Stehman Memorial United Methodist Church
Monday, July 24, 2017
The Light on the Hill

Verse of the Day...

Member's Stories

Remember when...



Ruth Binkley - Willis and I were married by Rev. Rauch in 1940.  We were the first couple to invite the whole congregation to attend our wedding.  Willis made a raised platform to go across the front of the old church for Children’s Day and the church was packed.  Everyone brought bouquets of flowers and arranged them around the platform.  After the service the children were allowed to choose flowers to take home.  I remember that when I taught a Sunday School class of girls 18-25, I called them “Blooming Buds”.  I remember only slightly our church picnic in the woods across from June & Nancy Barley’s home.  We would walk from the church with a band playing at the front of the line leading the way.  I remember revival services at the church.  Whole families would go up to the altar and pray for the services.  Some people would “get happy” filled with the Holy Spirit.  I remember there was an individual running back and forth on top of the pews.  When I lived on Walnut Hill Road, at the old Shissler place.  I went to the Stevens School where June & Nancy Barley live.  When I moved close to Ike’s Mill I went to the Rock Hill School, where I became good friends with the Sneath & Walk girls.  We did a lot of things together, like Halloweening with them and Miriam Sneath taking us.  When you wanted to go somewhere you walked.


Louis & Edie Frey - Louis: I remember the tying shed.  I was born on Al Kauffmans Farm (Melvin Shertzers farm now) and came to Stehman since birth.  Charlie Witmer sold cigars at the Sunday School picnic; he had a general merchandise store at Masonville.  Everyone chewed or smoked; when they went into church they laid their chew or cigar on the window sill outside.  They would pick it up again and use it after church was over.  The lower driveway was put into place in 1969, when the church was remodeled.  The men were in charge way back, the Ad Board was all men.  When the United Methodist took over in 1968 Edie was named Children’s co-ordinator.  She became the first women on Stehmans Administrative Board and Gladys Doerr came on later as Mission Chairperson.  I remember in the old church when you had a birthday, you took money up front during Sunday School, and they sang “Happy Birthday”to you.  Most times they were off key and very loud, not making the greatest sound.

Edie: I remember that they hung a “black crape” on the end of your bench, when a family member died.  There used to be a church on a road that went from our place over past Amos Funk’s house to Stehman Road.  It was a Mennonite church that blew down during a very bad wind storm. Grace United Methodist Church owns the land and maintains a cemetery that is still there.


Earl Barley - Revival services were a lot different back then, a lot longer for one thing.  They used horse and wagon to go places, but they walked to church.  I took my wife-to-be, Della Hess on our first date, picking her up walking home from church.  I went to a Mennonite church as a youngster, but when Abe and I became teenagers we started coming to Stehmans.  Later our brothers & sisters came to Stehmans too.  I was baptized in the Little Conestoga at Lloyd Stauffers fully immersed.  When Della & I went to the Holy Lands I had a chance to be baptized in the Jordan River but being baptized in the Conestoga was good enough for me.


Arvella Breneman - We always wore new hats on Easter Sunday.


Kathyrn Karr - I was 34 years old when I joined the church under Rev. Etter.  Marie Gantz, Irvin Heisey and Frank & Helen Barley were in my conformation class.  Frank & Helen got baptized in the creek at Lloyd Stauffers.  We had sunrise service outside between church and the parsonage.  Church and S.S. were held in the pavilion and parsonage when the church was remodeled back in 1969.  My first friends when I came to Stehman were Hilda Heisey, Ruth Binkley and Gladys Doerr.  Marion Lefever taught the Sunday School class I was in.

Abe Barley - There were very few cars when I first came to Stehman. Most people brought their horses and carriages to church and tied them up in the tying shed.  They would bring food along for the horses to eat.  Mom & dad and the young children would ride in the buggy.  The older children walked on behind, sometimes the older boys would tease the girls.  When Earl & I were about 8-10 years old back in the 1920’s, our grandfather brought us to the picnic in the Picnic Woods.  There was a long table that they fed you at.  The water used for drinking and washing dishes was kept in a big barrel called a “hogs head”.  There were no paper plates back then.  The water was hauled in with a horse and wagon.  Sunday School members ate first, then non-members got to eat last.  I didn’t like that, I got very hungry, but you always got plenty to eat.  They used to play simple games at the picnic.  On Sunday evenings you went to church, there wasn’t much else to do.  In 1955 , when the Education Building was built they needed to make the driveway wider, so they took a little bit of the Pastors garden, leveled it off and poured overtop.  Next spring the blacktop started breaking up and the asparagus pushed up thru.  That just shows you the power of God and nature and how much we take it for granted!

Ruth Swisher - I remember how faithful Ruth Binkley was at bringing her family to Children’s Day.   I also remember the hired man bringing us to Sunday School in Earl’s market truck.  There were eggs in the truck and he would go over bumps in the road real fast to bounce the eggs on top of us.



Ross Sangrey - I remember asking my mother as a small boy if there was anybody in Stehmans Church that we weren’t related to.  There were cousins of mine everywhere.  My mother told me as I got older that I would find out there were a few families at Stehman that I wasn’t related to.  I look back and feel very fortunate to have lived in the Stehman Church area most of my life.


Hilda Heisey - I remember that the little kids at the picnic would run in front of the bigger kids swinging and someone would get hurt every year.  Also for some reason I remember coming to church in a horse & buggy in the spring and my dad remarking about leaves coming out along the road between Bleachers & Doerrs.


Mildred Binkley - I remember in Sunday School class when we were little, Betty Ault bit me on the arm.  Mary Neff (Mildred’s sister) was quick to add that Betty was definitely a biter!  My Sister, Mary and I walked to church from Indian Marker Road where Roy Brant lives now.  Our parents did not bring us.

Verna Herr - I came to the picnic for the first time with my neighbor friend Mary Shenk, we were about 12 years old.  My mother had me bring a bunch of bananas for the meal.  When it came time to eat people were lining up waiting to be seated.  One of the other young girls who was a church member at Stehmans told Mary and I that we were at the wrong place.  When we asked where we were to go the other young girl said to the back of the line, where do you think!  Kinda hurt Mary and I walked to the back of the line.  I said to Mary, I don’t think I’m ever coming back here again.  Mary said, oh forget that, the fun is just gonna start!


Betty Ault - I remember saving my coins during the year by doing chores & odd jobs, then coming to the picnic to buy candy.  There was all sorts of candy and little games you could buy.  I would have my money spent before the picnic ever got started.  The one picnic I specifically remember was the one we had 25 years ago.  Our 125th Anniversary year. We called it an Old Fashioned Picnic.  There was sliced watermelon and penny candy for sale.  Clayton Heisey made ice cream and Abe Barley had his mules & wagon to take people for rides.


Minerva Metzger - Ada Rice and I went around and collected money to pay for the band that played in the Band Shell during the picnic.


Mary Neff - I have old Sunday School books at home that we got from our teachers back in the 1920’s.  Some of the ones my husband, Dick has are going on 80 years old this year.  We also have plates that our teachers gave us.  I treasure those gifts that our Sunday School teachers gave to us so long ago.


Bob Ault - I remember when I first came here that the men sat on one side of the church and the women on the other.  I just couldn’t understand that.


Norma Toland - Rev. Sherrif came to visit us as we moved into our house on Owl Bridge Road to invite us to Stehman Church.  Also in Rev. Sherrif’s last sermon he brought out he was still against growing tobacco.


Don Toland - I remember when they renovated the church in 1968, there was a big question on how to do it.  Willis Binkley said as chairperson of the Ad Board, we will talk about the project until we reach a disagreement.  Then we will adjourn the meeting and try again at the next meeting to reach an agreement, and that is exactly what we did and it worked.


Aldus Myer - I remember being a Stewart of Finance and having to go around to church members homes and asking them to pledge money for the whole year.  That was one of the hardest jobs I ever had to do in the church.  Also when we renovated the church in 1968, Ed Porter and I set the bell and the steeple on the new addition.  When we moved the Band Shell from the end of the pavilion to make the parking lot bigger, I jacked it up on two telephone poles underneath in the shape of a “V”.  I then hooked to it with my Ford tractor and pulled it down over the hill to its present location.



Ruth Myer - When we moved here in 1945, we had to decide where to go to church, either Millersville or Stehmans.  We chose Stehman when Rev. Etter was the pastor.  Over the years, I am so glad that we chose Stehman because of all the wonderful friends we have made.  Ellen Walk being able to play the piano for church being legally blind was nothing short of a miracle.  Also Charlie Hank being able to play by ear was a miracle too!   I hope when I get to heaven God will have a piano that I can play.  That I can add notes and chords to make it sound as good as it can be.


Compiled by Evie Shaub and Leslie Hess 
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