The world famous melody, Darling Nellie Grey, was written by a U. B. boy, Ben Hanby, while a student at Otterbein
Francis Scott Key learned the rudiments of music in a U. B. Sunday School taught by a U. B. teacher of Keysville,
Bishop Otterbein assisted at the ordination of Francis Asbury, first M. E. Bishop in America, December 27, 1784.
The U. B. Church is the first in our country to be known as an "American Born Church."
These and many other facts of the church in general are of some importance to the members of the U. B. Church.
The church has been often called, "The Bulwark of Civilization," and there is hardly a person living today who will
dispute this fact. Weller's Church of Mechanicstown has been just such a bulwark. From the pulpit of Weller's Church the gospel of Jesus
Christ has been proclaimed to the community for over one hundred and thirty-eight years. During this time the church has grown from a mere
handful to over three hundred and twenty-five members. History alone cannot tell of the many sacrifices made down through the years by those
who have been prompted by the love of God to give their all to Him in service.
The history and development of Weller's Church is closely related to the history and development of Mechanicstown. The
church takes its name from the Weller family who were the original settlers. The Wellers had three sons, Jacob, Joseph and John. Jacob Weller
also had a son named Jacob and it was Jacob Weller, Jr., who was the moving spirit in the erection of the Thurmont church. He donated the
ground for the church and cemetery and was the first person to be buried in this holy place. In signing the preamble of the original church
constitution in 1830, the letters "B.S." were written after his name. The abbreviation stood for "Black Smith."
The corner-stone of Weller's Church was laid in October 1830 and the building was dedicated on December 11, 1831. It
is certain that the organization dates back several years before this time. The likelihood is that services were held in the Weller home on
West Main Street. Several historians have recorded that prior to the erection of the church, services were held in private homes and in a
school house. Weller's Church was the first church to be built within the community and it has the unique distinction of being one of the
oldest in the denomination.
Below appears a copy of the original preamble of the church constitution and the five persons who signed it were the
original trustees of the church.
"Whereas, we whose names are underwritten, do think and believe it our duty to our God, our posterity, and our
fellow citizens, to build and establish a house of worship in Mechanics-town, Maryland, for the use and purpose of the United Brethren in
Christ, and also guaranteeing privileges to ministers of other persuasions whose piety and purity of doctrine shall commend them to the
trustees, if there be no appointment previous to the application. Likewise there will be the privilege of burying at the meeting house for
all subscribers and successors. Moreover, this meeting house shall forthwith be known by the appelation of "Weller's Church" in the name of
God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Praying that the Lord may here record his name, and consecrate this building unto himself, sanctifying
the worshippers here and elsewhere unto Himself, in time and eternity, through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
Jacob Weller, B.S.
Dr. C. I. B. Brane, states in his history of the church that the Weller brothers had been converted under the
preaching of Otterbein and his co-laborers. This was sometime between 1760 and 1765, when Otterbein was pastor in Frederick. We are rather
certain that from this time on there were services held under the leadership of the Wellers who "could pray and preach the gospel and win
souls as well as they could make matches, axes, mill-stones, and augurs."
The original church, erected in October 1830, is the same building that is being used today, having been enlarged and
improved several times.
The first improvement or renovation was around 1880 during the pastorate of the Reverend J. D. Freed. These were
general improvements to the entire structure, the amount and extent of which is not known. The Board of Trustees at this time were J. W.
Baltzell, Washington H. Ward, Jacob Wastler and Henry L. Moster.
It was in 1915, during the pastorate of Dr. Paul E. Holdcraft, that an addition to the church was added. The church
was extended twenty feet to the front and a tower added to one side. The front of the church was changed, having but a single entrance by way
of the vestibule in the tower. Memorial windows were added and general improvements made throughout the building. The cost of these
renovations was around $4,000, and the architect was C. I. Creeger. The building committee consisted of the trustees and the following
additional members: Rev. W. L. Martin, J. W. Mack-ley, Frank Albaugh, W. O. Wertenbaker, E. F. Stottlemyer, J. J. Shindledecker, W. H. Cover,
Frank Eyler, Henry Hetterly, J. W. Kelbaugh, Harry Hetterly, Ross Eigenbrode and others.
In 1929 during the pastorate of Rev. Harry E. Krone, the basement was excavated and this provided additional space for
the rapidly growing Sunday School. The committee in charge of this improvement, which also included a kitchen was: Rev. H. E. Krone, E. F.
Stottlemyer, Harry Hetterly, William H. Cover, J. W. Mackley, J. J. Shindledecker, Frank Kelbaugh, John W. Kelbaugh, John Creeger, William
Ridenour, Roy G. Frushour, Ross Eigenbrode and Robert Watson.
In 1943 the church underwent a few more changes which included the altar, divided chancel and furnishings at a total
cost of $2,200.
By 1955 the Sunday School was again in need of additional facilities and plans were drawn up for an educational
building which would provide more class room space. Also included in the plans were a modern kitchen and the remodeling of the sanctuary.
Two years later in 1957, the educational building was completed and dedicated in February of that year. Rev. Elmer R.
Andrews, pastor of the church reminded the members of the congregation that it was not the erecting of great structures that insured the
future of the church, but the presence of God's spirit. It is an established fact that the members of Weller's Church have been blessed with
His spirit and that because of their devotion to their church and to God, the work of the church has indeed moved forward.
In 1965, a beautiful white spiral was erected on top of the tower and at night is flooded with light. Located at the
top of Altamont Avenue, overlooking the community, this spiral can be
seen for miles around and is a constant reminder that Weller's Church is proud of its rich heritage and has served the
community well for over one hundred and thirty-eight years.
Pastors who have served Weller's Church since 1831 include the
- 1831-1832 John Miller and George Geeting, Jr.
- 1832-1833 W. R. Rhinehart and H. Burtner, John Dorcas and Peter Wetzel
- 1833-1834 John Dorcas and W. R. Coursey
- 1834-1835 John Dorcas and Jacob Bachtell
- 1835-1836 John Kroch and W. R. Coursey
- 1836-1837 W. Knott and J. Tobey
- 1837-1839 G. B. Rimel
- 1839-1840 George Gilbert and G. A. Shuey
- 1840-1841 J. J. Glossbrenner and G. A. Shuey
- 1841-1842 J. J. Glossbrenner
- 1842-1843 J. Bachtel and J. Markwood
- 1843-1845 D. S. Spessard
- 1845-1846 J. Ruebush and J. Gibbons
- 1846-1847 G. B. Rimel
- 1847-1848 G. B. Rimel and J. W. Fulkerson
- 1848-1849 W. R. Coursey and G. W. Statton
- 1849-1850 W. R. Coursey
- 1850-1851 H. B. Winton and W. T. Lower
- 1851-1852 G. W. Statton and L. W. Matthews
- 1852-1853 G. W. Statton and W. T. Lower
- 1853-1854 J. Bachtel and John F. Station
- 1854-1855 J. Ruebush and J. Philips 1855-1857 W. T. Lower
- 1857-1858 I. K. Statton and H. Tallhelm
- 1858-1859 I. K. Statton and Samuel Evers
- 1859-1860 L. W. Matthews and W. A. Jackson
- 1860-1861 L. W. Matthews and T. Bushong
- 1861-1862 Isaiah Baltzell and T. Bushong
- 1862-1865 W. T. Lower and J. W. Grimm
- 1865-1866 C. T. Stearn and J. W. Grimm
- 1866-1867 C. T. Stearn and J. D. Freed
- 1867-1868 J. D. Freed and J. Delpha
- 1868-1869 J. W. Kiracofe and J. W. Grimm
- 1869-1870 H. Tallhelm and J. E. Hott
- 1870-1872 J. K. Nelson
- 1872-1873 J. B. Funk
- 1873-1874 C. M. Hott
- 1874-1876 C. I. B. Brane
- 1876-1877 E. P. Funk
- 1877-1881 J. D. Freed
- 1881-1882 S. K. Wine
- 1882-1884 W. R. Berry
- 1884-1886 W. L. Martin
- 1886-1891 G. J. Roudebush
- 1891-1893 A. N. Horn
- 1893-1895 W. L. Martin
- 1895-1898 E. C. B. Castle
- 1898-1901 W. E. Dougherty
- 1901-1902 W. L. Martin
- 1902-1903 E. H. Free
- 1903-1905 C. T. Jones
- 1905-1909 G. I. Rider
- 1909-1911 C. M. Sparrow
- 1911-1912 W. J. Marks
- 1912-1916 P. E. Holdcraft
- 1916-1918 G. E. Smith
- 1918-1920 F. B. Emenheiser
- 1920-1924 J. I. Green
- 1924-1928 W. F. Kohler
- 1928-1937 H. E. Krone
- 1937-1954 I. G. Naugle
- 1954-1968 E. R. Andrews
- 1968-Raymond Kingsborough