Friday, December 9, 2011

Early Sandusky Methodists Had Strong Convictions

Recently I checked out the book entitled History of Ohio Methodism: A Study in Social Science, written by John Marshall Barker in 1898. This book is also available fulltext at Google Books. The portion of the book that was intriguing to me was the section on "Methodism in Sandusky," found on pages 415 through 418. The author discussed the various buildings which housed Methodist churches in the city of Sandusky up to 1898.

Two individuals who were well known leaders in Sandusky, both started churches based on their differences of opinion with the leaders in their home Methodist churches in Sandusky. John Beatty, who served as Mayor of Sandusky from 1833 to 1836, broke away from the mainline Methodist church in 1835 over the issue of anti-slavery sentiment. John Beatty and several others built a separate Methodist church in the public square of Sandusky, which did not last too long, after the main benefactor, John Beatty, passed away. Philander Gregg, who was also a Mayor of Sandusky, along with others, led a group of individuals away from the home church over the issue of instrumental music in the worship service in 1853. This group also erected a church building on Decatur Street. This society disbanded in 1855, and the church building was later home to the Second Baptist Church. Below is the section of the book History of Ohio Methodism: A Study in Social Science which discusses the two men who helped form their own Methodist churches in Sandusky.

Eventually, Philander Gregg moved west, where he died in 1899. Philander Gregg is buried in Union Cemetery in Kansas City, Missouri. John Beatty is buried in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery, where a large granite monument honors John Beatty, his wife, the former Mary Cooke, and several of their descendants.

John Beatty and Philander Gregg were strong civic leaders, who also had strong moral and religious convictions! My ancestors, Julius and Percy (Taylor) House, moved to Perkins Township, Erie County, Ohio, from Connecticut in 1815. The group of "Connecticut Yankees" who traveled together were led by John Beatty.

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