A Brief Record and Historical Survey of 75 Years of Methodism in Woodville.
75 Years of Methodism in Woodville 1876-1951
Message from the President
Various Officials of the Church
To read the records of the past seventy-five years of Methodism in Woodville is to review almost sacred history. One cannot but be deeply impressed by the loyalty to Christ and His Church, or by the sincerity of the people pf those days, who, in spite of primitive conditions, together with hard toil, laid down their tools on Sunday to worship. For them life was full of the Presence of God.
Even the record of minutes of meetings can suddenly come to life revealing the joys of their successes, or heart-searching when the way proved difficult, or their determination that come what may in the end all would be well, for God was with them. The years have vindicated their earnest prayers and faith.
The pattern of Methodism in this district is clearly defined. This is because we are most fortunate to possess almost complete records from 1885 to the present day, and this is a tribute to those early secretaries, especially to Mr. Thomas Moore, secretary of the first Trust until his death in 1888, and to Mr. Joseph Sowry, his successor in that office. Tribute in this way must also be paid to Mr. E. T. Rendle, Mr. Rowe Fennell and others.
During the whole period of its existence the Church has been loyally and faithfully served in all its branches by a band of men and women devoted to the work of God. The Church today is served by loyal officials and members, some of whom are descendants of those early pioneers in the faith. A son of the first resident minister, Mr. S. E. Worboys, has given long years as a Circuit Steward and is still with us in the district. A brief but sincere tribute must be made of the services of many women throughout the years, especially to the wives of the early pioneers, not forgetting several who are still active in all good work, or those who have graced the Parsonage.
The compiler of this brief but totally inadequate survey is indebted to several whose memory can go back the greater distance of these years, and also to a pamphlet written by the late Rev. John Southern, and issued just following the Jubilee in 1926, which contains memoirs of some who have since passed away. Mr. A. L. Olsson kindly read the files of the "Woodville Examiner" which are now at Parliament Building's, Wellington.
We of the present salute the past, but the torch is in our hand. With zeal, courage, and with equal faith we must hand it on brightly burning to those who arc about us and who follow. The best must yet be for Christ and His Church.
April 14th, 1951.
CHARLES B. OLDFIELD.