By Terry Harpole For the WPT
MABEN — The Webster Cluster of the United Methodist Church met Aug. 21 at Maben Methodist Church.
President John Jones called the meeting to order and the Rev. Scarlet Shepperd, host pastor, opened the meeting with prayer.
Shepperd introduced the program leader for the night, the Rev. Larry Haggard, pastor of Flower Ridge United Methodist Church in Winston County.
Haggard was no stranger to the Maben group, as he and his church members have been visiting and helping in programs for the last few years. He was Shepperd’s pastor before she answered the call to ministry.
Haggard, dressed in the clothes of a circuit rider, spoke to the group about circuit riders of the Methodist church during the 19th century, and about the rough lives they lived and the small pay they received for “really” helping bring civilization to the New World.
Haggard told about President Theodore Roosevelt being a guest speaker for the General Conference of the Methodist Church, where he said, “We owe a debt of gratitude to the Methodist circuit riders for bringing civilization to the New World.”
Dan Burchfield of Eupora told about one of the first churches in the area, being at Choctaw Corner, and about a Methodist circuit rider, last name Lamb, who has relatives in the area and is buried in Lebanon United Methodist Church Cemetery.
After the meeting, a short business meeting was held and reports given by the Rev. Raleigh Richter, secretary; Richard Jones, treasurer; and Terry Ham, youth coordinator of the group.
After the business of the meeting was finished, the group had communion service and was dismissed for the meal prepared by the Maben members. The meal included several items, and pork and chicken cooked by Maben member Heath Ivy, who made a Memphis-style sauce that people were heard saying they wanted the recipe for.
The next cluster meeting will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 18 at St. Stephen United Methodist Church in Maben.