In our earliest years, circuit riders traveled through specific areas to minister to settlers and organized groups. These traveling ministers on horseback carried only what would fit into their saddlebags. They traveled through wilderness and villages. They traveled through snow and rain. They preached nearly every day at any place available, fields, homes and barns. Sometimes their circuit was so large it would take weeks to cover.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was the largest denomination in America during the 1820s. This was largely the result of the circuit riders, or traveling ministers. One of these circuit riders was Rev. Moses Hurley, who owned land in the Wolfsville-Garfield area. When Rev. Hurley left the circuit he united with the Winebrennarian Church which may have been located where the Bethel Church now stands.
Another circuit rider was Rev. Christian Newcomer. He was an evangelist for the United Brethren Church. The Hoover home in Wolfsville was the regular preaching place for the circuit rider. As the country grew and congregations became well established, churches flourished with their own clergy and the circuit was no longer needed.