Berrien County Genealogy Project Presents...

Watervliet First Methodist Church

Submitted by Faye Rouse

Copyright 1998 - 2004, Brenda Sears, Baroda, MI 49101 -- All rights reserved CONTACT


Sunday School Students, 1942, 1944, & 1945

Entries from the Record Book, Undated

Letter to Rev. Minor, Written by Effie Price, 1957

Letter from Howard Baughman, 1957

A Short History, 1979

Administrative Board, 1976

Womens Society of Christian Service

1942 Adult Sunday School Class

Class Name: Esther Circle
Teacher: Dollie Price
Scholars: Mae Knapp, Eura Reed, Julia Robbins, Dessie Kreiger, Susie Gunn, Lillian Curtis, Leavina Albright, Jennie McKein, Mila Austin, Emma Curtis, Lidia Rogers, Ethea Smith, Emma Trader, Anna Baily, Mrs. J. McKoan, Maud Palmer, Hattie Haskell, Pearl Playford, Eva Jennings


1944 Adult Sunday School Class

Class Name: Big Brothers
Teacher: Elbert G. Milham
Scholars: Fred Rottler, Charles, Bailer, Bert Robbins, Pliney Heller, Oliver Fellows, Claude Johnson, O. D. Price, Charles Jennings, Benjamin Bergman.

1944 Adult Sunday School Class

Class Name: Esther Circle
Teacher: Dolly Price
Scholars: Hattie Haskell, Eva Jennings, Mrs. Faram, Liva Howard, Mae Knapp, Eura Reed, Mrs. La Plante, Dissie Krieger, Lydia Rogers, Julia Robins, Emma Treder, Mrs. Hartmann, Susie Gunn, Emma Curtis, Lillian Curtis, Alice Silter, Mrs. Swan, Mrs. Beasley, Edith McKean.


1944 Young Adults Sunday School Class

Class Name: Loyal Daughters
Teacher: Mrs. Milham
Scholars: Joanne Robbins, Betty Lou Robbins, Mayfair Jensen, Peggy Burnsworth, Dorcus Kuhlman, Zabel Baugh, Glenn Ellen Wilhams, Mary Ann Elsner, Beverly Owens, Dorothy Wingler, Joyce Marvin, Maxine Anderson


1944 Adult Sunday School Class

Class Name: Kings Daughter
Teacher: Mrs. Patterson
Scholars: Darleen Bailey, Alice Bronson, Helen Clinard, Leona Clinard, Ruby Clinard, Mable Disbrow, Ann Hartmann, Alice Muth, Frances Sinclaire, Marjorie Snits, Betty Wurn

1945 Adult Sunday School Class

Class Name: Kings Daughters
Teacher: Mrs. Donavan
Scholars: Francis Sinclair, Betty Wurn, Helen Clinard, Leona Clinard, Ruby Clinard, Alice Muth, Mable Disbrow, Cleora Day.

1945 Adult Sunday School Class

Name: Kings Daughter
Teacher: Mrs. Donovan
Scholars: Sharon Castle, Helen Clinard, Leona Clinard, Ruby Clinard, Cleara Day, Mabel Disbrow, J. Foster, Modell Foster, Dora Mast, Alcie Muth, Virginia Sadler, Francis Sinclaire, Betty Wurn

Entries from the Record Book, Undated

These are notes in the old Church Record Book, which appears to be notes someone wrote about members of the church. On the back of page 3, I found this note and it might help determine out who made the entries in this book.

"My Father & Mother hard workers.
Mr. & Mrs. C. R. Curtis, they with Curtis Price entertained the Minister from Coloma when he made his call in Watervliet. Sounday School Supt. some 20 years.

Elders and other devout members as follows:
Mr. & Mrs. Brooks, Paw Paw Ave.
Mrs. Lewis Clair's mother always prayed for "my boys."
Mr. & Mrs. Van Natter, son killed WWI.
Mr. & Mrs. Curtis Price family always prasing God.
Clauser family---fine christians.
Will Crawford-bachelor is organist here and at Crystal Springs.
Miss Settie Sargent from the East, maiden is a great teacher.
Mr. & Mrs. Will Fisher-fine teacher and adult worker.
Aunt Abbie Soules lived where 5 & dime store stands.
Mr. & Mrs. Ira Leonard---fine christians.
Pearl Playfords mother her father died.
Mr. & Mrs. Emerson-son Willis fine teacher, daughter Belle-educated pianist.
Mr. & Mrs. Sebastion Smith & family ---workers---parents of Florence.
Miss. Adah Terry, worker, was to have married a fine christian young man--Warner Randall who died here a member of her S.S. class.
Fletcher Soule & wife--parents of Lucile Hackett.
Mr. & Mrs. Mead Becraft & unusual family.
Mr. & Mrs. Allen--home where Boston Store stands, their store the brick building across the street.
Mr. Allen was converted at Crystal Springs. After camp he took all of the tobaccoes plug, pipes, snuff, cigar etc and built a hugh bon fire in the middle of Main Street in front of his store, lit it and as it burned, he sang & praised God for cleansing.
One Sunday after that Everette Clauser- other young people & myself went bycicling after S. School instead of staying to the Elders prayer meeting. The next Sunday Uncle Curt Price, in his prayer at Sunday School asked God to forgive our young people for riding those wheels to hell. We knew our place after that.
Mr. & Mrs. Oscar Terry-wealthy people--East of town---Parents of Mrs. S. C. Price,
Mrs. Clausen, Adah Terry, Mrs. Myrick, Mrs. Horne of St. Joe. and others.
Rev. I. B. Tallman came from Toronto, Canada to Niles District. He had quiet a family. He was much loved. Sebastian Smith deeded him some acerage at Paw Paw Lake--facing the lake & the main highway. The people of the district gave him the lumber and building materials and the men built him the lovely home on the lake. Its now a Boys Home, having been enlarged.
Mr. & Mrs. Hill, parents of Myvete (?) Brown were members.
Mr. & Mrs. Allen Buried in Florida
Mrs. Horne in St. Joe. all others and children buried here.

Letter to Rev. Minor, Written by Effie Price 1957

March 8, 1957

My Dear Mr. Minor:
Today I received a letter from my sister-in-law Mrs. Orrin Price in which I was asked to write to her some data concerning dates of my work in South America. Also any that I could remember regarding Mr. & Mrs. Burr Baughman's in India.
Now I trust there has been no unpleasantness about the article in the Advocate which made no mention of the Baughmans or me. My first reaction as I read it was "faulty records", my second, "O, the church is to support Miss. S. ___ and have her its responsiblity." However, I secretly hoped Burr Baughmans brother, Mr. Howard Baughmann, 108 Risk, St. Plant City, Fla, a subscriber to the Watervliet Record would never hear about some of the articles I had read for I feared he would not interpret as I did.
I'm sorry I cannot be accurate about dates for Burr and Mabel Baughmann. Perhaps Howard could. I know at least a part of their work was on the Island of Penang, some in India itself and I believe some in the Pen. of Malay. They went out under the Foreign Mission Board of the Methodist Church and served several years. At least a part of their time in the field was under Bishop William Oldham and Burr was a District Supt. under Bishop O. (While) I was in Uraguay many years later I also was under Bishop Oldham and he spoke most highly of Burr's work as a D.S.) Burr contracted H.B (?) and had to bring Mabel and their four children Dorothy, Burr, Paul and John back to the W.S.A. for a short time they were with Burr's parents in Florida and in M.D thought the climate in Hendersonville, N. C. would be a better place for Burr so the family left Florida and went to Hendersonville where Burr died very soon after their arrival. Mabel reported that their reception in that city by the member of our Methodist church there and by members of the Masonic Lodge were so cordial friendly she was willing to have Burr's burial there. That was, I'm rather certain in 1920 and Mabel and Children made their home there where Mabel taught in the public schools and put the four childrenall through colleges. Their son Burr Jr. returned to the foreign field 25 years after his parents had first gone into that work and is now on some field in the Orient. He returned on furlough to the W. S and was with his mother Mabel at the time of her death in 1953. She was taken to Hendersonville for burial. Burr Jr. was a Jampeness prisoner for 3 and half years. He and his wife are both missionaries now. I do not know in what denomination.
As for myself I went to Monterideo, Uruguay under the Foreign Missions Board, Leaving Watervliet in Jan. 1922. I went as a contract teacher for a term of 3 years .
Effie Price

Letter from Howard Baughman, 1957

The answer to the subject in this letter comes at the end. Pearl Playford for some reason had written to Howard Baughman asking questions about his brother Burr Baughman and this was his answer back to her. Faye

Plant City, Fla. March 4, 1957

"Burr graduated from Watervliet high school in 1905; went to Albion College that fall. He and two other boys came home that Christmas and held revival services in his and your Methodist Church----mine too. At the completion of his second year at Albion he and Mabel Hastings were married and they left about Aug. 1st for Singapore as missionaries for the church but were not taken care of by the Watervliet Church. They went out under the Methodist Mission Board.
"They came back after six years and went to the Northwestern University, where they went to school until March of 1916 when they asked him to go back before he had completed his second year of schooling. He went---was given his B.A. degree as well as his Master degree, and of all things, a Phi Beta Kappa pin ----he sure was smart. He stayed on the Malay, Penn. (Singapore, Penong, Quala, Lumpore and Batavia, Java. While there in his work he established over 50 schools and churches.
"From overwork he contracted flu and came back to the U.S. in 1919 and died of TB at Hendersonville, N.C., Oct. 5, 1920, aged 33. He is buried there, as is Mabel, who died of heart disease in 1954. I vuried my father and mother in the same lot so they would be all together.
"They had four children: Burr Jr. who went to Duke, then Northwestern and went out as a Methodist Missionery in 1934, first in Singapore, then Penong and Quala Lamphur. During the last war he was in Penong. The Japanese put him in prison in Singapore for 3 and half years. In your Methodist paper was an article about him at the time. They released him from prison after the war. He went in weighing about 170 lbs. and came out weighing 80 pounds.
"He married a Chinese girl before he came back. She and Burr Jr.'s sister (Dorothey), went to school together in Singapore. Her name is Tek Lin. She is now a full accredited missionary with him. They are stationed at Kapit Sorawak, Borneo (their address) and have been since 1947. They are working on the Dyaks.
"Dorothy, a daughter is married to H. B. Green, 810 S. Dakota Ave., Tampa, Florida. They own a large apartment house. Paul, a son , is manager of the Carnation plant at Nampa, Idaho. John a son is head of a school for backward children at Charlotte, N. C.
"Mabel, Burr, Jr. and Paul all went to N. W. and got their B.A. degree the same years. John got his Master degree from Chicago University. Oh, yes, Dorothy got hers from N.C. college for women.
"There Pearl, you have your questions answered, I hope. If I can help any more please let me know.
"Oh, yes. Alice (my wife) and I were in the Pan American office in London Two years ago getting our return tickets arranged. I looked over to a Chinese man with a Rotary button on and I said "where from" ? and he said Penong. I said I had a brother and a nephew there at one time. He asked what was their names and I said Baughman and he knew Burr, Jr., his wife, Mabel and all said the Baughman name in Penong was a very good one and even a missionary athletic building was named after them.
"All the good things in the world to you. Might see you up there this summer."

Howard Baughman

Watervliet First United Methodist Church

A Short History

The following Short History of the Church appeared in a bulliten in 1979, author unknown.

The Church was first organized as a class under the leadership of James Redding in 1846. The present and only church building was built in 1869. Since that date there has been some extensive changes made to the building. In 1905, an entrance, belfry and class room were added on to the west end of the bilding, these remain today. In 1915, the basement of the church was dug and arranged to be used for class rooms. A fire in 1940 caused extensive damage to the basement and made it necessary to redecorate the entire building. In 1951, a chapel was added on to the north end of the guilding and another class room on the east end. During this past year more work has been done. The old bell tower was enclosed and thespire taken down, aluminun siding was put on the outside,and the United Methodist emblem of the cross and Flame was mounted on the tower above the main doors. In addition to this new main doors have been installed, the front steps refinished and a new spire and cross has been erected on the site of the old spire. New hand railing is yet to be installed on the front steps. Also new srubs and trees have been planted around the building.

1976 Administrative Board

First United Methodist Church

PASTOR: Joseph Wood
LAY LEADER: William Rogers
Lay Member to Annual Conference: Fred Hamlin
President UMW : Naomi Melton-Kathy Harbin
Treasurer: Lou Eckoff
Financial Secretary Alice Hawks
Council on Ministries: Fred Hamlin
Pastor-Parish Relations Com.: Florence Rogal
Ecumenical Lois Day
Education Duane Woodard
Evangelism Helga Volkman
Missions Elizabeth Hartman
Social Concerns Vera Aspengren
Stewardship Thyra Jennings
Worship Joan Hamlin
Children Gertrude Vonderheid
Youth Mary Jane Ezell
Adult Thyra Jennings
Family Wanda McLain
Membership Sect. Beverly Lawton
Nominations & Personnel Wanda McLain
Health & Welfare Betty Kean.
Members at Large:Youth (12-18) Rick Hamlin
Marjorie Lawton
Kathleen Lawton
Young Adult (19-30) Sue Gregg, Sue Stewart, Gary Tingue
Others: Gordon Austin, Blanchard Davis, Carl Day, Marian Flagel, Alice Gordon, Joan Hamlin, Arthur Hawks, Chester Kniebee, Neva Kniebes, George Lawton, William Loshbough, Doris Oppenneer, Doris Reinhardt, Madalene Rose, Leona Russell, William Russel, Rene Spencer, Ed Zepik, Pam Zepik

Womens Society of Christian Service

Organized Sept. 10, 1940 by Rev. and Mrs. T. O. Lee.
Charter Members:
Mrs. Rev. T. O. Lee
Mrs. Hattie Haskell
Evaline Jennings
Gladys Anderson
Theo Fizzell
Julia Robins
Mable Eckoff
Mae Knapp
Ada Havebin
Donna Milham
Pearl Playford
Dollie Price
Ada Newton
Dora Disbrow
Clara Woodard
Lucille Harper
Emma Curtis
Lovina Albright
Virginia Sopp
Kathryn Robbins
Susie Gunn
Ailene Yates
Vera Aspengren
Lydia Rogers
Dessie Kreiger
Lois Doolittle
Anna Hunt
Marvel Gunn
Maud Palmer
Martha Bruele
Rhea McNeal

Caroline Leverton
Lena Howard
Lillie Brevard
Olive Russell
Ethel Smith
Jennie McKeane
Lois Peterson
Mrs. Ira Leonard
Edith McKean
Grace Collins
Gladis Wurn
Winifred Harper
Grace Howard
Elizabeth Hartman
Emma Smith
Leona Rogers