Our Story

Early in 1871 the pioneers of Primitive Methodism in Laurel Run (now Parsons), organized the first class meeting. They were men and women of God, with stalwart Christian faith. They included Mr. and Mrs. John Blease, Mr. and Mrs. John Ward and family, Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Golightly, Mr and Mrs. John Gratten, Mr. and Mrs. John Geen, Mrs. Trethaway, Mrs. John Floyd, Mrs. Ann Keats, Mrs. John Moore, Mr. T. E. Phillips, Mr. and Mrs. D. Sharpe and Mrs. Mugford.
   They met for a short time in their various homes, when a self appointed committee consisting of Mr. John Blease, Mr. John Ward Sr. and others hearing of the Primitive Methodist cause in Plymouth went down and invited Mr. Frank Grey to visit them. A meeting was called in Blease's Hall. A mutual understanding arrived at, the congregation worshiped in Blease's Hall for some time with Brother Gray ministering to them with the aid of Local Preachers until May, 1872. This society became one of a circuit consisting then of Plymouth, Honey Pot (now Nanticoke), Wilkes-Barre, Five Points (now East End), Yatesville, Pleasant Valley (now Avoca). They were received into the Primitive Methodist Connection in May, 1872, at a Conference held in St. Clair, Pennsylvania with Rev. C. Spurr being the President. From Blease's Hall they changed their place of worship to a little school house on Sparrow Hill, Miners Mills. These services grew in interest and power under the direction of Brother Grey and the faithful band of local preachers of which Mr. T. M. Phillips deserves special mention because of his loyalty and sacrifice in the interest of the cause so precious to him.
   In May, 1872, the Conference held at St. Clair appointed Rev. J. H. Acornley and W. B. Bache to the Plymouth Circuit which consisted of ten appointments extending a distance of sixteen miles. In 1873, April 19th, the united circuit committee sent a request to Conference desiring the circuit be divided and Rev. J. H. Acornley returned as the pastor of the Wilkes-Barre Circuit consisting of five appointments and reaching from Wilkes-Barre to Pittston, of which Laurel Run (now Parsons) was a part. About this time the congregation began to feel the need of a church and with that object in view Rev. J. H. Acornley and Mr. James Brin called upon Mr. J. W. Hollenback, Esq., who after much persuading sold them a lot valued at $350 for one dollar, practically donating it to them, on conditions that within a given period of one year a church should be raised at a cost of not less then $600.00. The lot was deeded to the Society at Laurel Run (now Parsons), and is located on the corner of Hollenback Avenue (now Austin Avenue) and Railroad Street. Late in the fall of 1873 the ground was broken for a new church building by Mr. John Geen. Soon on the site there was erected a church building 24x36x16 and early in the year of 1874 the building was dedicated for worship of the true and living God.
   Mr. Hollenback kindly donated $50.00 toward the erection of the church. For thirty-eight years with some small additions and improvements it served its purpose as a place of worship, being the birth place of hundreds of precious souls.

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