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From: "Wayne Webb" <>
Subject: [BRE] Gospel Messenger Vol. 25, No. 19, p. 299, May 10, 1887
Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 11:19:14 -0500


Morning Fellow List Members,

On the 11th of this month I posted an email to the list concerning several previously unknown of congregations in Randolph county, West Virginia. I now have additional information to share, an item from the May 10, 1887 issue, which will be followed by a short discourse.

"From Over Hill, Upshur Co., W. Va.
I visited the Brethren in Randolph Co., W. Va., March 26, and organized them into a congregation which will be known as the Middle Fork congregation. We installed two deacons, brethren Benjamin F. Saterfield and James Markley. There are, in all, twenty-eight members, and all expressed a willingness to conform to the Bible and the general order of the church in the plainness of dress. The sisters all appeared with the covering, in which so many of our sisters fail. I hope our West Virginia sisters may pattern after the Middle Fork sisters in this. We anointed sister Fox, who is quite old and feeble. She is awaiting patiently the time of the Lord, to remove her. She had been a member of the Disciple church for many years, till lately she joined the Brethren. May God bless and prosper this band of Brethren!

April 9, I visited the Goshen congregation, this county, that was organized last November. I found love and- union prevailing with them; preached five discourses and appointed their love-feast for the evening of July 30, 1887. Those Brethren, as yet, have no church-house and are not likely to have, soon, as all are just beginning in a newly-settled country. Their school-house is too small for holding a love-feast, so the Brethren have decided to build a large shed on Bro. David Sine's farm, to be known as the Brethren's "clapboard tabernacle" under which to hold their love-feast, till the Lord blesses them with something better. We desire for all Brethren that can, to attend their love-feast. It is a new thing to them, none ever seeing the like. They now number thirty-seven members. The voice of one of our preachers was never heard at that place until Bro. Thos. Digman, from Garret Co., Md., visited it last October.

February 11th, I visited a new place in Barbour Co., W. Va. I preached seven discourses, giving them the best I could, the plain truths of the gospel. Then I left them to prove all things. I have several letters to come back. If the Lord will, I will preach for them in the Vance church,-a M. E. church, May 7 and 8. The harvest is truly great but the laborers are few. Pray ye the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers into the field.

There have been a great many baptized in the Brotherhood in the last six months, and, with a proper effort, that number could be doubled. Brethren and sisters, if you would hold up your ministers' hands, ere long you could hear the praise of God all over this broad land, in gospel purity. There are thousands of people to-day, crying for help. They are tired of the things of this world, and waiting to be released. We are getting calls every few days, and filling all we can, till it now takes us eight weeks to get around. We have four churches under our charge and none to help. Brethren, come this way, help us; there can, in this mountainous country, large churches be built up. We hope brethren going to Annual Meeting will see that the missionary cause is pushed forward. DAVID J. MILLER."

As I mentioned in my previous email Mr. Emmert Bittinger in his book "Allegheny Passage" makes mention of the "Becky's Creek" congregation on page 744 of his work. He makes mentions also, on page 677, of the Middle Fork congregation. His research for the book was excellent but we now have additional information on this congregation. We can postively state that it was formed on March 26, 1887. However, we are still left to ponder exactly which one of the preaching points this congregation was as mentioned in the earlier Gospel Messenger newspaper article.

Mr. Bittinger associated a B. F. Saterfield with the Middle Fork church but he states that this individual was a minister by 1874. The article seemingly indicates that we have two B. F. Saterfields-one a minister and one a deacon. Either that or an error was made in stating that B. F. Saterfield was a minister by 1874.

Additional information to be gleaned from this newspaper item is intriguing as well. The "Brethren Encyclopedia" makes mention that the Goshen, West Virginia, congregation was formed sometime before 1918 when it first appeared in the "Yearbook". However, Mr. Bittinger, on page 669 of his work, correctly denotes the year of formation-1887. We can now clearly state that the Goshen congregation was organized on April 9, 1887, with their first church, "a clapboard tabernacle", being built on the farm of one of their deacons, David Sine. The Thomas Digman mentioned in the newspaper article would later be one of the ministers who went with the Dunkard Brethren.

My thanks to Mr. Bittinger for an excellent book-if you do not have a copy of Allegheny Passage in your library I would recommend that you locate a copy.

Wayne Webb
Editor: Brethren Roots



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