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Re: COLEMAN /BLACKMAN of Fairfield Co., Ct
Posted by: Ginny Gage Date: February 21, 1999 at 16:16:46
In Reply to: Re: COLEMAN /BLACKMAN of Fairfield Co., Ct by Dennie Hall of 15999

Dennie,

I don't know if this will help or not, but it's interesting reading anyway. This came from the HISTORY OF DANBURY written by Bailey:

THE CHURCH AT STARR'S PLAIN
Early in the present century James Beatys lived a few rods beyond the base of Sugar Hollow Mountain, near the corner of the present Starr's Plain and Long Ridge roads. One cold winter day Mr. Beatys was cutting wood in his door-yard, when Rev. James Coleman, known as "Uncle Jimmy," a Methodist preacher whose circuit extended from Ridgefield to the Canada line passed by on horseback, on his homeward journey from Canada. According to the hospitable custom of that day, Mr. Beatys invited the traveller in to dinner, an invitation gratefully accepted. Finding that his guest was a minister, Mr. Beatys asked him to make an appointment to preach at his house, which he did two weeks later, giving the first Methodist sermon in Starr's Plain at the house of a very strong Episcopalian. The sermon made a deep impression, and was followed by another a little later, the result of which was a number of conversions, including the children of James Beatys, whose distress was great when he saw his children turn from the church of their father to Methodism.

There was also an article in the News-Times on Fri., Sept. 18, 1970 entitled LONG RIDGE METHODISTS TO OBSERVE 150TH YEAR. This article indicates that:
The church was founded about 1793 when James Coleman was appointed to the Redding circuit that included Norwalk, Fairfield, Stratford, Milford, Redding, Danbury, and New Canaan.
The history books of the church record how one evening James Coleman, a Methodist preacher, was passing through Starr's Plain on his way to Danbury and asked a man sitting on a fence the distance to Danbury. The man told him and then asked, "Are you a doctor?"
"No sir," was the reply.
"Are you a lawyer?"
"No sir."
"Then," said the man, "what are you?"
Coleman answered, "I am a Methodist preacher."
"Methodist preacher! What's that?" the man asked.
"If you will open up your house and invite in your neighbors, I will let you"

Sorry, the librarian that photocopied this for me cut the rest of the article off! If you want a copy of this, contact the Scott-Fanton Museum in Danbury, CT, or probably the Danbury Public Library which I think is on Main St., in Danbury, would probably be able to make you a copy. I know the Museum has a web site.
The reason I have this info at all is because my husband's great-great-great (I think that's all.) grandfather was another one of those Methodist ministers, but he stayed in Starr's Plain and is buried at the family cemetery there.
Hope this is of some interest and help to you.
Good luck.
Ginny

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