Clay Chapel

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Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII






The Epsworth League

   For many years Methodist sought to help her sister denominations bring the world to Christ without any special organization for the training of her young members. It is true that she was abundant in Sunday school work and that she also tried to have the baptized children of the membership instructed by parents and pastor. But the great mass of her youth who were not able to endure “strong meat,” had no other source of church food supply than that furnished by pulpits to the general congregation. The result was that many of the best years for the young to develop Christian character were almost wholly wasted, or best were only poorly used, and the Church was compelled to expend a large amount of energy a little later to save the children of those who were already within her pales.
    At length godly wise men begun to plan and to work that such waste might be stopped. Societies of various kinds for the young people began to grow and ere long it seemed they would become too numerous for the greatest usefulness. Of these there were five which in point of influence and numbers easily distanced all the others, They were the Oxford League, the Young People’s Methodist Episcopal Alliance of the North Ohio Conference, the Young People’s Methodist Alliance, the Christian League and the Methodist Young People’s Union.
    Seeing the need of a single organization for the young people of the denomination, representatives from each of the five societies met, at the call of the Young People’s Methodist Alliance, on Tuesday morning, May 14, 1889, in Cleveland, Ohio. After due deliberation the Epworth League was organized by using the best things from each of the others, about midnight of May 15,1889,
    The growth of this society has been phenomena1. May 16, 1890, it numbered 1,820 chapters; May 15, 1894, 13,500 chapters and 900,000 members; May 15, 1899, 19,500 chapters and 1,350,000 members. These are distributed as follows:

United States 18,941 1,327,895
India 280 10,500
Mexico 15 600
South America 6 200
Italy 8 200
Norway 42 2,100
Sweden 65 2,600
Denmark 15 600
Finland 3 109
China and Japan 118 5,000
Korea 5 100
Hawaii 1 65
Liberia 1 40


   The wave of progress soon reached the excellent young people of Clay Chapel, and on November 6, 1891, Chapter No. 6848 was organized there by the pastor, Rev. Patrick Henry, assisted by Anna Davis Elder, with 31 charter members. The first board of officers was as follows: Miss Rose Riggs, President; Rev. Patrick Henry, First Vice-President Mrs. Joseph Williams, Second Vice-President; Mr. Joseph Williams, Third Vice-President; Miss Manta Cole, Fourth Vice-President Mr. Sidney Root, Treasurer Mrs. Sallie V. Clarke, Secretary.
    It has been one of the most potent factors in the development of the young people and in their training in Christian work. The pastors have found its workers the main dependence for all kinds of church work. While two other leagues have since been organized on the charge, this is the only one remaining today, and it bids fair to be as lasting as any part of the church machinery now in operation here.
    Early in 1896, the writer organized a Junior League, having a membership of about 30 little folks. It prospered for a time, partly under the management of the pastor and that of Mrs. Sallie V. Clarke as its superintendent. But the numerous duties of the latter prevented her from being able longer to carry the added burden, hence it was discontinued and the little people were given a part with the members of the Epworth League. I believe that Miss Bessie Gibbons also had charge of it for a short time.

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