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New Matamoras church celebrates 150th anniversary

Taken on Easter morning 1936, the photo shows the Sunday School class of that year. The lone surviving member shown in the photo is Helen Goodwin Hubbard, 98, who plans to be in attendance at the church’s celebration. (Photo Provided)

NEW MATAMORAS — The United Methodist Church in New Matamoras will mark its 150th anniversary July 18, with a special worship service starting at 10 a.m.

Built in 1871 on the plot at 604 Third St., the original church still stands today. The property was bought from Stinson and Diana Burris, members of the church, for $150. The Burrises immediately donated $75 back for construction of the structure. The church construction cost of $3,000 was paid for by subscription of the members.

The prior church attended by the Matamoras Methodists was the Grandview Methodist, built in 1852. But by 1870, those attending from Matamoras grew confident that a church was needed inside the incorporated village and so formed a committee to begin the separation.

The result was a shared minister, the Rev. William H. Piggott, who in addition to Grandview and Matamoras was assigned Brownsville, Salem Hall and Cochransville. No rest for this circuit rider on Sundays.

In 1910 a parsonage was built, and in 1923 extensive remodeling was done to the church.

The single entrance with a spire above was converted to two front entrances with a tower above each. And on the rear of the building was added a social room. Inside the structure, seating was reversed. Formerly the congregation sat with their backs to Third Street, but in the new configuration they sat facing Third.

Over the years, property was added on the right and left of the Third Street frontage to have an annex and parking lot. In addition, land was obtained to extend over to Main Street in the rear of the property.

The pastor today is Dennis Williams.

Regarding services July 18, two special slide shows will be presented during the gathering.

There will also be special music from Darrell and Heather Billiter as well as two solos by Mary Carson, accompanied by Janice Pringle. Special visitors with some very old remembrances of the church and town have already committed to attend.

A potluck meal with ham, turkey and roasted lamb will be enjoyed at the end of the worship with much camaraderie anticipated. Any friend of Matamoras is heartily welcomed.

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