The Catawba Methodist Church
One of the 100-year-old churches in Marion County, was founded in 1841 by Jacob Swisher, according to a book written by the Rev. I.A. Barnes. No official record is available. In 1841, the Rev. John Clark was appointed pastor (or superintendant , they were called then) of the Middletown circuit and J. D. Garmow assistant. The circuit then consisted of 15 organized classes and five other preaching places, making in all, 20 appointments. During this year an appointment was established at the home of Jacob Swisher at New Port (now known as Catawba), on the Monongahela River about five miles below Fairmont. In warm weather the minister preached, out-of-doors, standing up-on a large rock near the river bank. Afterward an old school house was used, and in 1848 Rev. Samuel Clawson had a revival . The Swishers, Hauns, Summers, Wilsons and Jolliffs were among the first members at Catawba . The first church was built in 1854 on the same sight of the present church
building. The ground was donated by Jacob Swisher. Because of its crude structure, this building gave way to the present structure in 1892. Rev. D. G. Helmick was pastor when the present church was built. The Swisher, Haun, and Summers families are still represented in the membership of the church. In 1954 a full basement was put under the church to accommodate a furnace and additional Sunday school rooms. Since that date a new heating system has been installed, along with a new roof and an outside paint job. The sanctuary has been completely redecorated. Present pastor of the church is the Rev. Austin Burrough, who resides in a new parsonage at Catawba , erected by churches of the Catawba Charge.
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Updated : June 4, 2005