History of the United Methodist Men

In the early 1930s, Rev. Ernest E. Fowler organized the men into a Brotherhood that continued into the 1950s. James McCollister served as president in 1941. The Brotherhood and the Ladies Aid had their meetings on the same night at Clyde Moody's home. The children also went and enjoyed the evening at Clyde's.

In later years Howard Fridley recalled that the Men's meetings were normally held in the church basement. Because Groveport and Lithopolis Methodist Churches did not have a Men's Club, the men from their churches attended Hopewell's meetings. New members were initiated by riding an old mule by the name of Maud.

An annual men's organization project was the annual fish fry. On August 21, 1941, the men purchased 300 pounds of Ocean Perch $72.00 for the fry. The church ladies made home fried potatoes, baked beans and creamed slaw. Harley Rainier was in charge of his famous lemonade. The young people squeezed the lemons. The Ashville Community Band provided entertainment.

Earl Watkins recalled that the Flowers Brothers sang at some of the fish fries. Playing ball and pitching horseshoes also provided entertainment.

The Father and Son Banquet was held for many years but was discontinued in the 1970s. On some years a Father and Son Breakfast replaced the Banquet. On June 19, 1982, the Father and Son Banquet was organized again by Bill Alspach and Jay Moore. The women prepared a meal and speakers were acquired to provide entertainment. Columbus television personality, Jimmy Crum, was the speaker in 1986. Jim Burson, Muskingum basketball coach, spoke in 1997. On June 8, 2003, the players from the National Champion Ohio State University football team were guests. In 2004 the banquet featured Shriner Charles Heine and his Shrine Clown show. June 12, 2005, a Father and Son luncheon was held to honor those who had served in the military. The men toured the Mott's Military Museum and the meal followed. One year the men went to a Columbus Clipper's game instead of having a banquet.

The men did the butchering for the Pancake and Sausage Supper. However the Hopewell trustees decided to discontinue the 50 plus years tradition of butchering on private farms because of liability concerns.

In 2007 the Hopewell Men's Group was restarted to provide scriptural studies and provide service and social activities. Meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. and the men take turns cooking dinner. The men make homemade noodles to sell as a fund raiser. They have been buying flowers to give to the mothers for Mother's Day at the worship service. The men have also done Laundromat ministry and various projects around Children's Hospital.

Submitted by Ruth Eberts, church Historian