The Turn of the Century (1886-1914)

Note: after spending over a decade as a charge on the Federalsburg Circuit, in 1886 Bethesda became a station church in its own right, with charges of its own in its care. It retained that status for over a century, until the closure of its last satellite church in 1995.

Wilmer Jaggard 1911-1914





C.N. Jones (1909-1910)

Edwin Gardner (1907–1909)

Rev. Edwin Gardner (1867?–1927) served as Bethesda’s minister from April 1907 to April 1909. He was born in Delaware in November 1867 (or 1869) to Rev. Samuel T. (1831-1891) and Louisa Moffitt (1847-1928) Gardner. He had a brother, Frank (1872–1925), and a half-brother, Thomas (1861–1931). Gardner became a candidate for ministry in the Wilmington Conference in 1891, and served churches across the conference before arriving in Preston. In March 1899 he married Emily Irving Sheppard (1873–1931), and the couple had two children: Edwin Sheppard Gardner and Miriam Louise Gardner. In November 1899 he also received a Ph.D. from Western University, in Chicago. After a popular and successful stint in Preston, Gardner was reappointed all over the peninsula before ending up in Marydel in 1920. After a year in the pulpit there, he was accused of appropriating benevolence money to supplement his own salary, and then lying about it to his superiors. A church trial brought his career in the Methodist Episcopal Church to an end, although in about 1925 he began working for the Methodist Protestant Church. He was serving the Crumpton Circuit when he died on February 12, 1927.



W.C. Stone (1906-1907)

Aloysius Green (1904-1906)





G.C. Williams (1902-1904)

C.H. Williams (1901–1902)

W.E. West (1897–1901)

J.M. Mitchell (1896-1897)

T.G. Eiswald (1894–1895)

J.H. Wilson (1893–1894)

J.T. Sewell (1892)

Alvin T. Melvin (1892)

E.P. Roberts (1890)

E.S. Mace (1890)






Edward Freeman (1889)

L.P. Corkran (1887–1888)






A.M. Morgan (1886)

F.J. Ward (1886)