By Paula Mitchell
Mt. Hope, also formerly known as “Mallow” or “Old Dutch” was organized prior to 1797. At that time, the log church had the traditional “goblet pulpit” and a gallery for slaves. The Rev. Paul Henkel preached at this church at least three times. Traveling ministers, known as “circuit riders” served this church as well as other churches in Thorn Creek and Sugar Grove areas, as well as Monterey, Virginia, and Mt. Storm.
The erection of a new church building took place with the old log church building sold to Isaac Lough who used the logs as a barn. The barn is still being used by Grace Hedrick on her farm.
The late George Schmucker, who began his 40-year ministry in 1841, had a preaching territory 45 miles long, reaching into Hardy, Grant, Randolph, Pocahantas counties and Highland, Virginia, as well as Pendleton, during his active ministry of about 44 years. He moved with his family from Woodstock, Virginia, to Upper Tract. The Schmucker Church (better known as Mt. Hope) and the Schmucker School in Upper Tract, bear his name.
His marriage fee was one dollar if the couple came to him, and two dollars if he went to them. Sometimes his fees were taken in maple syrup, grain and “snits.”
Schmucker had striking details during his sojourn in Pendleton County. He would wear a stove pipe hat during some of his services. He became affectionately known as “Father Schmucker,” who was capable of speaking either English and German in his sermons. He also had a fine singing voice. His stature was that of being tall and thin.
Due to health issues, his last service was in 1879, with his resignment from all the churches within the mountain region. He spent the remainder of his life at his Schmucker homestead. His death on Aug. 10, 1886, marked a lifetime of commitment. He was buried in the Mallow Church cemetery beside his wife and father, Rev. John Nicholas Schmucker.
Some of the past ministers who served the church were George Strobel, Arden Surbey, Orville Lueck, F.C.H. Scholz, Bob Brown, Andrew Ballas, Cecil Bradfield, Joseph Bartczak, Charles Erzkus, Neil Weltzen, Mary Posten, and Craig and Wendy Richter. The present pastors serving are Jason and Jess Felici.
Sunday, the Schmucker Church, better known as Mt. Hope, celebrated its 225-year anniversary with a rally of the Lutherans attending the celebration. History of the church was given to the congregation prior to the worship service which was conducted by the Rev. Matthew Riegel, bishop of the WV/MD Synod of the Lutheran Church. A delicious lunch followed, where the attendees mingled and conversed. All in all, it was a day to remember.
Life’s little instructions include the following:
- Don’t scrimp in order to leave money to one’s children.
- Be suspicious of all politicians.
- Pray not for things, but for wisdom and courage.
- Turn off the television at dinner time.
- When playing games with children, let them win.
Monday, John F. Bowers was laid to rest in the St. John Cemetery. John was a “one of a kind human being.” He was a life-long educator where he influenced so many people. Even in his retirement, he kept educating his seven grandchildren every time they came to visit on the farm. They loved to come and ride the tractor, among the many other farm activities.
He was a man of his word, taking on the characters of humility, dignity, respect and diligence, together with a being a family man. He and Elsie, married for 63 years, raised a family of three, and it was John who so eloquently stated that “if every family was as lucky as ours, the world would be a better place.”
John was engaged with community organizations and activities. He gave generously, made time for others, was helpful, had a loving attitude, showed compassion, and was a genuine person. It may have been a hug, a timely word of advice, a donation, and best of all his famous smile that even radiated from his eyes that will be remembered. Yes, John’s “light” will be carried on with many memories to treasure.
The hymn that so many are fond of, speaks to all of us:
“Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, help me stand; I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Thru the storm, thru the night, Lead me on to the light, Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home.”
Sympathy is extended to Elsie, Greg, Clark and Sheri and their extended families, during this difficult time.
Quotes for this week are as follows:
“A grandparent is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher and a little bit best friend.” — Unknown
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again. This time more intelligently.” — Henry Ford
“It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company.” — George Washington
“Colors are the smiles of nature.” — Leigh Hunt
“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” — William Arthur Ward
“A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority.” — Booker T. Washington
Sitting inside is a good place to hear the “Talk of the Grove.”
Evelyn Varner enjoyed the time she spent at Charles and Pidge’s home Saturday evening. On Sunday, she was accompanied by Judy Costello to Port Republic, Virginia, to witness the baptism of Richard Marshall.
Bob and Judy Grimm enjoyed a few days at Nags Head, North Carolina, last week.
Terri Grogg spent several days with her mother, Rosalee Grogg. Other visitors were Marleta and Junior Wimer.
Signs of fall are beginning to enter the landscape. Benjamin and Dinah Mitchell’s entryway has welcoming enormous pumpkins. Jack Frost is touching the tips of trees with the various colors of paint. Before long, the mountains will give their last “hurrah” for all the leaf peepers to enjoy. Mr. and Mrs. Travis Rader are in the swing of Halloween. Their landscape is adorned with all the cobwebs and ghosts, etc. that children and adults enjoy seeing.
Phil Downs motored Saturday to Romney to spend time with Susie Ruffner and family and friends. His daughter, Tara Kelley of Springfield, Virginia, also came in for the going away party for Dennis Hammond, who is joining the military on Tuesday.
Rain is still needed before winter sets in. Sunday’s shower of 11 tenths is but “a drop in the bucket.”. More is needed to raise the water table.
This week’s Clickety-clacks for the chin wagers are as follows:
- Strawberries and cashews are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside.
- The moon moves about two inches away from the earth each year.
- Everything weighs one percent less at the equator.
- Gold is the only metal that doesn’t rust, even if it’s buried in the ground for thousands of years.
- Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean.
October birthdays include the following: Carson Mitchell and Liz Bodkin, first; Nathan Puffenbarger, third; Rosa Tichenor, Clinton Ann Bowers, Billy Eckard and Darrell Bodkin, fourth; Ryan Mitchell, fifth; Angie Nelson, sixth; Rodney Kiser, seventh; Patty Bolton and Junior Homan, eighth; Stanley Simmons, ninth; Travis Owens and Marie Simmons, 10th; and Kathy Eye and Braden McClannahan, 13th.
Concerns for this week are many, and they are as follows: Charles Anderson, Lannie Arbaugh, the Athey family, Lynn Beatty, Jack Bennett, the John F. Bowers family, Bill Brackman, Ralph Dunkle, Jeff Evick, Lee Roy and Ina Evick, Ron Gilkeson, Lola Graham, Marlene Harman, the Loy Allen Hartman family, Steve and Armanda Heavner, Starr Hedrick, Gary and Jackie Hills, Virgil Homan, Jr., Charlie Marie Hoover, Keith Hoover, Lorena Hoover, Myrtle Hoover, Enos Horst, Doris Hull, Bob and Cynthia Hurry, Alice Johnson, Kim Line, Richard Judy, Melissa Lambert, Robin and Kitty Lambert, Robert Lambert, Rex Landis, Angela Lung, Linda Malcolm, Betty Mallow, Roger and Skip Mallow, Yvonne Marsh, Neil McLaughlin, Naomi Michael, Gloria Moats, Joe Moats, Lincoln Moore, Ernie Morgan, the Lacy Moyers family, Aaron Nelson, Ken and Ruth Nelson, Bennie Nesselrodt, Cheryl Paine, Sutton Parrack, Alda Propst, Betty Lou Propst, Kathy Propst, Sheldon Propst, Pam Rexrode, Donna Ruddle, Annie Simmons, Barbara Simmons, Erin Simmons, Eva Simmons, Robbie Sites, Ona Smith, Stanna Smith, Patricia Swecker, Rosa Tichenor, Sandra Vandevander, Jack Vogel, Ron White, Judy Williams and Larry Wimer.