AN OUT-OF-TOWNER VISITS THE METHODIST MISSIONS CENTENARY, 1919

Airplanes and dirigibles, exotic animals, fireworks, live stage shows, a carnival, parades, a Wild West show, a 100 piece all-trombone choir, and a gargantuan 150' tall movie screen don't sound much like Sunday School but that was the scene when Methodists staged a colossal month-long world's fair at The Ohio State Fairgrounds in the summer of 1919. The Methodist Mission Centenary drew tens of thousands of American Methodists to Columbus. The Centenary intended to celebrate a century of Methodist missionary activities, Allied victory in the World War, and the passage of Prohibition while calling Methodists to rise to the challenges and opportunities of the new century.

W.F.P., from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a worshipper at the newly built St. Paul's United Methodist Church, traveled the 400 miles from his hometown to Columbus at the beginning of July 1919.

W.F.P.'s postcard reads:

All-- Glad to represent St Paul's at the biggest expo of its kind known--it's stupendous--nothing small or disappointing about it--Educationally it is worth every effort sacrifice and cost over and over again--Wish our school could see it--We are burying John Barleycorn today--60,000 people today.

W.F.P refers to the funeral of John Barleycorn. On July 1, presided over by populist orator, politician, and 4x Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, Methodists at the Centenary celebrated the victory of Prohibition with a colossal funeral parade for John Barleycorn.

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