December 21: Revival at Middle Spring

After the resignation of I. N. Hays, the Middle Spring Presbyterian Church remained vacant for one year and a half, though the pulpit was usually occupied. Several attempts were made to secure a pastor, but on account of division of sentiment in the congregation and other causes, these attempts proved fruitless, until the autumn of 1869, when Rev. D. K. Richardson was called, and having accepted, commenced his labors Jan. 1, 1870, and was installed May 6th of the same year. He resigned the pastoral charge on December 21, 1871. The first year of the labors of Mr. Richardson in the Middle Spring church, was one of great discouragement, which arose from an absence of the convicting and converting presence of the Holy Spirit, and disharmony in the church. During the latter part of this year, things became more settled, and there was an increased interest in the preaching of the Word. On the third Sabbath of January 1871, during the afternoon service at Newburg, the presence of the Spirit became manifest. It proved to be the Prophet’s cloud from the sea, and the harbinger of a gracious revival, which extended pretty generally through the congregation, and resulted in the accession of forty-seven persons to the membership of the church. During his ministry here the church was no doubt greatly benefited spiritually. The pastor was growing in favor each day with the people, and we have no doubt the dissolution of this pastoral relation was the saddest and most unexpected in the history of the church. This took place December 21, 1871, he having received a call from the church at Greencastle, Pennsylvania.

Rev. David K. Richardson.

Rev. D. K. Richardson was born near Shanesville, Ohio, January 7, 1835. His father was for many years a ruling elder in the Church of Berlin, Ohio. Mr Richardson pursued his classical studies at Vermillion College. He afterwards engaged in teaching and the study of law, with a view to the profession. While engaged in teaching he was truly and happily converted to God, being then at the age of twenty-two, and at once turned his thoughts towards the ministry of the Gospel. In the fall of 1861 he entered Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny, and completed a three years’ course. In the spring of 1863 he was licensed by the Presbytery of Maumee, and in 1864 was ordained by the same Presbytery, and installed over the churches of Napoleon and Bryan. He spent with these churches six or seven years of most earnest, devoted, and successful work. His ministry was greatly blessed. In 1870 he was called thence to the Middle Spring Church, Cumberland county, and before the close of his second year to the church in Greencastle, where he was installed February 10, 1872. This church he served until his death, August 20, 1877. Prior to his death he had accepted a call to Vincennes, Indiana, and amid his preparations to remove thither, was suddenly stricken down. In his brief ministry of thirteen years he was very successful, winning many to Christ by his impressive preaching. His labors in every charge were blessed with revivals. He was growing in spiritual and intellectual power, and his early deaath was deeply regretted.

Minutes of the Synod of Harrisburg, Volume 12, 1881, p. 59.

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