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Historical Information about

Otterbein United Methodist Church


In 1896 young Rev. R. R. Butterwick, formerly a minister at the Mile Run or Malick's Church, suggested a Church be founded in Sunbury to serve the parishioners who were moving there. On May 17th, 1896 a service was held on the second floor of the Good Intent Fire Company, and thus the inception of the First United Brethren in Christ Church in Sunbury.

A notice had been inserted in the local papers announcing the meeting. Rev. Butterwick chose for his text, St. John 12:32, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." A few citizens reading the announcement attended the meeting.

When the first couple, a man and wife, arrived, they saw a young man pacing back and forth through the hall going to the door several times, looking up and down the street until a few more people arrived. The young man then handed out the signing books and the couple soon concluded that this young man was in fact the preacher. The meeting opened with the signing of a hymn.

From this meeting, together with several mergers, evolved the present church, Otterbein United Methodist church, of Sunbury, PA.

The seven original members, who joined the Church were:

Mrs. Sarah Renn

Mrs. H.I. Long

Mr. & Mrs. Albert Miller

Mr. & Mrs. Frank Rabuck

Mr. C.C. Bartholomew


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