefs than two 
Blanks to a Prixe^ and Bonds given for the faithful Per- 
formance of the Truft repofed in us. 

As a confiderable Number of the Tickets are already 
engaged, we expect to draw faid Lottery by the firft of 
May next. — Prizes not demanded within Six Months 


after drawing will be deemed as geueroufly given to- 
wards finilhing fai^ Houfc. ^The Time and 

Place of drawing will be notified a Lift of the 

Prizes will be immediately publiihed in the Herald of 
the United States and paid on Demand. 

Martin Luther, 
William Barton, 
Daniel Kelley, 
Warren, November 28, 1794. 


Daniel Kelley was a member of the church and 
subscribed one of the largest sums toward the erec- 
tion of the church building. This fact, as well as 
his position in relation to the lottery scheme, gives 
evidence of his interest in the prosperity of the 
parish. He lived in a house which is still standing 
at the north end of Main street, fronting south, 
neat the Junction of Water and Main streets. He 
died September 2d, 1833. 

The organ of publication named in the '^ scheme " 
was a paper published at that time in this town by 
Mr. Phillips, who not only gave his periodical the 
above high-sounding title, but described himself, in 


each issue of the paper, as ** Printer to the State." 
In number fifly-two, dated Saturday, March 12, 1796, 
is the official report of the prizes in the ** Warren 
Chnrch Lottery." Sa^'s Mr. Dean : ** On the margin 
of the copy in my possession is written in a bold 
hand: *Tlic widow Rccd and Martin Luther took 
two tickets in company, Nos. 281 and 282.' Both 
ticketB drew — blanks. An examination of these 
accounts of Martin Luther shows him to have been 
as incorruptibly honest and particular in his deal- 
ings with God and his brethren as was his glorious 
namesake of old. In his accounts as rendered to 
the Society from time to time, I find that the exchange 
of these lottery tickets for work and material in the 
building of the * Church, or Meeting-house,' was 
an important feature of them." 

It has been stated, on a foimer page, that the use 
of lotteries for religious and charitable purposes was 
not limited to Rhode Island. The staid Presbyte- 
rians, in the sober State of Connecticut, adopted the 
practice, as appears by an advertisement which was 
published in the Hartford Courant of October 19th, 
1801, seven years after the transaction above record- 


ed. A cop}*^ of this advertisement has been pre- 
sented, and is here inserted. Its similarity of terms 
and tone would suggest that its author had read the 
'^scheme" which has already been copied in these 
pages : — 


[In two classes.] 

The Presbyterian MeetiDg-house, in Norwich, first 
society, having been the last winter destroyed by an In- 
cendiary, the Hon. Legislature of this State, In May 
last, granted said Society a Lottery to enable it to rebuild 
the same. 


[Class First.] 

4,S00 Tickets at Two Dollars, $9,600. 

Prizes from $4 to $600. 

[Class Second.] 

4,800 Tickets at Throe Dollars, $14,000. 

Prizes from $4 to $500. 

[No two blanks to a prize.] 

Prizes to be paid In sixty days » ♦ » 

and If not demanded In six months, will be applied to the 

purposes of the Lottery. 

The object oi this lottery, and the scheme to advance It, 
are such as to engage the attention both of the speculative 
adventurer and those who, from principles of duty and 
benevolence, are disposed to contribute to the best 


Interests of society, while the former has a fair hope of 
increasing his money ftom the imsual nnmber of high 
pnzes, and the multiplication of chances in his favor. The 
latter will possess an excellent occasion to dispense their 
aid in a work incalculably usefUl to a Christian com- 

A similar practice prevailed more or less in other 
parts of the country. In *' Bochm's Reminiscences *' 
is an account of tlie drawing of a lottery by the Lu- 
therans, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1807, in aid 
of a church building, with the remark that '* various 
denominations built churches in this way, and thought 
nothing of this religious gambling." 

Mr.Chaliners was succeeded in the pastoral office by 
Messrs. Zadoc Priest and Cyrus Stebbins, who 
1795. were appointed to Warren Circuit at the Con- 
ference of 1795. Mr. Priest was a young 
man, a native of Connecticut, who had entered this 
toilsome ministry two 3'ears before, and whose health 
gave way under his severe labors. He was suffering 
from pulmonary disease when he came to Warren, 
and was attacked with bleeding at the lungs, which 
so reduced[ his physical strength that he retired 
from his circuit The hospitable hon^e of *' Father 


Newcomb/' in Norton, Massachusetts, which was al- 
wa3'S open to the itinerants, was his place of refuge. 
When he arrived at this house, he said he had come 
'' to die with them," and his words proved true ; for 
he continued with them but three weeks, and then 
died, having " no doubt of his salvation," and leav- 
ing no doubt in the minds of those who witnessed his 
departure. He was in his twenty-seventh year at 
his death, June 22d, 1796, and was the first Metho- 
dist minister, (after Whitefield,) who died in New 

This was the first year of Mr. Stebbins' ministry. 
He is described as a preacher of marvelous power on 
certain occasions. Ho continued in the itinerancy 
but ten years, at the end of which he united with tho 
Protestant Episcopal Church, and little is known of 
his subsequent history. Of the labors of these men 
in Warren there is no record. They reported at the 
close, 144 members. 

The Conference for 1796 was held at Thompson, 
Conn., beginning September 19th, at the dwelling- 
house of Jonathan Nichols. The house still stands, 
•but a noble church edifice crovms an eminence near 


at hand, and supercedes the unfinished chamber which 
served the purpose of a place of worship and Confer- 
ence room at that day. The name of Mr. Nichols 
survives in his descendants and other relatives, and 
is held in high esteem. 

At this Conference appeared an eccentric individual 
who was afterwards well known in this vicinity, and 
whose preaching is remembered by some who still 
survive. This was Lorenzo Dow. He sought ad- 
mission to the Conference, but Asbury believed his 
eccentricities would be detrimental to the work and 
the discipline of the body, and liis request was not 
granted. This was a sore disappointment to Dow ; 
but it did not so dishearten him as to prevent subse- 
quent extensive travels and protracted labors in the 
ministry, which were attended with no little success. 
Tlie minister appointed to the Warren Circuit at 
the Thompson Conference was Daniel Ostrander, a 
man of superior abilit}^ then in the third year of his 
Itinerant labors. His subsequent career was long 

and brilliant, and he became one of the lead- 
1796. ing men of Methodism. He spent the greater 

portion of his life within the bounds of the 


New York Conference, and represented that body in 
the General Conference at each of its sessions f^om 
1808 to 1840. After having given to God and his 
Church fifty- six years of active, efficient service, he 
died in 1843, at the age of sevent^^-two, fifty ycara of 
which were employed in the ministry. Of his labors 
here no history remains. At the close of the year the 
number of members was slightly larger than at the 
beginning, the smallness of the increase possibly ow- 
ing to the setting off of a part of the membership to 
another circuit. Those remaining numbered 161. 

It appears irom the autobiography of the Rev. Joseph 
Snelling, that he was associated with Mr. Osti*ander 
in his labors here. Mr. Snelling had been exercising 
his gifts both as exhorter aiid local preacher on Cape 
Cod, at Truro and Frovincetown. His ministry in 
those places was attended with gratifying success ; 
and he was appointed by the Presiding Elder, Mr. 
Lee, to Warren Circuit, us an assistant to Mr. Os- 
trander, during a portion of the year. He says : 
'* The circuit I was on was called Warren Circuit, in 
Rhode Island, but it extended into part of Massachu- 
setts. Daniel Ostrander was my colleague. We la- 


bored very affectionately together. We preached 
nearly every day in the week, besides attending prayer 
meetings and meeting the classes. It took us six 
weeks to go around the circuit. There was some 
revival of religion on the circuit. Brother Lee, be- 
ing our Presiding Elder, attended all the quarterly 
meetings. lie attended one in a certain place where 
the people neglected to give the preachers any refresh- 
ment at noon on the Sabbath. We told Brother Lee 
this, and on Sabbath afternoon he preached from 
Acts 24 : 25, — * And as he reasoned of righteousness, 
temperance and judgment to come, Felix trembled.' 
When speaking on temperance, he observed : *If wo 
see a person asleep in the afternoon under preaching, 
it is a sign of intemperance. Perhaps the person has 
eaten too much dinner ; but we have no reason to 
fear such a thing in this place, for I have eat no din- 
ner to-day.* " There is no intimation that Warren was 
the place referred to. On the contrary, there is rea- 
son to believe that the most cordial hospitality was 
on all occasions manifested here. 

In 1797 the Conference met at Wilbraham, Mass., 
— its second session in that place — and was opened 


on the 19th of September, Mr. Lee presiding, in ac- 
cordance with the request of Bishop Asburj. The 
Rev. George Pickering succeeded Lee as Presiding 
Elder, and Natlianicl Chapin and Wesley Budd were 
appointed to Warren and Greenwich, — the 

1797. now name given to the circuit that 3'ear. Mr. 
Ostrander was transferred to Boston and 

Needham Circuit. No record remains of the labors 
of Messrs. Chapin and Budd in this field, or of their 
personal history. Their itinerant life was probably 
but short, as was true of a great majority of the min- 
isters of that da}'. Mr. Budd's name appears no 
more in the lists of appointments ; and Mr. Chapin's 
but once more, he having been sent to New London 
Circuit at the end of his year in WaiTcn. They re- 
ported a decrease of members, — the number being 185, 
— two of them distinguished as ^^ colored." 

On the 19th of September, 1798, began a Confer- 
ence for the western part of New England, at Gran- 
ville, Massachusetts. About fifty ministers were in 
attendance, a larger number than had ever been as- 
sembled in New England. The year had 

1798. been one of growth in the circuits, generally ; 


the number in society had increased. As the result, 
in part, of this prosperity, and partly to expand 
the work into new places, ten new preachers were 
added to the Conference. Lorenzo Dow was one 
of these, in connection with whose preaching in 
this town some striking scenes are still remembered 
and narrated by the few survivors of the early days 
of this church. At this Conference the Rev. John 
Brodhead was appointed to Warren. Mr. Brodhead 
was born in Smithfield, Pennsylvania, in 1770 and 
entered the itinerancy in 1794. He descended from 
General Brodhead, who was distinguished in the 
Indian war and in the Revolution. In 1796 he came to 
New England, where he prosecuted a long and dis- 
tinguished ministry, and died in New Hampshire in 
1838. There is no record of the results of his labors 
in Warren Circuit. The western portion of the 
circuit was set off at the beginning of this year, and 
the Greenwich Circuit was constituted separately 
from Warren. The number in society at the termina- 
tion of Mr. Brodhead's year v as 115. For some 
years there was little advance of Methodism in this 
State, and at the close of this Conference year there 


were scarcely two hundred members in the Rhode 
Island circuits. 

One Conference for New York and New England 
was held in June, 1799, in New York city. The 
work in this State was rearranged and Warren and 
Greenwich Circuit, (the two portions being reiinited,) 
was placed in charge of Messrs. Ezekiel Canfield, 
Joshua H&ll and Truman Bishop. Of the first, 
Steyens says : ^^ Ezekiel Canfield was a veteran 
mighty in labors if not in talents, and faithAil to the 
end." Joshua Hall was a native of Delaware and 
,was, at this time, thirty-one years of age. 
1 799. Two yeai*8 earlier he had, at Asbury's request, 
gone to Providence and laid the foundations 
of Methodism in that cit}'. lie gave himself with 
entire devotion to the work of tlic ministry in Now 
England, and ho had great success in various places 
of this section ; the principal portion of his life 
having been spent in Maine, wliere he died at a very 
advanced age. Beside Providence, he had the 
privilege of intraducing Methodism into New Bed- 
ford, Newport and Martha's Vineyard. Of the labors 
of this year we only know that Hall and Bishop 


reported at its close the work so enlarged by the 
addition of new preaching places as to require the 
formation of another circuit. The membership in 
the circuit was 196 — the one "colored" being per- 
sistently re^K)rted separately for a series of years, 
probably owing to the fact that slaver}', to a small 
extent, still existed in Rhode Island, and that a 
similar usage prevailed in the Southern Conferences. 
Of these members 123 were in Warren and 73 in 
Greenwich and parts adjacent. 

New England Conference was formally set off by 
the General Conference of 1800, and held its first 
regular session at Lynn, beginning on the eighteenth 
of July. . Twentj'-seven ministers were present, two 
of them being Bishops, (Asbury and Whatcoat,) 
and six probationers. Joseph Snelling and Solomon 

Langdon were appointed, at this Conference, 
1800. in charge of Warren and Greenwich Circuit. 

Joshua Hall went to Portsmouth and New- 
port, whence he extended his labors to New Bedford 
and the intervening towns; Canfield to Vermont; 
Bishop to Granville Circuit, Mass. In the ten 
years since Lee's first visit, Metliodism in New 


England had grown to thirty-two circuits with fifty- 
eight preachers. 

Mr. Snelllng, in his ''Life," says: "The circuit 
was very large. It contained about twenty different 
places within its bounds. In several places the Lord 
poured out his Spirit upon the people in a wonderful 
manner. My colleague was a very amiable young 
man who labored faithfhlly in the Lord's vineyard. 
We went forward in our work trusting in the strength 
of the Lord, and labored very harmoniously to- 
gether." The circuit now included not only Warren 
and its vicinity within Rhode Island, but a large 
portion of Bristol and Plymouth counties in Massa- 
chusetts, and was bounded, as nearly as can be as- 
certained, by Narragansett Bay and Blackstone 
River on the west, with its Northern border at the 
State line bet weea Rhode Island and Massachusetts, 
sweeping round so as to include Cumberland, R. I., 
Attleboro', Mansfield, Easton and Bridge water and 
perhaps Middleboro*, Mass., and down Taunton 
River to the place of beginning, — about half of the 
present Providence and Fall River Districts, respec- 
tively. What territory was comprised in the Green- 


wich section of the circuit is not known. The 
church in Cumberland was organized, this year, and 
a number of converts were united with it. This waw 
a successful 3 ear. There were extensive revivals in 
Easton, Ihidgewater, Swansea and " Fairfax." Mr. 
Snelling remarks : ** Many in this part of the Lord's 

vineyard have cause to remember the year 
1800. 1800. It was like a 3^ear of jubilee — a year 

of release ; and, blessed be God, many went 
out free. The reformation continued in different 
directions, and Zion's converts were inultiplied.' 
178 were returned as the membership in the circuit, 
48 of them being in Greenwich or its vicinity. 


HE history of this year of prosperity was 
almost immediately followed by sad reverses 
in the church at Warren. It appears that 
soon after the consecration of their church edifice, 
the people began to entertain an earnest desire to 
have a minister to reside with them and preach to 
them every Sunday, rather than to be content with 
as many seimons as oould be given them in alterna- 
tion with other places in the circuit, li'hey had 
succeeded in partially gratifying this wish by employ- 
ing Local Preachers to supply the pulpit in the 
absence of the appointed ministers ; and the church 
had become a ^' station " while giving its name to a 
^^ circuit," and so continued for a series of years. 
From Stevens' Memorials we learn that Mr. John 


Hill came to New England, in 1793, from the region 
of the Baltimore Conference, where he had travelled 
several circuits since 1788. On arriving in New 
England, he took charge of Needham Circuit. In 
1794 he was appointed to New Hampshire, and in 
1796 to Greenwich Circuit, R. I. The following year 
his name disappeared from the Conference Minutes 
and ho entered the local ranks. He next appears in 
Warren. In July, 1798, Bishop Asbury and Mr. 
Lee, making a visitation among the New England 
churches, came to Warren, and were entertained by 
Martin Luther. ** Asbury," says Stevens, " was 
afflicted to find here John Hill, once a laborious 
itinerant in Delaware, and afl^erwards in New 
England, but now withdrawn from the communion of 
his brethren. * Who,* he exclaims, *would have thought 
this once?* " Mr Hill is represented by Dr, Stevens 
to have been in pastoral charge of the Church here ; 
but this cannot be strictly correct, as a minister had 
been appointed to the pastoral charge, each year. 
Probably he supplied the pulpit in the absence of the 
regular pastor in his visits to other places under his 
C'Ore ; and may have performed pastoral functions anc[ 


have been so regarded by the people. He taught a 
school, and thus supported himself, in addition to 
what compensation ho received for preaching, which 
was doubtless very little. For some reason not now 
known, he became disaffected and withdrew from the 
church ; and some accounts say many of the mem- 
bers followed his example. 

Mr. Hill '^ afterwards became a Congregationalist ; 
and, in an unfortunate moment of dejection, put an 
end to his life." (Stevens.) 

After this secession the church dwindled away, 
f^rom causes which cannot be ascertained, until, at 
the date now under review, (1800,) when prosperity 
attended the labors of the preachers all around the 
circuit, there were, (according to tradition,) but two 
(or three) members remaining who hoped and prayed 
for the return of the days when the fires had burned 
brilliantly upon their altar. The account as given in 
Stevens- n^emorials, is that only two members were 
left. *' They were both females, and the consecrated 
honor of their steadfast example in the day of dark- 
ness is no inglorious distinction among the most 
precious memories of their hq^ wl^ich ave embalmed 


in the hiHtory of Methodism. Their names were 
Nancy Child and Amy Easterbrook, Like the two 
Mar3'8 at the sepulchre of Christ, they still sought 
for their Lord at the grave of the extinguished 
Church. They remained immovable, abounding in 
the work of the Lord. Deserted by all the rest 
of the Society, they nevertheless maintained prayer- 
meetings in private houses, and in 1801 their humble 
efforts were crowned with the blessing of God. The 
Holy Spirit was poured out upon the village ; some 
fifteen converts were added to their number; the 
Society was resuscitated, and commenced again its 
career under better auspices than ever." 

The Rev. Sidney Dean, in his historical discourse, 
adds the following to this account: " It is proper, 
however, to say that an aged and (1871) but re- 
cently deceased member of our church, known among 
us as our good and faithful Aunt Sally Wheaton, who 
was one of the elect ladies, always said that there were 
three^ instead of two, left in the great sifting. Three 
women, pious, brave, faithful. They were the seed 
of the Church. One of these — the above good Sister 
Wheaton, — it is reported on good authority, spent 


an entire night in the garden, with God's overarching 
Bkj above her, and the stars keeping vigil while she 
prayed and God listened, that lie who founded this 
Church, would raise up brethren to bear its burdens 
and direct in its affairs." The garden which was 
the scene of the all-night wrestling in prayer — the 
Bethel of the church — belonged to the ^^Samuel Cliilds 
estate," on the corner of Main and Church streets. 
It was the homestead of John Luther, and descended 
by Martin to his daughters, tlie wives of Samuel and 
Sylvester Childs. The spot refen^ed to is nearly in 
front of tlie church, and is now a part of the garden 
of Ezra M. Martin. 

" He who heard the prayer answered it." (Dean.) 
It was during this j'ear that the revival occurred 
which inspired new vigor and added a number of new 
members to the depleted and feeble Church. At the 
close of the year's labor, Messrs. Snelling and Lang- 
don repaired to Conference, carrying tlie tidings of 
great success throughout their wide field of labor and 
reporting a membership of 170. The year had been 
one of great triumph throughout new England. The 
gain of members had been very considerable, Ver- 

cokperencb at ltnk. 71 

mont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Western 
Massachusetts having been most favored in this 

The Conference Ibr 1801 was held at Lynn, begin* 
ning on the seventeenth, and continuing till the 
twentieth of July. Bishop Whatcoat presided. The 
Conference consisted of sixteen members, or- 
1801. dained ministers. Mr. Langdon, who had 
labored on WaiTcn Circuit the previous year, 
was advanced to his second year of probation ; and 
Mr. Snelling was elected and ordained Elder. War- 
ren sent to the Conference, this 3'ear, a contribution 
to help make up the deficicnc}' of those preachers 
who had failed to secure the small pittance to which 
Ihey were, by the rules, entitled ^or their support. 

The term of the Rev. George Pickering as Presid- 
ing Elder of Boston District, to which Warren be- 
longed, having expired, the Rev. Joshua Taylor was, 
at this Conference, appointed his successor. The 
circuit was rearranged with WaiTen still at its head, 
and the appointment was called Warren, Greenwich 
and Rhode Island. It comprised all the previous 
appointments in the State, with the privilege of 


adding indefinitely to the number. The pastora ap- 
pointed to this extensive field of labor, were John 
Finnegan and Daniel Fidler. Solomon Langdon was 
transferred to Provincetown, and Joseph Snelling to 

Needham. The Conference was now divided 
1801. into four districts, embracing the whole of 

the New England States, except three cir- 

* cuits in western Connecticut which were attached to 

the New York Conference. There were thirty-five 

circuits in all, with fifty-four appointed preachers in 

addition to the four Presiding Elders. 

Mr. Finnegan was, as Dr. Stevens says, ^' a heroic 
veteran, having done good battle in the intinerant 
field for thirty- two years. He was a quaint, eccentric, 
but determined Irishman, bearing the trials and toils 
of an itinerant life unblenchingly, not only during 
the novelty of a first experiment, but through the 
tests of a long life." He had been in America ten 
years, and in the American ministry six years, when 
he came to Warren Circuit. At the close of his 
active ministry he took a place among the '^ worn 
out preachers," in 1827, and died suddenly in 1888. 
Daniel Fidler was a veteran in hard labor, if not 


in years. He was a native of New Jersey, and began 
his ministry in 1789, when not yet seventeen years 
of age. His early labors were performed in the 
western parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania and in 
Ohio, which was then the " far west." From there 
he made the long journey to Nova Scotia, in 1794, 
And continued his travels and labors in that country, 
(which was then as sparsely- settled as the western 
frontier whei-e he had previously been,) until 1800, 
when he attended the New England Conference, and 
was sent to Sandwich, and tlie following year, with 
John Finnegan, to Warren. In 1802 he went south- 
ward ; and he spent the most of his subsequent min- 
istry of forty years, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 
He died in 1842, in Burlington County, N. J., where 
his memory is still precious. 

This year marks the beginning and increase of a 
new life and efflciency in the Warren Church. There 
was an encouraging advance in the circuit, and 
Rhode Island Methodism, though not of rapid growth, 
was henceforward recognized as an established and 
powerful element in the religious forces of the Stute, 


the whole number of members in the State being re- 
ported as three hundred and twelve. Yet, Mr. Fidler ' 
was able to repoii; but $82.25 in money as his jre- 
ceipts, the smallest sum paid in the Conference ; and 
the largest amount paid was but a mere pittance. 

The following year, the work in Rhode Island was 
continued in one circuit, and was placed in the 
charge of Reuben Hubbard, Caleb Morris and Allen 

H. Cobb. The Conference was held in Mon- 
1802. mouth, Maine, in July, beginning on the first 

day of the month. Mr. Hubbard, whose sta- 
tion the previous year was at Portland, had been or- 
dained Deacon at this Conference ; and Mr. Cobb, 
who was also from Maine, had just been received on 
probation. The following 3*earMr. Cobb went to Prov- 
incetown, Mr. Hubbard to Needham, and Mr. Morris 
to Litchfield. There is little record of their labors in 
this circuit. Mr. Hubbard reported $26.00 as the 
amount of his payment in Rhode Island — again the 
smallest sum reported to the Conference. 

There was at this time in existence in Wan^en, 
an institution of learning called Warren Academy. 
The school was held in the Academy building, now 


the town hall. Who was in 'charge of it no one now 
remembers. A printed programme of one of its ex- 
hibitions has been preserved in one of the ancient 
families, and will not be without interest to many who 
will read these names, one of which, Henrietta Alger, 
is that of a member of this church, who survived till 
1876, and others of them will be recognized as mem- 
bers of the church. It is as follows : 

Exhibition of the Students^ of Warren 
Academy, Sept. 15, 1802. 


I. Prayer. 

II. Mufic — Ode on Sciente. 

III. Compliment, Julian Child. 

IV. Dialogue. [^^tUS!' 

V. Oration on Rum, Charles Wheatony\r. 

VI. Dialogue on i Wealthy Child^ 

Education, ( Nancy Tburber, 

I ' Nancy Eafter brooks^ 
Patty Maxwell, 

VII TheCaotive i Sally Brown, 

VII. Ihel^aptive, ^ Peggy Hail, 

Phebe Hoar, 
Nathaniel Luther, 









Dialogue — 
The Ball^ 


Oration — ^Thc 

( Saliy Smithy 
\ Nancy Saunders. 


The Mifs in 
her Teens, 


John T. Cbild^ jun. 
Thomas CoggeJbalL 
Daniel Johonnot^ jun. 
William Carr^ jun. 
William Burr, 
Edward Mafon^ 
Betfy Maxwell, 
Patience JBrayton, 

Oration — The ) u ./ 'T' 
Parfon'sWig, ]H^^^ Turner. 

Muiic. — Hail Columbia, 

{Jonathan Wood, 
Jojbua Cbamplin. 

Oration on Nofcs, James Child. 

' Samuel Child, 
David Luther, 
Alfred Barton, 
Luther Cole, 
Nathan Lewis, 

^ Amos Eafterhrooks. 

Country Juftice. 







Dialogue — The 


Search after 


{Edward Eddy^ 
Robert Cole. 

C Polly Smith, 
Mary Pbinney^ 
Sally Smithy 
H nrietta Alger ^ 
Patty Turner, 
Nancy Tburber, 
Betbiab Cbild, 
Polly Harris^ 
Lucinda Davis^ 
Abhy Wbeaton^ 
Polly Cole, 
Nabby Maxwell, 
Sally Bowen^ 
Nancy Cbtld, 
Patty Cole, 
Betfy Burr, 
Polly T. Cbild, 
Elixa Croade, 

X. Oration on Law, Morris Grant, 

XI. Compliment, Wm, Tbompfon, jun. 

XII. An Addrefs, by Rev. Mr. Baker. 

XIII. Prayer. 

The New England Conference met in Boston for 
the first time, on June 8, 1803. Again the Rev. 


George Pickering was appointed Presiding Elder of 
Boston District, Mr. Taylor's term having expired. 
The name of Warren does not appear in the list of 
appointments. Providence and Newport ai*e both 
recorded as giving names to the circuits in Rhode 
Island. To the former Alexander McLane and 
Noble W. Thomas were appointed, and to the latter 

Thomas Ljell for two months. 
1808. New England Methodism was now com- 
prised in five districts with forty-eight circuits 
and eighty-six preachers. It was thirteen years 
since Jesse Lee had first opened his mission within 
the limits of the Eastern States, and the progress of 
the work so humbly begun w,as matter of encourage- 
ment and deep gratitude. 

In 1804 the General Conference defined the New 
England (Conference more accurately than it had 
previously been done, making it to comprehend the 
whole of the New England States with the exception 
of a few places on the borders of New York. 

The General Conference of 1804 for the 

1804. first time, placed a limit to a preacher's term 

of service in an appointment, enacting the 


rule which restricted the term to two years ; previ- 
ously to this the matter had been left to the discre- 
tion of the Bishop making the appointment. The 
new rule continued in force until 1864, when the 
limit was fixed at three years. 

This year the New England Conference met on 
tlie fourteenth of July, at Buxton, Maine ; and the 
work in Rhode Island was again so arranged as to 
omit the name of Warren from the minutes. Two 
appointments were made in the State, viz., Bristol 
and Providence. It is supposable that Warren was 
connect'ed with Bristol in the pastoral charge, which 
was assigned to Alexander McLano. 

On the twelfth of July, 1805, Conference opened 
its annual session at Lynn. The appointments 
1805. in this vicinity were : Rhode Island^ Bristol^ 
Somerset and Norton^ Joseph Snelling, Nehe- 
miah Coye, Ebenezer Easty : Providence^ Epaphras 
Kibby . The house of Worship in Warren, had, for ten 
years, remained in an unfinished state. It was, in the 
course of this year, put in better condition. For the 
first time, it was furnished with pews. The number 
of pews erected at this time was forty-eight. They 


were of the old fashioned, square style, built with 
high partitions, and with seats on all sides, so that a 
part of the occupants sat facing the minister, and 
others with their backs toward him. A pulpit was 
also placed in the church, an ornament of which it 
had previously been destitute; and over this was 
suspended a '' sounding-board," — an appendage rare 
in modem structures, and probably not necessary to 
make the voices of the zealous itinerants audible. 
Its purpose was, to prevent the sound of the 
speaker's voice fVom ascending to the roof; and to 
cause it, by reflection, to descend to the level of those 
who were listening in the pews. 

The year 1805 was distinguished and made memor- 
able by an extensive revival which occurred in con- 
nection with the services of Mr. Snelling and his 
associates. The Rev. Mr. Tustin states in his dis- 
course at the dedication of the Baptist Church, in 
Warren, in 1845, that in the year now under notice, 
ninety persons were added to the membership of that 
church. There are remaining no means of ascertain- 
ing the result of the revival so far as the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in this village was affected. We 


only know that the evangelists reported, at the end of 
the year, a membership of 126 in the circuit, 

Mr. Sneliing was now cultivating this field 

1805. for the third time, and this term of service 
appears to have been the most successful of 

the three. He preached alternately on the Sabbath, 
at Somerset, Mass., and Bristol ; and the great revi- 
val which prevailed in his field of labor was still in 
progress at the time when the preachers repaired to 
their annual Conference. 
This meeting was held at Canaan, N. H., and 
began on the twelfth of June. Bristol was 

1806. under the influence of a profound and general 
religious interest ; and the Church, fearing 

that a change of pastors would be disastrous to the 
work of grace, sent an agent to Conference to re- 
quest Mr, Snelling's reappointment. In his "Life" 
he sajs : " As I had already been there two years 
in succession, I told our friends I had no idea their 
request would be granted, as it was contrary to the 
rules of Discipline. When the question was brought 
forward, Bishop Asbury at first said it could not be, 
and gave a peremptory refusal : but having considered 


the matter, and by the earnest solicitation of our 
ftiends, he at last consented for me to go. My station 
was now Warren and Bristol ; it before was called 
Bristol and Somerset. I preached very little in War- 
ren, as there was a local preacher living there, but 
spent my time chiefly at Bristol." 

Who this local preacher was is not now known ; but 
as Warren had not been named in the appointments 
for three years previously, it is probable that he had 
supplied the pulpit during that period. John Hill 
had formerly ofliciated in that capacity, but pre- 
viously to this date, had left the church, as has been 
said above. Some of the aged citizens remember a 
Mr. Gibson, who, about this date, taught a school in 
the village and preached at the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. Of him or his work no accessible record 
remains. After the secession of Mr. Hill, and his 
departure from the school, Mr. Gibson may have suc- 
ceeded for 1^ time to both the positions which he held, 
as the union of the two offices of preacher and teacher 
appears to have been the order of proceeding in 
this church for a series of years. Mr. Gibson joined 
the Baptist church, and subsequently resided in New- 


port, Mr. Smith Bowen was a substantial fanner, 
and a devoted member of the church. It is related 
that he, one day, started from liis home on the Eicka. 
muit road, taking a ham as a present to the minister. 
On the wa}' he was accosted by some one who in- 
quired of his errand, and on being informed, said 
the minister had withdrawn from the Church. 
"Then,** said Mr. Bowen, ** Tve just saved my 

On the first day of June, 1807, Bishop Asbury 
opened the New England Conference, in 
1807. Boston. The number of names on the list of 
ministers had now increased to ninet^'-two. 
Another term of Presiding Eldership had reached 
its close. Mr. Pickering retired from the oflice and 
was stationed in Boston. His successor in office 
was the Rev. John Brodhcad. The laborers in Rhode 
Island were distributed in the following order : New- 
port^ Samuel Merwin ; Providence^ John Tinkham ; 
East Oreenwichy Pliny Brett; Rhode Island and 
Somerset^ Joshua Crowell; Warren and Bristol^ 
Joseph Snelling. This new designation was given 
to the appointment at the beginning of this year. 


as Mr. Snelling says, to avoid the disciplinary obsta- 
cle to his return to Bristol, where, as we have already 
seen, he expended nearly all his labor during the 
year. This was one of the earliest instances in which 
it was thought expedient to violate the spirit of the 
rule of itinerancy while its letter was carefully ob- 
served. In very many instances the precedent has 
since been followed at the demand of apparently 
** peculiar" circumstances. Providence and East 
Greenwich circuits were connected with New London 
District ; while the rest of the State was included 
in Boston District. Mr. Snelling, at the Conference 
of 1807, reported a membership of 186 in his circuit. 
Prosperity continued to attend his services in his 
appointment, this 3'ear also. The revival in 
1807. Bristol continued; and he says, there was a 
good meoting-houso in Warren, ^^ which was 
generall]^ well filled, and considerable attention was 
paid to religion. Several were baptized and Joined 
the church." His field of labor included more terri- 
tor}' than the two towns named in his appointment ; 
and he preached more or less in Somerset, and prob- 
ably in Newport, in both which places the spirit of 


awakening was manifested. At the close of the year 

there were 144 members in society. Probably this 

was the number in Bristol and Warren; though 

the boundaries of circuits were so indefinite and the 

reports were given and records kept with so much 

less of system than prevails in those departments of 

pastoral work at this day, that there is a degree of 

uncertainty in the conclusions to be formed from 

Buch statements. 

The New England Conference for 1808, met at 

New London, April 181h, and was regarded as an 

occasion of great interest with all classes of 

1808. people. The cordiality with which the body 

was treated by the other denominations was 

in marked and pleasing contrast with the coldness 

manifested toward them in Massachusetts, and in 

other places in Connecticut. It is shown in the fact 

that the Baptists placed their church at the disposal 

of the Conference for the Bishop's seimon and the 

ordination of the Deacons, on Sunday morning, and 

the Congregationalists gave them the use of their 

house of worship for the ordination of Elders, which 

service was there performed on Sunday afternoon 


Ab these edifices were more capacioas than that of 
the Methodists, Hie (Conference was much gratified 
by these acts of courtesy. 

Joshua Orowell was, at this Conference, stationed 

at Warren, the Church having been officially 
1808. recognized as a ^' station*' this year, for the 

first time. We now begin to find manuscript 
records of the Church in this place, and we ascertain 
that the membership at the present date numbered 
thirty-seven, one of whom is ** colored." The per- 
son bearing this distinction was Abigail Thomas. 
She is recorded, apparently by the same hand, 
** dead ; " but another name is entered, that of Lucy 
Whitmarsh, in Mr. Crowell's list, with the same de- 
scriptive abbreviation, ** col'd." 

There is reason to suppose that the oldest registry 
of members which has been preserved to the present 
time, was made by Mr. Crowell, or under his direc- 
tion. The names are entered without date or any 
other method of indicating the time or mode of their 
admission, though there is a record of the time and 
manner in wliich each person ceased to be a member. 
The book in which this list is written, appears to 


have served its purpose for a cousiderable term of 
years, as it contains names which must have been 
inserted as lately as 1820. One portion of it is de- 
voted to the accounts of the treasurer, the first of 
which bears the date of 1808-9, — the year Mr. 
Crowell was pastor. The sum collected for the sup- 
port of the ministry, that year, was $125.33, of which 
$11.95 was paid to Mr. Brodhead, tlie Presiding 
Elder, and the balance to the Pastor as his salary 
James Goff and Daniel Kelley were stewards. 

The register, as it is supposed to have been orig- 
inally made or copied into the above named book, is 
as follows : 

William Barton, George Woodmancy, 

Mary Winslow, Sally Woodmancy, 

Sarah Carr, Betsey Briant, 

Dorotliy Alger, James Goff, 

Nancy Child, Margaret Reed, 

Sarah Whcaton, Sabra Luther, 

Nancy Topin, Sally Newman, 

Catharine Maloy, Michael Smith, , 

Bethiah Cole, Nancy Handy, 

Betsey Wheaton, Christiana Cole, 

Smith Bowen, Amy Bo wen, 

Jemima Goff, Lydia Wilbonr, 

Sarah Hill, John K. Dewey, 

Daniel Kelley, Levi Sherman, 



John Butts, 
Rebecca Gardner, 
Margaret Halle, 
Hannah Smith, 
Mary Brown, 
Betsey Kelley, 
Rachel Drown, 
Elizabeth Kelley, 
Susannah Barton, 
George Knight, 
Rebecca Woodmancy, 
Martha Bebe, 
Betsey Grant, 
SaUy Cole, 
Samuel Briant, 
Esther Goff, 
Lucy Whitmarsh, 
Perez Pearse, 
Relief Munro, 
Nancy Drown, 
Jonathan Alger, 
Robeit M. Cole, 
Sally M. Burr, 

Eliza Hart, 
PoUy Butts, 
Abigail Thomas, 
Nehemiah Salisbury, 
Sarah Bowen, 
Frederick Luther, 
Elizabeth Munro, 
John Reed, 
Burnal Chose, 
Betsey Yeneman, 
John Bowers, 
Sylvester Grant, 
William Cole, 
Gardner Winslow, 
John Wilbour, 
Henry Bowen, 
Abigail MaxwcU, 
Benjamin Drown, 
Lydia Sparks, 
Abby Pearse 
Rachel Bullock, 
Sarah Bullock. 

It is impracticable to fix with certainty the date of 
the beginnlDg of this record, as some whose names 
it contains are known to have joined the Church in 
1812, while Mr. Barton, who is named in it, died 
soon after the close of Mr. Crowell's year. That it 
was in use for a long time appears from the fact that 


it records the cessation of some of the memberships 
as latelj^ as 1825 , and the restoration of other per- 
sons, (whose first membership had ceased in various 
modes,) as recently as 1820. All the names were 
apparently entered by one and the same handj 
which gives rise to the probability that they may 
have been transcribed from some previous record ; 
while the memoranda accompanying many of tliem 
were written by several different persons. This 
probability is strengthened by the number of names 
recorded, which is seventy-three, twice as many as 
the Minutes report to have belonged to the Church 
during Mr. CrowelFs ministry. Three names follow 
which were entered by another hand; and the re- 
mainder by a third, probably by Rev. Isaac Bonney, 
or Jordan Rexford, about 1820, as it is known many 
of those persons were added to the Church in that 
year. The entire list comprises one hundred and 
twenty-four names. Those pf them more recently 
added may be found at another page. 

This ancient record contains indications of a 
vigorous enforcement of discipline, as a considerable 
number of the names have memoranda attached, 


such as " dropt," or " laid aside," or " withdrawn," 
and a few ''expelled." The most of these were, 
however, restored in the revival of 1820. A rule of 
discipline was in existence at that time, which 
allowed members to be '' laid aside" for non-attend- 
ance at class ; and it had been so interpreted as to 
give the Minister authority to '' drop " those who 
were delinquent, in this respect, without a church 
trial. This usage continued until 1886, when the 
General Conference provided that such persons 
should have a right to trial before a committee, as in 
other cases of violation of rules. (Sherman's " Re- 
visions," p. 195.) 

A number of these members lived to an advanced 
age. Of Nancy Child it is recorded that she '' died 
in the Lord May 15, 1841, — a Methodist 45 yeai*s." 
Betsey Wheaton was received into the church in 
April, 1807, and died May U, 1840. Rachel 
Drown "died in peace February 15,1829." Sarah 
Bowen " died in the faith, June, 1835, aged 98." 
Frederick Luther '» died May 13, 1822, in the 98rd 
3'ear of his age." Betsqy Veneman died April 11, 
1822, '' in full assurance of a blest immortality." 


Sarah Wheaton ** died in peace, April Ist, 1864." 
Nanc}^ Drown, ** 18G8, June 10th, died peaceAilly 
on her 85th birth-day. A member of this church 66 
years." Lj^dia Haile ** died in peace, September 4th, 
1873, aged 87." Sabra (Luther) Kent died March 
17th, 1859, aged 86. Henrietta Maxwell, " died 
in peace, March 17, 1861, aged 85," and Abigail 
Maxwell, August 21st 1870, aged 88. 

Such is the record which the church books pre- 
serve of some of the aged saints who had endured 
the trials incident to the infancy of a new church 
enterprise which had little sympathy either of the 
world or the other relfgious bodies. They have 
slight but honorable mention here ; while their better 
and more enduring ** record is on high." 

The foregoing list of members contains the names 
of several persons who are known to have been 
members before the secession, about 1799, and are 
supposed to have been constituent members of the 
Church at its first formation in this town ; and more 
must have retained their membership during those 
trying times than the cun*ent accounts of the occur- 
rences state, or a considerable proportion of those 
who left must have returned with the return of pros- 


perity in 1800, or soon afterward. A venerable 
gentleman who was conversant with the affairs of 
the Church in those days, and whose memory respect- 
ing them is distinct, informs the writer that Mr Hill 
did not influence many, if any, of the members of the 
Church to secede with him, but left by himself and 
became pastor of a church of another denomination. 
He states, moreover, that he never knew of the 
Church being so near to extinction as the narrative of 
Dr. Stevens represents. Other aged persons, whose 
memory extends far back into those early days, and 
who were intimately associated with persons who 
were members of the Church ft*om its origin, confirm 
these statements. Of the facts in the case there is 
no possibility of exact information, in the absence of 
records, after this lapse of time and the departure 
of all members of the Church whose memory might, 
earlier, have preserved and imparted the requisite 

Among the appointments of the Conference of this 
year, (1808,) the name of Isaac Bonncy appears for 
the first time. He was a native of Sandwich, Mass., 
born September ^6, 1782. In his eighteenth year. 


he says his attention was called to the great interests 
of eternity. '* Having obtained hope in God through 
our Lord Jesus Christ, I joined a Methodist class in 
March, 1800, at Brookfield." In 1801 he was ap- 
pointed class leader, and )iis devotion and talents 
soon after induced his brethren to license him as a 
local preacher. His first appointment was New 
London Circuit. The circuit required about two 
hundred and fifty miles of travel and thirty sermons, 
besides other public exercises, in twentj--eight days* 
(Stevens* Memorials.)- 
The Conference met at Monmouth, Maine, on June 

18th, 1809. Bishop Asburj' went to the ses- 
1809. sion by way of Rhode Island, crossing from 

Narragansett to Newport. At the latter 
place he stopped and preached. In his journal he 
makes characteristic comments on the Methodist 
Meeting-house, with its steeple, bell and pews* 
These adjuncts were so little to his taste that it was 
with diflGiculty that he could preach. At Portsmouth 
he had no such embarrassments ; but at Bristol he 
again found pews in the church, against which he 
earnestly protested, as appearing to him indicative. 


of Presbyterianism rather than Methodism. At 
Warren, he says: ** I lodged with Samuel Childs; 
his wife is a Shunamite. We had freedom in our 
meeting here. I preached on Heb. 2 : 3." Samuel 
Childs was the husband of Nancy, daughter of 
Martin Luther. Thej* occupied a part of the home- 
stead of Mr. Luther; and his brother, S^'lvester 
Childs, and his wife, who was also a daughter of 
Martin Luther, occupied another part of the same 
house. As the Bishop does not mention Mr. Luther, 
and as his name does not appear in Mr. Crowell's 
list of Church-members, he had doubtless deceased 
some years previously to 1808 ; and his estate had 
been divided among his heirs. 

The Rev. Henry Boehm, who died December 28, 
1875, at the age of a hundred years and seven 
months, and who was for a long time the oldest 
Methodist Minister in the world, was the companion 
of Bishop Asbury on this Journey through New 
England. Saj's the Rev. J. H. James : "When a few 
months since, the writer mentioned to him Warren, 
Rhode Island ; said he, ^That is near Providence, isn't 
it? I remember being there with Bishop Asbury.' " In 


his '^ Reminiscences/' Mr. Boehm does not mention 
Warren, but says, after leaving Newport: **0n we 
rode tlirougb various towns and villages, preaching 
Jesus, till Saturday', when we reached Boston." 
Describing the visit to Newport, he writes : ** We 
entered Rliode Island, and crossed the beautiful 
Narragaiisett Bay to Newport. Here we were the 
guests of Samuel Mcrwin, the stationed minister. 
He was a noble man, then 3'oung and in his glory. 
He was all courtesy' and attention ; a Christian 
gentleman. The Bishop preached at Newport on 
Sabbath morning and afternoon, and I in the evening. 
On Monday we visited Fort Walcott. Here the 
Bishop preached to the soldiers. Then we went to 
the school and the hospital, talking and praying with 
the soldiers who were sick. I addressed a nnmber of 
German soldiers by themselves. ♦ ♦ ♦ Capt. 
Beal had charge of the fort. He was a fine man, a 
Christian gentleman, and a Methodist." 

It is probable that Bishop Asbury and Mr. Boehm 
were again in Wan*en in June, 1810, as the latter 
gives an account of their attendance at the New 
England Conference of that year at Winchester, 


New Hampshire. After its close they spent, a few 
days in Waltham and Boston, whence they went to 
Newport; but no mention is made of stopping 
places on the way. The Rev. Daniel Webb was 
then stationed at Newport, and in company with the 
yisiting clerg}'men, went to the fort, where the Bishop 
preached on Sunday. It was the custom of Capt. 
Beal to march his troops to chnreh on each Sunday* 
Their seats were in the west gallery of the church in 
Marlborough street. On one occasion while Mr. 
Webb was preaching, one of the soldiers arose fi:om 
his seat, came down the stairs, marched up the aisle 
with his sword drawn, and ascended the pulpit steps, 
as if about to attack the minister, who, seeing no 
other mode of escape, leaped over the pulpit into the 
chancel below, out of harm's way, when the soldier, 
being under the temporary influence of mental 
aberration, was unvested and without violence per- 
mitted himself to be led out of the church. 

Mr. Boehm was of Swiss parentage, and was born 
at Conestoga, Pennsylvania, June 8th, 1875. His 
ancestors were of the Mennonite faith; but his 
father, in his mature years, having become acquainted 


with the Methodist Episcopal Church, united with that 
body, in which his son Henry acquired such a remark- 
able character. Soon after Henry Boehm became a 
minister. Bishop Asbury, who was beginning to ex- 
perience the infirmities of age and to require the aid 
and society of a companion on his long journeys, 
selected him for this office. From 1808 to 1813, he 
accpmpanied the Bishop in his annual tours over the 
entire United States, at the rate of about eight thou- 
sand miles a year, an aggregate, as he says, of forty 
thousand miles, on horseback, through forests 
and swamps, by rough tracks through woods and 
over mountains ; lodging in cabins or out of doors ; 
having none of the present conveniences of travel, 
either of roads or conveyances. After his service 
with the Bishop he lived sixty-three years, and died, 
as has been stated, in his 101st year, having retained 
his physical and mental powers to a remarkable 
degree. On the second of April, 1875, he preached 
before the Newark Conference, then in session in 
Jersey City, from Nahum 1:7; and other services 
were held commenip|*ative of his long and useful life. 
June 8th, 1875, tl^e 100th anniversary of his birth. 


was publicly celebrated at the same place, in Trinity 
Church, by a large concourse of clerical and other 
friends, with addresses, poems, religious services and 
a generous gift of money for the benefit of Jthe revered 
patriarch* whose excellences of character had secured 
the warm affection of all who knew him. 
At the Conference Mr. Crowell reported a mem- 
bership of forty. His name disappears Q'om 
1809. the Minutes, and he was probably one of the 
eleven who located at this time, chiefly on 
account of insufficient support. He had no remark- 
able success in Warren, if revivals arc the sole meas- 
ure of pastoral success ; but, judging from the syste- 
matic method in which he kept his Church records, it 
may be inferred that he had a faithful and Judicious 
pastoral watch over his flock, and was a valuable 
man for the Conference and the Church. He was 
the father of the Rev. Loranus Crowell, of the New 
England Conference. An ancient document, the ear- 
liest of its kind, has been preserved in Mr. Wood- 
mansee's family, from Mr. Crowell's day. It is en- 
titled, ^^ Warren Class Paper ; " and has the name of 
William Barton as leader and steward, which name 


is erased and that of George Woodmansee is substi- 
tuted. Against tlie name of Mr. Barton is the fol- 
lowing memorandum : *' Died in peace, August 18, 
1809." The list of names is as follows : William 
Barton, Nancy Child, Bethiah Cole, Marj Winslow, 
Sarah Wheaton, Betsey Wheaton, Sarah Carr, Nancy 
Topin, Smith Bowen, Dorothy Alger, Catharine Ma- 
loy, Benjamin Goff, Sarah Hill, Betsey Kelley, Abi- 
gail Thomas, Daniel Kelley, Rachel Drown, Nehe- 
miah Salisbury, George Woodmansee, Rebecca 
Woodmansee, Elizabeth Kelley, Sarah Bowen, Sally 
Woodmansee, Susannah Burton, Frederick Luther, 
Betsey Salisbuiy, George Knight, Elizabeth Munroe, 
James Goff, Mercy Crowel, John Reed, Peggy Reed, 
Patty Beebe, Burnal Chase, Cebry Luther, Betsey 
Goff, Betsey Venneman, Hepzibeth Stone, Sally New- 
man, Sally Cole, John Davis^ John Bowers. The 
following endorsement is on the back of the paper : 
**ObserA'e the Friday fast preceding every Q. Meet- 
ing. Watch and pray that ye enter not into tempta- 
tion. Christ. April 27th, 1809, Joshua Crowel, 

Bristol and Warren were now united as one ap- 


pointment, and the Rev. Samuel Merwin was placed 
in charge as pastor. Mr. Merwin began his ministry 
before he was twenty years of age. He was bora in 
Durham, Conn., in 1777, and was one of the few 
Methodist ministers who had, at the close of the first 
ten years of this century, been raised up in New 
England. Dr. A. Stevens describes him as ** digni- 
fied in person, powerful in eloquence, generous in 
spirit, and mighty in labors/' 

The two previous years he had been stationed at 
Newport. After his year of service in this Circuit, 
he was appointed, in 1810, to Albany. The re- 
mainder of his ministry was passed in the Middle 
States. He died in 1889. The result of his labor 
here can only be inferred ft'om the fact that he re- 
ported, at its close, one hundred and twelve 
1809. members, a large increase. From the Stew- 
ards' book of that period, we learn that the 
amount paid Mr. Merwin was $114.89. There is no 
further record of the ^^ear's proceedings. 

Boston District, of which Warren Circuit was a 
part, increased in membership during the year 1809- 
10, less than one hundred. It embraced a territory 


lying in the southern portion of New Hampshire and 
the eastern portions of Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island. Tlie increase in the entire Conference was 
one thousand one hundred and twent^^-four, and the 
total membership in New England was eleven 
thousand two hundred and twenty, at the end of 
twenty years after Lee's first proclamation of the 
Arminian faitli in tliese states. 

At the close of the Conference of 1810, which was 
held at Winchester^ N. H., the Rev. John Lindsay 
took charge of the church in Warren, which was in 
connection with that at Somerset. He was now 
twenty-two years of age, and this was his third year 
in the regular ministry, though he had previously 
officiated as a local preacher in and around Lynn> 
his native place. His appointments were, from the 
first, some of the most important, and were regarded 
as '* stations, not circuits," says the Rev. Thomas 
C. Peirce, his life-long friend, who adds : " For a 
young man to fill them shows that even in his earliest 
days in the ministry he was highly estimated by his 
orethren." This rAnark alludes to this among other 
appointments ; and he continues : *' I can say that 


he filled all of these Appointments successAilly, and 
AS far as I can remember, his reputation as a minister 
was very good.*' He died at the age of fifty-eight* 
No record of his labors here remains. He received 
from the Stewards forty^five dollars. His son, the 
Bev. John W. Lindsay, D. D., is dean of the College 
of Liberal Arts, in Boston University. 

His successor, in 1811 < was Thomas Asbury. The 
Conference was held at Barnard, Vermont, and the 
appointment was Bristol, Warren, Somerset and 
Newport. Another of Mr. Woodmahsee's class pa* 
pers has been found, dated May 12, 1812, and en* 
dorsed by "Thomas Asbury, elder/* — not Presiding 
Elder, but ordained pastor. The list does not differ 
very materially from that given at another pdge ; but 
a few names have disappeared, and some others have 
been added, among which arethose of Rachel Bo wen ^ 
Jemima Gofi*, Sylvester Grant, Betsey Grant, Mich-* 
ael Smith, "Brother" Pearse, William Cole, Sarah 
Mill, Hebecoa Short and Lucy Whitmarsh. 

The following year the name of Bristol was 
omitted, when Artemas Stebbind*was in charge at 
Warren, Somerset and Newport. There were 


1812. one hundred and thirteen members, one 
hundred less than the previous year, and the 
deduction can only be accounted for by the setting 
off of that number of persons to the Church at 

The year 1812 is marked in the history of the 
Hetliodist Episcopal Church as that in which an im* 
portant modification took place in the administration 
of its polity. ) The supreme Church council had 
hitherto been a ** general'* Conference, composed of 
all the pastors who had been admitted to the order 
of elders or presbyters. By the new order of things 
it was to consist of delegates selected from the pres* 
byters of each annual Conference) according to a 
prescribed ratio. The first delegated General Con- 
ference met in the John Street Church, New York, 
on the first day of May of this year. Two Bishops, 
Asbury and McKendree, were present and presided 
in turn over the deliberations. Of ministers whose 
names have already become familiar in this record, 
but who had gone from New England, were present 
Jesse Lee, Ezekiel Cooper, Daniel Ostrdnder and 
Samuel Merwin. The delegates from the New En*> 


gland Conference were George Pickering, Oliver 
Beale, Elijah Hedding, Joshua Soule, William Ste- 
vens, Asa Kent, Solomon Sias, Joel Winch, Daniel 
Webb. The session continued for three weeks, and 
closed on the twenty-second da3\ 

During the year this town was visited by a gra- 
cious revival, of which the Kev. Mr. Tustin says that, 
as the result, *' over sixty were baptized " in connec* 
tion with the Baptist Church. The Rev. Luther Ba- 
ker was pastor at the time, and in his pastorate of 
twent3'-one }'ears added two hundred and flfty-one 
members to the Church. There is reason to infer 
that the Methodist Episcopal Church also received 
accessions as the fruit of this awakening, as Mr. 
Stebbins labored here the following year also, al* 
though Warren is not named among tlio appoint* 

ments in the Minutes, and a considerable in* 
1818. crease of members was returned. It has been 

remembered by many in this section as the 
year of their release from sin and reception of Christ 
as their Saviour. Two members still survive who 
were admitted to the Church, with others, as the fruit 
of this revival: Sally M. Burr, now *' Mother 


Peck," and Abby Pierce. Their Dames are found in 
the list inserted in a previous page ; and they alone 
remain of all who are there registered. The Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church at Bristol was greatly strength- 
ened, that year, many persons having been converted 
and added to it whose light shone on the community 
for more than a generation, and who gave that Church 
its eminence in religious zeal, and laid tlie founda- 
tions of its subsequent prosperity. 

Mr. Stebbins was a man of great energy and ac- 
tivity in his ministerial work. He was a sweet 
singer, and could at any time gather an audience to 
listen to his singing, or could silence a turbulent 
company by the same means. He had great success 
in gathering the people about him, and secured the 
conversion of many. He did not continue very long 
in the ministry, having, after some years, adopted 
the doctrines of Swedenborg. Mr. Stebbins, when 
here, was, like most of the itinerants, unmarried. 
Probably, like them, he left the itinerancy when he 
entered on domestic life. His salary, at Warren, 
was, for the two years respectively, $51.84 and 
$109.50, as shown by the Stewards' book, still in 


existence. He married a daughter of the late well- 
known Dr. Winslow, of Swansea, and settled in that 
town where he lived mostly in retirement, and died 
in advanced life not many years since. 


FFAIRS in the Warren Churcli assumed a 

new phase about the period at which we 
have now arrived in the narrative of events. 
Instead of continuing in the former relations to the 
Conference, and receiving pastors by the regular 
mode of appointment, the Church was supplied by a 
resident minister for many years, and thereby main- 
tained but a partial connection with the Confer- 
ence and the great body of Churches. About this 

time the Rev. Jordan Rexford came to War- 
1814. ren and assumed the pastoral office. He 

commenced in the itinerant ministry in 1792, 
and was appointed to Pittsfield, in Massachusetts, and 
also to Marblehead, where he endured some of the 
peculiar trials and hardships sometimes incident 
to that ministry. In 1798 he was appointed to 


Bristol ; and afterward, in succession, to Nantucket, 
to Bristol and Portsmouth, and to Portsmouth. In 
1814 he located. Dr. A. Stevens says he taught 
school several years at Marblehead. This may 
have been between 1795 and 1798, when he was in 
the local ranks ; or previous to 1814, after his Join- 
ing the Conference. Otherwise it must have been 
after he left Warren, which was not earlier than 
1827. In Marblehead, as well as in Warren, he is 
reported to have held the two-fold relation of local 
preacher and school teacher. He is remembered by 
many here as an acceptable preacher and a useful 
man, though his social and public character was 
marked by some unpleasant mannerisms. He con- 
tinued in the pastoral relation to the Church for 
about fourteen years, and made many cordial and 
life-long friendships. 

In March 1818, the Rev. Daniel Cheeseman was 
ordained as pastor of the Baptist Church, and con- 
tinued in that office until June, 1820. Cordial 
relations appear to have existed between that and 
the Methodist Episcopal Church. In the first year 


of his pastorate, according to the recollection of 

some of the older people, union services 
1818. were held at the Baptists' house of worship, 

by the two churches, and resulted in some 
conversions. Such an occurrence is, happily, less 
rare in these days than at the time of which we 
are writing. 

The year 1820 is a memorable year in the history 
of the churches in all the region around about us. 

A remarkable revival of religion swept far 
1820. and wide among people of all evangelical 

beliefs. The Rev. Mr. Tustin says, in his 
history of the Baptist Church : *^ The most exten- 
sive and powerfal work of grace known by the 
name of a revival of religion, which this Church 
ever experienced, began in the latter part of the 
winter of 1820, after a season of peculiar darkness 
and difficulty ; * * * and an overpowering re- 
ligious influence was felt by this population which 
was never equalled by anything of the kind before 
or since." It was attended "by the great refresh- 
ing of the Church, and the conversion of a multitude 
of the impenitent. In a few mpnths, one hundred 


and thirty were added to the (Baptist) Church, 
nearly all by baptism, who, with many others that 
Joined other churches, were the subjects of this 
gracious visitation." (Page 186.) 

The Rev. J. H. James, in his manuscript, re- 
marks concerning this revival : ^* It seems to have 
either commenced or received a firesh impulse at a 
camp-meeting held at Wickford, under the direction 
of the eccentric but useful Lorenzo Dow. Many 
now living remember this meeting as one of great 
power. Some who have long been prominent among 
the members of the Church were converted at this 
camp-meeting, or within a few months subsequent. 
It was a great blessing to the whole region." The 
Church at Bristol was again greatly prospered by 
the revival of 1820. Many were added t<5 its mem- 
bership who have been known for many years as its 
chief standard-bearers. It was also a year of great 
advancement in the Church at Warren. Members 
were received who have given it character and posi- 
tion in the community, and have done incalculable 
service both to the Church and to the town in help- 

Changes of cirouits. Ill 

ing by their means and their influence to make it a 
strong and vigorous institution. 

During the entire interval from 1814 to 1826, the 
name of Warren appears in the Minutes among the 
appointments but three times ; viz., in 1822, 1828 
and 1824, when the appointment was Bristol and 
Warren. Yet it appears to have been included in 
the Circuit which embraced the towns in the vicinity, 
and to have been regarded as under the pastoral 
care of the preachers in charge of that Circuit ; 
which was sometimes Somerset, Bristol and Rhode 
Island, and sometimes Bristol Circuit. While Mr. 
Rexford was acting as pastor here, the Stewards* 
book does not show that he received any compensa- 
tion from these regular financial officers of the 
Chui'ch. From which it is presumed that, being a 
local preacher, securing his livelihood by the secular 
employment of teaching, and not actual pastor, he 
received no stipulated salary from the Church, but 
in accordance with the invariable custom of the 
Methodists in such cases, rendered his services gra- 
tuitously. We do find, however, that during several, 
and we suppose, all of these years, the relation of 


the Church to the Conference was retained so far 
that the Presiding Elder was paid his '' quarterage " 
with great regularit}^, and more or less was con- 
tributed toward the support of the preacher in 
charge of the Circuit. 

In 1814 Revs. Edward Hyde and William Marsh 
were the Circuit preachers ; and it appears 

1814. that they visited Warren once in six weeks. 
Toward their support the Church contributed 

$60.98. The Rev. Asa Kent was Presiding Elder, 
and the Rev. Jason Walker the Circuit preacher, the 
following year, having been appointed at the Con- 
ference held at Unity, New Hampshire, in June 
1815. There are no data from which to infer 

1815. that Mr« Walker visited Warren often, or 
that the Presiding Elder came more than 

once ; but from the account book we Judge that an 
^^old-fashioned" quarterly meeting was held here, 
and largely attended from abroad, on Feb. 27th, 

A Circuit quarterly meeting, in those days, was an 
occasion of great and wide spread interest. Occur- 
ing, usually, but once a year at any given place in 


the Circuit, it occasioned pleasant anticipations and 
generous preparations. Tlie coming of the Presid- 
ing Elder from his long journeys around the Distiict 
was hailed as a marked event. His sermons and 
counsels awakened the attention of multitudes to the 
truths he uttered, and to the interests of the local 
church and of the denomination at large. The 
gathering of the people from all parts of the Circuit 
for a two dflys' religious visit, was welcomed with 
enthusiastic hospitality, such as was illustrated by a 
householder in Vermont, who, when asked how many 
of the people he would entertain, replied: "As 
many as there are planks in my floor." 

These meetings were always held on Saturday and 
Sunday. The afternoon of the first day was occu- 
pied with a sermon by the Presiding Elder, succeed- 
ed by the Quarterly Conference ; and the evening 
with warm prayer meetings. Sunday morning, came 
the love-feast, a season of ardent fellowship and 
overflowing religious joy. This was followed by the 
special sermon of the Presiding Elder, who preached 
again in the afternoon, or pressed one of the junior 
preachers into the service ; and these siervices were 


interspersed, through the day, and closed in the 
evening, with meetings for prayer and religious con- 

On the occasion now referred to such a meeting 
was held in Warren ; and the hospitality of 
1816. the people and the services of the occasion 
were such as are here described. The Com- 
munion was administered to a large number of per* 
sons, and a generous collection was taken for the 
benefit of the preacher in charge, and the Presiding 
Elder« The Stewards, this yeari paid Mr. Walker 

Bristol was the seat of the New England Confer- 
ence in 1816. Bishops McEendree and Roberts 
presided, having Just come from the General Confer- 
ence at Baltimoi'e, where the latter had been raised 
to the Episcopal office. For the year commencing in 
June, Richard Emery was in charge of the Circuit 
embracing Warren, and Asa Kent was Presiding 
Elder. New London District included this territory 
at that time. We infer, ftom similar considerations 
as before, that the quarterly meeting for the Circuit 


was held at WarreD, toward the close of the 
1816. year, in April, 1817. Mr. Emery received 

from the Stewards of Warren, $56.86, and 
'Mr. Kent, $4.52. It was a custom, in those days, 
to " take up a collection " in the love-feast for the 
Presiding Elder's claim, and another at the preach- 
ing service, for the circuit Pastor, and after deduct- 
ing the amount necessary for the expense of the 
sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and for lights and 
fhel for the occasion, to pay the balance to the 
ministers. These collections were all that could be 
depended on for their annual support. The process 
was repeated at each quarterly meeting, and the ag- 
gregates of four gatherings on the Circuit, for the 
Pastor and of four on each Circuit of the District, for 
the Presiding Elder, were reported at Conference as 
the ministers' receipts. One such meeting was held 
in the course of the year, at each of four ^' appoint- 
ments," if there were so many in the Circuit, and 
more frequently at each place, if there were not 
sufficient to receive one meeting only at each. In 
this way, some years, Warren had but one quarterly 
meeting, and, other years, two were held here. 


In 18X8 Bristol was a station. Thomas W. 

Tucker was tlie Pastor, and Warren consti- 
1818. tuted a part of his charge. The second 

quarterly meeting for Bristol station was 
held at Warren on the 21st and 22d of November, 
of that year. At the public sei*vice on Sunday a 
collection was taken for the Pastor, of $8.05, and 
$3.25 for the Presiding Elder. The Bev. Erastus 
Otis held the last-named office, and continued to do 
so for the term of four consecutive yeai*s. Mr. 
Tucker received from the Stewards at Warren, 
toward his maintenance, $33.79. This sum, in ad- 
dition to the quarterly collection, was made up of 
six dollars, which was entered in the account as 
^' interest money,'' and the following subscriptions 
with a small balance from some other source : Ann 
Drown, $4.00 ; Nancy Child, $1.25 ; Betsey Cole, 
$1.00; Nancy Child, .67; Betsey Wheaton, $1.50; 
Rachel Bullock, .50 ; Temperance Wheaton, $1.00 ; 
Levi Sherman, $1.00; James Goff, $1.00; Dolly 
Alger, .50; Sally Wheaton, $1.00; James Goff, 
$1.00; Jonathan Alger, $1.00; Robert Cole, .82; 
Christiana Cole, .75. 


The facts presented in relation to the payments 
made to the ministers are sufficient explanation of 
the early withdrawal of so many of them from the 
active pastoral work. The country being new, and 
there being but little money in circulation, it was 
impossible for the people to pay sums sufficient to 
support a minister with a family. In all of New 
England, except Rhode Island, every man was taxed 
for the support of a clergyman of '^the standing 
order" (Congregational), even if he belonged to 
another church and assisted in its support. This 
was also true of others of the original colonies or 
States, wherever there was a State Church. 

So small was the pittance that was paid to the 
greater number of Methodist Episcopal clergymen, 
that Bishop Asbury initiated a plan of mutual relief, 
and circulated, in his extensive travels, a subscrip- 
tion for the assistance of those who were most needy, 
beside helping in large proportion from his own 
small resources. From this scanty fund, gathered 
chiefly from ministers who were, themselves, but 
little better conditioned than the recipients, Bishop 
Asbury divided to the New England Conference, in 


1815, $50.27, with an additional donation of $100. 
After his death, a receipt for these sums was found 
among his papers, bearing the signatures of the 
Conference Stewards, Daniel Fillmore, John Lind- 
say and Jacob Sanborn. A note accompanies the 
acknowledgment, stating that the New England 
Conference, '^ not being able to raise the salaries of 
the preachers," paid ^'only $31 to the single and 
$62 to the married preachers, and children in pro- 
portion." (Boehm's Reminiscences.) This was 
Bishop Asbury*s last viHit to the New England Con- 
ference. He shortly after died at the house of Mr. 
George Arnold, of Spottsylvania, Virginia. 

From this time to the close of Mr. Rexford's ser- 
vice there is no evidence remaining that anything 
was paid to the Circuit preachers ; the money col- 
lected and disbursed was appropriated to the pay- 
ment of the current parish expenses. Mr. Tucker*s 
term of service extended to the summer of 1820, the 
year of the gi*eat revival, and Warren shared the 
gracious visitation. Among those who united with 
the Church at or near this time, according to the 
best evidence now to be obtained, were Joel Sawtell, 


Dinah Sawtell, Barsheba Bowen, Henrietta S. Alger, 
Joseph Smith, Hannah Smith, Thomas C. Williams, 
Eliza Williams, Temperance Wheaton, Samuel Carr, 
Sally Carr, Ardelia (Wheaton) Luther, Martha 
(Ingraham) Goff, Rebecca Cole, Henrietta Maxwell, 
Joseph Kent, Almira Sisson, Polly (Grant) Taylor, 
Jeremiah Woodmancy, Betsey Woodmancy, Priscilla 
(Woodmancy) Martin, Pcleg Collamoro, Lucy Peck, 
Jerusha Kent, Paul Ware, John Andrews, Hannah 
Andrews, Betsey Kelley, Thomas Ingraham, Patty 
(Winslow) Anderson. Of this list there are now 
(1876) three survivors: Dinah Sawtell, John An- 
drews, and Priscilla Martin. 

Some information is given, in the brief records 
that are preserved, of the death of a number of these 
members. Samuel Carr " died Feb. 6th, 1820, in 
the faith." Sally Carr ** deceased March 26th, 1826, 
in peace." Temperance Wheaton "died in peace, 
Dec. 4th, 1841, having been a member 60 years." 
Joseph Kent "died in peace, June 16th, 1841." 
Barsheba Bowen "died June 20th, 1830, in the 
triumphs of faith." Rachel Drown " died in peace, 
Feb. 18th, 1829." Rebecca Woodmancy " died in 


full hope of glory, Feb. 18th, 1829." Joel Sawtell 
^'died in peace, June dOth, 1848." Almira Sisson 
^^ died suddenly and in peace, Sept., 1858." Eliza 
Williams " died Nov- 8th, 1861." Patty Anderson 
" died April 8d, 1870, aged 80 years." Thomas C, 
Williams '^ died Jan. 20, 1866. His end was peace." 
Hannah Smith '^ entered into rest Dec. 19th, 1867." 
Jerusha Kent died in 1867, aged 97. Henri- 
etto S. Alger died Aug. dd, 1875, aged 85. A 
member 55 years. 

These brief records partially indicate the results, 
for the first twenty-eight years, (to 1820,) of the 
planting and growth of this Church in Warren, — 
results infinitely farther reaching, both in time and 
in eternity, than much more extended details would 
describe. A comparison of dates shows plainly the 
uncertainty of our information as to the time at 
which many of them Joined the Church ; but a long, 
and, in some instances, weary pilgrimage, was 
allotted to many of these pioneers. Theirs was for 
many years a lot of struggle, affliction and opposi- 
tion ; and it was a joyful, thankful and fitting song 
which they were accustomed to sing when they came 
together : 


•* Whftt troubles have we seen ! 

What couAicts have wc past! 
Fightings without and fears within, 

Since we assembled last I 
But out of all the Lord 

Hath brought us by his love ; 
And still he doth his help afford, 

And hides our life above* " 

There are many illnstrations of the uncertainty of 
these dates. For instance, the statement that Tem- 
perance Wheaton had been a member fifty years, at 
her death in 1841, is quite inconsistent with the sup- 
position that she became a member of the Church in 
1820 ; and, although her name is recorded among 
those which were entered in the latter year, there is 
abundant traditionary proof that she was among the 
very earliest members. She was one of those who 
came from the Free Will Baptist Church in Rehoboth, 
to constitute the first class. Her mother, Hannah 
S. Turner, was also one of that number. Mrs. 
Wheaton was the mother of the beloved Mrs. Han- 
nah Smith, of whom mention is made elsewhere. 
Another example of the imperfection of these early 


records, is the fact that Mrs. Smith's name occurs 
twice. This is accounted for by the information, de- 
rived from survivors, that she was for many years a 
probationer, declining to enter into fUll fellowship 
with the Church until her husband was ready to 
unite with her in so doing. 

With the addition of members received about 
1820, the Church took an advanced position in all 
the elements of a well-established and working body. 
Still, for a few years there appears not to have been 
much progress in their financial matters. The inter- 
est was so great in the other portion of the work 
that the Pastor probably gave little attention to 
Warren for several years, and little y as done here 
toward meeting the expenses of the Circuit other 
than those necessary to this Society. The system of 
public collections for raising the requisite funds, was 
faithfully adhered to ; and while there were no need- 
ful expenditures except for fuel and lights, the tax 
was not very heavy, and the contributions appear to 
have been sufficient to meet the bills. The fuel 
which they used was wood, and for lighting they used 
candles principally, but oil also on some occasions. 


for which some old receipted bills of Lewis Hoar and 
W. B. and E. O. Child, are still in existence after 
the lapse of more than a half- century. Copies of 
two of these bills are here inserted : 

Methodist Church and Society. 

1821. To Lewis Hoar. Dr. 
Dec. 1. 1 Gallon Lamp oU, at 88 cts. - - $ 88 
Dec. 80. 4 Lltes 7 by 9 Glass and Setting, at 9d, 60 
Jaiiy. 2G. 1 Gallon Lamp oil - - - - 88 


$2 26 

Kecelved Payment March 11th, 1822, 

Lewis Hoar. 

Warren, IstFeby, 1822. 
Methodist Society. 

To Wm. B. & E. O. Child. Dr. 

To 2 lb. Candles, 19 ct. - - - .88 

20th. To 2 do. do. 19 ct. - - - - 88 

March 16. To 2 qts. oU ... - 44 

»1 20 
Rec'd payment, 

Wm. B. & E. O. Child. 

For 1821 the Stewards' account amounts to but 
$22.91, — the total expense of the Church for the 


year, for fuel, lights and sacramental expenses. From 
January, 1822, to September, 1823, one year and eight 
months, the expense for similar items, including also 
cutting wood, glazing, and '' binding Bible," was 
$29.80 ; and from the last date to January 1829, the 
sum was $40.10 for expenses of like character. 
These facts are gathered from an old account book, 
from which w^ cannot learn that anything was, for 
several years about this time, paid for the support 
of a minister, except the collections at quaiterly 
meetings, which were very small in amount. What 
were Mr. Rexford's financial relations with the 
Church is not known. 

Until the close of Mr. Bonney's term of service in 
Bristol, in the summer of 1823, there was some 
slight connection with the Church in that town ; and 
the quarterly meeting was held in Warren, on the 
tenth of March, 1821, when the Presiding Elder's 
claim for the year ($13.00,) was paid to Mr. Otis, 
and a small sum to the Pastor, Mr. Bouncy. A 
love-feast was held on December 22d, the same year ; 
also on May 27th, 1822 ; May 18th, 1828 ; Feb. 
12th and Nov. 28th, 1824. Payments were made to 


the Pastor and the Presiding Elder on each of these 
occasions. Tlie incumbents of these offices were 
changed in 1822. The Rev. Joseph A. Merrill suc- 
ceeded Mr. Otis, and the Rev. John W. Hardy was 
pastor of the station. 

During Mr. Rexford's ministry here, regular re- 
turns of the number of members in the Church at 
Warren were not made. The Circuit as a whole was 
evidently in a prosperous condition. At Bristol, the 
Church, at this period, assumed a position in num- 
bers, spirituality and strength, which have made it a 
marvellous power in the community to the present 
time. At Somerset there was a Church which be- 
came a mother to the churches in Fall River and 
other places in the vicinity. In 1822 the Circuit 
had a membership of 400 ; in 1823, of 369 ; in 1824, 
of 346 ; and in 1825, of 323. These reports are 
supposed to refer to Bristol and Warren only. After 
the great ingathering in 1820 and 1821,tliere is seen 
to have been a steady decrease. It is probable that 
this decrease was specially noticeable at Bristol, 
where the results of the revival had been most 


marked, and the almost anavoidable reaction would 
naturally be most observed. 
By this time, however, many of the people at 
Warren had become dissatisfied with the 
1826. anomalous position which they were occupy- 
ing as a Methodist Episcopal Church. Their 
lack of spiritual energy and religious success was 
not compensated by the lightness of their financial 
burdens, even if it were not partly occasioned by it. 
Their minister was not destitute of satisfactory 
abilities, and there was no complaint against him ; 
but with the sameness of his ministrations and his 
partial secularization, it was natural that the enter- 
prise dragged somewhat heavily. The life-blood 
flowed sluggishly for lack of that animation which 
the itinerancy imparts ; and it is not wonderAil that, 
spiritually considered, the Church was very low. 


T was perfectly natural, and in accordance 
with the usage of Methodists, for a Churcli 
' in the condition just described, to turn their 
attention toward the Conference for relief from their 
discouragements, and to begin to long for a return to 
the beneficent rotation of the itinerancy. As the 
Church had been, for so many years, practically ottt 
of this rotation, there was some difficulty in return- 
ing to the custom. Opposition to the change arose 
from Mr. Rexford, who, having so long held the po- 
sition of a settled minister, had the usual and 
natural reluctance to sever his relations with the 
Church. There was opposition from a portion of the 
parishioners, also, who entertained toward him a 


warm personal attachment, and a high regard as 
their pastor and an able and useful minister. By 
mutual agreement it was decided to appl}' to the 
Conference for a Pastor to be stationed in accordance 
with the usual practice of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. This application was presented at the Con- 
ference of 1827, in session at Lisbon, N. H., Bishop 
Hedding presiding. In response to it the Eev. Isaac 
Stoddard was appointed. The Stewards at 
1827. that time were James Goff, Thomas C. Wil- 
liams, Thomas Ingraham, Paul Ware and 
George Woodmancy. 

On reaching his field of labor Mr. Stoddard found 
affairs in a discouraging condition, owing to the long 
continued lack of pastoral oversight and energetic 
culture of religious attainments. There was also 
some degree of disaffection on account of the change 
of ministers, which was calculated to dishearten a 
Pastor on entering on a new scene of labor. Mr. Stod- 
dard was, however, a man of firm nerve and some 
experience, being at this time in his fortieth year. 
He was born at Groton, Conn., in 1788, and was 
converted there at fifteen years of age. He entered 


the ministry when in his thirtieth year and continued 
in his relation to the Conference until May, 1869, 
when he died in his native town in the eighty-first 
year of his age. His ministerial life was principally 
passed within the limits of what is now Providence 
Conference ; and in nearly all his appointments he 
witnessed the conversion of souls. During the last 
twent3'- five years of his life he was superannuated 
and suffered much from disease and partial blind- 
ness ; but at length he quietly declined into the val- 
ley of death and " joyfully possessed the building of 
God, eternal in the heavens." 

Wanen was a station ; and Mr. Stoddard was ap- 
pointed to the charge two years in succession. This 
was the first occasion on which a minister 
1828. was -reappointed here, with the exception of 
Mr. Snelling, who, nearly twenty years 
earlier, had been so appointed when Warren was 
part of a circuit. The minister of a station was the 
regular Pastor of a parish, — as much so as the min- 
isters who were settled in other methods The sec- 
ond year of Mr. Stoddard's pastorate here witnessed 
some complication of ecclesiastical matters occa- 


Bioned by the establisbment of the services of the 
Protestant Episcopal Cburcb in the village, and tbe 
organization of St. Mark's parish in November, 
1828. Some persons Ytho were not pleased with the 
removal of Mr. Rexford withdrew, and united with 
the new organization. But the withdrawal of those 
who left and the institution of a new religious body, 
did not discourage the ardor nor abate the zeal of 
those who continued faithful to their convictions and 
their Church. On the contrary, they were the more 
earnest for the permanency and prosperity of the 
institutions through which they and many others 
had been brought to a saving knowledge of Christ ; 
and success attended their efforts. The Church was 
favored with a revival of religion, and at the end of 
his term of service Mr. Stoddard left the parish in a 
condition of comparative prosperity. The number 
of members then composing the Church the records 
and Minutes show to have been sixt}'. 

A list of members made in 1828 in Mr. Stoddard's 
pastorate is composed of the following names: 
Jonathan Alger, Joseph Smith, Jr., Thomas lugra- 
ham, Thomas C. Williams, Ephraim French, Paul 

MEMBERS IN 1828. 131 

Ware, George Woodinancy, Daniel Kelley, Joel 
Sawtell, James Goff, Jeremiah Woodmancy, John 
Andrews, Lewis B. Pearse, Nathap Blake, Eliza 
Williams, Hannah Smith, Rebeckah Woodmancy, 
Temperance Wheaton, Elizabeth Kelley, Betsey 
Wlicaton, Sarah Wheaton, Dinah Sawtell, Sarah 
Bowen, Esther Goff, Martha Goff, Rebeckal\ Cole, 
Lucy Peck, Priscilla Woodmancy, Polly V, Wood- 
mancy, Bathsheba Bowen, Rachel Carpenter, Betsey 
Woodmancy, Prudence Barton, Abigail Pierce, Sally 
M. Cole, Patty Anderson, Henrietta Alger, Henrietta 
Maxwell, Ardelia Wheaton, Rachel Drown, Nancy 
Child, Sabra Kent, Rebecca Gardner, Mary B. Lu- 
ther, Betsey B. Luther, Susan Ingraham, Jane 
Blake, Sarah Ann Pierce, Mercy Easterbrook, Julia 
Ann Child, William H. Bowen, Sally L. Burt, 
Amelia Salisbury, Betsey Warner, Susan Sisson, 
Abigail Thurber, Sarah L. Luther, Jemima Goff, 
Polly Taylor, Samuel Wright, Nancy Drown. 

The next minister in succession was the Rev. 

Newell S. Spaulding, who entered with spirit upon 

the work of his charge and into the labors of 

1829. his predecessor. He is the earliest of 


the pastors of this Church who are now among 
the living ; and is well remembered and highly es- 
teemed by the ^surviving members who were associ- 
ated with him in the fellowship and work of the 
Church. His earnestness and zeal in the duties of 
his calling have not been forgotten ; and the older 
members of the Church were much gratified by a 
visit which he made to them in the summer of 1874, 
after an absence of many years. While he %as 
Pastor in Warren, there was a continuous religious 
interest. He held the first protracted meeting that 
was ever held in the town. Many ministers were 
present, and a remarkable revival followed. It be- 
gan with a quailerly meeting held by the Rev. Ed- 
ward Hyde, Trcsiding Elder. On the 23d of April, 
1880, a ^^ society meeting" was held, at which com- 
mittees were appointed to visit those members who 
had neglected the means of grace. At the meeting 
a week later, the committees reported that they had 
attended to this duty, that there appeared to be a 
consciousness of past neglect and a determination 
that by the help of the Lord they would be more 
faithful. Doubtless, such fidelity on the part of the 


** society" aided much toward the subsequent re- 
vival. There were about eighty conversions, and 
about sixty persons joined the Church. 

In 1830 the first Conference was held at New 
Bedford. Warren, which had for many years been 
attached to New London District, was now placed 
in the new district called Providence District ; the 
Rev. Nathan Faino was appointed Pastor, and con- 
tinued in charge two successive years. He is well 
known as a pious and efficient minister, who contin- 
tinued in the active service of the Church to an ad- 
vanced age, and died revered and beloved but a few 
years since. His wife, also, was a true and devoted 
assistant to her husband, — a woman of rare talent, 
tact and zeal, who contributed largely to his success 
wherever he labored. In the winter of 1830, and the 
early spring following, the Spirit was power- 
1830. fully poured upon the community, and num- 
bers were converted. Two Sabbaths, — the 
last in May and the first in June, 1831, were days 
of memorable interest, and have been long cherished 
in the memory of many persons. On each of those 


days a large number of candidates were baptized 
and admitted to the Cliurcb. 

The interest continued in connection with the 
services of the Rev. Abram Holway, who succeeded 
Mr.. Paine in 1882. The congregations had so mucli 
increased that the small meeting-house afforded too 
limited accommodations for those who wished 
1882. to attend worship in it. The members, at 
the beginning of this year, numbered one 
hundred and eight. The house was lifted so as to 
admit the building of a lecture room in the base- 
ment ; and a tower and steeple were added to the 

As the Church progressed and its numbers in- 
creased, the expense of maintaining its services ad- 
vanced year by year. The accommodations for wor- 
ship were improved, the cost for warming and 
lighting the bouse was greater, and a better support 
was alTordcd the Pastor. Regular payments were 
made to the Presiding Elder at the quarterly meet- 
ings, the fUU amount apportioned to the parish being 
raised each year. This office was held by the Rev. 
Joseph A. Merrill dunng the three years fiom 1880 


to 1883, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Daniel 
Dorchester, who presided here one year, and by the 
celebrated Orange Scott in 1834 and 1835. 

Contributions also began to be made and recorded 
for the conncctional funds of the Church. The first 
for the expense of the delegates to tlie General Con- 
ference was made in March, 1832, amounting to 
$3.62 ; and in June, 1833, the first, of $5.57, for 
the Missionary Society. Previously to this, in 1828, 
$2.00 were paid to Edward Hjde, at quarterly 
meeting, as ** extra expense to General Conference." 
The money paid to Mr. Stoddard for the year ending 
July, 1828, wfw $236.00; to Mr. Spauldhig, 
$198.85; to Mr. Paine, $230.97 and $223.66, for 
his first and second years respectively ; Mr. Hol- 
way's ** estimate" was $300, of which he received 
about one-half. Mr. Porter's was $300, of which he 
received $265. The Presiding Elders were paid, 
during these years, from $16 to $20 each year. 

The small sums paid to these ministers, and re- 
corded in the official accounts, are not to be regarded 
as the entire remuneration which they received for 
their services. It was a custom to pay more in dona- 


tions of provisions and other needful articles than in 
money ; and the actual payments made in these vari- 
ous modes were sufficient to afford a comfortable 
livelihood, — quite as much so, doubtless, as the 
larger salaries paid in more recent yeara. Also, the 
Presiding Elder's salary being made up by contiibu- 
tions from all the churches in his district, a compara- 
tively small amount from each was required to make 
up the aggregate. 

At the Conference of 1883, the Rev. James Porter 
was appointed pastor at Warren, and found one hun- 
dred and thirty members in society He 
1838. was then in the earliest 3*ears of a ministry 
which has been protracted and distinguished 
as one of eminent ability and success, and of extra- 
ordinary influence in the counsels of the church. He 
was, for twelve years ending at the General Confer- 
ence of 1868, one of the agents of the Publishing 
House at New York, — one of the most responsible 
offices of the Church ; and is the author of various 
important works on religious and ecclesiastical sub- 
jects. He became prominent among the earliest of 
the out-spoken opponents of slavery, whose influence 


went far toward the destruction of that iniquitous 
institution. In tlie course of his pastorate here, the 
General Assembly of the State of Rliode Island 
granted an act of incorporation to the " Church and 
Proprietors." The act was passed at the January 
session of 1834. Tlie corporators named are 
Joseph Smith, Jr., Jonathan Alger, James Goff, 
William Carr, Jr., and Caleb Eddy; and they, by 
the same act, were appointed the first Board of 
Trustees, with Thomas C. Williams as Treasurer and 
James Porter as Clerk. 

The incipient step toward this act is found in the 
record of a quarterly conference held Fcbruarj 22, 
1831, composed of J. A. Merrill, Presiding Elder, 
Nathan Paine, Pastor, and S. Wright, E. French, S. 
S. Swasey, J. Chace, and T. C. Williams ; at which 
J. Smith, Jr., T. C. Williams, J. Chace, J. Hoar 
and E. French were appointed " a Board of Trustees 
to take care of the chapel." 

At the meeting for organization under the charter) 

the persons present were Joseph Smith, Jr., 

1834. Jonathan Alger, Thomas C. Williams, Haile 

Collins, John Salisbury, John Andrews, 


Samuel Wright, Jr., and William Carr, Jr. A code of 
by-laws was adopted, and the above named Trustees 
were reelected with Joseph Smith, Jr., President, 
James A. Thornton, Clerk, and T. C. Williams, 
Treasurer. The by-laws describe the membership 
of the corporation as comprising the owners of 
pews, the Preacher in charge, all male members of 
the Church twenty-one years of age and upwards, 
and all who lease or hire a pew in the church ediOce 
for one or more years, " together with as many of 
the male members of the congregation who worship 
in said house as shall be chosen at any regular meet- 
ing legally holden by said corporation.'* 

This act of incorporation imparted new system, 
vigor and efficiency to the financial and secular 
operations of the parish, and the body thus formed 
became an important auxiliary in the work of religion 
committed to this Church. It assumed the control 
of property which had previously lacked systematic 
and careful supervision ; and provided for such vigi- 
lant oversight as was needed for the preservation 
and improvement of the house of worship and other 
property necessary for the comfortable and agreeable 


accommodation of those who were associated in the 
promotion of these great interests. A more expedi- 
tious and less complicated method of superintending 
and holding church property has since become preva- 
lent in other places, which makes the trustees a body 
corporate under the direction and control of the 
Quarterly Conference. Nearly all our church prop- 
erty is now held under this rule of the Discipline. 

Mr. Porter was succeeded, in 1834, by the Rev. 
William R. Stone, who sustained pastoral relation to 
the Church two 3'ears, ending in the summer of 1836. 
The first year he reported a membership of 130 ; and 
the second year, of 135. In the intervening years 
from 1831 to 1836, the following new names were 
added to the membership of the Quarterly Conference : 
John Butts, Gilbert R. Lawless, Jeremiah Wood- 
mancy, John D. Tuell, William B. Lawton, Benja- 
min Foster. 

Mr. Stone was received into the Conference in 
1825, and continued, for fifty years, an active, de-. 
voted and useful minister. He died in great peace, 
June 20, 1875, in Cambridge, Mass., where he had 


for some years labored as a city missionary, and, 
finally, Chaplain to the House of Correction. 

It was during the ministry of Mr. Stone at Warren 
that the anti-slavery contest began to rage with great 
fierceness throughout the Northern States, both with- 
in and without the Church. Many Methodists at 
the South had become involved in connection with 
slavery, notwithstanding the constant testimony of 
the Discipline and the General Conference as to its 
sinfulness and against permitting members of the 
Church to buy or sell slaves. The ministry and 
membership of the Church in New England had be- 
come deeplj' agitated in reference to the complica- 
tion of their beloved Church with this ^' great evil ; '* 
and were fully persuaded that it was their duty to 
take some positive action toward its removal from 
the body, or the removal of those members who were 
unwilling to discontinue their connection with so 
great a sin. Among the most prominent of these oppo- 
nents of slavery was the Rev. Orange Scott, Presid- 
ing Elder of Providence District, in which Warren 
was included. He was a man of commanding elo- 
quence, of indomitable energy and unimpeached 


parity of character; and his influence with the 
Church and ministry was very weighty. He was sent, 
in J 836, as a delegate to the General Conference, 
which met in May in Cincinnati ; and at which the 
Church was shaken to its foundations by the discus- 
sion between the opposers and the advocates of slave 
holding church members. Mr. Scott's ^oratory and 

leadership at that Conference made an im- 
1836. pression upon the Church and the nation 

which was felt in all the subsequent aglta- 
tions of the slavery question, until the fetters of the 
slaves were struck off by the proclamation of Abra- 
ham Lincoln. It is to be recorded to the honor of 
the Church in Warren that on the eleventh of April, 
1836, her Recording Steward, Thomas C. Williams, 
placed in the hand of Orange Scott, a sum of money 
to assist in defraying his expenses to that memorable 
General Conference, the history of which may be 
found in full in other works. 

Mr. Williams was Recording Steward and Treas- 
urer for many j'cars, and his accounts are preserved. 
They show a scrupulous exactness, and fidelity to 
the trust committed to him which were his well-known 


characteristics, and to which many now living can 
testify. From his books it appears that Mr. Stone 
was paid $310 the first year when his ''estimate'* 
was $516, leaving a large deficiency. The 3'ear fol- 
lowing, the estimate was reduced to $832.88, and 
was all paid. It is a curious fact that for several 
years, when the Pastor's salary was very small, or 
the payments fell far short of the estimate, the Pre- 
siding Elder's claim was almost invariably fully 
met ; a fact well understood by those wUo are aware 
of the appreciation in which the latter office is held 
in the churches. 
At the expiration of Mr. Stone's term of service, 
in 1836, he left one hundred and forty-six 
1886. peraons in church fellowship, and was suc- 
ceeded in the pastoral office by the Bev. 
Isaac Bonney. His name has already had a place in 
these pages, and his memory is still precious to many 
who will rend this record. His many excellences of 
character are not easily forgotten by those who have 
known him. His gentility of deportment was only 
indicative of the gentleness of his heart. The 
geniality of his manners arose from his cheerfulness 


and kindness of disposition. He was firml}^ attached 
to his own Church, but catholic in his spirit toward 
all ; firm and uncompromising in advocacy of essential 
truth, but 3'ielding to others in what was of minor 
importance ; eccentric in style, but pleasing and con- 
vincing in his discourses, ho was a popular preacher, 
a beloved pastor, a revered counsellor, and an in- 
fluential member of the Conference to which he be- 

Mr. Bonney entered the Conference in 1808, hav. 
ing previously officiated as a local preacher as many 
as six years, and having been ordained a Deacon 
in 1806. After four yeava' service he located on ac- 
count of impaired health ; but in 1818 re-entered the 
Conference, and continued in effective seiTice until 
1848, when he retired to the ranks of the superan- 
nuates, and took up his residence at Bristol, where he 
resided nearly ten years, and without protracted 
illness, went peacefully to his reward. 

During Mr. Bonnej's pastorate, the office of Pre- 
siding Elder was held by the Rev. David Kilburn. 
The names of William S. Simmons, Russell Munroe 
and N. M. Burr, were added to the list of official 


members in the Quarterly Conference. The estimate 
$pr the pastor was, each year, $440, and for the Pre- 
siding Elder, $24, and the amount was paid in each 
instance. For the first time in its history, this 
Church was called on, at the Quarterly Conference 
held January 2, 1887, to set apart one of its com- 
municants to the ministry. On that occasion 
1837. William S. Simmons, having been duly rec- 
ommended and examined, was licensed as a 
local preacher. He was subsequently admitted to 
the Annual Conference, and after a number of years' 
service in the pastoral office, died at his post in the 
midst of his activity and usefulness. 

•«* Several names in the foregoing lists are varioasly spelled. 
In all instances of doubt as to the correct orthograpliy, the rec- 
ords have been foUowed, so for as was practicable. 


GAIN the Church ediflcc was found to be of 
too limited capacity' for the congregations* 
At a meeting of the corporation held April 
26, 1836, measures were initiated looking toward an 
enlargement of the house of worship, and a 
1836. resolution was passed '' that it is expedient 
the house should be enlarged in such way 
and manner as may hereafter be decided on." A 
majority of the pew holders having failed to attend 
this meeting, William B. Lawton was appointed to 
procure the written consent of those who were 
absent, or a majority of them, to the proposed en- 
largement of the house, and report at the adjourned 
meeting on May 3d. At the meeting on the follow- 
ing week, John Andrews, Thomas C. Williams and 


Lewis T. Hoar were appointed '' to ascertain the ex- 
pense of building an addition of thirteen feet on the 
north end of the meeting-house and finish the same 
above and below, with the addition of a new pulpit, 
agreeable to plan by them to be submitted, and make 
report to an adjourned meeting." On the 19th of 
May, Stephen Martin and Joseph Smith were added 
to the Committee, and authority was granted them 
to hire money to build the addition and finish the 
house. The proposed alteration and enlargement 
were duly made, satisfactorily to the Corporation and 
agreeably to the wants of the congregation. The old 
pews were removed, and new ones of modern style 
were substituted. 

The list of pew holders, as ascertained and re« 
conled by the Corporation, is as follows : 

No. of Pew. No. of Pow. 

1. John yiiinecome*s heirs. 8. Martin Luther. 

2. Nancy Child. 9. James Bowen. 

8. Daniel Barrus. 10. Jas. Ingraham's heirs, 

4. Jonathan Alger. 11. John Batty. 

6. D. K. Luther. 12. Pardon Hiscox. 

6. Th. C. WilUams. 13. Pardon Hiscox, Jr. 

7. George Woodmancy. 14. Joseph Gardner. 


OWNERS. 147 

No. of Pew. 

No. of Pew. 


Joseph Peck. 




Elios Mngoun. 


Heirs, Wm. Barton. 


James OoflTs heirs. 


Nathaniel P. Smith. 


JoDathau Alger. 


Heirs, Samuel Drown. 


Ellslia Phlnncy's heirs. 


Nancy Child. 


0. M. Fessenden and S. 


Wm. Carr, Jr. 

P. Chllds. 


Henry II. Luther. 


E. W. Burr. 


Steph. Johnson and Son. 


T. C. Williams. 


Stephen Martin. 


J. D. Tiicll. 


Jos. Smith. 


Joseph Smith. 


Samuel Barton. 


John Davol. 


Rosabella Gardner. 


James Maxwell. 


Jona. Alger. 


Charles Collins. 


Lewis T. Hoar. 


Wm. Kellcy. 


Wm, Maxwell. 


Wm. Carr. 


Scth Peck. 


Joseph Smith. 


Samuel Wright. 


Caleb Eddy. 


Job Smith. 


Joseph Smith's heirs. 


John Salisbury. 


Samuel Carr's heirs. 


James A. Thornton, 


Squire Maxwell. 


Heirs, P. Alger. 


Jabez Brown. 


John Q. Joyce. 


Rebekah Cole. 


T. C. Williams. 


John Andrews. 


Joel Sawtell. 


W. B. Lawton and N. 


H. Sherman and Lewis 

P. Smith. 



S. Wright, Jr. and J 

. 70, 

, Lewis B. Pearce. 



Joseph Kent and Pro- 


Ebenezer Luther. 



Wm. Carr, Jr. 


The three additional numbers, and those omitted in 
the foregoing list, are entered as belonging to the 
proprietors, the whole number of pews being 74. 
Some of these afterward passed into the hands of 
Qther persons, whose names are entered in the margin, 
as follows: 19, John Salisbury; 21, William Carr, 
Jr. ; 26, Charles Barton ; 41, Nathaniel P. Smith ; 43, 
Mary B. Luther ; 51, Henry Burtch ; 57, Lydia Haile 
and Henrietta Alger ; 66, G. R. Lawless and R. L. 
Watson ; 67, Jonathan Simmons. 

On the 14th of November, 1836, the corporation 
elected Elias Magoun a Trustee, in place of James 
Goff, who had recently deceased, after serving the 
Church in a variety of positions for more than forty 
years. In the preceding month, (October,) a sub- 
scription had been made to raise sufficient mone}^ for 
the purchase of the land north of the church edifice, 
extending to Baker street. This land belonged to 
the estate of Col. Sylvester Child, (not the sonin-law 
of Martin Luther, wo arp informed, though bearing 
the same name.) After Col. Child, the lot was 
owned by Peleg Barney, from whom it was trans- 
fened to George H. Handy. He sold it to Joseph 


Smith, of whom it was purchased by the tnistees, for 
$140. It made a highly valuable addition and im- 
provement to the property of the parish ; and before 
long became absolutely necessary for the erection of 
the edifice which now occupies the site. Not far 
from this time, the surviving heirs of John Luther 
relinquished, by quitclaim deeds, forever to the Trus- 
tees of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Warren, 
all their property and right in the lot of land left by 
Mr. Luther for the erection of a church edifice, thus 
setting at rest all possible questions as to the right- 
ful ownership of the property. 

In June, 1837, another aged member and ofl^cer of 
the Church passed to his rest, — Jonathan Alger, still 
well remembered for his attachment to the Church, 
and his fidelity to the obligations of a church-member. 
His place in the board of Trustees being thus vacated, 
Capt. Stephen Martin was, on the 22d of June, elected 
to the place. 

The pastorate of the Church for the succeeding 
term of two years, was held by the Rev. Shipley W, 
Wilson, the first year in connection with Somerset. 
The next 3'ear, and ever since, Warren was and ha« 


contintied to be a '^ station." Mr. Wilson was as a 
clergyman held in high esteem, both by his breth- 
len in the ministry and by the people of his charge. 
He occupied influential positions in the pas- 
1888. toral office and in his relations to the Confer- 
ence and Church at large. After a consider- 
able number of years spent in the service of the 
itinerancy, he united with the Protestant Episcopal 
Cluirch, and passed his later years in that ministry, 
principally as Chaplain of some of the charitable and 
reformatory institutions of the city of Boston. The 
number of members in the Church at Warren, at the 
close of his term of service, was 198. 

The records show that, about this time, the Church 
began to make systematic provision for the assistance 
of its poor members. Contributions were regularly 
made for their benefit, at the communion service, and 
the proceeds distributed to them proportionally, as 
their needs required ; a custom which has since been 
continuously observed, and which is general in the 

Owing to the serious inconvenience encountered 
in hiring a house for the pastors, which could be re- 

pastor's house built. 161 

tained during successive terms of ministerial service 
and would be suitable to the ministers who, in turn, 
held the pastoral charge, some of the members of 
the parish conceived the plan of securing a pastor's 
residence, to be the property of the Church and held 
perpetually for the minister's occupancy. For this 
purpose a subscription was begun on the 16th of Jan- 
uary, 1839. The subscribers to the fund numbered 
seventy-one. There was one subscription of $600 ; 
one of $100 ; the ladies' sewing circle $100 ; tvo of 
$60 ; one of $40 ; two of $26 ; six of $16 ; eight of 
$10 ; sixteen of $6 ; six of $3 ; eight of $2 ; twelve 
of $1 ; and one of 60 cents; in all $1,186.60. On 

the 1 1th of March, at a meeting of the sub- 
1 839. scribers, Th. C. Williams, Stephen Martin, and 

Lewis T, Hoar were appointed a committee to 
ascertain the probable expense of a lot and building ; 
who reported at a meeting on the eighteenth, and 
were instructed to purchase the lot of land, at the 
comer of Wheaton and Manning streets, of Misses 
Mary and Betsey Bowen, and to build the house; 
which was accordingly done, and the house was occu- 
pied as the residence of the several pastors for a series 
of years. 


The records of the Quarterly Conferences of Mr, 
Wilson's second j-ear, contain the name of the Rev. 
Bartholomew Otheman as presiding Elder ; and the 
reports of proceedings at once begin to manifest a 
fullness of detail which was previously wanting, 
showing the careful and business-like method which 
distinguished him through the long period during 
which he held that important office. The lay members 
of the Quarterly Conference were, according to the 
record, Irad Hart, Lewis B. Pearce, Benj. Foster, 
John i). Tuell, Elias Magoun, Joseph Smith, Thomas 
C. Williams, Samuel Wright and S. S. Swasey. 
There was, during these j^ears, some advance in the 
salaries of successive pastors. Mr Wilson's salary 
was $450 and $464 for his two years respectively. 
These sums compared well with those paid by other 
churches at that period. 

The first mention of the Sunday School occurs in 

the records of the Third Quarterly Conference for 

this year, held October 12th, as having now just 

begun to receive the attention of that body. 

1839. *' Benjamin Foster being requested, made 

some communication on the situation of the 


Snbbath School," and "the Presiding Elder recom- 
mended a regular monthly praj^er meeting for the 
special blessing of God on the Sabbath School." The 
next following Quarterly Conference voted to partici- 
pate in a proposed convention of the Sabbath School 
teachers of the District. April 11th, 1840, in Quar- 
terly Conference, " Brother Magoun represented the 
Sunday School to be in a prosperous condition." All 
this shows an awakening of the attention of the offi- 
cial body of the Church to this very important branch 
of church enterprise ; but docs not indicate that all 
its members were so earnestly engaged in it as would 
have been well for the prosperity of the Church ; nor 
does it show how deep was the interest nor how ear- 
nest were the labors of those who appreciated the 
important oearing of the Sunday School upon the 
future welfare of the Church and the community. 

Elias Magoun, wliose n:ime now occurs in this rela- 
tion, connected liimself with the Church in March, 1837 ; 
but was not in full connection until February, 1838. 
lie was a valued and useful member until his death 
in 1847, and during nearly all that time was Superin- 
tendent of the Sunday School. His assistant, who for 


many years both before and after his superintendency, 
had charge of the infant department, was Mary 6. 
Anthony, a valued member of the Church for more 
than sixty years, though an invalid in the latter por- 
tion of her life. Her services in this department 
were patient, protracted and valuable; and they 
cannot be forgotten either by her many pupils or by 
those who place a proper estimate upon faithful though 
unobtrusive labors in the vineyard of the Lord. 
This excellent woman, who joined the Church at 
Portsmo.uth, R. I., in 181S, closed her term of faith- 
ful and devoted service on the 21st of February, 1876, 
in the 80th year of her age. She was an intelligent 
and well-informed Methodist, as well as a humble 
Christian. Miss Anthony's efficient associate in the 
Sunday School work, for a considerable period, was 
HaiTiet (Hoar) Barrus, now an esteemed member 
of the Church in another town. 

The year 1839 was observed throughout the world 
of Methodism as the one-hundredth year from the 
formation of Mr. Wesley's society in England. Its 
celebration was attended with much enthusiasm on 
both sides of the Atlantic, particularly in England. 


The Quarterly Conference held in Warren on the 
eleventh of Jul}', designated Joseph Smith, S. W. 
Wilson and E. Magoun, as a committee on the sub- 
ject of the observance of the centenary ; and at the 
following Conference the committee, on being called 
on for a report, stated that they had made no arrange- 
ments for a celebration ; and consequently the subject 
was dropped. 

A change of pastors occurred in the summer of 
1840, followed by a season of interest and prosperity 
which continued through the two years of the Rev. 
William Livesey's pastorate, which ended in June, 
1842. Mr. Livesey says, in a manuscript letter : ** I 
found a pleasant little parsonage, for which they 
charged me sixty dollars, and estimated me four 
hundred dollars besides, and paid it each year. Mr; 
Joseph Smith paid $150, Capt. W. Carr $50, and the 
Society the rest. 

** There had never been any regular contribution 
for missions in the Church. I made an effort, but at 
first met with a firm opposition from the ^ Board 
Official.* At last they consented : I might try. I 
did so and received $170^ 


^^ We organized a Washingtonian Temperance meet- 
ing, and invited John Hawkins to come and lecture 
to us. These seemed preliminary steps ; for, soon 
after, a revival broke out. It began on the ^ Back 
Boad,' where we organized a class which continued 
for years. It soon spread into the village, to Bar- 
rington, and to Rchoboth, where we organized a 
class; and I continued to hold meetings in both 
pla6es and in Swansea. I remained two years ; and 
during the time I took the names of 120 who pro- 
fessed conversion, and left 240 members, — 80 more 
than I found. We had general harmony and peace, 
and the brethren cordially cooperated with me." 

The records of the Quarterly Conferences agree with 
this statement in all important pailiculars, so far as 
they became matters of record. The revival contin- 
ued to the close of the pastoral term, to some degree, 
and its beneficial effects have not yet ceased to be 
realized. The Quarterly Conference at this date was 
composed of Joseph Smith, T. C. Williams, Elias 
Magoun, J. D. Tuell, Lewis B. Pearce, Benjamin 
Foster, Pardon Hiscox, Philip Munroe, Irad Haii;. 

Mr. Livesey was the first pastor of this Church 


who introduced the practice, which is now a rule, of 
presenting to each Quarterly Conference a written 
report of the condition of the Church and Sunday 
School. His first report on the latter subject states 
the number in attendance at the school to be one hun- 
dred and thirteen, and the *' interest stead}' and 
advancing.'' Three months later the scholars were one 
hundred and thirty-four ; in the next report, the school 
*' continues in a prosperous state. One teacher and two 
scholars have been converted ; " and at his next and 
last Quarterly Conference, it is still '^ increasing in 
number, and several conversions of scholars, during 
the last quarter," are reported. 
' Since the earlier dates of this history, the field of 
^ Methodistic effort in New England, which, at its first 
organization, was all comprised in one '' New England 
Conference," had been divided, and the northern and 
eastern portions of these States had been assigned to 
the Maine and New Hampshire Conferences. The 
General Conference of 1840 made a farther division, 
and constituted the Providence Conference by setting 
oft the State of Hhode Tsland, Eastern Connecticut 
and South-eastern Massachusetts. It was distributed 


into three Districts, and had a membership of about 
ninety ministers. At the first, Providence District 
continued to bo the designation of the teiTitory 
between Connecticut and Cape Cod ; but after a few 
3'ears it was changed to New Bedford District. 

From its very beginning, Methodism had earnestly 
looked after the education of its young people, and a 
system of Church schools had been developed as rap- 
idly as means became available for their establish- 
ment and current expenses. In accordance with this 
policy the men of the new Conference at once took 
the subject into consideration, and at an early day 
embraced an opportunity to purchase the Kent Acad- 
emy at Greenwich in this State. This was accom- 
plished in 1841, while Mr. Livesey was Pastor at 
Warren. Among the leaders in this enterprise were 
the Rev. Messrs. A. Stevens, Livesey and Bonney, 
and Joseph Smith, Esq., of this town, who was one 
of its most liberal patrons, and a Trustee of the insti- 
tution till the close of his life ; and in addition to the 
assistance afforded by his own hand, while living, the 
school has received valuable donations from his estate 
by the agency of his daughter, Mrs. Carr. Mr. 


Livesey, also, will have, as one of his chief distinc- 
tions, his long-continued attachment and earnest 
efforts in behalf of the cause of Christian education 
as connected with Providence Conference Seminary, 
as the Academy was now called. The labor bestowed 
upon this school has been ampl^ repaid in its influ- 
ence on the young persons who have been trained in 
it for usefulness in the ministry and laity of the 
Church, — many of whom are now occupying posts of 
distinction, both in religious and secular life. 

While these pages were in preparation, Mr. Livesey 
ended both his labors and his earthly life. At the re- 
quest of his relatives the writer prepared a sketch of 
him which was published in the CJiristian Advocate^ 
as follows : 


" Such was the Hfe of Rev. WiUiam Livesey, a man of 
marked characteristics, and a noticeable person in any as- 
semblage of men. His tall and well knit fhime indicated 
the manly vigor which he inherited, and which was im- 
proved by the athletic sports and arduous toU of his youth. 
Ills readiness in debate and accuracy of statement 
showed a mind trained to thought and to the acquisition of 
valuable knowledge, while the rugged phrase often betrayed 
the lack of scholastic culture and the result of self-educa- 


tion. His early opportunities for an education were limited 
and meagre, and when he started out on a career which 
was to bring him much into the notice of the public it was 
under the influence of the excellent advice of the founder of 
Methodism, who would have all his preachers diligent stu- 
dents as well as industrious ' flshers of men.' So brother 
Livesey became a well-read theologian, versed in both eccle- 
siastical doctrine and polity, and was well able to defend 
the claims of the Church, to which he was attached with an 
ardent afl'ection. Catholic in spirit, and tolerant of all who 
held the essential truth, he was never more in his element 
than when bringing his most forcible logic to the defense 
of the doctrines which were to him * doctrines of grace' 

"His religious experience was deep and clear. When 
twenty years of age he was soundly converted, and soon 
after embraced the experience of perfect love. He exulted 
in this rich and abounding grace ; he loved to preach it, and 
rejoiced in its spread in the churches. It was his dying 
testimony that all his character and usefhlness were due to 
his early experience of fhll sanctiflcatiou. His theology 
was purely Wesleyan. It was inwrought in his very being — 
the mental aud spiritual food on which he was fed from in- 
fancy -and he loved it with intense ardor. His preaching 
was always clear in the exposition of Scripture, and was 
often attended with great power in the conviction and con- 
version of sinners. In most of his fields of labor he wit- 
nessed revivals, and in several the converts were very 

*' Brother Livesey was a man of singular transparency, as 
well as purity of character. He was simply honest, as well 
OS upright. . Firm in his convictions, he never hesitated to 


make them known ; and no one who knew him was long 
ignorant of liis opinions. He reached conclusions rapidly 
and held them firmly, but was open to conviction, and read- 
ily yielded to the logic of reason or of fact. All shams, 
ii\]ustlcc, and wrong were his abhorrence. He was always 
on the side of the weak, wronged or defenceless ; and his 
denunciations of the evil-doer and his deeds were sometimes 
appalling. Except that he was not their equal in culture 
and polished speech, he is to be ranked among the masters 
in the use of invective among American orators. 

'* From the beginning of his American citizenship he was 
an ardent anti-slavery man. He could not have been other- 
wise. Every impulse of his nature led him to that position ; 
and he stood in the thick of that fight f^om its beginning to 
its end, deserving the laurels that many got by entering 
later into the labors of such as he. 

He was a zealous ifVriend of Christian education ; his own 
lack of early advantages stimulated him to earnest effort for 
. the benefit of others. From the purchase and establishment 
of Providence Conference Seminary, he was one of its 
firmest friends and most active and vigilant trustees, per- 
forming hard service and making personal sacrifices for its 
prosperity, acting as solicitor for its Amds, and for a series 
of years as President of the Board. The debt of the Semi- 
nary, the Conferencci and the public, due him for these 
services, can never be estimated. The University at Mid- 
dletown owes him as much. When it was at the point of 
financial ruin, and its eloquent President made his appeal 
to the Providence Conference of 1844, but submitted no 
plan foi its relief, it was Brother Livesey*s sagacity that 
carried the method by which, as Dr. Olin declared, that 
Conference saved the institution. 


** Aman of one work, William Livescy perceived that it 
was a work of many departments ; and in all the branches 
of moral reform and Christian labor he was an earnest 
toiler till the close of life. He vigilantly guarded all the 
interests of his Church and Conference, and had a word 
to say on whatever he regarded to be for the good or the 
harm of the body ; and he was trusted by his brethren, who 
sent him to England to represent . them at the Evangelical 
Alliance in 1846, and to General Conference as a reserve in 
185G, when he served in place of Dr. Stevens and Dr. Wise, 
each, a part of the session. He was a good man, and he 
has his place among the good in the Paradise of Qod. 

** William Livesey was bom at West Bradford, Yorkshire, 
England, March 8, 1802 ; baptized in infiincy ; converted in 
1822*, and admitted to the Wesleyan Church ; licensed to 
exhort in 1825, and to preach in 1826. In 1828 he was duly 
recommended by the Quarterly and District meetings to the 
Mission Committee for appointment as a foreign missionary. 
In May, 1829, he was examined by that Committee, Drs. 
Townley and A. Clarke and Rev. Richard Reese being mem- 
bers ; preached his * trial sermon,' and was nominated for a 
foreign appointment. There being no vacancy to be immedi- 
ately filled, he could not endure delay, and embarked, in 
September, for America, landing at New York the last of 
October. Making his way to Taunton, Mass., where he had 
a brother residing, he worked at his mechanical occupation, 
waiting for an opening to preach the Gospel. He soon 
mode himself useful in his temporary residence, and laid 
the foundation of Methodism in that city ; and in December 
was appointed to Portsmouth, R. I., where he remained 
until June, 1830, when he was received on trial in the 
New England Conference. The success which has at- 


tended his labors during the intervening years began 
in the very opening of his career. Forty-five years succes- 
sively (except four years, 1843-18IG) he has received ap- 
pointments as an * effective* minister. Those four years 
he was laid aside by ill-health, which disabled him at the 
end of the one year that he was presiding elder. With 
the exception of these, and three years in agencies for 
the Conference Seminary and the frcedmen, he has been 
exclusively devoted to pastoral work ; and a laborious and 
successful pastor he has been. 

'* At the Conference of 1875, though so feeble that his 
brctlircn thougiit lie should retire to tlie list of superannu- 
ates, he insisted on * taking work,' and was stationed at 
South Braintree, Mass. Removing to his charge, he was 
unable to minister to the flock. After vainly hoping for a 
return of strength, at the end of three months he withdrew 
to his cottage, at Martha's Vineyard, and succumbed to 
disease, against which he had contended for more than 
thirty years. Many ministers who were at the Vineyard 
for the season were in A-eqnent attendance at his bedside ; 
and the attentions of his family and sympathizing fHends 
rendered his declining days comparatively free from uneasl. 
ness. The consolations of divine grace were neither few 
nor small. The end of his days was * peace.' He said : *I 
rest my soul on Christ's blood and God's promise, and on 
this basis I must risk eternity. If I fail the universe must 

" • Fixed on this gronnd will I remain, 

Though my heart fall and flesh decay; 
This anchor shall my soul sustain, 

When earth's foundations melt away; 
Mercy's full power I then shall prove, 

Loved with an everlasting love.* 


" On Sunday, August 22, a few clerical and lay brethren, 
at his request, held a communion service at his cottage, 
which was an occasion of much comfort to him. He said : 
* I never made preparation for the communion more thor- 
oughly, more sincerely, more believingly,* and, after 
speaking to the writer somewhat at length of his personal 
feelings, quoted : 

<* * Nothing on eftrth do I dosire, 

But thy pure love within my breast. 
This, only this, will I require, 
And freely give up all the rest' 

"Many of his expressions of thought and feeling were 
quotations from his old Wesleyan hymn-book, which he 
kept close at hand as long as he was able to read. At the 
writer's last interview with him he spoke iVeely of his 
prospects, and said: 

•* * Not a cloud doth jirise to darken my skies, 
Or hide for a moment my Lord from my eyes.' 

"On the morning of the day of his death, in answer to 
inquiries of his Presiding Elder, Rev. W. Y. Morrison, he 
quoted the whole of the twenty-third Psalm ; and almost 
his last words were, * There's rest In Jesus.' Thus peace- 
fully he sank to repose on the evening of Thursday, Sep- 
tember 2, 1876, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. 

"His funeral was held ut the stand in the Highlands 
Grove, the venerable Dr. Upham, his co-laborer during his 
entire ministry, delivering the principal address. Several 
other ministers participated in the services, and many resi- 
dents in the Grove were in attendance. In accordance with 
his own desire he was buried in the cemetery on the crest 


of the Highlands, overlooking the two camp grounds, and 
in view of the sea on both the north and south sides of the 

"Brother Livesey was twice married: first, in 1832, to 
Miss Sarah Crosby Johnson, of Thompson, Conn., who, 
with an only daughter, preceded him to the better land ; 
second, to Miss Anna* Eliza Adams, of Luzerne, N. Y., who 
with their only son, Olln L. Llvescy, survives him." 


the course of the following year, when Mr. 
I Bonney was again the Pastor, John Ingraham, 
' Henry Child and Stephen Martin were added 
1842. to the Quarterly Conference. Mr. Bonney's 
second pastoral term here commenced at a 
critical period in the history of many of our churches. 
It was when the excitement caused by the doctrine 
called ^^ Millerism" was distracting the membership 
and alienating many excellent people from their 
brethren and from the fellowship of the Church. The 
conservative methods and conciliatory spirit of this 
excellent man acted favorably upon the minds of 
those who were on the point of breaking awa}' from 
the saving influence of the Church, and, in the lan- 
guage of a highly esteemed lady of the parish, uttered 


many years afterward, the people could well day, 
*' lie saved us from Millerisiu." 

In the summer of 1843, the Frovldeuco Annual 
Conference held its session in Warren, and was pre- 
sided over by Bishops Iledding and Morris. This 
was its third session, — the first and second having 
been held at Providence and Nantucket. The New 
England Conference had held three sessions in Rhode 
Island ; at Bristol in 1815, and at Providence in 1823 
and 1832. 

The written reports to the Quarterly Conference 
were not continued during this pastoral term ; but 
there are evidences of some reaction from the revival 
of the preceding year ; and although the congregations 
continued large, the agitations connected with the 
adventist movements drew off a portion of the con- 
verts and " subverted *' others. The number 
1844. of scholars in the Sunday School decreased, 
and near tlie close of tlie second year was 
reported at " about one hundred." 

Early in the year 1844, the want of larger seating 
accommodation for the congregation was again felt 
to be pressing ; and the attention of the worshipersf 


and the congregation was seriously called to the sub- 
ject. In March it was brought before a meeting of 
the Church and proprietors, which was full}' attended, 
and after discussion, a committee, consistingof T. C. 
Williams, George T. Ganiner, Elias Magoun, J. D. 
Tuell and Nathaniel P. Smith, was appointed to as- 
certain the views of the pew-owners on the subject of 
^' enlarging the Church edifice or building another 
with enlarged dimensions suitable for the accommo- 
dation of the Church and congregation." This com- 
mittee, with the addition of Stephen Martin, Joseph 
Smith and Lewis T. Hoar, was instructed to '^ value 
tlie pews in the present house." On April 11th, the 
committee having reported, it was resolved that the 
house be '' removed and another be erected on the 
same site with such additional land as may be pro- 
cured for the purpose." A building committee was 
appointed, consisting of George T. Gardner, Stephen 
Martin, T. C. Williams, N. P. Smith, Ezra M. Mar- 
tin, H. B. Johnson, E. Magoun, Josiah T. Horton, 
Joseph Smith, J. D. Tuell and Pardon Hiscox. The 
owners of thirty pews, (of whom a list remains ; and 
perhaps others whose names are not preserved,) 


agreed to relinquish thiem and to receive their value, 
as fixed by the committee appointed for that purpose, 
in pews in the new house, retaining their claim to a 
share of any surplus over the expense of building. It 
was also agreed that those pew-owners who had not 
entered into this stipulation should be allowed the 
amount of the appraisal, whenever a sufficient sum 
should be realized fiom the sale of pews over tlie cost 
of erection. The following are the names found in 
the above-named list : Joseph Smith, T. C. Williams, 
Elins Magoun, R. B. Johnson, Samuel Barton, N. P. 
Smith, Louisa Gardner, Julia A. Child, Job Smith, 
J. D. Tucll, Pardon Hiscox, Jr., Pardon Hiscox, 
William Maxwell, John Butts, John Kelly, Samuel 
Bowen, Lewis T. Hoar, Jonathan R. Simmons, James 
A. Thornton, John Andrews, ]M[iller Barney. 

Application was made to the General Assembly 
for such an amendment of the charter as would au- 
thorize the erection of the new edifice on the lot of 
land on which the church then in use stood, and such 
other land as had been, or might be, conveyed to 
them for that purpose ; also, the insurance of that 

or any other building held by them, the assessing 


and collecting of taxes on the pews, and the sale at auc- 
tion of such as may have been taxed and the tax failed 
to be paid. These amendments were made accord- 
ing to the request of the corporation, and the work 
of building went on under the direction of the above 
named large and efficient building committee. 

While the church was in process of erection, it 
was determined, at a meeting of the building commit- 
tee and Society, to have the house surmounted by a 
spire, vhich appears not to have been a part of the 
original plan. During the progress of the work, the 
Board of Trustees sustained a severe affliction by the 
death of Capt. Wm. Carr, Jr., who had been a mem- 
ber of that board, had tdken a deep and active in- 
terest in its proceedings from its first organization, 
and had long been a generous helper in all the affairs 
of the parish. Nathaniel P. Smith was elected to 
fill the vacancy. 

The work having been completed, the church was 
ready for consecration as a place for the public wor- 
ship of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, 
according to the articles of faith of the worshippers 
for whom it was designed. Bishop Janes was in- 


Tited to perform the serrice of consecration on the 
fifteenth day of October ^ 1846 ; which he did, and 
delivered on the occasion an eloquent and efTcctive 
sermon on 1 Cor. 1, 21. ** For after that in the wis- 
dom of God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it 
pleased God by the foolishness of preaching, to save 
them that believe.*' From that hour the excellent 
and beautiful structure in which we worship at this 
time, was set apart to sacred uses by those who thus 
made a thoughtful and generous provision for the 
generations to succeed them. The greater number 
of them have already passed away, and the result of 
their wise foresight remains to aid in keeping fresh 
their memory, and to bless their successors with the 
best opportunities for learning the truth and dissemi- 
nating the knowledge of the Lord. 

Capt. Stephen Martin was designated by the cor- 
poration, as soon as the old Church edifice could be 
dispensed with, and the new one occupied, to dis- 
pose of the disused building. This was done, and 
the material, after being sold, was used in part, in 
the erection of the house near Kikamuit, now occu- 
pied by Mervin R. Chase. 


In the meantime, Mr. Bonney's term had expired, 
and he was succeeded in the pastoral work 

1844. by the Rev. Charles 8. Macreading, who 
was in turn succeeded, at the end of a year, 

by the Rev. Robert M. Hatfield. Mr. Hatfield was 
a young man of exceedingly attractive oratorical 
powers. His congregations were large and his min- 
istry successful. He has maintained through all the 
intervening years, in various portions of the United 
States, the reputation and success the foundation of 
which' was laid in his early ministry in this place and 
its vicinity. It was during his pastorate here that 
the new church was completed and conse- 

1845. crated. He occupied its pulpit for a year and 
a half, and there was some revival as the re- 
sult of his efforts. 

With the beginning of the ecclesiastical year, 
1844-4'5, the name of Frederick Upham appears as 
Presiding Elder, in the Quarterly Conference records. 
He had held the same office in other districts for sev- 
eral years previousl}', and he continued to preside 
over this district for the full term of four years. 'His 
genial manners, able and pleasing sermons, and 

R. M. Hatfield's pastorate. 178 

cheerful spirit endeared him to both ministers and 
people ; and though three-fourths of a century in 
years and fifty-five years in the service, he is still in 
the active work of the ministry (1875), honored and 
beloved by his brethren, young and old. 

In the latter year of Mr. Hatfield's pastoral term, 
the lay members of the Quarterly Conference were 
Joseph Smith, Stephen Martin, John Kelly, Lewis 
T. Hoar, Pardon Hiscox, Philip Munroe, Charles S. 
Hazard, Benjamin Foster, Josiah T. Horton, R. B. 
Johnson, Lewis B. Pierce and T. C. Williams. The 
number of members reported at the Conference of 
1846 was 260. 

Mr. Hazard was a young man of an excellent spirit 
and fine abilities, who was teaching school in the vil- 
lage. He came from the seminary at Greenwich, 
where he was then a stucfent and afterward a teacher. 
He was licensed as a local preacher, joined the Con- 
ference and, after a brief but promising ministry, 
died in Christian peace and triumph. 

At his last Quarterly Conference here, held Febru- 
ary 8th, 1847, Mr. Hatfield presented the following 
statement concerning the Sunday School : ** The 


Sunday School at this time contains 175 scholars, 
under the care of Brother R. B. Johnson, Superinten- 
dent, assisted by 22 officers and teachers. About 60 
dollars have been collected for the support of the school 
during the past Conference year. . With a part of 
this sum the library has been replenished, which now 
contains 400 volumes, which are in good order. The 
school is generally prosperous, and promises great 
usefulness to the Church." 

The sessions of the Conference were held in the 
month of April, from the year 1845 onward ; and at 
the Conference held in that month, 1847, Mr. Hat- 
field's term expired, and his successor for the next 
two years was the "Rev. Paul Townsend. His minis- 
try was attended with a good degree of success, 
though not with great and special revival. 
1847. Mr. Townsend was an excellent pastor, look- 
ing carefully after the interests of the Church, 
both small and great. lie had a care for the con- 
nectional relations of his parish as part of a great 
ecclesiastical body. Hence there is apparent, in the 
brief reports of his Quarterly Conferences, a sys- 
tematic attention to those regulations and proceed- 


ings which are enjoined on pastors by the General 
and Annual Conferences, The first regular report 
of contributions to the several denominational funds 
then established, appears in these records. In 
his first year the following collections were made for 
those purposes: For Missions, $70.70; American 
Bible Society, $31.35 ; Preachers' Aid Society, 
$19.50; Sunday School Union, $4.22; Delegates to 
General Conference, $8.32. This last item, as bas 
been seen, had been attended to on five previous re- 
currences of the General Conference ; and the collec- 
tions for missions had begun to be taken earlier than 

At this time the Trustees suffered the loss of 
another of their associates who had been, for a long 
time, a member of their board. Elias Magoun was 
removed by death ; and on June 21st, 1847, Ezra 
M. Martin was elected to the place thus vacated, 

The Conference of 1848 met at New London, 
The name of this District was agdin changed from 
New Bedford to Providence, and the Rev. Thomas 
Ely entered upon a term of office as Presiding Elder, 
which continued for the succeeding four years. 


In June, 1848, the corporation receired and con« 
sidered a proposition irom the town of Warren to 
place a clock in the tower of the church edifice. 
The proposition was accepted, and the privilege 
granted, on condition that the work should 
1848. be curried on by a joint committee of the 
town and the proprietors ; with the obligation, 
on the part of the town to put a bell in the tower, to 
be owned by the Church corporation, but not to be 
removed by them except for repairs or alteration. 
The town accepted the stipulations except as to hang- 
ing a bell in the tower. The clock was placed in 
position, but was silent, so far as striking the hour, 
the bell which should have served for this purpose 
having been hung in the tower of the neighboring 
Baptist Church, in which also, in due time, a clock 
was placed. 

The last Quarterly Conference of this ecclesiastical 
year, which was held Jan. 13, 1849, received the 
application of Ezekiel Rich for license as a local 
preacher. His request was gi*anted with a view to 
the devotion of his life to the work of the ministry. 
He, however, applied himself with such success to the 

R. W. ALLEN. 177 

profession of a teacher, that he was induced to con- 
tinue in that calling, the duties of which he per- 
formed to the close of his life, about twenty years 

From the Conference of 1849, the Rev. Ralph W. 
Allen became Pastor of this Church, and held the 
office two years. The Sunday School appears to 
have been more*prosperous at this time than ever be- 
fore ; the number of scholars having been reported 
at more than two hundred, and the average attend- 
ance about one hundred and fifty, with about thirty 
teachers. The Quarterly Conference was composed 
of tlie following lay members : Joseph Smith, T. C. 
Williams, Stephen Martin, Nathan Carey, J. R. Sim- 
mons, Lewis T. Hoar, J. T. Horton, R. B. Johnson, 
Joseph Frankland, L. B. Pierce, Ezekiel Rich, Par- 
don Hiscox, John Kelly. In a letter to the Rev. J. 
H. James, Mr. Allen says : " I found spiritual re- 
ligion low, though there were some living Christians 
in tlie Cluuch. The social meetings were pretty well 
attended and generally interesting. In the Fall an 
interesting revival of religion commenced which, 
though gradual, was a blessed work, and was a great 


blessing to the Church. About thirty werei 
1849. converted up to Conference, after which' the 
work increased in interest and power. Just 
before the Conference we commenced special religious 
services, and Bro. James Caughey, who had spent the 
winter in Fall River, came to our assistance. He re- 
mained a few weeks, and his labors were greatly 
blessed. About forty were converted during our 
special services, and about eighty during the first 
and second years of my labors there, most of whom 
were received into the Church. The Sunday School 
was large and interesting under the superintendence 
of Bro. George W. Littell. We had some most cdi- 
cient teachers, and especially in the female depart- 

In 1851 the Conference again met in Warren, and 
was presided over by Bishop Janes. The Rev. 
David Patten was stationed at Warren. Ezekiel 
Rich was, this year, recommended to the Annual Con- 
^ ference for admission on trial. The Quarterly Con- 
ference, in the course of the year, appointed its first 
committee to look after the subject of missions and 
superintend the raising of funds for the missionary 
cause. At the end of a year, Mr. Patten was re- 

D. PATTlSN AND 8. B&NTOM. 179 

moved from biH charge in this place, and appointed 
Presiding Elder, very much In opposition to his own 
wishes and to the wishes of the people of his parish. 
After serving in that office for three 3'ears, he ac- 
cepted an invitation to a professorship in the Theo- 
logical Seminary at Concord, N. II., which is now 
the School of Theology of Boston University, aiid 
with which he has retained his connecUbki to the 
present time, (1876.) 

The Rev. Sanford Benton succeeded Mr. Fatten 
as pastor, and remained two years. The fol- 
1852. lowing names were added to the list of office . 

bearers during his administration : £. S. 
Touijee and John Q. Adams. The number of schol- 
ars in the Sunday School was 224 ; about 200 vol- 
umes were added to the library ; and a spirit of relig- 
ious inquiry prevailed to some extent among the 
older scholars. There were some conversions, and 
some were reclaimed. 

In 1858 the trustees were Joseph Frankland, L. • 
T. Hoar, Nathan P. Cole, R. B. Johnson, J. R. Sim- 
mons, T. C. Williams, George Williams. George 
. Williams was chosen Secretary, instead of James A. 


Thornton, who had senred iu that office from the es- 
tablishment of the corporation, and had now removed 
from the town. The name of Joseph Smith is hence- 
forth missing from the records, where it has con- 
stantly appeared as President, from the acceptance 
of the charter. Joseph Frankland was appointed 
Secretary, but removed early in the year, and Lyman 
Arnold and R. B. Johnson each served part of the 

With the close of Mr. Benton's labors, occurred 

also the termination of tlie services of Thomas C. 


Williams as Secretary of the Quarterly Conference, 
after having occupied that position twenty-seven 
years, during which he kept the records without in- 
At this time the Rev. Elijah T. Fletcher was sta- 
tioned here. His home was in Indiana, to 
1854. which State he returned after a brief service 
in the ministry in this Conference. lie came 
. east for the purpose of pursuing his studies at Brown 
University where he graduated. He was married at 
Providence, but finally chose to spend his minis- 
terial life among the friends and associations of his 


early days. On account of feeble health and domes- 
tic alTliction, he resigned the charge of the Church 
and removed from Warren before the expiration of 
the 3'ear. 

The death of Joseph Smith, Esq., which occurred 
in the latter part of this ecclesiastical .year, left a 
vacancy which was perceived in all departments of 
the work of the Church. While he was an interested 
participant and helper in its distinctively religious 
concerns, his wealth, liberality, business talents and 
enterprise, and his influential position in the commu- 
nity, made him a leader, and gave to his cooperation 
the greater importance in the external and financial 
departments. He. was highly esteemed by his breth- 
ren, and his loss was deeply and sincerely lamented. 


N the years 1855 and 1856, while the pailsh 
was under the pastoral care of the Rev. 
' Samuel G. Brown, much progress was made 
in the improvement of the external and financial 
affairs of the Church. A debt of about twenty-four 
hundred dollars stood against the corporation, which 
was paid by the sale of pews owned by that body. 
This important result having been secured, the next 
step in advance was the arrangement for lighting the 
lecture-rooms and singers' gallery with gas. The 
cost of this improvement having been first ascertained, 
it was at once determined on ; the gas fixtures were 
placed in position, and proved a gratifying change from 
the old style oil lamps which were the best apparatus 
previously in use. 


At the third Quarterly Conference, held November 
27th, 1855, Mr. Brown in his report stated that a fine 
bell had been procured during the quarter, ** at a cost 
of a little over $700, all which was raised by voluntary 
subscription." The bell weighs about two thousand 
pounds ; it is of an excellent tone, rarely surpassed 
in sweetness or depth ; and is a fine acquisition to 
the town, whose clock in the tower no longer stands 
silent, but regularly strikes the hour of day and 
night. By order of the Quarterly Conference, the 
Secretary spread upon its records a copy of the sub- 
scriptions for the bell, which are as follows : Temper- 
ance Carr, $100 ; James M. Eddy, $35 ; R. B. John- 
son, $60; Hannah Smith, Wm. Carr, $50 each; 
Charles Smith, $150 ; Hoar and Martin, $30 ; Geo. 
T. Gardner, Ann Frances Smith, Hannah Wheaton 
Smith, $15 each; Philip Munroe, Charles CoUamore, 
Nathaniel P. Smith, Wm. A. Brown, T. C. Williams, 
G. W. Littell, Horace T. Viall, J. D. Tuell, Nathan 
Carey, N. P. Cole, J. B. Simmons, $10 each; 
Samuel Barton, $8 ; Pardon Hiscox, Jr., $6 ; Abram 
Bowen, Jabez Brown, J. H. Sherman, J^ M. Peck, 
J. T. Horton, Samuel Wright, Jr., H. W. Glad- 


dlDg, George Williams, $5 each; E. P. Fhinney, 
Samuel Allen, $3 each; Benjamin Drown, Jr., 
Wm. Livesey, D. R. Dana, $2 each ; Thomas Bos- 
worth, Hiram Crowell, $1 each ; Joaquin DeAlcazar, 
50 cents. 

By an agreement with the town, the lane on the 
east side of the lot was closed, and another was 
opened on the west side. The house held for the 
Pastor's residence was sold, and preliminary meas- 
ures were taken toward building a new house for 
that purpose on the land adjoining the church lot. At 
the same time the corporation gave permission to 
paities desiring it to place an organ in the church, 
and ordered such changes made in the gallery as 
were necessary to accomplish that purpose. The 
organ was purchased and placed in the gallery. It 
was built by Simmons, of Boston, at a cost of $2,500« 
and is an insti'ument of very superior properties. 

A committee, consisting of E. M. Martin, Wm. 

Cole, 2d, E. B. Johnson, Charles Smith, 

1856. and Charles Mason, was appointed to draw 

plans, asccrtaiu the expense and the best 

method of building a house for the use of the Pastora. 


This committee having reported at a subsequent meet- 
ing, it was resolved to proceed to build such a house, 
and to secure the counsel of Perez Mason to aid in its 
plans and construction. The building committee to 
whom its erection was entrusted were R. B. John- 
son, Geo. T. Gardner, T. C. Williams, N. P. Smith, 
and William Cole, 2d ; and they were instructed to 
build it on the lot given by Joseph Smith for that 
purpose. The contractors were Hoar and Martin, 
who performed the work^to the acceptance of the cor- 
poration. ^ 

Mr. Brown's final pastoral report for the year, 
makes refci-ence to the improvements that have been 
made, and announces a better state of the religious 
interests than had existed in any other portion of the 
year. Some revival influence had become manifest ; 
some conversions had occurred ; and there appeared 
to be indications of an extensive work of grace. At 
the close of the second year a very desirable advance 
in spirituality is reported, and a number of conver- 
sions. The Sunday School numbered 275 scholars. 
The trustees, at this time, were R. B. Johnson, 
Lewis T. Hoar, Nathan P. Cole, Jona. R. Simmons, 


Henry W. Gladding, T. C. Williams, E. M. Martin. 
Nathan P. Cole and George Williams were recently 
appointed stewards; and George Livesey was a 
leader. George Williams was chosen to the office of 
Secretary, which he continues to fill at the present 
time, (1876.) 

The work of building the Pastor's house was car- 
ried to its completion during the ministry of the Rev. 
James D. Butler, who was appointed in 1857 and re- 
mained two years, '^he interest which was 

1857. reported at the close of the preceding year 
continued and increased, so that the spirit 

of revival was manifest from the beginning of the 
new ecclesiastical year. During the first year, be- 
tween sixty-five and seventy persons professed con- 
version; and the Sunday School numbered three 
hundred scholars. 

Soon after the Annual Conference of 1858, the first 

Quarterly Conference of the year was held, and the 

Pastor, Mr. Butler, reported ninety conver- 

1858. sions since the last previous report, forty of 
which had taken place since the beginning 

of his second year. At the fourth Conference of this 


3'ear, the names of B. T. Salisbury and H. G. 
Williams appear in the list of oflicial members ; and 
Jolm Q. Adams was licensed as a local preacher. 
Mr Adams has since become a member of the Annual 
Conference, and is a useful pastor in the regular 
work. The Trustees stated "that they have built a 
parsonage house, during the past year, at an ex- 
pense of $3,200." The pastor's report says: *'We 
are able to report a steady advance in most of those 
things which are usually thought to constitute the 
prosperity of the Chur'jh. Our congregations, dur- 
ing the whole j^ear, have been very satisfactory. 
Many more would gladly worship with us, but can- 
not be accommodated with pews. The prayer meet- 
ings have been very well attended and very interest- 
ing during the whole year. We have ten classes, 
eight of which meet regularly." The number of con- 
versions, this year, is stated to be fifty-six. There 
were, at the time of this report, three hundred and 
twenty-two members, and forty-five probationers. 
The corporation appear to have agreed with Mr. 
Butler, that more seating-space was needed in the 
church, as they adopted a plan to make pews in the 


east gallery, which plan, for some reason, was not 
carried into execution. 
The close of Mr. Butler's term was also the termi- 
nation of the service of the Rev. G. H. Titus 

1859. as Presiding Elder ; and he became Pastor 
of this Church. John H. Chace was added 

to the Quarterly Conference. 

About the time now under notice, there was a 
wide-spread and earnest discussion, in the Churchr, of 
the subject of changing the limit of a minister's ser- 
vice with a church from two years to three. The 
Presiding Elder was requested by the District 
Association of ministers to ask the views of the 
Quarterly Conferences on the question. The subject 
having been brought to the attention of this Quarterly 
Conference, the vote was adverse to the change. The 
rule was adopted by th6 General Conference, and the 
custom has become generally prevalent. 

The following preamble and resolution were also 
adopted, showing the current of opinion in 

1860. this Church, as well as throughout NcwlSng-^ 
land and nearly all the Northern States i 


Whereas, The Discipline, in its cliapter on 
Slavery, declares slavery to be " a great evil," and 
tlie General Rules require the avoidance of evil of 
every kind, therefore 

Resolved^ That the General Conference of 18C0 be 
requested to change the Discipline of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, so as to unequivocally prohibit 

This action, though urged upon the General Con- 
ference by thousands of the ministers and members 
of the Church, failed of accomplishment at the session 
of that 3'ear; but events rapidly hastened to that 
consummation, and at the General Conference of 
1864, the rule was adopted by a very decisive vote, 
and the ancient testimony of Methodism against the 
great abomination was made an accomplished fact, 
and a reality as well as a theory ; as, indeed, it had 
long been with but few and rare exceptions. 

Thomas C. Williams, who had served as Treasurer 
of the Church for more than thirty years, and in that 
or similar service for nearly forty, resigned that office 
at the fourth Quarterly Conference, Feb. 9th, 1861. 
His resignation was accepted, and the thanks of the 


Conference were very appropriately tendered him for 
his protracted and faithful services. 

The parish was in the pastoral care of the Rev. L. 
D. Davis, for the two years beginning in April, 1861 ; 
and of the Rev. Sidney Dean, in 1863 and 1864. 
The Rev. Paul Townsend was Presiding ^Ider. The 
members of the Quarterly Conference were the same 
as in the previous pastorate. The trustees were R. 
B. Johnson, J. D. Tuell, J. T. Horton, Nathan 
Carey, Jos. H. Sherman, George Williams, L. T. 
Hoar. The Sunday School at this time numbered 
three hundred scholars. D. R. Dana and Wm. P. 
Hyde were added to the Board of Stewards. The 
quarterly reports for these years ore brief. 

The Sunday School, which was under the superin- 
tendence of Seth Baxter, was reported at the fourth 
Conference of the first year of Mr. Davis' ministry, 
to have '^ increased in interest and numbers," and to 
be in a '^ very good condition. It has a good super- 
intendent and a good corps of teachers." There 
were forty-two odicers and teachers, and two hun- 
dred and seventy-six scholars. The second year^ 
William B. Lawton was Superintendent. The first 


report says : " Several officers and teachers have re- 
cently enlisted in the volunteer service for the defence 
of the country, and their places are likely to become 
vacant. A few of the scholai*s in the Bible-classes 
will probably leave on the same mission." This 
was the time when the young men were everywhere 
volunteering to rescue the government from the 
power of the gigantic southern rebellion. 

Mr. Dean's representation of the Church, in his 
first year, is that the '' congregations are good ; the 
social meetings, some of them excellent in spirit, 
others dull. We are at peace, but the talent of the 
Church, in a great measure, lies idle." 

The lourth Quarterly Conference of Mr. Dean's 
second year was held March 14, 1865, and the name 
of the Rev. John Livesey appears in the record in 
the place of the Pastor's instead of that of Mr. Dean, 
who states in his report, which was read : ** Since 
my last report, the Providence of God has seemed to 
indicate a transfer of my labors to another field, and 
a change in my future work. With the consent of 
my Presiding Elder and the brethren of the official 
Board of the Cliurch, I have given up the pastoral 


work unci the supply of the pulpit into the hands of 
Bro. John Livesey, whose labors have been blessed 
among the people. The charge is still in my hands 
nominally, although Brother lavcsey is doing the 
work." Mr. Livesey, who had spent some 
1865. months at the west, having then recently re- 
turned, took up the work at Warren and con- 
tinued till the close of the year, when he was reg- 
ularly apix)inted to the pastoral charge, and retained 
it dui-ing two years. 

Mr. William P. Hyde, at this Conference, received 
license as a local preacher, and a recommendation to 
the Annual Conference as a candidate for member- 
ship in that body. He was admitted on trial at the 
ensuing session, and still continues a member in 
regular pastoral work. 

At the request of the corporation, the General 
Assembly of 1864 amended the charter so as to per- 
mit the proprietors to hold property to the amount 
of $50,000 instead of $20,000, as was provided in 
the original act ; also making the number of Trustees 
nine instead of seven, and directing that vacancies 
in the Board of Trustees shall be filled according to 


the mode prescribed in the Discipline of the Church. 
The amended charter also authorized the Trustees to 
assess taxes for the purposes for which the former 
act empowered the corporation so to do. In accord- 
ance with this arrangement a new Board of Trustees 
was elected, and was composed of the following per- 
sons : Nathan Carey, J. D. Tuell, J. T. Horton, L. 
T, Hoar, E. M. Martin, George Livescy, J. R. Sim- 
mons, John G. Joyce, Joseph H. Sherman. 

On the retirement of the Rev. P. Townsend from 
the office of Presiding Elder in the spring of 1866, 
he was succeeded by the Rev. Samuel C. Brown, who 
soon after took up his residence in Warren. 


1866, the Methodist Episcopal Church 
celebrated the introduction of Methodism, 
and the formation of the first class in this 
counti*y. This occurred in the year 1766, at two 
separate places, as has been before stated. Robert 
Strawbridge in Maryland, and Philip Embury in 
New York, both local preachers from Ireland, began 
to hold religious services in their own houses about 
the same time, and invited their neighbors to attend. 
Embury is believed to have been a little in advance 
of Strawbridge in this work ; and by weight of his- 
torical evidence. New York has the credit of having 
been the location of the first Methodist Society in 
The one hundredth anniversary of so interesting 


and important an event was not permitted to 
18G6. pass unobserved by the multitudes who had 

entered into the privileges and enjo5^ments 
procured by the labors of their predecessors and con- 
temporaries of the closing century. The General 
Conference arranged for a celebration under the 
direction of the Annual Conferences, which was de- 
signed to be participated in by every parish through- 
out the entire Church. The plan was carried out 
with great success. Contributions of money were 
made, amounting to $8,709,498.89, for various con- 

nectional and local purposes, but chiefly for 
18G6. church-building and educational institutions. 

Special religious observances were held at 
the Annual Conferences and in the various churches, 
in recognition of the wonderful success Gk)d had 
given to the efforts of the Church, the great number 
of persons who have been converted through the 
labors of its ministry, the prosperity granted its 
members in worldly interests, and the advancement 
made by its educational and charitable institutions. 
Services of this kind were held here. By appoint- 
ment of the Committee of Arrangements for this 


District, it became the duty of the Rev. M. J. Talbot 
to deliver the centennial discourse in Warren, on 
Sunday, the 21st day of October. A portion of the 
discourse is here given. It is founded on the 
words of David in 2 Sam., 7 : 18 : " Who am I, O 
Lord God ! and what is my house, that thou hast 
brought me hitherto? " 

Most fitting words were these for him whom the 
Lord had taken from the sheep-cots and set him over 
his people Israel : whose house had come to be estab- 
lished in an undying renown ; and to whom the crown- 
ing glory was given of initiating the erection of the 
most splendid monument to the praise and worship of 
the Most High. Equally fitting words are they for us 
who come, like soldiers from long and weary march- 
ings and arduous campaigns, to bivouac for a briei 
time around our camp-fires, and talk of all the works 
we have been enabled to achieve, and rear a monu- 
ment to the praise of the great Leader by whose in- 
spiring presence and direction all has been accom- 
plished. It is not in boastfulness of what we have 
done, that we celebrate with eclat the centennial of 
our Church. God forbid that such a spirit should 


animate any of the thousands of our Israel ! It is be- 
cause through her instrumentality it hath pleased 
God to call each of us from the humiliating depths 
of sin to the honor of a position in the temple of his 
grace. We may well recall the lowly place from 
which we have sprung, and the exceeding smallness 
of that little one whom God hath made a great 

If with correct views and appropriate emotions of 
humility and thankfulness, we celebrate our centen- 
nial festival, it will prove a source of blessing not 
only to ourselves but to generations long to come. 
If we do for God such works as will fitly express our 
sense of his goodness to us and to the world through 
us, our offering will be accepted and showers of bles- 
sing will come to us. The divine presence will be 
gloriously revealed in token of approval of what we 
do for the divine glory. In multiplied spiritual gifts 
and graces, and in the power that will make us God's 
agents in the salvation of many souls, must we ex- 
pect these tokens of approval, and the sole reward for 
what we lay as giits upon his altar. O, let us look 
for nothing less and wait for no other return ; for, 


however rich the oderings we bring, however great 
the sacrifice we make, God can bestow on us nothing 
so rich, nothing so much to be prized, as the gift 
of the. Holy Spirit. 

K we speak of Methodism, to-day, it is simply as 
the manifestation of grace by which God hath carried 
on the work the triumphs of which it so well becomes 
us to celebrate. We haye come to an epoch in our 
history. It is our Bethel, where we will establish a 
pillar to commemorate our meeting with God. It is 
our Ebenezer, where we all unite in saying, Hither- 
to THE Lord hath helped us. As every great work 
has its epochal points, and every enterprise that 
works beneficently for man, its appropriate days of 
celebration, so we, a numerous body of Christian 
believers, may well celebrate, with uniform songs 
of joy and praise, throughout the length and breadth 
of ihe land, the close of the century since we, 
the feeblest tribe in God's Israel, set out on the 
career he hath so signally recognized and prospered. 

Going back to our remotest oiigin, it is not inap- 
propriate to inquire, 

I. What Methodism, in its essence, is. 


1. It is not a form. In its inception it had not 
even an outward expression. It was not, nor could 
be, an organization. It began with such privacy, 
and for years, wrought so unobserved by the world, 
that even those nearest it were at a loss to describe 
it or give it a name. It took its rise in the students* 
rooms of Oxford Univerlsity. Its originators wete 
among the most diligent of her students, and, in due 
time, took their places among the most learned of 
her graduates. What was it that distinguished these 
young men among the multitude engaged in like pur-^ 
suits? The same that has distinguished their follow- 
ers to tlie present day. Simply and solely a new 
life, — the life of God in the soul; It had no need of 
an external expression, or organization. It only 
needed the Appliances of devotion and the oppor- 
tunity to work itself out in the deeds of a Christian 

Methodism did not assert itself as a protest against 
the forms of religion,— not even against those that 
were prevalent in tliat formal age. In the communi- 
ties then existing, the power of godliness was nearly 
lost in its forms. Yet, believing the germ of a true 


piety to exist in these, instead of setting up modes 
and forms of worship of its own exclusively, it took 
and used those that were found ready to hand, adopt- 
ing such of them as could be made available for its pur- 
I)oses, and calling into requisition all the aid that 
could be derived from them. The belief of the 
Wesleys agreed entirely with the English Church. Its 
structure and liturgy they believed to contain every- 
thing that was essential to the propagation of true re- 
ligion among men ; but it lacked the divine Life* 
They found it a complete body without the informing, 
animating spirit. It was the living soul of which they 
saw the need ; and felt their mission to be, to procure 
that divine power which was able to make it the life of 
God in the world. 

2. Methodism, then, was a new life, — in other 
words, a revival of religion ; the restoration to the 
religious world of that life which it had lost in the 
formalism and corruption of ages. The stirring, 
soul-saving doctrines of Scripture were hidden. Ttie 
power that converts and saves men, — that sanctifies 
them and brings the divine witness of their adoption 
as sons of God) had perished from the general 


knowledge of the Charch. All these were in the 
creed, the liturgy, tlio homilies ; but men knew them 
not, nor when brought to their ears, did they recog- 
nize them as the lessons their venerable Church had 
taught from the beginning. The purpose of the new 
movement was to bring them again to the public 
view, to unearth them from the mountains of rubbish 
that had accumulated upon them; to awaken the 
masses to a recognition of their beauty and glory ; 
to inspire them with a life that should dissipate the 
death of formalism ; to give the lost and suffering 
relief from the sin that oppressed and ruined them, 
and a " new and living way" to the Saviour whom 
tliey had sought in ignorance and doubt. Ih it the 
Father drew near to men with all bis pitying love ; 
the Son, with his yearning grace' and enlightening 
truth ; the Spirit with his abundant store of renew- 
ing, sanctifying power. 

To my mind, this and nothing more, was Methodism, 
as to its spirit and intent. Hence we do not find it 
described as beginning with its predetermined organ- 
isms and agencies ; but only a hidden seed germina- 
ting in the quiet of student life, and coming forth to 


public view only when it could no longer remain con- 
cealed. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

8. The objects of Methodistic effort were as di- 
verse as the effects of sin on the human race. Metho- 
dists early saw that true religion was far from idle- 
ness or indifference to the welfare of men. As the 
doors of ordinary effort were closed to them, they 
went to those who were accessible. In this we find 
the explanation of its being especially a mission to 
the poor. From its founders it took its type. They 
addressed themselves to the prisoners, the inmates 
of hospitals, the destitute suffering and poor. Not 
that they had no mesl^age for the more favored 
classes ; but their proffers to them were usually re- 
jected with scorn ; and, despised for their godly de- 
votion and zeal, they went to those who gladly wel- 
comed any words of sympathy and evidences of real 
love and fellow-feeling. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ But the abodes 
of wealth were not always closed against them. In 
the palace and baronial halls were some who waited 
for the great salvation, and gladly received it when 
it reached their ears. Among the most brilliant 
lights of tlie Wesleyan era were noble ladies whose 


houses became Bethels and whose lives were given 
to the advancement of that truth which had made 
them gloriously free. The revival was thus shown 
to be restricted to no single class of the people, but 
to be adapted to all. It was the divine Saviour's 
voice crying, '* If any man thirst, let him come unto 
me and drink." In remote abodes of ignorance and 
sin ; in halls of learning and castles of the nobility, it 
found subjects, — the "dead in trespasses and sins," — 
and proved itself *' the power of God to every one 
that believeth." The more religious class of the 
clergy became its firmest adherents and unwavering 
advocates, and numbers of them rallied to its stand- 
ards, labored for its promotion while they lived, and 
died gloriously in the triumphs of a faith which it 
had brought to their apprehension when their souls 
were longing for God " in a dry and thirsty land." ♦ ♦ 
4. The agents by which Methodism has been pro- 
mulgated were not prepared before hand by human 
arrangement. At its beginning, and as the work 
began to grow, the need of laborers in addition to 
the few with whom it first began, pressed upon their 
attention. Learned men like themselves were not to 


be had, and the prejudices of the leaders forbade the 
employment of unskilled laborers. Besides, regular 
prdination was not available, in the Church, for such 
persons as were willing to work in the revival. But as 
Qod had thrust out the first laborers, so now he com- 
pelled them to admit his calling of those whom, la 
their own judgment, they were unwilling to accept. 
The order of lay or unordained preachers thus came 
into being under the direct ordering and sanction of 
divine Providence ; and it became so engrafted into 
the system that it ha9 never been eradicated. * * * 
The early preachers of Methodism, both in England 
and America, possessed peculiar adaptation to their 
work, coming as they did, directly from the people, 
accustomed to their modes of life, understanding their 
wants and the methods of applying Gospel truth so 
as most effectually to reach and remedy them. Fur« 
nished with rare common sense, they successfully 
met and answered opponents more learned in the 
schools than themselves, but far less taught in the 
special lessons which were required to be conveyed 
to the degraded and perishing masses to whom they 
bore the message of salvation. So well instructed 


were they in the special work to which they were 
called, that multitudes everywhere listened most 
gladly to their words, were convinced and saved, and 
fed with the bread of life. 

5. So, of the means or machinery used for carrying 
forward the great work, nothing was prepared to hand. 
The preaching-places were such dwellings or other 
shelters, or even green fields or hill-sides as they 
could obtain access to. The meetings for prayer and 
praise, the class-meetings and conferences, were 
scenes that struck with amazement a people who had 
known nothing of such means of grace, and pleaded 
and profited, as well by their novelty as their spirit- 
uality, those who participated ia them. The sacred 
and inspiring psalmody which the Wesleys carried 
with them, or were enabled by their sanctified poet- 
ical genius to produce as emergencies required, was 
among the most efiScient means which God has ever 
employed for touching the hearts of men and turning 
them to love of the truth. ♦ ♦ ♦ 

All the institutions of Methodism bear equal evi- 
dence of providential origin and adaptation. They 

were not preconcerted. Without exception, they 


came into being as they were called for by the time 
and the work. • • • Almost without exception, 
they are peculiar to this form of Christianity, un- 
known to all others, and comparatively inefficient 
when the attempt is made to engraft them upon 

From all this it is plain that Methodism is no 
scheme of human devising. It was <'bom not of 
man, nor of the will of man, but of God." It is a 
methody — a divinely appointed method of saving the 
lost and making Christ and his redemption known to 
thpse who were beyond the reacb of the agencies 
already in operation. 

6. Its theology reveals this not less than its ma- 
chinery. It was the pure gospel brought down to 
the last analysis and presented in its native simplicity 
to the understanding of every man. The sum total 
of that theology is : A perishing race of men ; a God 
of infinite love; an unlimited atonement; a divine 
Saviour ; a sanctifying Holy Spirit. To every sin- 
ner this scheme is offered, to be accepted by his faith. 
A divine witness, 'Hhe peace of God tliatpasseth 
understanding," a cheei-ful recognition of the love of 


God in the soul and of the souFs transformation to 
the image of Christ ; — all this makes up the Chris- 
tian's experience, which culminates and is made mani- 
fest in deeds of piety and love, which constitute a 
godly life. With such simplicity and directness 
have these cardinal truths been presented that the 
intelligence of every convert has embraced them. 
They constitute the theology of the people ; and they 
all regard the divine fatherhood, the free salvation 
through faith, and the universal redemption of the 
race, to bo the plain teaching of the^Bible, — so clear 
that the least enlightened mind can comprehend it, 
so readily grasped as to be fitly termed the theology 
of common sense. 

The offer of free grace to all who will come to 
Christ is the secret of the rapid multiplication of con- 
verts to Methodism. Not its agents ; not its insti- 
tutions have done tliis. It is the untrammcled in- 
vitation to sinners to be saved, based on tlie single 
condition of believing, appealing to their own recog- 
nized power oT choice, — unmixed with bewildering 
metaphysics and blinding theories respecting divine 
decrees and the limitation of the human will. Each 


in his sense of loss and his pressing need of a Sav- 
iour, is called to act upon invitations presented to 
him in person, and upon the ability to choose which 
he is conscious of possessing. 

To the untaught and neglected multitudes such a 
theology was a priceless boon. Sparing in its terms, 
direct in its appeals, touching a chord that vibrates 
in every heart, it not only convinced the judgment 
but won the cordial assent of those who had neither 
the ability nor the will to investigate the mysteries 
of the prevailing theologies. The simplest could 
easily comprehend it ; and to the most despondent it 
brought comfort and hope. Best of all, it had the 
seal of divine approval. What marvels of heavenly 
grace are its memorials in every city and hamlet, in 
rural and obscure homes, during the century that has 
passed since its proclamation began. How early 
did it " win its widening way," and with what marvel- 
ous rapidity has it spread throughout the world, car- 
rying its glad tidings '* to earth's remotest bound." In 
how many a humble home has it cheered the dying 
saint, whose feet would otherwise have gone down into 
the gloomy vale without one cheering ray to dissipate 


the darkness, or hope to light the soul to a world 
which would have been to the dying all uncertainty 
and gloom. 

• In its theology, as in its institutions, Methodism 
is no preconcerted scheme of man's devising. Adopt- 
ing the liberal views of the Arminian reformers, it 
simpliflcd and illustrated them under the guidance 
of Wesley and his coadjutors, and made them simply 
the means of saving men from sin, and that was 
their sole service. They were not employed to build 
up a sect, or to draw dividing lines between the people 
of God. The liberal spirit of these doctrines was 
infused into those who adopted them as their inter- 
pretation of the Holy Word ; and all were ready to 
acquiesce in the sentiment of their leader, — that it is 
love that makes the Christian, — the image of Christ 
in the soul, however instructed in the symbols of 
faith, and under whatsoever names or forms of specu- 
lative belief he may be working out his salvation. 
As Wesley says, so say all his genuine followers: 
'* I ask not what your creed is ; but if your heart is 
right, give me your hand." "Christ in 3'ou the hope of 
glory,'' is the experience and the belief of every par- 


taker in this great revival. It is a return to the 
Apostolio age in both these particulars. Its true 
spirit is that of the believers of that age "s^hen, above 
all dogma and form, Christ's life, — the divine life in 
the human soul, — was the sole object of religious 
living and believing. It was only because they be- 
lieved their doctrines best calculated to secure this 
result that they maintained them against opposing 
dogmas, and allowed any place to controversy. * * 

II. The work of Methodism in America. 

It was twenty-three 3'cars after the gathering of the 
first society in London, when in October, 1766, one 
hundred years ago the present month, the first congre- 
gation of Methodists assembled for worship in the 
then British colonics of America. They met in the 
dwelling of a mechanic in New York, and numbered 
in all five persons. The mechanic was himself the 
preacher, Philip Embury by name. He bore a license 
to preach wliich ho had brought from Ireland, the na- 
tive country of himself and all his auditors. After 
their migration to this continent, surrounded by 
churches of adverse creeds, and associated in their 
secular occupations with ungodly men, they had sub- 


sided in the fervor of their religious convictions, had 
failed to declare them or to maintain their profession, 
and had fallen into some practices inconsistent with 
the rules of religious living which they had main- 
tained at home. A godly woman, Barbara Heck, 
alarmed by the neglect and wrong practices into 
which they had fallen, aroused Embury by her 
ardent solicitations and reproaches to the practice of 
his calling as a preacher, and this first assembly was 
the result of her efforts ; and lo I what a multitude 
to-day attest their indebtedness to her fidelity. His- 
tory has embalmed her name, and it is only that it 
may have an enduring place in our memory and 
grateful affection, that I mention it in this discourse. 
Humble in her station, and unknown to the world 
by any other act, this is her memorial, a great peo- 
ple whom God has raised up to call her blessed and 
forever to enshrine that name, to the praise ol his 
glorious grace. 

It were needless for me to trace minutely the his- 
tory of the Church, — its rise and growth ifrom this 
humble origin, through toil and trial, and want, to 
the day of power, and numbers, and influence, as we 


see it this day. How Coke, and Asbury, and What- 
coat, — the first Protestant Bishops that were ever on 
this continent, traveled and preached, gathering the 
new converts into parishes and ordering their affairS| 
laying broad and deep the foundations of a great 
Charch that was to arise with the advancing years 
and fill the land. How Lee and McEendree, 
Roberts and George went like fiaming heralds 
through the land and with burning eloquence brought 
multitudes to the cross. How their co-laborers and 
successors, attended everywhere by persecution and 
scorn, spread the saving knowledge of the truth 
Arom the Lakes to the Gulf, and Arom the St. Croix 
to the Mississippi. <'What hath God wrought 1" 
^' l*his is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in 
our eyes." '^ Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us^ but 
tlnto thy name give we the glory and the praise." 

In the work of Methodism, here, sti^nds first and 
always the importance of maintaining the doctrinal 
basis on which it has proceeded from the beginning* 
With its system of doctrines its adherents are more 
ihati satisfied. They cling to them with a fondness 
$B true and deep as at any time in its history^ The 


occasion cannot be contemplated which can demand 
that they bo superseded, or essentially modified from 
the form in wliich they have come down from one 
generation of Methodists to another. They contain 
all the essentials of revealed truth. In them lies 
the secret of Methodistic success ; and they have the 
same elements of success for the future to the end of 
time. With any other code of doctrine, there is rea- 
son to believe, the great multitude that rally under 
this banner would not have been gathered. ♦ ♦ ♦ 
Onrs has become the theology of the people, as we 
believe it to be the theology of the Holy Word. It, 
everywhere pervades the masses* and largely affects 
the beliefs and formulas of all the churches. As it 
came home to the hearts of the fathers, and rescued 
them from the hopelessness of their lost condition, 
in like manner does it touch the hearts of the chil- 
dren and raise them up to be sons of God. ♦ * ♦ 

The institutions which have crystallized about the 
doctrines are the requisite complement of the system, 
and are all-important in the promulgation of its sav- 
ing efficacy. * * * They are the same as of old, 
with the more recent addition of the Sunday School, 


that important auxiliary, which is growing t^ be one 
of the indispensable agencies in training the people 
in the Icnowledge of the Lord. ♦ ♦ ♦ Of how great 
moment it is that these schools be cherished by the 
Charch, and, instead of being suffered to languish in 
comparative inefficiency, held in high estimation and 
carried forward to the degree of efficiency of which 
they are capable, and of which the majority of Chris- 
tians have not even dreamed. 

Further, the spirit of Methodism must never be 
lost from the view, nor permitted to become less 
active than in the time of its greatest power, — the 
zeal for saving men. If this is lost all that is essen- 
tial to our system^may well go with it. This can only 
be kept alive by a constant care to cultivate the high 
and holy experiences which are part and parcel of 
the entire instruction and life of the fathers, and of 
the sons to this day. If we lose sight of the Justifi- 
cation of the sinner by faith alone ; of tlio Spirit's 
testimony to his adoption ; of the exalted ecstacy of 
Communion witli God ; of the entire sanctiilcation of 
the believer, we are shorn of our strength. ♦ ♦ ♦ 
It is not for us to, pause at the point we have now 


attained, but to advance. If in the first century God 
has made us so successful that the Methodism of Ame- 
rica numbers no less than two millions, it is no proof 
that its work is done. Rather, the field constantly 
widens before it. The rapid increase of population 
calls for yearly increase of religious effort for their 
evangelization. If in forty years the population of 
the United States shall amount to one hundred mil- 
lions, four millions, at least, should be communicants 
at the altars of Methodism in order to retain the reli^- 
tive position it now holds. 

[After specifying and urging the various purposes 
for which, according to the plan adopted by the Geur 
eral Conference, the benefactions of the whole church 
were designed, in the centennial observance, the dis- 
course concludes as follows :] 

Verily, " the field is the world ; " and in our day, 
if not in his own, the saying of Wesley, ** The world 
is my parish," is literally accomplished. If the 
saints in Paradise are permitted to look back upoi^ 
the results of their earthly toils, with what interest 
may we conceive that marvelous man beholding the 
works tl^at l^aye followed him. With him, as witr 


nesdes of these scenes, are the fathers of our Ameri- 
can Church, Asbury and Whatcoat, McKendree and 
George, Roberts and Mudge, Pickering and Kent, 
Kibbo and Bales, and a host of ollicra, '^ of whom 
the world was not worthy," who wiUi zeal and sacri- 
fices worthy of the Apostolic age, bore the tidingd of 
salvation, spreading scriptural holiness over these 
lands. Honored be their memory forever among 
men I Honored they already are in the presence of 
the adorable Redeemer for whose honor and glory 
they labored and suffered while in the flesh. Such a 
renown as theirs no hero's laurels can give. The 
glory they have gained, to which their sufferings 
were not worthy to be compared, is more than mortal 
can estimate. Crowned with light, the palms of vic- 
tory in their hands, they sing the endless and ex- 
ultant song of all the victorious saints : Worthy is 
the Lamb that was slain ; for he hath redeemed us to 
God by his blood, and hath made us kipgs and 
priests unto our God, and we shall reign forever. 

The multitudes whom they have led to the Saviour 
will Join the ti'iumphaut song, and all heaven will 
reechQ the bymU) Hallelujah to the Lamb. Beside 


the river of life proceeding out of the throne of God, 
in that temple where no light of the sun is and on 
which the shades of night never fall, a multitude 
already unite in that psalm of praise. They only 
await the consummation when all the saints shall be 
gathered around the glorified Immanucl to join in 
the final act that will prove his redemptive work 
complete, and " crown him Lord of all." O, be it 
ours to share the toil and sacrifice ; to press forward 
the glorious work the fathers have left us to accom- 
plish, that we may be of that numberless throng and 
participate in the victorious acclaim. 


N January, 1867, as Mr. Livesey's term of 
service was about to close, the Church was 
favored with a remarkable outpouring of the 
Spirit, resulting in what was considered the most ex- 
tensive revival that has been known in its history. 
In the month Just mentioned, special services were 
commenced, the pastor having secured the assistance 
of Mr. G. Nichols, a lay evangelist of the Congrega- 
tionalist denomination ; and there were speedy indi- 
cations of the presence of the Spirit of God. Num- 
bers of persons announced themselves as seekers of 
pardon, many of whom professed to find peace in be- 
lieving. '^ At the same time the spirit of prayer and 
labor was given to the Church, and when it became 
necessary for Mr. Nichols to leave, the meetings 


continued, the pastor occasionally procuring aid 
from abroad, sometimes preaching himself, but more 
frequently holding prayer-meetings in which the peo- 
ple of God took the principal part, until he was com- 
pelled to go to Conference. As the result of these 
efforts the Church was gieatly quickened and revived, 
and more than two hundred professed conversion, 
about one hundred and seventy of whom have united 
with the Church on probation." 

The above is an extract from the first quarterly 
report of the Rev. J. H. James, who succeeded Mr. 
Livesey in the pastoral charge of the parish, 
1867. • and though having some fears of the effect of 
a change of pastors at such a time, entered 
heartily into the labors of his predecessor, look- 
ing faithfully after the varied interests of his people 
and watching with special vigilance over the numer- 
ous converts who were candidates for full fellowship 
with the Church. His endeavors were attended with a 
gratifying degree of success. In the course of the first 
year he admitted to full membership, one hun- 
dred and forty-four of those who had passed the 
allotted probation. The eighth day of September, 


1867, was a da}* of memorable interest and solemnity, 
ninety-six of these candidates having been admitted 
to full fellowship with tbe Church on that day. There 
was a good degree of interest, and a number of per- 
sons were converted in the earlier months of his 
term. The number of persons baptized by Mr. 
Livesey, during his pastorate, was seventy-two. 
Mr. James administered the same sacrament to sixty- 
six. The Sunday School was numerously 
1867. attended during Mr James' administration, 
and he speaks warmly of the interest and use- 
fulness of its services. In his fourth quarterly report 
for that year, he makes the following allusion to one 
whose name occurs in a list of the early members, on 
another page : '* The venerable and beloved Han- 
nah Smith, for nearly fifby years one of the most ac- 
tive and useful members of the Church, sweetly 
entered into her eternal rest, Dec. 19, 1867, aged 
eight} -eight years." The value of Mrs. Smith's ser- 
vices to the Church and the beauty of her character 
have been attested by many, but can be rightly esti- 
mated only in the revelations of eternity. 
Mr. James' full and interesting reports give no- 


tices of the death of other members of the Church. 
Mr, Joseph Sanford; who had not been long a resident 
of Warren, *' was a man of quiet and unassuming, but 
real piety." He was apparently recovering from a 
long season of impaired health, but was suddenly re- 
moved by a violent attack. Capt. Gilbert Rich- 
mond, one of the converts in the recent revival, 
" passed through a severe illness in which he found 
grace triumphed." His conversion had been " clear, 
his experience very happy, and his life totally 
changed by grace." On his return home from the 
communion service, on Sunday, ''his disease re- 
turned with redoubled violence, and, a few hours after 
he had commended his soul to God in prayer, he 
sank into a state of unconsciousness from which he 
never aroused in this world." 

Mrs. Melissa C. Bowden, died July 8, 1868, 
aged 24. She was " in health an active, earnest 
Christian ; in protracted illness patient and peace- 
flil ; in death gloriously triumphant." July JO, died 
widow Ann Drown, on her eighty-third birthday. 
" For fifty-five years her name was enrolled in this 
Church. Most of that time she was a zealous worker 


in the vineyard. At last her ft*ame was tortured 
with lock-jaw superinduced by cancer, but her soul 
was kept in peace to the very close of her life." 
** September 15, Mrs. Sarah B., wife of Bro. John 
D. Tuell. For more than forty years Sister Tuell 
proved the value of grace divine. Her latest testi- 
mony was of trust unwavering and hope unclouded." 
While pastor here, Mr. James introduced a meas- 
ure new to the parish, but one which, well prose- 
ecuted, is full of promise. He established ** chil- 
dren's meetings " early in his first year, of which ho 

says, at the Quarterly Conference in July : 
1867. '^At these gatherings the children sing, repeat 

from memory verses of Scripture, and some- 
times read select portions ; and brief addresses are 
given, usually by the Pastor, on some subject con- 
nected -with Christian experience or duty. Thus far 
the attendance has been good, the children seem 
much interested, and there is every reason to hope 
that, by the divine blessing, this will be a means of 
doing good to the young people of the charge." At 
the next Conference, October 17, he reports : " Dur- 
ing the quarter, 120 of the 170 probationers have 


been received in f\ill. The vestries have been re- 
painted, refurnished and carpeted, and it is hoped 
that this iniprovcmcut in attractiveness may be the 
means of increasing the attendance at the social 
meetings, and thus promote the spiritual interests of 
the Church." 

At the opening of his second year, there was a 
marked declension of religious interest. It was a 

condition of decided reaction from the great 
1868. revival of the previous year. He reports 

small attendance at the prayer-meetings, 
lack of interest in them, and many proofs of want of 
religious animation, together with a great falling off in 
the Sunday School, and a general want of zeal '* in this 
important depaiianent of Christian effort." Before 
the close of the year, however, there was a partial 
recovery from this depression, and his term of ser- 
vice closed amid brighter prospects. The following 
sums were raised, during this year, for general 
benevolent purposes : Superannuated Ministers, 
$G5.00; Missions, $301.48; Church Extension, 
$22.93; Tract Society, $16.25; Bible Society, 
$22.00; Sunday School Union, $10.75; Education 


Society, $20.00; Theological Seminary, $23.00; 
Freedmen's Aid Society, $10.60. 

His successor was the Rev. Charles H. Titus, who 
was appointed for a second term in 1869,^ the first 
and only instance of the sort since that of the Rev. 
Isaac Bonney. During his term of seiTice, extensive 
alterations and repairs were made upon the Church 
edifice. The small vestries were remodeled, and 
the entrance to them arranged on the present plan, 
the entrance on the east side of the Church being 
closed. The marble pulpit was removed, and a 
wooden one of modern construction put in its place ; 
the walls were frescoed, the aisles carpeted and the 
pews upholstered anew. The pulpit and chairs, 
with the chancel furniture, wore the gift of members 
of the family of the late Joseph Smith. The total 
expense of the improvements is stated, in a report 
of the Trustees, to have been $3,800, of which about 
$1,000 was paid by private subscriptions and the 
balance by the corporation. 

When these alterations were completed, the audi- 
ence room, which had been vacated during their pro- 
gress, was reopened with special religious services. 


It was on this occasion that the sermon was delivered 
by Mr. Dean, from which so large and valuable ex- 
tracts have been made in the former pages of this 

At the close of Mr. Titus' first year, Dr. Brown's 
term of service as Presiding Elder having expired, 

he was transferred to the charge of Fall 
1870. River District, and was succeeded by the 

Rev. M. J. Talbot, who presided for the en- 
suing four years over Providence District. 

A Convention of the Methodists of Rhode Island 
was held on the last day of November and the first 
day of December, 1870, in tlic Ciiestnut Street Church 
in Providence. It was composed of the pastors of 
the churches, and delegates in the ratio of one for 
each forty members, with all the other ministers in 
the State who were members of Conference. Essays 
were read and discussed, on the statistical history 
and the outlook for the future of Methodism in Rhode 
Island ; on the Sunday School, and tlie methods of 
required improvement; on the ministry and the. 
young people. The Convention was well attended, 
the essays and discussions awakened deep interest. 


and resulted in some movements toward the establish- 
ment of religious services in several new places which 
have developed into living churches. The delegates 
elected by the Quarterly Conference held Nov. 26, 
to represent the Church in Warren in the Conven- 
tion, with the pastor, the Rev. C. H. Titus, were E. 
M. Martin, Samuel Allen, J. R. Simmons, W. B. 
Lawton, J. D. Tuell, Jennie D. L\vesey, Mary S. 
Lawton, Abby B. Simmons, Laura F. Sherman, 
Maria Collamore. As some of these did not attend, 
the vacancies were filled by Sidney Dean, Mrs. 
Samuel Allen and George Williams. 

As the successor of Mr. Titus, the Rev. Henry B. 
Hibben became pastor of the Church. He held the 
office of Chaplain in the Navy, but being in- 
1871. dined to change his mode of life and labor, 
applied for leave of absence, received it 
and offered his services to the Conference, and was 
regularly stationed at Warren. His services were 
highly appreciated and he was invited, at the end of 
one year, to permit his reappointment, which he ac- 
cepted, as he had not then decided whether to return 
to the Navy or to resign. But when at length his leave 


of absence expired, which was but a few weeks after 
Conference, he determined to reenter his former posi- 
tion, and was compelled to resign his pastoral charge 
when the Conference year had but just begun. 

1872. To supply the vacancy thus occurnng, the 
Rev. Henry S. Thompson was transferred 

from the Wilmington Conference. He occupied the 
pastoral office here the remainder of that year, and 
was reappointed in 1873. Near the close of the sec- 
ond year an interesting revival was enjoyed by the 
Church, which resulted in the accession of about thirty 
probationers^ one-half of whom were admitted to full 
membership at the expiration of the probationary 
term. At the Quarterly Conference held Nov. 20^ 

1873, Mr. Thompson reports the decease of " Lydia 
Haile, who had been for many years an earnest and 
devoted member of the Church until, at the age of 
eighty-seven, she was the oldest member of the 
Church, and in feebleness and helplessness longed 
for her release. It came at last on the fourth of 

September, and she peacefully sank to resf 

1873. '' During October, Sally Ingraham, aged and 

afflicted, who for years had been deprived of 


the privileges of the House of God, passed from the 
privations of earth to the blessedness of heaven." 

Mr. Thompson was succeeded, in 1874, by the 
writer of this historical sketch, who after serving in 
the office of Presiding Elder, reentered the regular 
pastoral work at that time. The twenty-fourth of Sep- 
tember in that year, was the eightieth annivor- 
1874. sary of the dedication of the first house of 
worship, by Mr. Lee, The pastor, on the fol- 
lowing Sunday, preached a discourse commemorative 
of that event, embodying in it some account of the 
origin and early years of the parish. On the evening 
of the following day, at the meeting of the Official 
Board, he was requested to continue his researches 
and collect materials for a complete history of the 
Church. Pursuant to that vote ho has prosecuted 
the not disagreeable task of following the rise and 
fortunes of an enterprise which, from humblest begin- 
ning, has with the divine blessing, progressed until 
it has fiilly proved itself a powerM agency in the 
social, moral and religious affairs of the community. 
From the imperfect records that have been pre- 
served of the earlier years and the more accurate ac- 


counts of recent times, arc found the names of 1)327 
persons who have been admitted to the Church. 
Many more must have been admitted in the sixteen 
or twenty j-ears of which there is no record. Among 
these names are 176 which were never transferred 
from the probationary relation to that of full mem- 
bership. This may have been true, also, of others 
whose names are recorded in the old books where 
the distinction is not accurately made. The number 
reported at the Conference of 1875, is: members 
834; probationers, 10. 

Fifty-tliree pastors and preachers have served the 
Church by regular appointment. For many yeara 
the appointments were for single terms. At first the 
lengtli of the term was at the discretion of the Bishop ; 
and was often for but a portion of a year. In 1804, it 
was limited by rule to two years ; and in 1^64, it 
was extended to three years. Twenty-one have 
been renewed for a second year ; in two of which 
instances the incumbent has failed to serye through 
the entire term. Including the days of the circuit 
system, two men, Joseph Snelling and Isaac 
Bonney, have been for three terms, appointed to this 



field. Messrs. Bonney and Titus have served two 
flill terms, each, of two years, in Warren Station, 
and the writer of this history has been appointed for 
three successive years, under the new rule. The 
Rev. John Livesey occupied the pastoral office for a 
longer continuous teim than any of his prede- 
cessors, though not nominally in charge during the 
first few months. 

The following list contain^} the names of the minis- 
ters appointed to Warren, together with its position 
among the churches, as the lists were rearranged 
from year to year, after it became one of the regular 
appointments: 1793, TTanen, Philip Wager; 1794, 
John Chalmers ; 1795, Zadoc Priest, C3TUS Stebbins ; 
1796, Daniel Ostrander; 1797, Wairen and Oreeii" 
wic^, Nathaniel Chapin, Wesley Budd; 1798, TFor- 
ren^ John Brodhcad ; 1799, Warren and Oreenwich^ 
Ezekiel Canfield, Joshua Hall, Truman Bishop; 
1800, Joseph Snelling, Solomon Langdon; 1801, 
Warren^ Oreenwich and Rhode Island^ John Finne- 
gan, Daniel Fidlcr ; 1802, llcubcn Hubbard, Caleb 
Morris, Allen H. Cobb; from 1803 to 1806 the 
name of Warren does not appear in the minutes. 


1807, Warren and Bristol, Joseph Snelling ; 1808, 
Joshua Crowell ; ISOd , Bristol and Warren, Samuel 
Merwiii; ISIO, Somerset and Warren, John Lind- 
say; 1811, Somerset, Warren and Newport, Thomas 
Asbury ; 1812, Somerset and Warren, Artemas Steb- 
bins. Again from 1813 to 1819 the name of Warren 
is not found in the list of parishes. 1820, Bristol 
and Warren, Isaac Bonney. In 1821, '23, '25 and 
'26, the place is not named among the appointments. 
IS22, Bristol and Warren, John W. Hardy; 1824, 
Timothy Merritt ; 1827, '28, Isaac Stoddard; 1829, 
Wairen and Somerset, Newell S. Spaulding, 
Robert Gould; 1830, Nathan Paine, H. Walden; 
1831, Warre/i, Nathan Paine ; 1832, Abram Holway ; 
1833, James Porter; 1834, '35, Wm. R. Stone; 
1836, Isaac Bonney; 1837, Warren and Somerset,' 
Isaac Bonney, LeRoy Sunderland; 1838, Shipley 
W. Wilson, Wareham S. Campbell ; 1839, Warren, 
S. W. Wilson ; 1840, '41, William Livescy ; 1842, '43, 
Isaac Bonney; 1844, Cliarlcs S. Macreading ; 1845, 
'46, Robert M. Hatfield ; 1847, '48, Paul Townsend ; 
1849, '50, Ralph W. Allen ; 1851, David Patten ; 
1852, '53, Sanford Benton ; 1854, Elijah T. Fletcher ; 


1855, '56, Samael C. Brown ; 1857, '58, James D. 
Butler; 1859, '60, Charles H. Titus; 1861, '62, 
Lucius D. Davis ; 1863, '64, Sidney Dean ; 1865, '66, 
John Livesey ; 1867, '68, Joseph 11. James ; 1869, 70, 
C. H. Titus; 1871, Henry B. Hibben ; 1872, '73, 
Henry S. Thompson ; 1874, '75, '76, Micah J. Talbot. 

This bcxdc is a preservation iriiotocopy. 

It was produced on Hammenmll Laser Print natural \^te, 

a 60 # bo6k, wei^t add-free archival paper 

which meets the requirements of 

ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (permanence of pqper) 

Preservation photocopying and binding 


Acme Bookbinding 

Chulestown, Massadmaetts 




Harvard College Wldener Library 
Cambridge, MA 021 38 (61 7) 495-241 3