History of Mount Vernon United Methodist Church

THE FIFTH DECADE (1924-1934)

The fourth decade had raised concerns over the demeanor and responsibilities of ushers, and specific guidelines were established. The fifth decade began with a Cow Committee being established. Yes, a Cow Committee. In 1924 this committee of two was appointed to be responsible for a cow that was the property of the church and had been lent to a needy family. Unfortunately, the cow failed to gtive milk and was sold to a butcher. Another cow was bought and used by two needy families until it was no longer needed. The cow was eventually sold, the proceeds put into a Poor Fund, and the Cow Committee dissolved.

Dr. Samuel Senter was appointed to Mount Vernon to begin the fifth decade. Under his leadership a Boy Scout troop was established and the Missionary Societies were consolidated into one society working through circles.

Dr. Senter was replaced by Rev. Guy Newberry, who came from Park Place in Norfolk. Reverend Newberry's health was not good during his tenure at Mount Vernon, and associate ministers were appointed to alleviate the situation. Mount Vernon found itself paying two salaries in very difficult times. As usual, the church did its duty by paying the salaries and by paying its benevolences in full.

Dr. John B. Winn was appointed to Mount Vernon for a second time and allowed to stay for an unprecedented five years (1926-1931).

Dr. George Wesley Jones succeeded Dr. Winn in 1931. It was he who had the responsibility of leading the church during the extremely difficult economic times.

According to the church minutes, the Mount Vernon choir was recognized as the best in the city. Heretofore, however, they had not worn robes. In 1925 the Board of Stewards agreed that vestments would add dignity to the worship service and improve the morale of the choir at little cost. The vestments were handmade in Danville.

In 1926 some members of the church objected vehemently to a Roman Catholic's singing the choir. Fortunately, the objectors did not prevail, and the singer in question was reported by the Music Committee to be clean, right-living, and moral! Moral behavior was the prerequisite for singing in the choir.

In 1933 the church had pared its budget to slightly over $14,000. Initial pledges were less than $6,000. Again, persons were appointed to head subscriptions. The campaign was successful. Thus, Mount Vernon could send its minister to Annual Conference with its budget "paid in full."

What a legacy we have to follow. Mount Vernon must always be "paid in full"!



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July 2011