New Somerset – The Methodist Church was 2 years old when the Disciple Church was organized in Sept. 19, 1840.
John Jackman organized the Disciple Church of New Somerset Sept. 19, 1840. The Disciple Church’s first members were: John Marshall, Matthias Swickard, G.H. Puntius, D. Oriel Householder, John Billman and their wives, and Hannah Leatherberry, Jeannett McGlue, Mary Householder, and Emily Coffman. She was the wife of George Coffman who owned a tavern called Coffman’s Inn in the Robert Briggs building at the corner of Steubenville and Union Street in 1836. A brick church was built in 1841and has never had a full- time minister. Charles E. Van Vorhis was the first minister. He was paid $37.50 per year. The church members have been called “Campbellites” and in earlier times often called “New Lights” a term ignorantly applied as shown in the following facts.
The Christians and the New Lights show definite differences between them. The New Lights were affected in various ways. Some swooned away and others would lie for hours without movement, while others would roll over and over like a log, sometimes like a wheel. Some would jerk their heads and twitch and others would bark like a dog. The New Lights were organized by a few disgruntled Methodist, Presbyterian, Quaker Ministers and they were fought by other denominations tooth and nail.
The Disciple Church was organized about 25 years later by Rev. Alexander Campbell, a deposed Seceder, who favored church union and had no connection or relationship with the “New Lightism.” Rev. John Snodgrass of Island Creek Ridge fought this growing “tare” as well as Rev. Johannes Stouch of Good Hope at Bowling Green thundered against these “noisy people” while Rev. John Findly of Sugar Grove (Hales Meetinghouse) did not take part or pass judgement on “New Lightism.” (Taken from Robert Schilling, Knox Twp. Historical notes).
Daily Herald Newspaper, Feb. 2, 1816 – LOTS FOR SALE in the town of New Somerset. New Somerset is situate in the midst of a very populous and flourishing settlement – on a beautiful level dry piece of ground & water can be very easily procured by digging; two or three coal banks on quarter section where the town is situated. Also lime stone in abundance as well as timber and stone for building; several grist mills near town and saw mills. The roads leading from town are Lisbon, Steubenville, to Cadiz, Zanesville, one of the most public roads in the state. Attendance will be given on the day of sale by Baltzer Culp.
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