by Taylor C. Woodward
HISTORY OF HERRINGTON BETHEL CHURCH
The following taken from the history of the church, given at the 100th
anniversary of the church on August 29, 1943.
John Herrington, the founder of this church, was born January 1, 1759. He was a boy soldier of the Revolutionary War, under George Washington.
He moved to Ohio from Penna. in 1816. While in Penna., many of the inhabitants of the colonies were killed by the Indians. This was the cause of Mr. Herrington's parents' death, he being carried to safety by them before they died. In July 1817, Mr. Herrington moved from Jefferson County, Ohio, to the land now owned by Clarence D. and Pauline Cooper, in Section 35, Augusta Township, Carroll County. Mr. Herrington received a deed for this farm, which was nearly covered with wooded lots, from Frederick Woods in 1819, paying $1,000 for it.
In John Herrington's home, he and his neighbors held old fashioned Methodist Prayer and Class Meetings until 1825. In that year, Mr. Herrington gave the land on which this stone church is standing, to build a church of hewn logs, which were cut on his own farm. The church was built by the local men, and Mr. Herrington deeded the amount of one acre and nine perches of land to the trustees of the church, who were: John Clinton, Jesse Hendrickson, and John Herrington Jr., on March 7, 1825. The amount paid was $1.00, the amount of land given was large enough to include a cemetery.
In 1841, there were 80 people converted at a great revival held in this old log church. Among those converted, was the late James Herrington "Old Uncle Jimmy," as everyone called him.
When in after years, the old log church began to look dilapidated, the following story was told of John Herrington: He was supposed to have thought it a sin to hold services in such a place, so went up one day, set the church on fire, went down and sat on his porch and watched it burn; whether this story is true or not, we do not know, but Mr. Herrington wanted a lasting structure built of stone, of which he had the stone quarry on his own farm. Mr. Herrington helped to quarry the stone and to build the church. The cornerstone for this church was laid in 1843. The stone mason was Frank Dunmore, a negro who lived in East Township. (He also built the stone house on the Cooper farm.)
Mr. Herrington never allowed the church to be locked, and his wish was held sacred, up until a few years ago, when it was necessary to have locks put on the doors, to protect our church properties. Mr. Herrington had but one picture taken during his lifetime, and that one on his 100th birthday at Augusta, Ohio. He lived to be 103 years, 4 months, and 18 days of age, when he died at the home of his son Nathan, originally his own home.
A few names we remember coming from the early days of the church were: John and William Deford, Joseph and Thankful Snively, George Hines, Levi Marshall, George and Mary Jane Rutledge, John, Nathan and William Herrington, Lydia Hewett, Billy Croxton, John and Matilda Ulman, Enock, Nancy and Hiriam Gray - negroes of our church, Christine Foreman, and Samuel Dumbleton.
No musical instruments were in the church before the year 1880. The hymnals had no musical notes written in them: the congregation learned the tunes from memory, with old uncle Jimmy Herrington leading the singing for many years.
The church was heated by two stoves, one on each side of the church. A high partition was in the center of the long seats, with the men sitting on the west side and the women on the east.
The pulpit was quite a bit higher than it is today, until a remodeling plan was carried out in 1905, with Rev. Chain as our minister. The pulpit was lowered, the chancel rail and choir chairs bought, the slate roof put on, and gas lights replaced candles and oil lamps, and in later years electricity was put in. A furnace was installed and many other improvements made.