Walton Methodist Church

From a Special Historical Edition of the Walton Advertiser, from February, 1939.  There's no author credited.


The Walton Methodist Church came into existence in the year 1879.  It was organized under the ministry of Reverend W. W. Spates.  There were eight charter members, namely,: Mr. W. Ran Rouse, Mr. And Mrs. A. M. Rouse, Mr. And Mrs. Cyrus Coffman and Mr. And Mrs. Frank Harmon, and one other member of the Harmon family.
Services were originally held in the public school building for a few months, or the year 1879 in the Baptist Church, and finally in the Christian Church until the congregation created its own house of worship, known as "Walls Chapel," in the year of 1886 under the ministry of Rev. B. F. Bristow.  The lot on which this building was erected is situated just north of the present [i.e. old] high school building in Walton, and was donated to the congregation by Mr. John Wall Murphy and by his wife, Mrs. Anna E. Murphy of Marion County, Ind.  The purpose of this donation was that a suitable memorial might be erected to the memory of Rev. and Mrs. John Walls of Cincinnati, Ohio, both of whom, however, were then deceased and buried in the Wesleyan Cemetery at Cumminsville; hence the name "Walls Chapel was given to this first house of worship.  The deed to this lot was executed on January 28th, 1884.  A. M. Rouse, W. R. Rouse, and Frank Harmon were then the Trustees of the church.

The building was dedicated on June 6, 1886 by Rev. W. F. Taylor, then pastor of Scott Street Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Covington, Ky.  This same minister also assisted the pastor, Rev. B. F. Bristow, in a revival meeting conducted in the new house of worship.  Forty to fifty new members were added to the congregation at that time.

The pastors before the erection of the first house of worship were W. W. Spates; organizer in 1879, E. F. Gosling, Chum Overstreet, H. C. Wright, and Stamper Walker.

The present house of worship, located on South Main Street, was built under the ministry of Rev. John H. Lewis in 1922-30.  It is a beautiful, modern, and adequate brick structure with ample facilities for worship, Church School work, recreation, and for the work of the various organizations of the church.  It is a credit to the community.  The members of the building committee were Rev. J. H. Lewis, Horace Simpson, Mrs. Hattie Metcalfe, Mrs. Pearl Johnson, and C. T. Hall.

An art bronze name plate has recently been placed over the entrance doors to the Sanctuary with the inscription "Walls Chapel 1886-1930" to preserve the original memorial to the Reverend John Walls and wife and the number of years (44) of the use of the "Walls Chapel" by the congregation.  With this larger and finer, and more durable edifice, the present memorial is adjudged to be or more value than the original one.

While this house of worship has been in use by the church since 1930, it was not cleared of indebtedness until 1937 during the ministry of the present pastor, R. R. Rose.  In 1936-37 the wall of the building were [sic] treated against moisture seepage from without.  The interior was beautifully decorated, the acoustics of the sanctuary were corrected by the installation of a carpet, a coal bin was built, a Hammond Electric-organ purchased as well as 104 new Methodist Hymnals, and other things were done.  In the meantime the remaining indebtedness of $2,200.00 on the original construction of the church plant was raised completely and it was dedicated on August 8, 1937 by R./ R. Rose, assisted by J. H. Lewis, D. E. Bedinger, John E. Roberts.

The total cost of this property was approximately $26,500 besides the organ, which cost $1,335.00, making a total cost of $27,835.00.  In addition to this splendid house of worship the congregation also owns an adequate parsonage located on North Main Street and recently equipped with modern conveniences.  IT is valued at $4,000.00; legal steps were taken recently to clear the title to the original church building lot on which "Walls Chapel" was situated.  This lot is valued at $1,000.  The total property value of the Walton Methodist Church is, therefore, approximately $32,835.00.

The membership of the congregation has increased from eight charter members to 118 at the present time.

Pastors who have served the church after the time "Walls Chapel" was built and dedicated are: J. N. Current, E. G. B. Mann, Oscar Duvall (died while here - a brother-in-law by the name of Prior filled the unexpired term), Cooper, P. H. Hoffman, W. F. Rowland, J. W. Cates, E. E. Holmes, H. R. Mills, F. S. Pollitt, Edward Allen, O. M. Humphrey, J. B. Harris, Will B. Campbell, H. C. Martin, R. B. Baird, C. J. Nugent, D. E. Bedinger, W. B. Garriott, G. W. Hoggman, H. W. Whitaker, Wade H. Caldwell, C. H. Rule, T. J. Roberts, John H. Lewis, G. B. Trayner, E. L. Ockerman, and R. R. Rose, now serving his fourth year.

The present officials of the church are: Trustees: T. C. Hall, B. H. Franks, Horace Simpson, Bruce Wallace, C. O. Carlisle, Mr. and Mrs. Gover Young (Mrs. Young is church treasurer), G. K. Gregory, and Miss Lovenna Edwards, a former treasurer of the church.  Emma Jane Miller is President of the Board of Christian Education., Clifford Pruett is superintendent of the Church School, Mrs. W. O. Rouse is President of the Ladies Aid Society.  Mrs. Lulu Hudson is chairman of the Missionary Committee in the Church.  Mrs. F. E. Bedinger is leader of the the choir and Mrs. Bruce Wallace is President of Young Comers Missionary Society and Mrs. J. B. Johnson is organist.  Two retired ministers of the Kentucky Annual Conference also live in Walton and are members of the Quarterly Conference, namely, D. E. Bedinger and John E. Roberts superannuate.

At the present time the official name of this church is "Methodist Episcopal Church, South," in Walton, Ky., of course.  Next spring, however, this will be changed to simply "The Methodist Church," since three Methodist denominations of the country have already officially voted to unite and the merger will be completed at Kansas City, Mo., in a General Conference which goes in session there on April 28, 1939.  The three denominations which are uniting are the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Protestant Church.  When this merger is completed it will be the largest Protestant body of Christian people in the United States, with a membership of 8,000,000 and with a constituency much larger.