DFH Volume 1 Issue 8
Last week I asked you to identify the building and tell a story about it. It was the old Corinth Wesleyan Methodist Church located at 292 River St. in Corinth, NY. The church was built around 1900 and was last used in 1968 when it was bulldozed, burnt and buried. For me that church brings back a flood of memories. I attended there from birth (in 1948) until it was destroyed in 1968. I meant to include a photo of the new church too, so most of us could participate. Therefore, next week we’ll do the new church. Let me tell you a few of my memories about the old church.
- My first memory ever in my life was when Rev. Howard Chapman picked me up and deposited me on the hat rack high above the coat rack. I was amazed at how strong he must have been to do that—and—incidentally, how far away from the floor I was!
- When I was about 6, I used to rush to Bob and Cora Flanders before every service. I’d check to see if they had a toy for me from the cereal box. Now as I look back on it, the quantity and variety of toys was such that they must have dumped the cereal into the trash or ate it with every meal. They were elderly and childless and they were an unusually sweet and dignified couple.
- When we were teens, my friends and I sometimes sat behind “Buggy” Bosford, and we counted the number of lice in her hair for entertainment. I can’t even remember her given name because one of us called her “Buggy” and the name stuck.
- Our family faithfully attended prayer meeting on Wednesday evening. We always had a long “season of prayer,” and we always knelt in our pew on the hard oak floor during prayer. That could get kids into all kinds of mischief. When transistor radios came out, they were the perfect size to fit snuggly in a pocket. Jim Elliott and I used to put in an earbud and listen to a New York Mets baseball game during what seemed an interminable time on our knees.
- And who can forget sharing in a summertime march, nearly 100 kids—2×2—singing a rousing “Onward Christian Soldiers” and following the Christian flag into Daily Vacation Bible School under the watchful eye of our pastor’s wife as the trusty Drill Sergeant? It was a really a cool thing that we kids enjoyed.
- My best friend was Jim Elliott. He was the preacher’s kid, and his dad didn’t want him to get into mischief, an ever present danger. So Jim sat on the front pew, left side of the church. We teens usually sat in the back right corner of the church. During one service, Bruce Madison and I had a bad case of a stomach cramps that produced noxious fumes but no accompanying sounds, which are especially disruptive in church. We were somewhat proud of our creation. All of a sudden, the pressure became unbearable, and the attendant noise rang out through the church. Jim Elliott started laughing uncontrollably. His mother kept poking him in the ribs, which only made him laugh harder. I suppose the beautiful moment ended with a hymn.
- My sister Priscilla remembers “bursting through the front doors as soon as the last hymn had been sung, the concluding prayer had been said, and running ecstatically around the church and through the parking lot. Pent-up exuberance!!!”
- But above all else, and in spite of the preceding casual remarks, it’s where I got my spiritual wings. I thank God for the training I got in that little church. All of the wonderful teachers and leaders that helped shape the spiritual man I am today. My parents, Paul and Ruth Dayton, Florence Timpson, Dora Washburn, Jo Dayton, Charles Dayton, Nina Madison, Laura Bolton, Harold Smith. Lela Smith, Madeline Gilbert, Chester Dayton, Elizabeth Dayton, Everett Elliott, Sarabel Elliott and a score more.