Page 20 - History of the United Methodist Church in Rockingham County
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History of Congregations of Winchester District June 12, 2016

4. Harriston UMC (formerly MECS; Weyers Cave)

Harriston UMC is located at 3742
Eastside Highway, Grottoes 24441. Harriston
is part of Harriston-Mt. Bethel Charge. The
2015-16 appointed pastor is I. Cameron “Cam”
Carte (wife, Margaret), a part-time local pastor
in his first year at Harriston UMC: 445 Dexter
Drive, Harrisonburg, VA 22801-4727; H:
(540) 325-2832; Picture
by Karen Sites.

Directions: Take I-81 south to
Grottoes/Weyers Cave Exit 235; go east on Rt.
256 to Rt. 340 at Grottoes; turn south and go
approximately 3 mi; the church is on the right just before the intersection
with Rt. 778.

Historical Sketch.3 In 1894 a lot was surveyed and a deed written
by George Barnhart; and the building was completed by Augustus and
Lemuel McAllister in 1895. Harriston MECS made the eighth church on
Port Republic Charge during 1895-1926. In 1926 Harriston was placed on
the New Hope Charge; and, due to declining attendance, services were
discontinued in 1936. In 1948 a proposal to sell the unused property
aroused the community and, with the help of Rev. Harold Skelton (together
with Mrs. Bessie Cook and others), repairs were made and the doors were reopened. In 1959 Harriston
was detached from New Hope and became a part-time station appointment, during which time the
Sunday School Building was added. Harriston MC was placed on Crimora Charge in 1963.

On Apr. 5, 1967, the church borrowed money to renovate the sanctuary (the note was paid off
Dec. 30, 1974). The first service in the renovated sanctuary with a new organ was July 30, 1967. On
Jan. 1, 1969, Harriston MC Church was renamed Harriston UMC and placed on Grottoes Charge. The
original pump organ was refinished and a new piano was purchased in 1976. Mt. Bethel and Harriston
were placed on a two-point charge in 1985. In Apr. 1990, the congregation split and those remaining;
were served by a lay speaker until Harriston was put on a two-point charge with Annex UMC.

These highlights give a little of our history and also says something about the present. To even
read such a brief history is to see God's continuing faithfulness and the response of dedicated and
faithful disciples of Christ who have passed through these sanctuary doors in the past 100 years. We
dedicate ourselves to the future as we continue to do all in the name of Jesus Christ and for the glory of

Pastors 1895-1995. Our pastors on Port Republic Charge were Quincy A. Wheat (1895-97);
James H. Smith (1897 1901); Alfred L. Harnsberger (1901-05); James L. Henderson (1905-07); G. R.
Mays (1907-08); J. K. Gilbert (1908-09); T. G. Nevitt (1909-10); G. D. Moses (1910-11); Thomas A.
Burch (1911-13); W. D. Eye (1913-15); W. F. Lowance (1915-19); Wendel D. Allen (1919-21); M. L.
Fearnow (1921-22); M. O. Pullin (1922-25); and William A. Clarke (1925-26). On New Hope Charge
our pastors were Benjamin Lee Parrot (1926-27); John Calvin Thrasher (1927-28); Harry Lewis
Coffman (1928-32); Julian E. White (1932-34); George L. Waters (1934-36); and Robert L. Hipes
(1936-46). Closed; reopened 1948. Other New Hope Charge pastors were Harold E. Skelton (1948-53);

3 “A Brief History of Harriston United Methodist Church,” 1995 Annex-Harriston Charge Conference, Oct. 3, 1995

II.A.4 Harriston UMC 8 Volume 5
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