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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Zion, Part 4

[This is the final installment of a history of Zion Methodist Church. Here are the links to the previous articles in this series: Zion, Part 1, Zion, Part 2 and Zion, Part 3.]

Zion's collection plates

     In 1960, concrete walks were laid in front of the church. A new pulpit Bible was given by the MYF; a baptismal bowl was donated by Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Lovell and their son, Michael; collection plates were purchased by Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Pendleton and their son, Bobby; and linen cloths were purchased for the communion table by the WSCS. In addition, a new piano and organ were bought for the sanctuary.
     After Reverend Haynes left the charge in 1962, he was replaced by Reverend Robert J. Donnelly, who remained until 1965. When Reverend William "Bill" Carter began his ministry in 1966, he brought a new energy to the church. He is well remembered for his musical gifts and fine singing voice. Many of Zion's children received musical instruction from Reverend Carter and the church's organist, Anne Vojnovich. After he left Zion, Bill Carter taught at Spotsylvania High School and began a long career in education.

     In 1972, during the ministry of Reverend Lewis Minter, ground was at last broken for the new educational building. The first shovel of earth was turned over by Zion's oldest member at the time, Annie Jett. The construction of the building was made possible by the generosity of member Susie Swift and the dedication of Lynwood "Slim" Landrum, as well as the hard work of many volunteers. The new facility was named the Swift-Landrum building. At long last, Zion now had a kitchen, classrooms and bathrooms.
(Leota Pendleton)

(Leota Pendleton)

     Reverend Barry Minnick served 1973-1977. New hymnals were bought for the church. Reverend Minnick wrote a brief history of the church, a copy of which is in the library of the Spotsylvania County Museum.

Reverend Barry Minnick and family (Leota Pendleton)

New hymnals for Zion, 1974 (Leota Pendleton)


     Significant changes occurred during the years when the popular Reverend Wesley Astin was pastor. Reverend Astin, who served 1979-1982, became Zion's first full-time pastor when the church went station in 1982. That same year, a new parsonage was built; Reverend Astin and his family were the first to live in it.

     Reverend Beth Marie Barnett (1982-1986) was Zion's first female pastor. In 1984, the church celebrated the 125th year of its building with an all day service. Some attendees came dressed in period clothing.
     Zion's land holdings grew for the first time in many years during the ministry of Reverend John R. Esaias, Jr., (1988-1996) a retired Navy chaplain who had served during World War II. The Virginia Conference gave Zion $3,200 to help buy 1.12 acres of the Fairchild property adjoining the rear of the church's lot. In addition, the tireless Flaura Jett raised the remarkable sum of $4,100 for the church building fund by crocheting and selling Easter baskets. Reverend Esaias and his wife journeyed to England to witness the enthronement of Reverend George Carey as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

(Leota Pendleton)

     Member John Young helped to coordinate the events that were organized for the weekend of May 28-29, 1994 to commemorate Zion's history during the events that took place in May 1864.

(Leota Pendleton)

(Leota Pendleton)

(Leota Pendleton)

     Copper gutters and downspouts were installed in 1984:

(Leota Pendleton)

     On September 24, 1995 ground was broken to build a new fellowship hall, which became a part of the Swift-Landrum building. The dedication of the new addition took place on Homecoming Day, October 13, 1996. On that same day, member Bob Weeks donated a piano to the church in honor of his mother, Maureen.
     The following year, Bob Weeks and member Justin Williams announced their intention to be candidates for the ordained ministry. In June 1998. Bob Weeks received his first appointment as a full time pastor to a charge in the Farmville District. In June 2000, Justin Williams was also appointed as a pastor to the Farmville District.
     In February 1998, the Administrative Council voted to become part of the Civil War Trail Tour:

(Leota Pendleton)

     When Reverend Barbara Jacobs began her thirteen-year ministry in 2002, she would become Zion's longest serving pastor.

(Leota Pendleton)

Barbara and Alan Jacobs (Leota Pendleton)

(Leota Pendleton)

     Here are a few of the many highlights of Reverend Jacobs's years at Zion:

- In 2004, Reverend Jacobs and three of Zion's members--George Applin, Bodie Williams and Diane Williams--formed a team to travel to Honduras on a medical mission in conjunction with other members of the Barnabas Committee to treat sick children. Their mission to Honduras took place June 18-28, 2004.

- In 2007, a new choir was formed. In April of that year, Reverend Jacobs led a group to Kentucky to work with the Native American Red Bird Mission. In July, Zion held a grand opening of the food pantry to serve the community.

- In 2009, the church spent $4,600 to repair the weather-damaged windows and doors of the sanctuary.

- in 2012, special-needs access to the sanctuary was installed at a cost of $6,000 and was consecrated on September 16.

- On January 14, 2013 Reverend Jacobs offered the invocation at the noon session of the General Assembly.

     When Reverend Jacobs left Zion in 2015, she shared these parting remarks with the congregation:

"A Final Note From the Pastor

     Words are somehow inadequate to capture the reflections of thirteen years of ministry we have shared. I count it a blessing in my life that I was appointed to be your pastor in 2002. It has been my privilege to journey with you during life's greatest joys and deepest sorrow--yours and mine. Now, I prepare for continued service in another calling--grandparenthood!
     Still, I leave your pastoral service in June knowing that there have been some milestones during our shared ministry: expanding the parking lot, refurbishing the cemetery, welcoming Bishop Charlene Kammerer to be our Homecoming preacher, renovating the kitchen, relocating and renovating the playground, building the sound booth, initiating and videotaping of worship services, restoring the sanctuary, chartering Cub Scout Pack 375, implementing the Food Pantry and creating the Community Garden. However, I am more pleased to have shared in visiting folks at home, hospitals and nursing homes, confirming several of our youth, celebrating Holy Communion, baptizing babies and adults, receiving new members into our fellowship, conducting weddings, and sharing in services of death and resurrection for the saints who have gone on to the church eternal. I am glad to have had the opportunity to teach all ages, preach hundreds of sermons, bless beloved pets, hold numerous babies, clasp many frail hands, and act silly for silly sake. I am thankful to have shared in missions--FredCamp, ZionCamp, Red Bird, and a medical mission to Honduras. I have enjoyed each Christmas Parade, Courthouse Luminaria, VBS/Children's Summer Camp, Son's Fun Club, Stars and Stripes Spectacular, and every opportunity to wear my hoop skirt as we participated in county-wide and National Park Service War re-enacted activities involving Zion. 
     Now, I leave you a charge--to build upon the vitality and efforts that we began one year ago. Strive to reach out and meet new people with the ultimate goal of sharing the love of Christ with others. Expand the opportunities to bring Zion into the community such as we did with Bible Study at Butternut and Blue, Easter Sunrise Service and the Living Nativity at the Pavilion. Let our neighbors here in the Courthouse area know who you are--children of God called to be disciples of Jesus Christ whose purpose it is to share the good news. You will see results!
     Being part of this church has meant being part of a family--gathering together at table (eating food prepared by the best cooks in Spotsylvania!), evaluating our efforts, sharing Zion's good name in our community, and planning for the future. Although my pastoral responsibilities will end in June, abiding love and affection for the Zion Church family will continue. Thank you so much for having made Alan, Robin, Elianna, Bill and me a part of your family. May God continue to guide you and bring manifold blessings upon your missions, ministries and witness."

     Zion welcomed its current pastor in July 2015:

     "Pastor Kimberly Barker-Brugman joined us this summer as our Pastor. Her first service was on July 7th. Pastor Kim is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church (UMC) and is part of the Virginia Annual Conference of the UMC. She is a graduate of the Methodist Theological School in Ohio with a Master in Divinity and a Master in Christian Education (1993). She has served rural and suburban churches in upstate New York and the Virginia Conference. Her husband, Kevin, moved the family to Harrogate, England to serve our country in July 2013. 
     Pastor Kim is a Veriditas Facilitator, a certified spiritual director, and a Stephen Ministry Leader. She took her spiritual direction training through RUAH at Richmond Hill Retreat Center in Richmond, Virginia. 
     Her undergraduate degree is from Ohio Wesleyan University where she took a BA in botany and a minor in zoology. When asked about this change in vocation it seems like a natural step to her as she moved the Creation to the Creator. Both have always been part of her life. She loves nature and often finds God in a quiet time walking through the woods or fields or simply gazing at a garden of flowers or a bird in flight. 
     She loves creating and leading retreats and workshops, serving pulpit ministry and spiritual formation groups. She also does drama sketches of Esther, Mrs. Isaiah, The Bent Over Woman, Women at the well and Susanna. In her spare time she enjoys: knitting, crocheting, reading, photography, hiking, biking, traveling, scrapbooking, and hanging out with the family. 
     'I love that Jesus was a healer. I believe God can heal the world, human beings, humanity, the Church, and people in many ways. I believe in Jesus's message of hope and peace for individuals, churches and the world.'
     We welcome Pastor Kim, her husband, Kevin, sons Jason and Jonathan, and Buddy, the clergy canine."
     One of the challenges facing Pastor Kim and the church was finding a permanent fix for the building's 157-year-old windows. Despite the money spent for their repair several years previously, by 2016 the required additional attention. A window repair company based in the Shenandoah valley removed the sashes and took them to their facility (in the meantime, plywood was installed over the window openings). The glass was removed from the sashes during their restoration and then replaced in the muntins. After the refurbished windows were reinstalled, a sheet of plexiglass was installed over each one to protect it from the elements. The repair of the windows in the sanctuary cost $1600 each and the two in the balcony cost $400 each. Money was raised, and each window was dedicated either to the family that funded a given window, or to someone who had contributed to the overall project, or to two special people recognized by the church--Leota Pendleton and Joyce Fairbanks.
     In the spring of 2018, a decaying oak tree in front of the fellowship hall was removed. While the tree was being taken down, the chainsaw of one of the workmen struck a minie ball that had remained embedded in it since May 1864.

Written by Patrick Sullivan in 2018
Additional research and editing by Dennis Gallahan


"The Journal of Rev. Francis Asbury of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in Three Volumes. Vol. III, From November 8, 1800 to December 7, 1815." New York: Published by N. Bangs and T. Mason for the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1821.

"The Baltimore Century Plant: History of Eutaw Methodist Church and the Relation of Eutaw Church to the Downtown Problem," 1908.

The Letter of Samuel Raymond Beardsley, written at Zion Methodist Church August 7, 1862.

Butts, D. Gregory Claiborne, "From Saddle to City by Buggy, Boat and Railway," 1922.

Cummings, John C. "Your Husband's Noble Self-Sacrifice." North & South Magazine, Volume 7, Number 4, June 2004. 

Dubose, Horace M., D. D., "Francis Asbury: A Biographical Study," Nashville, Tenn: Publishing House of the M. E. Church, South. Smith & Lamar, Agents, 1916. 

Dunkerly, Robert M., Pfanz, Donald C.; and Ruth, David R.; "No Turning Back: A Guide to the Overland Campaign, from Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May 4-June 13, 1864." El Dorado, CA: Savas Beatie, 2014.

Lafferty, John J., "Sketches of the Virginia Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church, South." Richmond, VA: Christian Advocate Office, 1880.

Lafferty, John J., "Sketches and Portraits of the Virginia Conference: Twentieth Century Edition." Richmond, VA: 1901.

"Minutes of the Seventy-Ninth Session of the Virginia Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Held at Norfolk, Virginia Nov. 26-Dec. 4 1873." Edited and Published for the Conference by P. A. Patterson, Norfolk, VA. Printed at the Landmark Book and Job Office, 1874.

"Minutes of the Eighty-Second Session of the Virginia Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Held at Norfolk, Virginia November 15-23, 1876. Edited and Published for the Conference by P. A. Patterson. Richmond, VA: J. W. Fergusson & Son, Printers, 1876. 

The writings and scrapbook of Zion member Leota Pendleton.

Robertson, Jr., James I., "General A. P. Hill: The Story of a Confederate Warrior." New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1997. 

"Tabernacle United Methodist Church History: September 1842-1984."

Tabernacle United Methodist Church, "Timeline of Preachers."

Weeks, Bob, "On the Road to Traveler's Rest: The Story of Zion United Methodist Church of Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia During the 19th Century," 1994.