Methodist Hall - (Monthly Programs)
50 East King Street
Littlestown, PA 17340
Museum and Welcome Center
2nd Floor - Bourgh Building

10 South QueenStreet

Littlestown, PA 17340


Incorporated and 501c3 approved.
All donations are tax deductabile.

Littlestown was layed out by
and named for Peter Klien (Little)
A window to the past.
On-line
Resources
Local Littlestown Links:


Societies of Local History

Contact
Web-Master


LAHS History

 


United Brethren Church stood in what now is the front lawn of what was the Catholic
School next to St. Aloysius Rectory (Catholic) Church (29 South Queen Street)

After the Battle of Gettysburg, Wounded soliders were brought to Littlestown to load on
trains. Due to the the location of this church being very close to the railrod, it was used as a
Hospital.

The Methodist Church used this building for worship until they built their first Church building.

The original UB building erected in 1822 is believed to be one of first ten churches constructed by UB's in the entire denomination. It was erected by Phillip Bishop Sr., a native of Lancaster County who moved into the area in 1809 and died in 1932. In 1826 he transferred the lot to trustees Philip Bishop Jr., Christian Bishop, Jacob Bishop and Jacob Shank "with the church thereon erected and built and all appurtenances to the said church and lot of ground... in trust for the use, intent purpose of the United Brethren in Christ in the United States for ever, for a house and place of worship for the society aforesaid, yet never-the-less to be free for any other society of Christians to worship therein and to hear the word of God preached therein at all times, when not occupied by the society aforesaid..." There was also a clause reverting the property to Philip Bishop if the UB society there ever ceased to meet.

While the church was an extremely strong one for some fifty years, it began to decline in the 1870's; possibly in connection with the situation between Rev. James M. Bishop and Rev. J. Phillip Bishop, two sons of Philip Bishop Jr. and ministerial sons of the congregation. The 1886 History of Cumberland and Adams Counties published by Warner, Beers & Co, includes a biographical sketch of Levi Bishop, another son of Philip Bishop Jr. which contains the following revealing statement: "About this time time the pompous presiding elder of the United Brethren Church had grown a little too big for his boots, thought he ought to have entire control of the church property, and, by his under officials, made demands on Mr. Bishop for the title papers, which were, however, refused. Then they resorted to litigation, in which they failed. Mr. Bishop is at present trustee; holds the title papers, and will hold them; but since the agitation he, with his family, have worshiped elsewhere."

Following the 1889 division of the denomination, both groups continued occupying the building. In the words of the 1892 UBOC PA Conference journal; "Littlestown has also been visited during the year. Here some of our best people reside. The church house is open to orthodox Christians and consequently can't be closed against us. Our people for the time being worship with the Liberals, but continue to adhere to the time-honored principles of our church. They deserve favorable consideration from the conference at this time."

The split proved fatal to the already wounded congregation, and neither the Liberals nor the Radicals were able to sustain a viable work. By 1900 the Liberals had abandoned the appointment and the Radicals were meeting there very irregularly, if at all. At that time John Amos Bishop Sr., a grandson of Philip Bishop Sr., successfully petitioned the court to enforce the reversion clause in the 1826 deed and return the property to the estate of Philip Bishop Sr. As one of four children of John Bishop, who was one of nine children of Philip Bishop Sr. , he requested the court to sell the property and award him (1/4)x(1/9) = 1/36 of the proceeds. As the amount of the property involved was not large, and the complications were enormous, it is possible that the action was taken out of family jealously and/or the desire to permanently prevent the Radicals (or the Liberals?) From using the building.

The original decision, however, was appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court by the building's current trustee, Laura Bishop, V. Bishop, M.D. Bishop and Cornelius Wolfort. In the end the original decision was upheld; although a final partition of the property was not determined until the August 1923 term of the Court of Common Pleas. The Church (not the original 1822 building, but a later one erected on the site) was razed in 1925, a final appraisal of $8000 for the lot was determined in 1926, and the property was sold to the neighboring Catholic church. The place where the UB church stood is now the front lawn of St. Aloysius School.



 

 

 



Littlestown Area Historical Society's Programs
50 East King Street, Littlestown, PA 17340
Barts Centenary United Methodist Church's Historic Building