Methodist History: Cokesbury Bells
Lovely Lane United Methodist Church in Baltimore, Maryland was the site of the Christmas Conference of 1784 that formed the Methodist Episcopal Church. The museum of this heritage landmark houses treasures from hundreds of years of Methodism in America including a bell that honors those who serve the church today.
The bell on the altar at historic Lovely Lane United Methodist Church in Baltimore, Maryland rings three times after every service to note 300 years of Methodism. That one is a replica bell, says historian John Strawbridge.
“In the museum is the original of the Cokesbury Bell from the original Cokesbury College site in Abingdon, Maryland. It survived two fires on its way back to our museum. Once a year we take it to annual conference and ring it in memory of clergy who’ve passed over the years.”
A number of Cokesbury replica bells were cast in 1984 to mark Methodism’s bicentennial, says United Methodist Publishing House President Brian Milford.
Brian Milford: “I’m not sure how many were sold. They were pretty expensive, but churches and episcopal offices across the country would have bought ‘em."
Brian Milford: [Bell ringing.] "It’s a pretty good sounding bell.”
Learn more about people and events from Methodist history.