History of Parnassus Hilltop Church

In 1834, a house was leased by A. Rankin and William Sillings from Jacob and Samuel Whitmer. The house was for the benefit of the adjoining neighborhood for a school and "for all denominations to preach or worship in during Saturdays and Sundays." The neighborhood grew and spiritual growth increased.

In 1836 the village of Parnassus was established. The Methodist denomination was growing so plans for a new church, to be built on the hill overlooking the village, were made. In 1846 the new church was completed and was called Mt Israel Methodist Episcopal Church South. Some of the founding fathers were: John S., Samuel, and Jacob Whitmore, and Hatch Clark. The Church was valued at $1950. In July 1880, a contract was given to Thuma and Snapp to build a parsonage. It was completed at a cost of $1200 in 1882. The old church burned in 1883.

In 1884 construction on the new (present) church began with bricks made from clay on the grounds. The church was dedicated, debt free, in June 1885. Charles Snapp, son of the minister at that time, built the current walnut pulpit. The chandelier, which still hangs in the sanctuary, was purchased for $12. In 1893 a bell was hung in the steeple. The inscription reads 'The Parnassus Methodist Episcopal Church South, June 7, 1893.

The sanctuary housed all the church school classes at the time, divided by curtains. It was felt an educational building was needed and on February 2, 1954 a groundbreaking service was held. "Finances, labor, and materials were freely donated" and the dedication for the new educational building was held on December 18, 1960. All debts were paid by May, 1960.

In 2023 the church held a Church Conference and voted to disaffiliate with the United Methodist Church Domination.  After going through the legal process of disaffiliation and paying all the cost with member donations the church regained ownership of the church building and the church parsonage.  The church became an independent church and changed the name to Parnassus Hilltop Church.

The Pastors of Parnassus Hilltop Church

Parnassus Circuit – Parnassus, Spring Hill, Jennings Gap, and Centerville

1877-1881 Reverend S. R. Snapp

1881-1883 Reverend R. M. Williams

1883-1886 Reverend H. A. Gaven

1886-1888 Reverend R. S. Cunningham

1888-1890 Reverend G. R. Jefferson

1890-1892 Reverend R. M. Wheller

1892-1895 Reverend Thomas Cooper

1895-1897 Reverend J. K. Gilbert

1897-1901 Reverend J. J. Ringer

1901-1902 Reverend A. J. Boude

1902-1904 Reverend C. B. Sutton

Parnassus Charge – Parnassus, Mt. Solon, Sangersville (Milnesville), Centerville, and Spring Hill

1904-1906 Reverend M. P. Weikle

1906-1908 Reverend W. H. Marsh

1908-1909 Reverend J. M. Kline

1909-1912 Reverend J. L. Henderson

1912-1916 Reverend R. M. Wheller

Mt. Solon Charge – Spring Hill left the Charge

1916-1920 Reverend H. L. Myerly

1920-1922 Reverend B. L. Parrott

1922-1925 Reverend C. J. Clark

1925-1926 Reverend M. C. Pullen

1926-1928 Reverend F. E. Allison

1928-1933 Reverend J. B. Grimes

1933-1934 Reverend M. C. Rice (Died 1933)

Reverend C. R. Moyers

1934-1935 Reverend G. D. Naylor

1935-1939 Reverend L. O. Rose

1939-1943 Reverend C. C. Bush

1943-1944 Reverend Jenkins (Died)

Reverend E. A Plunkett

1944-1946 Reverend W. G. Bangle

1946-1948 Reverend E. S. Kerrick (Left Charge)

Reverend C. B. Burkett

1948-1951 Reverend L. O. Rose

1951-1953 Reverend Carol Beal

1953-1955 Reverend Carl T. Paughf

1955-1957 Reverend Howard Smith

1957-1959 Reverend James Brumfield

1959-1961 Reverend Dwight Spence

1961-1964 Reverend S. W. T. Hedrick

1964-1967 Reverend Weldon White

1967-1970 Reverend Paul R. Staley

Parnassus became a Station Church in 1970

1770-1973 Reverend Howard Wells

1973-1978 Reverend W. Forest Porter, Jr.

1978-1980 Reverend Henry J. Wuntke

1980-1981 Reverend Michael D. Finn McKenze

1981-1983 Reverend Earl W. Allen, Jr.

1983-1985 Reverend Joy H. Bagwell

1985-1988 Reverend James D. Canody

Parnassus and Sangerville Formed a Charge in 1988

1988-1991 Reverend Weldon Ray Crockett

1991-1992 Reverend Paul Beighley, III

1992-1993 Reverend Robert M. Marshall, III

1993-1999 Reverend Floetta Legg

1999-2002 Reverend Edward Roland

2002-2005 Reverend Barbara Gross

Parnassus Became a Station Church in 2005

2005-2008 Reverend Barbara Gross

2008-2012 Reverend Glen Langston

2012-2021  Reverend Vicki Barb

2021- Pastor Shawn Cook