“Easter 1894”

Carroll County Times article for 3 April 1994

by Jay A. Graybeal

A century ago, Carroll Countians gathered in churches to celebrate Easter. The local newspapers carried descriptions of Easter Sunday services and church decorations. The following articles are representative of services held throughout the county:

A grand Easter Entertainment was held last Sunday night in the M.E. Church, under the auspices of the Sabbath School, which proved to be one of the finest events of the kind in New Windsor for sometime. The church was decorated with Easter lilies and potted plants, while on each side of the pulpit a thorn tree stood laden with little tarleton baskets, blue, yellow, green, white and red, and in each basket was an Easter egg for the little ones of the school. The church was well filled. The music was very fine. Mrs. J. T. Smelser presided at the organ, with Mr. Edw. Devilbiss cornetist. A program had been carefully prepared which was as follows: Singing by all, standing, Rock of Ages; prayer, by Rev. T. J. Cross, senior pastor of the church; singing, by the school, Happy Easter Day; recitation, Our lord is Risen, by Master Sterling Geatty; responsive reading, by the school; duet, Lift your Glad Voices, by Mrs. Wm. Eckenrode, and Miss Allie Frounfelter; recitation, Christ is Risen, by Miss Katie Hassett; singling by the school, Jesus Lives; reading, Easter Day, by Miss Florence Englar; Fair Lilies, by 14 Boys and Girls; recitation, The Earth is Keeping Easter, by Master Forrest Otto; Joyful To-Day, by 4 little children, 1st, Christ’s Meekness and patience, by Miss Lamore Bankard, 2nd, His Silence Before His Accusers, by Miss Winnie Wampler, 3rd, The Journey to the Sepulcher, by Miss Edna Snader; singing, by the school, Tell It; reading, by Miss Allie Frounfelter; singing, by the school, Awake; recitation, The Garden of Gethsemane, by Miss Goldie Bloom; The Easter Cross, by 9 children; singing by the school, Christ’s Truimph. The next feature of the program, which was giving out the Easter eggs, was pleasing to the little ones, and all were very happy. This was followed with an address by the Superintendent, Mr. G. P. B. Englar; singing, by All, All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name; benediction by Rev. C. T. Jones, junior pastor. The ushers were: Messrs. Edgar Nusbaum, T. Edward Cross, Howard Englar and Chas. Cross. American Sentinel, March 31, 1894.
The Easter exercises at Manchester Trinity Reformed Church were well attended and much enjoyed. The exercises, interspersed with recitations, &c. were well given. The pastor’s address and the good response to the collection for benevolent purposes all pointed to the interest of the occasion. The pulpit presented much taste in its decorations which consisted of a miniature sepulchre, with its surroundings of beautiful plants and flowers, about which was the declaration, “He is Risen,” in bold crystal letters. The attendance at Emmanuel Lutheran Church was large and regular church exercises were used with the addition of recitations, &c. The most attractive feature of the decorations was the gate of life, of pure white entwined with green. The other decorations, consisting of plants and flowers, were very tasteful and handsome. At the annual election for church officers at Trinity Reformed Church, on Monday last, Messrs. Jno. W. Burns and Lewis B. Lippy were elected elders, and Messrs. H. S. Musselman and Chas. T. Warner deacons. American Sentinel, March 31, 1894.

Services appropriate to Easter were observed in all the churches in Union Bridge on Sunday last. In the Sunday schools also the lesson of the day was the Resurrection of Christ. Below will be found brief descriptions of the services.


St. James Lutheran Church
The church was decorated with potted and cut flowers making a beautiful appearance. In the morning Rev. Hesse, of Pennsylvania, preached a very able sermon on the “Death, burial and resurrection of Christ.” Though the weather was inclement the attendance was good. In the evening the church was again filled to hear the children render an exercise entitled, “The joy and duty of Eastertide,” which was composed of responsive readings, recitations and excellent music. Several fine anthems were sung by the choir. The offerings amounted to $7.00 The exercises closed with the benediction by Rev. Hesse.


St. Paul’s Reformed
In accordance with its custom the Reformed Church held an early morning praise service at 6:30 o’clock. The audience room was beautifully decorated with potted plants and flowers. Preaching service was held at 10:30 a.m., followed by Communion service. The pastor, Rev. M. L. Firor, preached an interesting sermon upon the Resurrection of Christ. Two persons were received by confirmation. At night a special Easter service, entitled “King of Glory,” was held by the Sunday School. The exercises were interspersed with appropriate music, and the pastor made an address and baptized an infant.


Methodist Episcopal
Rev. Savage, the newly-appointed minister, preached an interesting sermon on the Resurrection in the afternoon. The music was appropriate to the occasion. There was no special service in the Sunday School.


Methodist Protestant
The altar place was decorated with beautiful potted plants and flowers. The pastor, Dr. J. J. Murray, preached a fine sermon in the morning from the text, “He is risen.” At night Dr. Murray also preached upon the Resurrection theme. The Christian Endeavor Society held a special Easter service at 6:30 p.m., with a good attendance. The Carroll News, Union Bridge March 31, 1894.

St. Barnabas, Sykesville, was beautifully decorated on Easter, many of the potted plants and flowers being from Governor Brown’s. Four memorials were dedicated. A fine hymn board and two prayer books, also a brass rest for the altar service, dedicated by the Parish guild to the memory of the late Rector, Rev. S. D. Hall, whose memory is precious. On Easter Monday the following vestrymen were elected: Jas. Jones, F. G. Merceron, J. H. Jenkins, John Ware, John R. Richardson, C. L. Hughes, P. Bennett and Dr. C. W. Heffinger, who, with the Rector, J. B. Purcell, constitute the vestry for the ensuing year. Democratic Advocate, March 31, 1894.

Photo caption: New Windsor M. E. Church from a postcard published by J. F. Lambert, c.1900. Collection, Historical Society of Carroll County.