The Corinth Wesleyan Church, established in 1873, grew to be the largest church in the Champlain Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist denomination in the late 50’s and early 60’s. At its zenith, it achieved a Sunday School attendance of over 300 persons. The normal SS attendance was consistently over 200. In its later years, attendance waned to the extent that, in the early 2000’s, the pastor declared that “this church is no longer dying…it’s dead.”
Shortly thereafter the Corinth Wesleyan Church discontinued all services and activities. In one of the most irresponsible and bizarre actions I have ever heard of, the church officials simply locked the doors, walked away and listed it with a realtor. It was a heartbreaking action for those members who loved the church which was their spiritual sanctuary. The officials left everything behind. They did not save or retrieve a single thing.
Recently, my brother, Steve, was able to retrieve ALL of the churches baptism, marriage and funeral records from 1873 to the day the doors closed. He also retrieved the financial books and the quarterly conference meeting minutes. I have been scanning every non-financial page and will make the PDF’s available to anyone who wants them when I am finished.
You can’t image my excitement as I witnessed kinfolk after kinfolk showing up as elected officers…the backbone of the church. Even grampa and gramma Dayton (Wilber and Jessie) were elected church officials several times.
From time to time in future posts, I will be revealing findings and observations. I even held an elected position once…assistant bell ringer. Hey…it’s in the official records so it must have been a big deal. Let’s face it, the pastor wouldn’t have known when to start, were it not for us bell ringers. Another Dayton ringer alumnus was Roger Dayton. Congratulations Roger.