Part 1 of 3
Submitted by Joan Bittner Fry
From History of Maryland Classis of the Reformed Church in Maryland by Rev. Guy P. Bready (1938)
The Thurmont Charge (Trinity, Apple’s, Mt. Tabor, and St. John’s Creagerstown)
Elders, H. D Beachley, Samuel Long, James Firor, Ross Firor; Deacons; Raymond Creager, Marshall Leatherman, Lloyd Mackley, and George Zinkhan.
Rev. N. E. Gilds who had served the Mechanicstown Charge since 1867, resigned in November 1874. In September 1875, Rev. Henry Wissler was called as pastor. In 1875, he organized a congregation at Rocky Ridge under the name of Mt. Tabor and added it to the Mechanicstown Charge.
For some years, it had been apparent that there ought to be a congregation in the village of Mechanicstown. At the annual meeting in 1878, Pastor Wissler laid the whole matter before Classis (governing body of Reformed Churches at the time) for consideration.
The situation was that a congregational meeting had been previously held at Apple’s Church, and it had been decided by a vote of 17 to 12 to build a church in town. But on account of the close vote, the congregation did not feel justified in proceeding with the erection of a new church, especially as the minority was divided into two parties. One party wished to remain in the old location—that is, Apple’s—while the other desired that if a new church was to be built, to build it at Graceham. Classis advised the congregation to continue its efforts to build in Mechanicstown. The minority was given permission, if so desired, to build a church at Graceham and organize a congregation there. A congregation (now Trinity UCC in Thurmont) was organized at Mechanicstown on September 1880 and a new church was erected. The minority continued at Apple’s Church. Wissler resigned October 1884, and in May 1885, Rev. A. B. Stoner was called as pastor.
In 1886, the Charge was divided. Trinity at Mechanicstown, Apple’s, Mt. Tabor at Rocky Ridge, and St. John’s at Creagerstown were formed into a Charge to be known as Mechanicstown Charge. St. John’s at Sabillasville and Jacob’s (Fairfield, PA) constituted the Sabillasville Charge. (The Highfield Congregation was not organized until 1892.) Stoner resigned as pastor in May 1988. Rev. George Whitmore, the next pastor, began his service in the Charge on December 27, 1888. In 1894, the name was changed to Thurmont Charge to conform to the change of name of Mechanicstown to Thurmont.
In 1897, the Thurmont congregation asked to be made a separate Charge but the request was not granted by Classis. In 1898, Thurmont and Apple’s congregations made a similar request. In 1900, Apple’s congregation asked to be separated from the Charge, chiefly because the pastor had ceased to hold services there on account of arrearage of salary. When the congregation promised to pay the amount due, they were assured that regular services would be resumed. In 1901, Apple’s again asked to be detached from the Charge and again the request was refused.
Apple’s Church, 1825.