Pastoral Bio: Rev. Truman S. Bennett

04 Jul

My mother-in-law, Sherry Housler, shared part of the family history of a distant grandfather, Rev. Truman S. Bennett, who was a pastor in the United Brethren in Christ Church (UB) and was serving in Eldred, PA, at one point. When she died I was given his copies of the UB Book of Discipline for 1872 and 1876.

Sherry was actively searching for more history of Grandpa Bennett and had even written to the present day United Brethren Church headquarters in the Midwest trying to find references. She never heard a thing.

A few weeks ago, I was showing a group of local United Methodist Church pastors in my area a copy of one of our historical resources that we call Pastoral Records, and how they could access information in this two volume information trove. As I randomly opened volume one, I landed in the “B” section and there was Sherry’s Grandpa Bennett! And one of his sons, Walter Ansel Bennett, Sherry’s distant uncle!

Here then is the Pastoral Record as published by the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, the modern incarnation of the former UB church which merged with the Evangelical Association in 1936, which then united with the Methodists in 1968.


Conference Relations: United Brethren in Christ Church Erie Conference 1872.

Appointments: Marshburg Mission 1872-1874; Orleans Mission 1874-1875; Eldred Mission 1875-1876; Unknown 1876-1877; Eldred Mission 1877-1878; Unknown 1878-1884; Port Allegany Mission 1884-1885.

Explanatory notes:

Conference Relations” means how was this person connected to the church.

United Brethren in Christ Church Erie Conference 1872” indicates that he was a part of the UB church’s Erie area conference and he was accepted as a member in 1872. Other ways of wording that would be to say he was ordained in 1872. Upon ordination, his status was an “elder.” (The Beers’ history highlighted in earlier posts referred to him as “Elder Bennett.” This is why.)

“Appointments” refers to communities where he was assigned as a pastor. The UB Church, like its descendant United Methodist Church of today, assigned pastors to specific churches and communities. Where it says “Mission” he was probably the pastor who set up the church or was one of the early pastors who were helping them get established.

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll share another resource where I found Truman and information about his ministry, including a picture!!


Pastoral Records: Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church 1784 – 2017. Compiled and edited by Rev. Norman Carlysle Young and Naomi Kathleen Ivey Horner. Commission on Archives and History. 7/1/2017.



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