Main Index, Biographical Index, Surname Index, Chart


History of




Church established in 1819
contributors to the building fund include family surnames of
Dunnuck, Sutton, Gorsuch, Almony, McGaw, Slade, Wiley, King
Highlighting does not identify them as our relative, just notes the surnames.




Donated by Steve Hartman:
This "History of West Liberty Church" was sent to Steve Hartman by Mrs. Jane Leffel following his visit to that church.



  "History of West Liberty Church" by W. Evans Anderson and the 175th Anniversary of the Church 1769-1944  
The first church, a log building with one door and two windows, was erected in the latter part of 1700 and services were held in this building until 1819 when a large brick building was erected. The log church was known as "Meredith's Meeting House." The preacher carried his own Bible and Hymn book and lined out the hymns. It is believed that the building is now a part of the home of Mr. John Brown.

The first church was in existence at least 175 years ago and this is evidenced by the fact that David Gorsuch was born in 1763 and married Rebecca Gorsuch in 1786 and she was born in 1767. The two were consecrated Christians and belonged and attended West Liberty Church when it was know as Meredith's Meeting House. So from this fact the church was in existence for a period as set out above for at least 175 years.

In 1819 the second church was built and on April 29, 1819, John Dunnock deeded a strip of land 16 1/2 feet wide to Thomas Meredith and other trustees of the church. This strip of land led from the church property to a spring at the foot of the hill where the first church stood. It was believed that this spring which supplied the church was the property of the church but a question has arisen as to whether it is on the church property or on the property of G. Elmer Cooper.

On July 30, 1819, Samuel Meredith deeded a tract of land to Thomas Meredith, David Gorsuch, Jacob Rockhold, Edmund Rockhold, David Sampson, Charles Gorsuch and Peter Lesourds as Trustees of West Liberty Church.

This second church was a large brick building with a gallery in the rear for the colored people, many of whom attended the services regularly.

According to gravestones in the cemetery John Dunnock was the first to be buried in the cemetery in 1819 and Micajah Meredith the second in 1822.

There were 182 contributors to the building fund amounting to $1528.82 and the cost of the building amounted to $1528.30 leaving a balance of 52 cents. [contributors listed below]

The church had two entrances, one for the women and the other for the men. Not until in the 1880's were the men and women permitted to sit together. There were rows of pews on either side and a double row in the center, separated by a partition, and two Amen corners. The pulpit was about 4 or 5 feet above the level of the floor, reached by several steps. Heating was by two large stoves, and lighted by kerosene lamps. The janitor provided the minister with a pitcher of water and a glass and during his hour's sermon he drank freely of the water.

Gorsuch Chapel, as a mission of West Liberty, was started in 1860, meeting in a little log house, and in 1862 a neat little brick church was erected at Gorsuch Mills. This church was established for the reason that the distance to West Liberty was too great for the community in and around Gorsuch Mills to walk. On July 27th Rev. J.W. Hedges, then preacher in charge, preached the dedicatory sermon. Rev. Thomas Henderson, a well-known local minister, preached in the afternoon.

The first Sunday School was organized in 1841 and for a number of years only male teachers were permitted to teach, it being thought that women were not competent to instruct youth. One of the by-laws of the West Liberty Sunday School was that a scholar found guilty of swearing or disorderly conduct was immediately expelled. Any one could become a member of the Sunday School by paying the sum of twenty-five cents.

On December 15, 1828, subscriptions for the purpose of purchasing a stove to be placed in the gallery for the colored people [were collected].

Not until 1836 was a record kept of the pastors of the church. Beginning in that year the late Samuel Whitfiled Maryland had such a record and after his death his daughter, Mrs. S. Oscar Almony, has kept the list of pastors up to date.

Up until 1868 West Liberty was in the Shrewsbury Circuit when by action of the General Conference it was separated from that circuit and with other churches was formed the Bently Springs Circuit with the parsonage at that place. Later it changed to the Parkton Circuit and after the merger of the Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Protestant and Southern Methodist Churches it was transferred to the Maryland Line Circuit.

Below are names of the contributors [reorganized in alphabetical order]. The contributions were from $100 made by Samuel Meredith, Sr., to 37 1/2 cents, made by "Almony's Ben," a slave. Most contributions were for five dollars and less but some were notable in their amounts: Susannah Gorsuch, $60; Joseph Dunnick, $70 and Thomas Meredith, $83.25; In connection with the subscriptions the trustees at a meeting found that fifteen dollars which had been subscribed had not been paid and these subscriptions were offered for sale to the highest bidder and was purchased by David Gorsuch for fifteen dollars thus completing the full amount subscribed.

Red are surnames found at this site, purple are signers of John Dunnuck's (1819 will)

Highlighting does not identify them as our relative, just notes the common surnames.

Almony's Ben (slave)
Benjamin Almony
Elijah Almony
James Almony
John Almony

William Almony

David Anderson
Joshua Anderson
Sary Anderson
Henry Beck
Sarah Bell
Edward Bond
George Bond
Elijah Bosley
James Bosley
Joseph Bosley
Nicholas Bosley
Rebecca Bosley
Vincent Bosley
Matthew Briniage
Jacob Brodenbaugh
Elenoria Crayton
H. St. Clair
Peter Clinefelter
Thomas Craig
Robert Craton
James Cwen
Thomas Dailey
Jesse Davis
Hugh Doyle
Samuel Downs
James Duncon
Ellizabeth Dunnick

Joseph Dunnick & Dunnoch (listed twice for two contributions, different spellings)

John Flaharty
Abraham Freeland
William Gammel
Jaret Gardner
Jesse Garret (Jarret)
Jesse Gilbert
Shadrick Gilbert
David Gillis
Charles Gorsuch
David Gorsuch
Elisha Gorsuch
Elizabeth Gorsuch
Joshua Gorsuch
Nicholas Gorsuch
Mary Gorsuch
Rebecca Gorsuch
Stephen Gorsuch
Susannah Gorsuch

Richard Gosnell
John Gwyn
Henry Hammond
Christopher Hall
James Henderson
Joseph Hendrix
Abraham Hicks
Susan Hicks
William Hinds
Joseph Hithcart
William Hithcart
Gabirel Holmes
Nace Hughes
Caleb Hunt
John Hutson
Jesse Jarret (Garret)
Martha Jarret
Thomas Johnson
Joseph Jordon
Steel Jordon
Frederick Kauffman
David Kener
Mary King
Robert Kirkwood
William C. Kirkwood
Jacob Lanes
Joshua Lau
Daniel Lesourd
John Lesourd
Joseph Lesourd
Peter Lesourd
Doctor McDonnol
John McDonnald
Richard McGaw
Ruth McGaw
Thomas McGlaughlin
John McLane
John McQuilla
Edward Matthews
Benedick Medel
Elizabeth Meredith
Joshua Meredith
Mary Meredith
Ruth Meredith
Samuel Meredith, Sr.
Thomas Meredith
Hester Miller
Jacob Miller
John Miller
Joseph Miller, Jr.
Peter Miller
Samuel Miller
Thomas Miller
James Moore
John Nelson of Joseph
Edward Norris
Isaac Norris
vincent Norris
William Norris
Edward Orrick
Alse Pearce
Josias Pearce
Joseph Pearce
Thomas Pearch
William Pearce
Benjamin Payne
John Plowman
Andrew Purkipile
Edmund Rockhold (paid in for himself and others, $106.43)
Eleanor Rockhold
Jacob Rockhold
Susan Rockhold
Charles Robertson
Joshua Rutledge
Shadrack Rutledge
Thomas Rutledge
William Rutledge

William Sampson
Andrew Seitz
George Shaffer
Henry Shane [Shone]
Laub Shane
Joshua Shipley
Nicholas Shaw
Henry W. Shone [Shane]
Andrew Simms
Christoper Slade
Dixon Slade
Ezekiel Slade
John Slade

Josiah Slade

Thomas Slade
Aaron Sparks
Josiah Sparks
Christian Stabler
Jacob Stabler
John Stabler
David Stansbury
William Stansbury
John Sterret
Benjamin Sutton
Henry Sutton
John Sutton
Joseph Sutton
Mordecai Sutton
Thomas Sutton
William Sutton
Susan Tipton
Sarah Turner
David Tyson
Enoch Underwood
John Wadsworth
John Watson
Henry Weirs
Andrew Wiley
David Wiley
John Wiley
Abraham Williams
John Wise
The Old Meeting House (sale of old meeting house for $80.00)
Credit on Offal Lumber ($5.92)