|A History of the Presbytery of Clarion of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America: Part 2|
Transcribed for this site by Lyn Magill-Hoch. We are grateful for her assistance. Please note: This book has been divided into three parts for presentation at the Clarion County Genealogy & History Web site.
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A History of the Presbytery of Clarion of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America
Prepared Under the Direction of the Committee on History by Rev. J. Wallace Fraser, D.D., Pastor of the Presbyterian Church, New Bethlehem, Pa.
Part Two -- Sketches
Short Accounts of the Men and the Churches that Form Clarion Presbytery
The plan followed in this second section of the Centennial History was first noticed in the History of Erie Presbytery (1868) by S. J. M. Eaton. Here the names of the ministers which have been members of Presbytery are not placed in alphabetical order, but rather in their chronological order. Each man is listed as he became a member of the Clarion Presbytery. However, the first three names recorded were never members of this Presbytery, but were the pioneers who first labored in this territory where later Clarion Presbytery was established.
The first two names, John McPherrin (1) and Robert McGarraugh (2), were members of the Presbytery of Redstone, and were sent into this territory, then known as Stump Creek, as missionaries. And it is from their labors among the early settlers that the first Presbyterian Churches were organized.
The third name mentioned, David Barclay (3), was a member of the Presbytery of Blairsville, and came of his own accord and settled in that region later known as Jefferson County. And it is from his effort that the first Presbyterian Church was started in the vicinity of Punxsutawney.
After these three names, then follow the names of the first four ministers that were set over by the Presbytery of Allegheny to form the new Presbytery. And thereafter the names are added as they became members of the Presbytery, either by ordination, or by reception from other ecclesiastic bodies.
Immediately under the name of the minister, when possible, certain numerals have been placed, which give the length of time that man has served as a clergyman. The first date being that of either licensure or ordination, when known. And the second date is the time of his death.
The sketches of the Churches have been secured directly from the Sessional records, in most cases. In some instances they were given by either the pastor or clerk of the local church, and in many instances they were secured by personal visitation by the Historian in the local congregation.
Many of the "Sketches" were started by Dr. James S. Elder, who for thirty years filled the office of Stated Clerk of the Presbytery. Others were started by Dr. Hugh Fraser Earsman, also Stated Clerk of the Presbytery for a number of years. For many years it was known that Dr. Elder had a book of Sketches, but the book was lost. So Dr. Earsman, in a very able manner, endeavored to supply this need by starting a "Sketch Book" of his own. When in a most unexpected manner the original book by Dr. Elder was discovered. Naturally there were some duplications in these two early records. In the year 1911 the Rev. John H. Cooper became the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery, and filled this office in a masterly manner for twenty-three years. From the records left by these three Stated Clerks much of this material has been gathered. All duplications have been omitted, the various records carefully compared,and the data brought up to date.
Errors may have crept in, names may have been omitted unintentionally, sufficient credit may not have been given in some instances, and incorrect dates might appear in these records. But as far as it was possible every effort was made to secure correct dates and data. The Historian personally made many visits to various fields to check on data that seemed to be confusing or incomplete. Libraries have been visited in search of missing material, and innumerable letters have been written trying to secure certain facts. Still there are lamentable blanks in these records which it seemed impossible to fill.
The Historian has enjoyed this research, and does not begrudge either the time or energy that has been expended in trying to prepare a Centennial History which will be of real value in later years. We are especially indebted to Miss Anna Britt and to Miss Jane Orr, members of the Greenville congregation, who willingly gave of their time to proof-read the manuscript of the Centennial History before it went to press. Their valuable suggestions and cooperation have made this task more pleasant.
The compiler of this book wishes to acknowledge the valuable assistance which he has received from various individuals, through whose kindness these records have been made possible, besides the three names on the dedication sheet:
Rev. J. Ross Stevenson, D. D., Ph. D., Princeton, N. J.
All Pictures in the Centennial History have been furnished by churches or individuals.
Roll of Churches
and Date of Their Organization in Chronological Order
The beginnings of the Adrian Presbyterian Church seem to be lost as far as records are concerned. The few that remain are in the possession of Mr. Hector Campbell, who nearing his ninetieth year (September, 1938), still resides near Adrian; but these records do no (sic) go back far enough. So that it is upon the memory of this ancient servant of the church, a memory unusually clear at such an age, that we are compelled to rely for the few facts gleaned.
It appears that the Adrian church originally started at the insistence of Dr. J. V. Bell, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of DuBois, who, sitting with interested parties of the community and the officials of the coal company, pointed out the need of a Protestant church. With some assistance secured from the company, a church was started and a building erected. Serving all Protestants in the community the church from the beginning was dominated by a strong Presbyterian majority and was enrolled in the Presbytery of Clarion and so recorded at the county seat.
The first minutes of the congregation now extant are those of a congregational meeting in January 1906 when the annual report was made. Ministers serving the church in those early years were the Rev. H. G. Teagarden (150), the Rev. F. A. Gaupp (216), the Rev. J. A. Cowan (137), and a Mr. Colter (115) from Ohio who also seems to have served the Big Run congregation at the same time. Then there was a long period when the Rev. H. G. Teagarden was the sole pastor, this service apparently being ended in 1915 when this name disappears from the records. It appears again in 1920 and the last note of it is January 3, 1921, the Rev. Mr. Teagarden dying shortly after this. Subsequently the field was served by various ministers for periods of differing lengths. In 1932 the congregation voted to become independent and the Presbytery thereupon dissolved it as a Presbyterian church.
The Presbyterian Church at Anita was organized under the Cumberland administration, and received into the Presbytery of Clarion June 30, 1907. Nothing definite can be ascertained about its organization. The first minutes dated March 11th, 1900, when the business on hand is to elect elders for the church already in existence.
"There was a considerable sprinkling of Scotch and Scotch-Irish in and around this community long before the mines were opened in this section." And to these nationalities other racial strains were added which formed the nucleus around which this church was built. The church was organized under the Rev. H. G. Teagarden (150). The meetings were first held in the school house and later a church building was erected.
The Rev. H. G. Teagarden apparently was a very busy man in those days for his name appears as preaching at Eleanora, Zion and elsewhere. But the Church came to thrive under him, and his preaching was long remembered by the older residents of the community. They would speak of the time when revival services were held and isles (sic) would be packed and folks standing around the sides of the room. In one of these revival services there were one hundred and sixty converts.
In the Fall of 1902 the Rev. Mr. Teagarden evidently left this field for a period, for the Rev. J. M. Van Horn (142) is elected pastor of Oliveburg and Anita. Mr. Van Horn resigned this pastorate November 15, 1905, and the Rev. Mr. Irving of the Central Church, Punxsutawney, or as it was then known, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Punxsutawney, filled the pulpit, serving as Stated Supply from December, 1905 until July 23, 1907, when the pulpit was filled by the Rev. Mr. Himes of the Lutheran Church, until after the union of the two denominations in that same year.
Following the Church union the Rev. C. A. Clark (126) of the First Church of Punxsutawney, was appointed Stated Supply until October 18, 1908. Then the Rev. J. B. Eakins of the Central Church supplied until February 28, 1909. On February 14, 1901, the Rev. H. G. Teagarden returned as the pastor of Anita and the work again made rapid progress.
It was during the pastorate of Mr. Teagarden that the old building known as the "Blocks" was moved down to the present location on the main highway and almost in the center of the town.
The last minutes to mention the work of this faithful servant are on September 26, 1920. Following this he passed to his reward. Still in his prime he laid down the work, leaving behind a memory that is still cherished, and mellowed by the passing years.
Other names followed in rather quick succession as pastors of the church, and part of the time the church was dependent upon supplies. Among those who continued for a season we note such names as the Rev. Francis A. Gaupp (216), the Rev. Harvey W. Logan (250), the Rev. Dr. J. Vernon Bell (85), and the Rev. Dr. Roy F. Miller (245).
At the present time the church has a membership of seventy, with a Sabbath School enrollment of seventy-four. A static and even dwindling population has been one of the serious handicaps to real progress in recent years.
In the year 1867 the Rev. Joseph A. Bowman of the Churches of Seneca and Scrubgrass began to preach in the Hughes School House and occasionally at the residence of Mr. David Ayers. The Ayers family were the only Presbyterians in the community at that date. Following the pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Bowman, preaching services in the vicinity of Ayers were very irregular for some years.
In the summer of 1894 Rev. John B. Miller, pastor os Seneca and Scrubgrass Churches began holding services every two weeks on Sabbath afternoons in the Hughes School House. After a few weeks the directors of the school refused to allow the building to be used any longer for that purpose.
From that time on the services were conducted in various homes in the community, the people willingly opening their homes for these services.
Late in the fall or early winter of that year Mr. Abraham Biny offered the use of a vacant building on his farm for church purposes which was gladly accepted and used as a house of worship until a church building was erected.
The following ministers have served the church: Rev. J. B. Miller from 1895 until 1900, Rev. Charles Mark from 1900 to 1902, Rev. J. A. Sigler from 1903 to 1904, Rev. W. W. Corhart 1905 to 1906, Rev. Samuel Davis (149) from 1906 to 1914.
During this time the church grew and became one of the most active of the smaller churches of Presbytery. But this period was followed by a dwindling membership, and the church was irregularly supplied with services. Finally it was dissolved in 1933.
The Presbyterian Church at Beechwoods was organized in the house of Matthew Keys, December 3, 1832, with fourteen members, by the Rev. Cyrus Riggs with J. Wilson, Thomas Lucas and W. Rogers, Elders from Bethel (Brookville). At the time of the organization Robert M'Intosh, William M'Connell and Robert Morrison were elected, ordained and installed as Ruling Elders.
In the summer of 1823 three men made an attempt to settle in the wilderness of Beechwoods. During the succeeding year other settlers joined them. In 1825 a Sabbath School was organized, consisting of two teachers and about ten pupils. This school continued for many years, going from house to house.
In the summer of 1831 the Rev. Cyrus Riggs visited the community, stopping at the home of one of the settlers said he was, "Looking after lost sheep." The good lady of the home, Mrs. Keys, replied, "Indeed you'll find none here," when the daughter, Betty, remarked, "Oh, mother, it is probably the lost sheep of the House of Israel." From that time until the regular organization in 1832 the vicinity was regularly visited by Rev. Cyrus Riggs and Dr. Robert M'Garrough. After the organization, Beechwoods, Bethel (Brookville) and Pisgah (Corsica) were combined into one charge and Mr. John Shoup was appointed their Stated Supply. But the two other churches soon made out calls for the full time of this minister, and the Beechwoods was left without a supply.
Rev. Gary Bishop, M. D., began his labors here in 1835, and gave more or less of his time to this church as a Supply for eleven years, until he died on October 17, 1852.
Rev. Alexander Boyd of the Presbytery of Erie was Stated Supply of this church for nearly three years, beginning in October 1846. After this for some time only occasionally supplies were in this congregation. But during this time they erected a house of worship, completed in 1849.
Rev. John Wray visited the settlement and preached his first sermon in the barn of Mr. Ross, over two miles west of the church, on May 25, 1850. He was called to this church and installed November 5, 1850. For twenty-one years he served the church with untiring energy, when on account of the entire loss of his eye-sight, this dear, good father was compelled to ask for a dissolution of his pastoral relation, which became effective April 26, 1871.
Rev. William H. Filson was called to this church, for one-half of his time, May 28, 1871, and was installed on September 27, and on April 28, 1875 was released from Maysville and Richards ville and transferred all his time to the Beechwoods church. And after twelve years' pastorate was released altogether on May 22, 1883.
Rev. Robert A. Hunter was pastor from 1884 until 1888. During the summer of 1883, before Mr. Hunter arrived, the church was supplied by Rev. J. V. Bell of Penfield, and Rev. W. H. Hunter of Mill Creek, and during that winter a call was made out for Mr. R. A. Hunter, then a student in Western Seminary. He came to the field in May, 1884. During this pastorate the congregation erected a new House of Worship, which was dedicated in December, 1888.
Rev. George H. Hill became the pastor of Beechwoods, June 16, 1889, which the Centennial History of the church reminds u "was the second Sabbath after the Johnstown flood," and "at that time Clarion Presbytery was composed of fifteen member. Now it has forty-two, almost three times as many." This was also a period of great activity and growth for the church at Beechwoods. On account of ill health Mr. Hill was released from his pastoral duties from November 1, 1910 until May 1, 1911, which time was spent in Southern Pines, North Carolina, trying to regain his health. He returned to the church and delivered his last sermon December 8, 1912. On that same day the Session granted him another leave of absence, but his death occurred eleven days later, on December 19, 1912.
The Rev. Charles C. Cribbs, D. D., became pastor of this Church in May, 1913, and continued until November, 1919. During his pastorate there was a period of special activity among the boys and young men of the church.
Rev. A. R. Bartholomew was called to the church November 28, 1919. He was a graduate from Grove City College and the Western Theological Seminary and came to the Beechwoods church for his first pastorate. He resigned in March, 1924, after a pastorate of a little more than four years.
The Rev. Elder D. Crawford, D. D., received a unanimous call from this congregation on September 7, 1924, and served the church until April 9, 1931, when he resigned that he might accept a call to the church at Glenshaw.
The Rev. W. Clarence Thompson, a graduate of Muskingum College and the Princeton Theological Seminary, received a call from this church and came to Beechwoods for his first pastorate, where he was installed October 8, 1931. Mr. Thompson continued the good work of the past, and where it was necessary, started new activities.
In 1834 the Rev. Mr. Andrews, a missionary of the Sabbath School Union made an appointment to preach in the school house of Alexander McCain. After preaching to them, he organized a Sabbath School, which for several years was held in the homes of the community. The Bethesda Church grew out of this Sabbath School.
Accordingly the Rev. John Core (4), of Licking, was appointed by the Presbytery of Allegheny to organize the church, which was accomplished on May 19, 1836 with thirty-five charter members, twenty-five of whom were from the Licking Church. Alexander McCain, James Patton, and William Rankin were elected and installed ruling elders.
The church had only occasional supplies until 1839, when the Rev. John Lurbett commenced preaching, and sometime in the summer of 1840 was installed pastor of the church, together with Concord and Callensburg, but in the spring, April 7, 1841, this relationship was dissolved.
The Rev. James Montgomery (9) supplied this church during the summer of 1841, when he became pastor of the Clarion Church in October of that same year. And the congregation was without a pastor until the following year. Mr. David McCay (11) commenced preaching in the spring of 1842, was ordained by the Presbytery of Clarion September 27, 1842 and installed the same day. The call again included Concord and Callensburg. This relationship was dissolved September 25, 1849.
Mr. Laverty Grier (18) was then called for one-half of hos time on September 24, 1850, and was installed January 8, 1851. This relation continued until December 14, 1852.
During 1853 the pulpit was supplied by Rev. J. Ray and Rev. C. I. Cummins until the Rev. Nathaniel M. Crane (20) commenced his labors in 1854. On October 8, 1855 he was installed for one-half of his time, and this relation was dissolved May 8, 1857. And again the church was without a pastor for about a year. The Rev. William P. Moore (24) was called and installed October 13, 1858, but was released October 18, 1860. Although only a short pastorate he must have labored with considerable success, judging by the large number of accessions to the church.
Rev. John H. Sherrard (31) began his labors here for two-thirds of his time on May 19, 1861, together with Oak Grove and Middle Creek (later transferred to Kittanning Presbytery, and the name changed to Tidal). This pastor remained until February 19, 1867. During this pastorate the church was moved from its original location into the town of Rimersburg.
Rev. John A. E. Simpson (39) was installed over this church on July 3, 1867, but on account of failing health was released September 27, 1870. The Rev. S. C. Faris supplied the pulpit for a time, then the Rev. James H. Hawk (55) was called, ordained June 24, 1874 and installed over the church for one-half of his time, the other half being given to Concord. This relation was dissolved June 21, 1876 when the Rev. Mr. Beebe supplied for a time.
The Rev. Theodore S. Negley (58) was called for one-third of his time, the other two-thirds being given to East Brady, and was installed July 28, 1878. He was released January 9, 1882 and the Rev. W. J. Wilson (67) was appointed Stated Supply by the Presbytery, serving also the churches of Sligo and Callensburg until June 1, 1891.
For a time the Rev. W. Scott Bowman supplied the pulpit. During this temporary supply work the young minister married one of the Rimersburg girls, Miss Margaret Wick, daughter of Elder Robison Wick. The church was then without a pastor until August 19, 1893 when the Rev. A. A. Kelly (103) was called. This pastorate lasted about six years, until the summer of 1899. During this pastorate the church building was remodeled and beautified.
The church was again without a pastor for a period of nearly three years. During this time the pulpit was supplied by the Rev. E. R. Tait. On June 6, 1902, the Rev. A. P. Bittinger (132) began his labors in the church. He graduated from the Western Seminary, was ordained April 23, 1903 and installed. He continued to labor upon this field until October, 1911, supplying also the churches of Sligo and Middle Creek.
In the spring of 1912 the Rev. K. E. McLeod (173) was called to this field and labored with great success until April, 1915. During this pastorate the Sabbath School room was added to the church building and other improvements made upon the church property.
The Rev. Thomas G. Mowry (192) was called October 15, 1915, who served the church with great energy until 1917, when he resigned to go west. The next pastor was the Rev. H. C. Calhoun (203), who commenced his labors in 1918 and continued until September 1, 1921. The pulpit was again vacant until 1923, when the Rev. Willard C. Mellin became their pastor, who is especially remembered for his work among the young people of the church, and of the Presbytery. This relation was dissolved on June 15, 1927.
On July 1, 1928 the Rev. M. P. Steele came upon the field and is still doing very active work at the time of this printing. Under this pastorate the Bethesda celebrated their centennial in 1936.
Big Run Presbyterian Church (1888)
The Presbyterian Church of Big Run was organized January 29, 1888, with only seven members: Mr. and Mrs. G. M. Gourley, Mr. and Mrs. David McKee, Mr. and Mrs. T. M. Simons, and Mr. William Enterline. All these members fir attended the Methodist Church of Big Run. The organization of another church was ascribed to the then dominant shouting tendencies in that church. The seven members and their following met in the room known as Enterline Hall, above what is not the McKee-Weiss Grocery Store. At the organization meeting Mr. G. M. Gourley was received into membership on confession of faith, and at the same meeting he and Mr. Wm. Enterline were unanimously elected elders. The next week, February 7, 1888, six more members were received, and on February 9th, five more, making a total of twenty members before the church was two weeks old. That is a pretty good enlistment average for seven members. Within a month the afore-mentioned Enterline Hall was being referred to as Presbyterian Hall. Rev. J. S. Helm was the pastor during these zealous proceedings.
In 1891 began the erection of a church building, which was dedicated complete and free of debt March 15, 1893. John Zufall, L. A. Shaffer, Will Blose, G. M. Gourley, and William Enterline are among those who took active part in the building of the new church. Present living participants give osme interesting side-lights on the activities. It seems that everybody at all connected with the church bent every effort to do something. The story is told of one little girl who undertook to sell something-or-other and with the proceeds bought a crystal glass lamp with tinkling spangles hanging beneath, which was presented to the church and hung above the pulpit. Another young lady wrote letters to her father's business associates asking for donations, and thus collected fifty-six dollars. The day before the dedication will be long remembered by the two boys who were kept busy all day carrying water while Mrs. Ida Enterline and Mrs. Kate Blose scrubbed and cleaned in preparation for the big event. Those little boys were Sylvester Gourley and Meade Blose. The church had a membership now of sixty-eight. The pastor, during this activity, was Rev. H. H. Ryland, who served the church from 1891 until 1895. On April 9, 1893, Rev. Mr. Ryland received a class of twenty-six children into membership, a record which has been passed but once in the history of the church, when on March 14, 1924, Rev. Mr. Bird received a class of thirty-two.
The records give evidence of a Ladies' Working Club, as it was called, from a very early date. The first entry of a direct contribution to the Trustees to assist with church finances was that of One Hundred and Fourteen Dollars in 1998. In 1921-1922 their contribution was Eight Hundred and Twenty-five. The women's organization has changed in name, but not in spirit and in function. When money is needed for repairs, or for forwarding the work of the church in any way, the women are ready and willing to compose the "working club" to give the backing necessary.
A Young People's group of Christian Endeavor was with the church from the very start, and is possibly the oldest organization of the church with the exception of the Sunday School. The first meeting of which we have any record was held on the first Sunday in January in 1892.
The records seem to testify that the most successful time in the life of the church was during the uptrend years of 1922-1929. The membership and the giving was considerable higher during prosperity years, though the Sunday School attendance average did not change materially between prosperity and depression years. During those years it was customary for the church to give nearly as much to benevolences as it did to the pastor's salary. Indeed, counting the gifts by the organization of the church to benevolent agencies, it perhaps amounted to as much. This is a very healthy outlook and condition for any church. Benevolent giving suffered most during the depression. It dropped from Six Hundred and Fifteen Dollars in 1928 to Two Hundred and Four Dollars in 1933, and is climbing but slowly.
The church has had twelve pastors in the fifty-one years of its existence. From the records the most successful pastorates seem to have been those of Rev. Mr. Ryland, under whose leadership the church was built, and Rev. Mr. Bird, under whom the membership and the benevolent giving rose to its highest peak. But we need also to remember the lay workers of whose consecration of time and energy every page of the record speaks. Perhaps most frequently found in the record of the activities of the church were the names of those first two elders: Mr. G. M. Gourley and Mr. William Enterline.
Ministers of the Big Run Presbyterian Church: 1888-1890, Rv. J. S. Helm; 1891-1895, Rev. H. H. Ryland; 1896-1900, Rev. R. M. Coulter; 1900-1904, Rev. James Drummond; 1904-1907, Rev. J. A. Cowan; 1908-1911, Rev. S. G. Palmer; 1911-1917, Rev. R. M. Morrison; 1918-1919, Rev. Thomas Parker; 1920-1927, Rev. A. A. Bird; 1928, Rev. S. A. Gray (student supply); 1929-1931, Rev. S. C. Newsome; 1932-1936, Rev. Richard Shockey; 1937, Rev. John C. Talbot.
The Brockway Presbyterian Church was oranied (sic) May 8, 1884, with eleven charter members, by the Rev. J. H. Stewart, Rev. T. S. Negley and Elder James McCurdy. The first Elder of the congregation was Mr. John Cochran.
The original name for the organization, and of the community was that of Brockwayville. For several years prior to the organization there were preaching services in the community. In the fall of 1873 the Rev. John Wray of the Beechwoods church came to Brockwayville and held several services.
On May 6th, 1883, the Presbyterian Sabbath School was organized and the following July 12, Dr. J. Vernon Bell of Penfield, came and held services. And on July 15, 1883 the Rev. J. H. Stewart came at the appointment of Presbytery to inquire into the advisability of organizing a church at this point. On the report of Mr. Stewart the above committee was appointed by Presbytery to organize the church.
The Rev. A. B. Fields was appointed by Presbytery to supply the churches of Brockwayville, Maysville and Richardsville. The first services were held in the M. E. Church for a time, and then in the upper room of the store building owned by Mr. R. W. Moorhead. Mr. Fields served this congregation with great faithfulness until the time of his death, October 17, 1886.
For a time the church was then supplied by the appointment of Presbytery until the Rev. J. B. Caruthers became their pastor, June 29, 1887, who continued until April 23, 1890. During this pastorate the congregation was enabled to build a very neat house of worship, which was erected in the fall of 1887 and finished the following spring, and dedicated on September 9, 1888.
After the resignation of Mr. Caruthers, the congregation was without a regular pastor for sometime, until the Rev. J. R. Baker was installed pastor, October 28, 1891, who remained until November 1, 1896. During this pastorate the congregation erected a very comfortable Manse. Also quite early in his pastorate there was established a church at Cranshaw, a mining community, and Mr. Baker continued to hold services at this point during his pastorate at Brockwayville.
The church was without a minister for about a year when the Rev. Chas L. Bradshaw was called on May 9, 1897, and installed May 12. He continued to serve the congregation with great ardor until December 3, 1905. On August 5, 1906 the Rev. P. J. Slonaker became their pastor and continued until April 17, 1910. During this pastorate the church was renovated and improved, and the work at Cranshaw, which had been begun by Mr. Baker, was discontinued.
On April 1, 1911, the Rev. W. H. Chipman was called as pastor and served the congregation until released at his own request. March 11, 1917. On October 30, 1917, the Rev. N. B. Wilson became pastor and served until July 30, 1922. During this pastorate again the church building was improved and renovated, the seating capacity was enlarged, a basement added, a complete heating system installed and many other improvements. It was also a time of great activity among the young people of the church. On April 8, 1919, at the annual congregational meeting the rotary system of eldership was adopted.
After the departure of Mr. Wilson, the Rev. William Owen came to the community trying to regain his health, and was invited to preach in the local church. A call was extended to Mr. Owen, and he was installed pastor October 13, 1922, and continued to serve the congregation with satisfaction until September 20, 1925.
On March 7, 1926, the Rev. Leo L. Tait became the pastor. During this pastorate the church and Manse were repaired and beautified and the church debt was entirely cancelled.
On April 11, 1927 a petition was presented to the court of quarter sessions of Jefferson County, asking for a change in the name of the church from Brockwayville to Brockway, and the request was granted.
During the history of the church it has been honored by representing Presbytery at the higher judicial courts of the Church. Mr. George J. Britton was commissioner to the General Assembly, which met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1901. Mr. William Tobin was a commissioner to Synod in October, 1901, which met in East Liberty, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In October, 1915, Mr. Tobin was again elected to represent Presbytery at Synod which met in Scranton, and again the rare privilege came to this elder when he represented Presbytery at the General Assembly at Dallas, Texas, 1917. Mr. James E. Britton also has been highly honored, for in 1932 he was elected commissioner to Synod in Grove City and again in 1938 he was a commissioner to Synod in Jenkintown. Rev. L. L. Tait, the present pastor, was a commissioner to Synod in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, in 1930 and again in 1938 at Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. In 1933 Mr. Tait had the privilege of representing Presbytery at the General Assembly, which met in Columbus, Ohio.
Throughout the entire history of the church there has been an active Sabbath School, Ladies' Aid, Missionary Society and various societies for the young people, all of which have done excellent work. From the time of its organization, one thousand and seventy-five persons have united with the church upon profession of their faith. Of this number some have died, and others have moved away, which leaves the present membership at three hundred and twenty-four (1938).
Religious services of the Presbyterian order were held in the vicinity of Brookville as early as the year 1809. In that year the Rev. Robert McGarrah held a communion service in the home of Peter Jones. While pastor of the Licking and New Rehoboth Churches, Mr. McGarrah visited and preached in this community with considerable frequency, but there is no record of any organization until the year 1824, when the name Bethel was given to the pioneer organization and changed to the name of Brookville in 1842.
For a while the pastorate was divided between this congregation and that of Red Bank, a church located between West Millville (now Hawthorn) and New Bethlehem. When the Presbytery of Clarion was organized in 1841, Brookville was one of the organized churches, and has occupied a prominent place on the roll of Presbytery ever since.
As nearly as can be ascertained, this church was organized in 1824 in a school house near the site of the United Presbyterian Church of Jefferson. In a few months the place of meeting was changed to a site near the Pike, about three miles west of Brookville, where a Log Cabin Church was erected.
The first Stated Supply was the Rev. William Kennedy (12). For many years they enjoyed only occasional supplies sent by Presbytery. In 1831, they again changed the place of worship to the second story of the jail in Brookville. And there is no evidence that the log church was ever again used by this organization. In 1832 the first Court House was built and religious services were held in it up until 1842, when the First Presbyterian Church was completed and dedicated.
On the same site of the first church, a larger building was erected in 1870 at a cost of Eleven Hundred Dollars. This again gave place to a beautiful stone structure in which the congregation now worships. After many years, with only occasional supplies, this church, with Pisgah, made out a call for Mr. John Shoup, October 8, 1834. Mr. Shoup signified his willingness to accept, but because of failing health was never installed. He died March 13, 1835.
Rev. Gary Bishop, M. D. (5) came to Brookville June 23, 1835, as Stated Supply for one quarter of his time, and continued until 1840, when the Rev. David Polk (7) commenced to supply the pulpit. Mr. Polk was installed pastor of this church on the last Wednesday of April, 1841, and was released on December 24, 1845.
Rev. Charles P. Cummins, M. D. (14), was called to the pastorate of this church with Pisgah, February 26, 1847, and was installed on June 15, 1847. he was released August 5, 1856, then recalled on August 15 and installed again September 26, 1856. He was finally released on account of ill health June 10, 1862.
Rev. Samuel H. Holliday (34) was called for all of his time to this church was ordained and installed June 16, 1863. This relation was dissolved February 11, 1868.
Rev. James J. Marks (45) came to Brookville, August 1, 1868 and was called to the pastorate in December, 1869, was installed on April 23, 1872, and released December 23, 1872.
Rev. A. B. Fields (49) came to Brookville in the spring of 1873 and supplied the church statedly (sic) until the following January when a call was made out, and he was installed May 27, 1874. he was released September 24, 1879, but not to take effect until the following April first. Others that have supplied the church were: Rev. T. J. Sherrard (66), 1880-1883; Rev. J. H. Stewart (72), 1883-1886; Rev. S. J. Glass, 1887-1890; Rev. James Conway, 1890-1906; Rev. James B. Hill, 1907-1920; Rev. Francis I. Woolett, 1921-1925; Rev. F. B. Shoemaker, 1926.
In 1841, dudring the pastorate of the Rev. David Polk, a small frame church, costing Eleven Hundred Dollars, was erected near the site of the present church and was dedicated in August, 1842. On the thirteenth o May, previous to the Dedication Ceremony, the church, heretofore known as Bethel, was incorporated under the name "Bethel Congregation of the Brookville Presbyterian Church." On October 8, 1865 a Congregational Meeting was called to consider the proposition of building a new church and favorable action was taken. The new church was dedicated on the sixteenth of January, 1870, contract price Ten Thousand Five Hundred Dollars. The present church building was built during the pastorate of Dr. James Conway. It was dedicated December 10, 1905. The cost of this building was Fifty Thousand Dollars.
One Missionary has gone from the church – Dr. Francis Jenks Hall was a member of this church. After graduating from Yale University and a year of practice as an interne in the Methodist Episcopal Hospital of Philadelphia, he sailed for Peking, China, September 4, 1906. In 1913 he was called in as a physician to attend a delegate to a Y. M. C. A. conference, who was afflicted with typhus fever. The delegate recovered, but Dr. Hall was infected. He died May 20, 1913.
The Church has one candidate for the Ministry now – Edwin Shoemaker, a middler in Princeton Seminary.
Growth of the Church
No record is given of the number of charter members. No doubt the number was small. During the one hundred and ten years of the history of the church there has been no phenomenal growth. The church grew as the population of the town grew. For many years its membership was the largest of any church in town.
Two church organizations have united with the Brookville Church. The building of the United Presbyterian Church of Brookville burned in the autumn of 1919. That congregation never rebuilt. In the following few years a large number of its members united with the Brookville Presbyterian Church. In the summer of 1925 the building of the Hazen Presbyterian Church burned. That congregation held services in an old hall in Hazen until the spring of 1927. The organization disbanded. A large part of the members united with the Brookville Church.
The present enrollment of the Church is eight hundred and eleven; the Sabbath School enrollment is seven hundred.
Frow (sic) the History of Callensburg by Rev. O. A. Elliott, we take the following record: "The first sermon heard from a Presbyterian Minister in this community, was preached by Father M'Garrough, in the woods near the place where the church now stands, in the summer of 1825. His hearers were dressed in home-spun, who
In simple artless manner
and were now eager to hear the word of God. Shortly after this time logs were used for seats, and a pulpit with a clap-board roof over it, was built for the preacher. In this style they worshipped for several years in the summer. In the winter they met in the houses of Messrs. Callen, Elliott and others. There in the Grove, Communion Services were held for years. In 1831 an effort was made to build a church. The frame was erected, and it stood without roofing for one winter. The people felt themselves too poor to finish the church, and therefore enclosed only a port of it, and this was used for seven years. But in 1838 a larger house of worship was erected on the same site."
Adherents of the Presbyterian faith having increased in number, it was resolved in 1838 to organize the church and accordingly Fathers Core (4) and M'Garrough (2) organized the Presbyterian of Callensburg, with forty-five charter members. Benjamin Gardner, Thomas Elliott and John Over were elected and installed the first elders.
Father M'Garrough continued to labor in this church as Stated Supply, until the time of his death, July 13, 1839.
Rev. John Turbet was their first pastor, installed in 1840, but remained less than a year. Released February 25, 1841.
The Rev. David M'Cay (1) was installed for one-third of his time September 27, 1842 and on September 25, 1849 this call was changed for one-half his time, the church at Concord taking the other one-half. This relation continued until the time of his death, June 4, 1862. From the previous October, he was Chaplain of the One Hundred and Third Regiment P. V. During his absence the Rev. B. O. Junkin (28) filled his pulpits.
Rev. R. A. Blackford served the church as Stated Supply for one year after the death of Mr. M'Cay.
Rev. Samuel P. Kinkaid (30) was installed pastor for one-half time, in connection with Concord, September 15, 1863, and continued until he met his death by accident on March 24, 1866.
After Mr. Kinkaid's death, Rev. James A. M'Intyre (40) was Stated Supply for the period of one year, when the Rev. Thomas J. Milford (43) was installed over the congregation, in connection with Concord, on November 10, 1868, and continued to serve until April 22, 1873.
The Rev. Moorhead Edgar served the church for the period of a year, from November, 1873, when Rev. J. H. Hawk (55), who was the pastor of Bethesda and Concord, was released from Bethesda June 21, 1876 and transferred to Callensburg for one-half his time. He was installed October 9, 1876, and released September 24, 1879.
On December 1, 1880, the Rev. W. J. Wilson (67) became pastor, and wa released April 28, 1891. The Rev. Dr. J. M. McCurdy (56) supplied the pulpit for a time until the Rev. Basil King (98) was called, who commenced work April 1, 1894 and released October 1, 1897. The Rev. W. J. Hutchison (117) while still a student in the Theological Seminary, began supplying the church, was installed June 22, 1898, and released in November 27, 1901.
Again the church was supplied by a student from the Seminary, Mr. H. A. Bailey (128), who was installed after graduation in the spring of 1902, and remained pastor until May 1, 1907.
Rev. Samuel Blacker (154) was installed November 5, 1907, and continued pastor until March 21, 1914, when the Rev. Elder d. Crawford (188) became pastor, from 1914 until 1919.
Then for a period the pulpit was supplied by several ministers at irregular intervals – among them being: J. M. Briceland, A. W. Wake, David E. Hepler and B. D. Holter. Thee supplies continued until the year 1926 when the Rev. C. L. McCoy became their pastor. This relation was dissolved in 1929.
Following this the Rev. John T. Howarth became the pastor of this church, installed April 28, 1931 and remained until 1937, when he resigned his charge and was honorably retired by Presbytery.
In May, 1938, the Rev. Elder d. Crawford was called a second time to the field and was installed over Sligo, Licking and Callensburg.
The Church of Clarion was organized in the second story of the first Jail on May 15, 1841, with sixteen charter members, by Revs. J. Core and d. Polk. Hugh A. Thompson, Thomas Sutton and John Clark were installed as the ruling elders.
The names of the charter members were: Hugh A. Thompson and Elizabeth, his wife; Thomas Sutton, John M'Conaughy, Abram Richards, and Rebecca, his wife; John Clark and Mary, his wife; Mary Shoemaker, Jane Maxwell, Richard Wilson, and Elizabeth, his wife; Elizabeth Kelly, and Lucinda Hamilton.
Rev. James Montgomery was called to this church on September 27, 1842, and on account of impaired health was released January 7, 1868. He was pastor for half time during all the years he ministered to this congregation. After the dissolution of his pastoral relation, he continued to sojourn in the community until August 10, 1871, when he was called home to rest with the people of God.
The second pastor of the church was Rev. J. S. Elder (27), who was called January 7, 1868, immediately upon the release of Mr. Montgomery, the papers being made out before hand at a congregational meeting. Then the people called together and presided over by the retiring pastor, at once voted upon the call, and presented it to Presbytery. This pastor was installed for one-half time in connection with New Rehoboth Church, on February 28, 1868.
On February 18, 1873 he was released from the work at New Rehoboth and transferred all his time to the Church at Clarion. Under this pastorate the congregation purchased a very suitable Manse in the spring of 1871. The church building was erected in 1844.
For twenty-eight years Dr. Elder ministered not only to the Church at Clarion but to the entire surrounding community, serving as Stated Clerk for Clarion Presbytery during this time. And in 1879 was chosen as Moderator of the Synod of erie. He held this pastorate until the day of his death, December 1, 1896. The new church had just been dedicated a few months before the death of the pastor, March 15, 1896.
The church was not long vacant. On January 7, 1897 they called the Rev. George A. B. Robinson (91), who ws then living in Clarion and preaching at New Rehoboth and Greenville. Re. Mr. Robinson was a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College and the Allegheny Seminary, and formerly a member of the United Presbyterian Church. For six years he labored very zealously upon this field, resigning April, 1902 to accept the call to the church at Parker.
The fourth pastor of this church was the Rev. William F. Fleming (133), a graduate of the Western Theological Seminary, who was installed May 26, 1903, and continued to serve until February 15, 1911.
At a congregational meeting held June 8, 1911, this church extended a call to the Rev. Glenn M. Shafer (168) a native of Ohio, graduate of Heidleburg (sic) University and the Princeton Theological Seminary. During the pastorate of Mr. Shafer the congregation succeeded in erecting a new manse beside the church building, facing Seventh Avenue, the building being constructed out of native sandstone to correspond to the finish of the new church. A missionary society of young ladies was started which named themselves the "Helen Shafer Missionary Society" in honor of the wife of this faithful minister.
The older missionary society, started during the pastorate of Dr. Elder in 1871, and the Home Missionary Society, started in 1894, were united in 1911, under the name of the "Kate Montgomery Society" in honor of the daughter of the first minister, Rev. James Montgomery. Both these missionary societies have been active in the work of the church.
The next minister was the Rev. Frank S. Montgomery (199), who was called January 16, 1918 from the church at Derry. The call was accepted and Mr. Montgomery was installed April 25, 1918, this being the period of the World War when many of the young men were in the service of the Nation, and there was anxiety over the loved ones away from home. This pastor was very sympathetic and helpful. A bronze memorial tablet was erected in the vestibule of the church, listing the names of those in service. This pastorate is marked by great activity and prosperity. This relationship was terminated March 16, 1924.
The next minister was the Rev. James E. Hutchison, D. D. (233), called from Scottdale to become the pastor of this church. Installed in 1924, and continued until failing health compelled him to resign from the pastorate, April 2, 1930. But it was a period of very happy, active service. After a brief sojourn in the South, where Dr. Hutchison hoped to regain his health, he was retuning home and died in Gastonia, North Carolina, October 31, 1931. During this pastorate the congregation succeeded in clearing a Six Thousand Dollar debt.
This minister was followed by the Rev. Claire McKay Stewart (257), who was installed March 20, 1931, called from the First United Presbyterian Church of Oil City. During his pastorate at Clarion he was honored by Grove City College with the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. The congregation rejoiced with their pastor over this honor by holding a public reception. This pastor has proved to be a tireless worker, and a popular favorite in public gatherings throughout the entire neighborhood.
Some of the men who have served as Elders in this congregation are: Alex. Guthrie, installed 1843; Robert Sutton, 1854, whose record also showed that he was licensed to preach, and ordained by the Presbytery of Clarion, December 17, 1863, (35); John P. Greer, Geo. W. Lathey, James F. Mackey, Jesse D. Porter, Daniel Delo, and Nathan Myers in 1868; David Lawson and Anthony Bonnet in 1877; Alfred A. Ivory and Aaron J. Davis, in 1887; John McComb, in 1888; Dr. S. A. Wilhelm, Geo. Means and Wm. D. Burns, in 1895; Sam. S. Wilson, J. E. Corbett, H. R. Wilson, and E. E. Brisbin, in 1903; J. G. Becht and C. W. Amsler, in 1909; James K. Boggs and Harry M. Shaffer, in 1912; S. M. Crooks, in 1914.
In 1914 the rotary system of Eldership was adopted and since that time the number has been increased to twelve, which has made more changes as follows: W. B. Rankin, H. S. Manson, Sam. Pickens, in 1915; C. A. Middlesworth, in 1916; L. M. Simmons and S. J. Sloan, in 1919; G. M. Harriager, in 1920; N. A. Rea, in 1922; C. E. Zerby, in 1923; Benj. Stahlman, in 1924; B. W. Thompson, in 1925; E. H. Gorsuch, in 1927; E. R. Dickson, in 1929; M. E. McDonald, in 1931; W. D. Lindsay and A. R. Lobaugh in 1932; C. C. Butler, L. M. Clark, Fred Jenkins, in 1933; Albert Howe and Walter Plummer, in 1934.
Many of these Elders have served long and active terms, and have been active in all the work of the church. This church has always participated in all plans of Presbytery for the general advancement of the Kingdom. During the winter of 1937-38 the pastor of this church was made the general chairman of a Loyalty Crusade which swept the entire Presbytery.
Cloe Presbyterian Church (1915)
As is usually the case, the first records of any church are only made after a great many interesting things have already transpired. Maybe this is for the best, for it leaves out of the record many a disagreement in an established church from whence some with draw to start a church of their own. Such is the case with the Cloe Presbyterian Church. Somebody assumed too much authority in the then existing church and locked out an active group, and that group began to meet elsewhere to carry on their activities unhampered. They first held their Sunday School in Number One School House and later in Williams' Hall. So the first written record, on October 18, 1915, concerns a Group of people meeting under the guide of a Board of Union Trustees, namely: Harry McGee, president; W. R. Yohe, Treasurer; George Carey and Dallas Depp.
At this meeting Dallas Depp was instructed to buy the record book which is still in use. Negotiations were started to purchase the Onandaga school house for a meeting place, but, the price asked by the school board was considered too high, so the matter was dropped. The next meeting was not dated, but was held early in 1916, at which they decided that it would not be in order to take up subscriptions for a new church building until the group had joined some denomination. Mrs. Harry McGee and Mrs. Dallas Depp were appointed to circulate among the people to take their vote on the denomination with which they wished to affiliate, with the agreement among them that they would abide by the decision of the majority.
Accordingly, the Presbytery of Clarion was approached, and on December 10, 1916, the Cloe Presbyterian Church was organized under the leadership of Rev. Charles a. Clark, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Punxsutawney. There were eight member: Mr. And Mrs. W. R. Yohe, Mr. and Mrs. Dale Grube, Mrs. Lavina McGee, Mr. Harry McGee, Mrs. Lottie Williams, and Mrs. Fannie Redding. Harry McGee, Dale Grube, and W. R. Yohe were elected the first elders. R. T. Witherow, Charles Smouse, John McGee, Dallas Depp and J. D. London composed the first Board of Trustees.
On March 25, 1917, the congregation decided to erect a church on a plot of land donated by John McGee. Joe Cochran volunteered to clear and level the ground in preparation for building, in return for his board. John McGee, Dallas Depp, and R. L. Witherow laid out the ground plan for the building, and the work begun. Cellar work was done by W. R. Yohe and Henry Couch. Carpenter work was done by John McGee, R. L. Witherow, and Olin Smouse. The corner stone was laid in the fall of that year.
The basement of the church was roofed and used until the auditorium was finished. Rev. P. E. Burt, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Punxsutawney, acted as Moderator of the session and guided the activities during this period, until in 1918 Rev. Thomas Parker was regularly installed as the first pastor of the new church. The Rev. Mr. Parker served also the Big Run and Pleasant Grove Churches.
During the next six years the group labored unceasingly at the job of building their auditorium. The women's group showed unusual originality and zeal in their efforts to pay for the building. They made and sold quilts; they sold apple butter yearly, of which they made as much as ninety-six gallons in one season; and they raised and sold one hundred and ten bushels of potatoes one summer. The pulpit Bible was secured through the efforts of three girls who solicited contributions for the purpose. A class of young ladies bought the organ. The pulpit furniture was donated by Mr. and Mrs. John McGee. The pews were secured by Rev. Mr. Bird through a donation from Presbytery. At length, on September 28, 1924, the church was finished and dedicated free of debt. Dr. Bell, of DuBois; Rev. Mr. Steffy, of Rossiter, and Rev. A. A. Bird, the pastor, took part in the service.
Building a church edifice has not been their only concern. A strong Sunday School has existed from the beginning. Benevolent giving has always been a real concern. The church, still young, has many of its founders still living, and has not lost the spirit of working out a bold purpose courageously. Within the last year a membership of twenty-eight, through earnest effort, has gained an additional twenty-six members.
Ministers of the Cloe Presbyterian Church: 1916-1918, Rev. Chas. A. Clark and Rev. P. E. Burt of Punxsutawney served as Moderators; 1918-1919, Rev. Thomas Parker; 1920-1927, Rev. A. A. Bird; 1928, Rev. S. A. Gray, student pastor; 1929-1931, Rev. E. S. Newsome; 1932-1936, Rev. Richard Shockey; 1937, Rev. John C. Talbot.
The Church of Concord was organized by Rev. Robert McGarrah in 1807. The elders elected at the time of its organization were Gideon Gibson, Thomas McKibben, and John Wilson.
Mr. Alexander Wilson, who died near Callensburg in the summer of 1879, sometime before his death gave the following account of the first sermon in that neighborhood:
"In the spring of 1805, hearing that the Preacher had come to the settlement on Brush Run, it was thought desirable to see if we could get him to preach a day for us. So I went up to see him, found his cabin near Rehoboth. He was at home. His appearance was not very clerical, as he was engaged in clearing a patch, and his clothes were soiled with the charred logs he had been rolling. His cabin was built of round logs and was twelve by fifteen feet. No door was yet hung, but a quilt was used for this purpose. Dinner being prepared, a plank served as a table, and blocks of wood for chairs. The bedstead consisted of clapboards laid on slender poles fastened to the logs of the house. Mr. M'Garrah set a day for the preaching in our settlement. The road from Licking to the Concord neighborhood was only a path, and part of the way, was not even that, and was therefore hard to find. So when leaving Mr. M'Garrah I agreed that on my way home I would blaze the trees along the most obscure part of the route."
Such was Mr. Wilson's account of the first interview with this pioneer minister. It seems that Mr. M'Garrah arrived in the settlement at the appointed time, having been guided from Licking to his destination by the blazes made on the trees by Mr. Wilson. Standing on a mound produced by a tree falling out of root and the wood rolling away, this man of God, on June 10, 1805, preached the first sermon ever heard in this settlement.
The congregation was gathered on the hillside above the speaker. And this was nearly a mile west of where Concord now stands, on a farm owned at that time by Mr. Terwilliger. All the settlers between the Red Bank and Clarion streams and from the Allegheny River to the Sligo of today, were at that service. They numbered thirteen adults and a few children.
A house of worship was erected near the "Church Spring" (near the present church) in 1805. It was an unpretending structure in cabin style, and yet it was as the gate of Heaven to many a soul. A second church was built in 1823, and the present one in 1846. In an early day the company that owned the surrounding land donated one hundred acres to this church. When opened up it made a good farm, and was a great help in supporting the Gospel. The farm was sold a few years ago, and now the interest of the proceeds goes to keeping up the church.
Father M'Garrah continued to labor here and at Callensburg until he became disabled by a lung affliction, a short time before his death, which occurred July 17, 1839. He was never installed as the pastor over this church, serving all the time as the Stated Supply.
The next pastor was the Rev. John Turbitt who was installed by the Presbytery of Allegheny sometime in 1840. After remaining for less than one year, the relation was dissolved.
Concord, together with Bethesda and Callensburg, then called Mr. David M'Cay, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Huntingdon, who was ordained and installed over these churches on September 27, 1842. Faithfully did he perform his duties until the day of his death in June, 1862. The last few months of his life were spent as chaplain of the One Hundred and Third Regiment P. V.
This church then called the Rev. S. P. Kinkaid (30), who was installed September 15, 1863, and remained their pastor until the time of his death, March 1866.
During part of the years from 1867 to 1869 this chuch was supplied by the Rev. James A. M'Intyre (40). He was received from the Presbytery of Washington, September 24, 1867, and dismissed April 27, 1869.
Mr. Thomas J. Milford (43) a licentiate of Allegheny Presbytery, was next called to this church. He was ordained in Callensburg on November 10, 1868 and on the following day was installed over the church of Concord for one-half of his time. He was released from this church September 18, 1872.
The Rev. J. H. Hawk (55) was installed over this church July 9, 1874. At that time Bethesda was the other half of this charge. Afterwards Mr. Hawk was transferred from Bethesda to Callensburg. Later, when released from Callensburg, he still continued as pastor of Concord, until finally released in September 28, 1880.
The Rev. W. J. Wilson (67) was installed September 1, 1885. However Mr. Wilson settled on the field July 1, 1885 and gave faithful and acceptable service for six years, being released June 1, 1891. Before the arrival of this pastor the church was supplied for about a year by the Rev. S. P. Dillon.
The Rev. Basil R. King (98) succeeded Mr. Wilson as the pastor of Concord and Callensburg, who commenced his pastoral work on April 1, 1894, and continued until October 1, 1897. In October, 1894 This church experienced a marked awakening in spiritual life at which time thirty-two persons united with the church upon profession of their faith. During the pastorate of Mr. King, which covered a period of three and one-half years, there were fifty-seven additions to the church. The Christian Endeavor Society was organized during this pastorate.
The Rev. William J. Hutchison (117) came to Concord as a student from Western Seminary. He began to supply the church in November, 1897, was ordained by the Presbytery of Clarion at New Bethlehem, June 14, 1898, was installed on June 22, and served this church in connection with Callensburg, until November 27, 1901. During this pastorate the congregation was harmonious and prosperous both spiritually and financially.
The church was not long without a pastor. On March 14, 1902, the Rev. J. M. McCurdy, D. D., was appointed to moderate a call for Mr. H. A. Bailey (128). Mr. Bailey was received by the Presbytery of Clarion, ordained April 16, and served this church faithfully for five years, the pastoral relations being dissolved May 1, 1907.
The Rev. Samuel Blacker (154) came as a student from the Western Seminary, was ordained by Presbytery at Corsica, October 29, 1907, and installed November 5th.
The Rev. M. P. Steele (248) came upon the field in 1928 and has been doing very excellent work.
Cool Spring (1887)
The Presbyterian Church of Cool Spring was organized November 30, 1887, by a committee from Presbytery. The first meeting was in "McKinstry Hall" in the vicinity of Cool Spring. The committee consisted of Rev. S. J. Glass, Rev. J. S. Helm and Elder Cummings. At the time of organization there were twenty-one charter members: Elizabeth Barr, J. I. Barr, Mrs. Mary Barr, Matthew Barr, David Harl, Mrs. Deborah Harl, J. A. Harl, Mrs. Rebecca Hrl, Maggie J. McKinstry, Mina H. Kunselman, Ella McKinstry, John R. McKinstry, T. A. McKinstry, B. J. Reed, William M. Reed, Mrs. Catherine Reed, J. B. Shaffer, Lydia M. Shaffer, and Sarah H. Shannon.
At the time of the organization J. A. Harl and John R. McKinstry were elected, ordained and installed ruling elders of the church. In 1895 the congregation erected their house of worship.
The pastors of this church, moderators and supplies, are as follows: Rev. S. J. Glass, moderator at time of organization; Rev. J. S. Helm, 1887; Rev. O. G. McDowell, 1888; Rev. H. G. Kane, 1890-1891, S. S.; Rev. James Conway, D. D., 1892, supplied; Rev. F. P. Britt, D. D., 1893; Rev. H. H. Ryland 1894-1896; Rev. R. M. Coulter, 1899, pastor until 1903 (one-fourth his time); Rev. A. C. Powell, pastor, 1904-1906; Rev. A. H. Gettman, 1910; Rev. O. F. Chattick, 1913-1915; Rev. John T. Alexander, 1917-1920; Rev. David E. Hepler, 1921-1922; Rev. C. L. Bash, 1924; Rev. Alfred Barratt, 1929 (few months); Rev. A. J. Huddock, 1930; Rev. B. M. Taylor, 1931-1936; Rev. W. W. Warman, 1938.
"It is difficult at this writing to find anything very accurate about the membership of this church. None of the original records remain ('55-'71) then only annual meeting records are to be found until 1894. From January 1, 1921, to the present date the Sessional records have been kept, but none before 1921. As a result the information has been put down now and then from memory some ten or fifteen years after the event, with dubious accuracy. Of the one hundred and forty-eight listed members since the church, one hundred and twelve are not in any Sessional record. No charter members survive. The present roll is forty-seven."
This church was organized November 17, 1832, apparently by the energy and activity of one individual. The Historians of Potter County tell us that the first habitation erected within the now existing town-site of Coudersport was built by John L. Cartier in the year 1824. At this time the country was one vast unexplored wilderness with the exception of a possible dozen emigrant families scattered along the Oswayo and Allegheny waterways.
Eight years after the founding of this village by Mr. Cartier, and when its population had grown to less than a dozen families, the Rev. Isaac C. Bliss arrived as a Christian missionary. Mr. Bliss remained onlyl a short time, but his work was effective. Religious services were held first in the Cartier home, then in the Commissioners' office, and then transferred to the newly erected court house until 1849, when the Presbyterian Church was erected.
This organization bears the record of eight charter members: Alcander Bishop, Laura Clary, Annar Hall, Aseneth Hinkle, Joel Ross, Eliza Ross, Abidail Strong, and Elizabeth Taggart. The first Elders to be elected were Samuel W. Baker and W. E. MacDougall.
At first this church seems not to have been associated with any Presbytery. And those uniting with the church were asked to sign the "Covenant" which read as follows:
"You do now in the presence of God, His holy angels and this assembly avouch the Lord Jehovah to be you God, and the Lord Jesus Christ to be your Prophet, Priest and King, and the Holy Ghost to be your sanctifier, comforter, and guide. You deliberately and forever dedicate yourself (or yourselves) and all you have, to God in Christ, humbly confessing and repenting of your sins and solemnly promising, in dependence on His grace, that you will make His word the rule of your faith and practice, that you will carefully observe His ordinances and institutions and that you will never turn back from you profession but will walk with Gog and His people all the days of your life. You more particularly dedicate yourself (or yourselves) to the service of Christ and Christian affection, that you will seek its purity and peace and edification, that you will faithfully employ and meekly receive the admonition and discipline which Christ has ordained, until by death or in the providence of God, your connection with it shall be orderly dissolved.
"Do you, so far as you know your own heart solemnly enter into this covenant?"
The labors of the Rev. Mr. Bliss terminated in February, 1833, after a short stay of three months. But during that time two names were added to the church roll, Mrs. Lydia Bellows and Mrs. Prudence McDougal.
For eleven years after the departure of Mr. Bliss we find very little activity, and scant records. It is quite evident that this colony of Presbyterians was isolated in the great wilderness and were left to themselves. But sometime in 1844 the Rev. Mr. Porter visited the settlement and remained about a year, 1844-1845. Immediately following the minister the Rev. David B. Brown becames (sic) pastor, June 23, 1845.
It was during the pastorate of Mr. Brown that the first church was built in Coudersport, and the first church in Potter County. The pastor being unable to raise sufficient funds for this enterprise in the community, traveled about as far as Williamsport, soliciting funds. These efforts were successful and the church was erected and dedicated.
When the Presbytery of Wellsboro was erected this church naturally became a member of that organization. But with the dissolution of the Presbytery of Wellsboro, this church together with its neighbor, the Presbyterian Church of Port Allegany, were transferred to the Presbytery of Clarion. Here they remained in happy fellowship until by the act of the General Assembly they were again transferred, in May, 1930, to the Presbytery of Northumberland.
The ministers who have served this church are as follows: 1832-1833, Rev. Isaac C. Bliss; 1844-1845, Rev. Mr. Porter; 1845-1853, Rev. David B. Brown; 1858-1859, Rev. C. M. Blake; 1870-1872, Rev. J. L. Landis; 1873-1874, Rev. H. W. Congdon; 1874-1875, Rev. I. F. Calkins; 1876-1878, Rev. S. C. McElroy; 1881-1884, Rev. A. Cone; 1886-1887, Rev. John T. Crumrine; 1888-1896, Rev. C. T. Edwards; 1897-1907, Rev. Emil S. Toensmeier; 1898-1910, Rev. C. W. Todd; 1911-1922, Rev. George P. Donehoo; 1922-1924, Rev. Chas. Scherrer Beatty; 1924-1926, Rev. Royal E. MacGowan; 1926-1935, Rev. Carl H. Dudley; 1935, Rev. Wm. I. Bell.
The pioneer settlers in this region of DuBois were John Rumberger and John DuBois, who came to this vicinity in 1865 and 1872, respectively. And for many years both men were engaged in the lumber business, and a friendly rivalry existed between them. In 1875 the "Big Mill" was erected and the village began growing in population.
During these early years of the city, there was no settled religious body, but preaching was held from time to time under the direction of a committee from Huntington Presbytery, which had been appointed to look after the mission work of Clearfield County. This committee consisted of Rev. H. S. Butler, pastor at Clearfield, Rev. W. M. Burchfield, pastor at Curwensville, and Elders L. Bird of Penfield, and James Graham, of Clearfield.
The first missionary employed by them was Rev. J. W. Cassatt, who later became pastor at Reynoldsville. Following him was the Rev. S. T. Thompson and still later Rev. J. L. Landis, all of whom occasionally preached at DuBois in connection with Karthaus, Penfield and Luthersburg.
In the spring of 1876 the coal operation, which were opened in this vicinity, attracted a goodly number of Welshmen from Schuylkill County. Mr. William Jones came in February of that year, followed by Mr. Thomas H. Simons the next month. As soon as these men reached the village they began looking for material for establishing a Presbyterian Church. They invited Rev. William H. Filson from Beechwoods to come and hold services. The first church service was held in J. B. Ellis' store building, which stood on the ground now occupied by Lauderbach-Grier Co's Wholesale House.
As a result of this service there was a desire for a church organization. The committee of Huntington Presbytery was invited to visit the town and discuss the matter, and a request was sent to Presbytery on the first Tuesday in April for a definite organization.
At the meeting of Presbytery a committee was appointed which consisted of Rev. H. S. Butler, Rev. W. M. Burchfield and Elder James B. Graham, to organize the church. On May 9, 1876 this committee met in the village and formerly organized the "Presbyterian Church of DuBois," with nine charter members. Mr. Thomas H. Simon was elected, ordained and installed the first ruling elder, and for many years the church had but one elder. Of these nine members all were Welsh save one.
At the time of organization Mr. Rumberger offered a lot for the erection of a church on the south-west corner of Franklin and Booth streets (now West Long Avenue). But about this same time the Methodists were deciding to organize a church, and Mr. DuBois donated to them the lot on which the Presbyterian church now stands.
That summer Mr. J. R. Henderson, a student in Princeton Theological Seminary, in his Junior year, was employed by Presbytery to labor at Penfield and DuBois. Mr. Henderson remained on the field for about ten weeks and proved a very acceptable and efficient worker.
The Methodists soon became dissatisfied with their location for a church property and surrendered their claim, when the Presbyterians applied for it through Rev. Mr. Henderson, and Mr. DuBois gave it to them. While the Methodists accepted from Mr. Rumberger the lot abandoned by the Presbyterians, and later built their church upon it.
During the time that Mr. Henderson labored in DuBois the services were held in the New Barn that had been erected for the use of the "Rumberger House." One Sabbath on going to the barn for their services they found that a load of hay had been left on the barn floor. Recognizing that its removal was necessary, the congregation assembled and went to work on the hay, and soon it was placed in the mow, the wagon was removed, the seats were in place and the services were held as usual. These services were well attended and the entire barn was usually filled with people, on the floor, in the stalls, and entry ways. The birth of the Sabbath School of the Presbyterian Church of DuBois may be said to have been in a stall of this barn. Like the lowly Nazarene it had a humble birth, afterwards to shine forth in brightness.
Ground was broken for the church on the Fourth of July, 1876, a deed was executed by Mr. DuBois to the Trustees of the "Bethany Presbyterian Church" on August 10, 1876, and the church building was completed the following year, but was not dedicated until August 22, 1880. And in the meantime a very commodious Manse had been erected.
During these years the Rev. William M. Burchfield was the acting pastor, having been appointed by Presbytery as Stated Supply of Penfield and DuBois. These churches remained under the care of the Home Mission Committee until 1881, when DuBois became a self-supporting field and took the entire time of Mr. Burchfield, while Rev. J. Vernon Bell succeeded him at Penfield.
In February, 1884, it seemed wise to the Huntington Presbytery to organize a second Presbyterian Church in DuBois, with forty of the ninety-six members then found on the roll of the church. And Mr. Burchfield at once became pastor of the new church. The Old First, or "Bethany" Church with fifty-six members presented a call to Rev. J. Vernon Bell of Penfield, who began his work in DuBois on April 20, 1884. After a year of service Mr. Burchfield retired from the Second Church, and an invitation was extended to the Session of the Second Church to return to the old organization and was accepted. The reunion occurred in April, 1885, and by permission of Presbytery the name "Bethany" was dropped, and the organization became known as the First Presbyterian Church of DuBois. In the fall of 1888 it was transferred to the Presbytery of Clarion.
In 1892 a new church was erected for the congregation, at a cost of something over Twenty-two Thousand Dollars. In 1898 the church was remodelel (sic), and the gallery added at a cost of Eight Thousand Dollars. In 1905 an Austin Pipe Organ was installed and further improvements made on the church property.
The original nine members had grown to one hundred and fifty-six by 1883. Then the membership was reduced by removals, death and division to fifty-six. At the reunion of the two churches in DuBois the membership became one hundred and three. After that there was steady growth of about fifty-nine members a year until the membership reached a total of nearly a thousand.
On April 19, 1926 Dr. J. Vernon Bell presented his resignation to the Presbytery of Clarion, in session at Ridgway, having served the church continuously for a period of forty-two years. And the church made Dr. Bell Pastor Emeritus until the date of his death, December 23, 1931.
On July 25, 1926 the Rev. Ashley S. Wilson was called to the pastorate of the First Presbyterian Church of DuBois. And in a very beautiful way cooperated with the aged minister, the Pastor Emeritus. Thus the church in DuBois in half a century had grown frome one of the smaller churches of the Presbytery to a position of prominence, one of the largest, and strongest churches in Clairon.
East Brady (1875)
The Presbyterian Church of East Brady was organized October 7, 1875 with fifty-three members, by the Revs. Elder and Carnahan. The town of East Brady was founded about 1865, and for the first five or six years of its existence or until the summer of 1871 they had no church of any kind. The population at that time was about one thousand, when a Union Church was started, with a well attended Sabbath School organization. And the church services were attended by Methodists, Presbyterians and United Presbyterians, the latter predominating.
Four years later the Methodist Episcopal members withdrew and founded a church of their own. In 1875 the Presbyterians did the same thing, but worshipped in the United Building until the spring of 1882, when the building was destroyed by fire.
The first elders of this congregation were Messrs. Hugh Moore, B. F. Smith, A. L. Ivory and S. H. Slagel who were elected and installed at the time of the organization in 18875.
Mr. Theodore S. Negley preached in this church during the summer of 1876, and was called as Pastor in October and installed on December 5, 1876. In June 1878 this call was modified so as to take two-thirds of the Pastor's time and the other one-third was to be given to the Church at Bethesda (Rimersburg). This relation continued until 1882. Rev. B. F. Williams was called in 1885 and served as Pastor until 1893; Rev. E. A. Cully, from May 1894 until January 1900; the Rev. J. K. McKallip, D. D., from September 1, 1900 until October 1, 1902; Rev. C. P. Marshall, from May, 1903 until May, 1907; Rev. Samuel Mayne, from 1907 until 1913; Rev. John C. Lincoln, from 1914 until 1917.
In 1884 the congregation erected a church building of their own, and in 1902 built a comfortable Manse.
In 1918 the Rev. Harry C. Prugh was called to East Brady and remained on the field until 1922. The Rev. A. J. Saurburn was called in 1922 and remained until 1925. And the Rev. H. T. Chisholm was called in 1926 and has remained on the field longer than any of the other pastors.
In 1928 Mr. and Mrs. N. E. Graham gave the congregation their mansion to be converted into a church. Over thirty thousand dollars was spent in this work of remodeling, the upper floor being converted into the church auditorium and the lower floor used for educational purposes and the completed work presents one of the most attractive church in the Presbytery.
Members and friends of the congregation donated all the equipment and furnishings for the new building, such as the pews, memorial windows, rugs, lights, furniture and pipe organ. The kitchen equipment was purchased by the church organizations.
Through the generosity of friends, a library has been started in the church, but the books are available to anyone in the community.
During the pastorate of Dr. Chisholm the membership of this church has been doubled, the organizations have been active, and at the celebration of the Centennial of the Presbytery, the church is entirely free from debt. The present session consists of B. A. Roach, clerk; E. F. Wilson, A. E. Remaley, R. S. Scar, and R. S. Filson.
Edenburg -- or -- Knox (1877)
This church was organized June 23, 1877 with twenty-eight charter members, by a committee from Clarion Presbytery consisting of Rev. J. S. elder and Rev. D. W. Cassat, with Elders J. R. D. Say and Joseph Pollock. Messrs. J. C. Hill, Albert Culbertson, David B. Wilhelm and Robert J. Atwell were elected and installed the first Ruling Elders.
The first church building was purchased from the congregation of the Church of God, and stood until 1897 when it was torn down and a new and beautiful building was erected at the corner of Main and Railroad Streets. This building was dedicated January 23, 1898, the day the church organization was twenty-one years of age.
A number of supplies were obtained. Mr. Perry S. Allen commenced preaching about the first of May, 1877, and was called the following June, and arrangements made for his installation August 22, 1877, but owing too the illness of his mother it was postponed until September 11, following. This relation was dissolved November 22, 1878.
Then followed a number of Stated Supplies: Rev. W. N. Sloan, during the summer of 1880; Rev. S. B. Fleming, during 1881; Rev. W. J. Wilson, during 1882 and 1883; Rev. David Dickey and students from the Seminary in the fall and winter of 1883; Mr. H. F. Earseman during the summer vacation from Seminary, in 1884; Mr. T. W. Gray, during the summer of 1885, and the Rev. Hugh F. Earseman, D. D., was called as second pastor February 1, 1887.
Edenburg has always been an oil town, and the condition of the church has fluctuated with the oil market. Its sons and daughters have been widely scattered. Many of them followed the oil development to Bradford, Pennsylvania, and others to the Ohio and Indiana fields, some to West Virginia, Illinois and California. A great many finally going to Texas and Oklahoma. While this migration has depleted the membership at Edenburg it has materially helped to develop Presbyterian churches in other places.
The church has had a slow but steady growth throughout its existence. In 1926 an addition was made to the church building, containing a beautiful and commodious dining room, kitchen, parlors and Sunday School room. This addition was made at a cost of Ten Thousand Dollars. In 1933 repairs were made on the parsonage to the value of about Fifteen Hundred Dollars. The church now has a finely equipped building, well designed for carrying forward its work. It also has a neat and comfortable manse on East Main Street, on the lot where the first church building stood.
This year the church reports to the General Assembly two hundred and five members. The people are united and enthusiastic in carrying on the work of the church, and while never large in membership, it has and is still doing an important work in its own corner of the Lord's vineyard.
On February 27, 1934, the church celebrated the Fiftieth Anniversary of Dr. H. F. Earseman's service. He had preached his first sermon in this church. Several members are living who were present at that service. A large congregation sat down to dinner and afterwards repaired to the auditorium where the services were held. Dr. F. Benton Shoemaker, of Brookville, Pennsylvania, represented Clarion Presbytery and presided. Congratulations were extended to the pastor and congregation by local pastors and letters were read from the stated clerks of the General Assembly and Synod of Pennsylvania and by the Executive Secretary of the synod, from the presidents of Western Theological Seminary, Mt. Union and Grove City Colleges. Letters and telegrams were received from nearly every state in the Union, indicating just how wide the influence of a little church may extend. It was indeed a happy occasion and the pastor was encouraged ot continue on in the second semi-centennial of his work. Dr. Earseman resigned in 1938.
Eleanora Presbyterian Church (1889)
The history of the Eleanora Presbyterian Church is so interwoven with the rise and decline of the community of Eleanora that just a word about the community will not be out of place. The town of Eleanora owed its existence to the boom days of the coal industry in that particular section of Jefferson County. The R. and P. Coal Company locating one of its major operations in that locality, the town sprang into being and at one time boasted of a population of perhaps twenty-five hundred or more. Situated on a beautiful hilltop this town was the site of unusually imposing miners’ homes with well kept yards and commodious streets. It was from this midst that some of the foremost leaders of the coal industry in these parts and leaders in other walks of life went forth, so that today many look back upon Eleanora with a certain pride in the glory that was hers.
It was also in this midst that the Eleanora Presbyterian Church came into being to serve a staunch Presbyterian element that had found its way into the community. A spacious church was built which at its best sheltered a Sunday School with an attendance between one hundred and fifty and two hundred, a men’s class of forty or fifty, a male chorus of twenty-five voices, a ladies’ aid of some twenty, and a congregation that must have gone well over a hundred. The records show that at the beginning the church was of the Cumberland Presbyterian affiliation, later coming under the Presbyterian Church, U. S. A., in the union of those two bodies. The church seems to have been organized in 1889 by the Rev. H. G. Teagarden, whose name appears as moderator of the first recorded meeting of the session, August 6, 1899. Choir difficulties appear to have been the crucial problem at that time, even as later they appear intermittently through the minutes. It all gives one the impression that here was a church that took it music seriously.
Rev. H. G. Teagarden seems to have closed his pastoral relation June 21, 1903, and was succeeded by Rev. J. M. Van Horn whose name appears in the minutes of June 14, 1903 as acting moderator and supply. This name occurs for the most part in the minutes as moderator until April 16, 1905. In May 18, 1905 the records reveal that Rev. H. G. Teagarden had again returned and on that date moderated a meeting at which a new organization was perfected, elders and trustees being elected at this time. This same minister continued as pastor until June 23, 1918 when we have his last appearance in connection with the sessional minutes. Out of these minutes we gather such interesting glimpses as these: That on June 21, 1905 the congregation gathered at McKees Run and baptized two by immersion and that on January 27, 1906 fifty-one persons were presented to the session, examined and received into the church, fourteen of them being baptized. Following the pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Teagarden the name of Rev. Mr. Hepler appears as moderator of a meeting of the session when two new members were received into the church. The last name to appear in the minutes is that of Rev. F. A. Gaupp on the occasion of April 6, 1924 when some twenty-four were received into membership. Rev. Mr. Gaupp seems to have served for some time as regular pastor.
The whole story of the organized church comes to a close when, because of the decline in membership, the Presbytery of Clarion, of which it was a part, found it advisable to discontinue the organization. The ceasing of mining operations at Eleanora, which had at one time reached the figure of fine thousand to six thousand tons of coal a day, a record among the mines of Indiana and Jefferson Counties, had compelled the population to seek homes elsewhere. The church building itself was still continued in use for Sunday School purposes, serving in this way the scant dozen homes that clustered about it. But in April, 1937, owing to the deterioration of the structure it was completely abandoned and ordered sold by the Presbytery, thus removing the last vestige of an institution that had served to the glory of God and the blessing of man for almost half a century.
The register of elders and the general records show the following to have served in the eldership: John Cladwell, J. Z. Lingenfelter, Thomas Cowie, Robert Guthrie, James Robertson, Wm. Bain, Sol Hinderliter, and James T. Balls. Of these Mr. Balls still resides in the old site, neighboring the former church, and still assists in the little Sunday School which is being continued in the adjacent school building.
Eleanora Magyar (1910)
Into this same community a number of folks had settled who preferred the Reformed Church of Hungary. On September 21, 1910, when Presbytery was in session at Endeavor, a petition was received signed by thirty-six residents of Eleanora, requesting Presbytery to organize a church. The petition was approved and a committee consisting of the Revs. C. A. Clark, D. I. Schaeffer, and Elder Robert Guthrie to visit the community, and if the way be clear to proceed to organize the church.
In October, Presbytery met in Punxsutawney and the Rev. D. I. Schaffer resigned from this committee and the Rev. J. B. Eakins was appointed in his place. Late in this month the committee met in Eleanora, finding conditions favorable, proceeded to organize the Magyr Presbyterian Church of Eleanora.
However the church only had a short existence, gradually the members removed from this community to find work elsewhere, and on April 17, 1916 the church was declared to be disorganized.
This church never had a building of its own, but met in the Presbyterian Church building. Although there were a number of supplies, the organization never had a regularly installed pastor.
In regard o the Presbyterian Church at Elkton we find a letter written by the Rev. John Wray, January 1, 1867, as follows:
"Mr. Wray, soon after his settlement over the Beechwoods Church, visited Ridgway and preached the first sermon ever preached by a Presbyterian minister in Elk County. About two years from that date, a petition was presented to Presbytery, asking for the organization of a Presbyterian Church. For this purpose a committee was appointed on September 2, 1851, consisting of Rev. Messrs. Wray and Cummings. The organization was effected with six members on March 6, 1852. The following are the names of the members received on certificate: B. P. Little, Adam Shaffer and Mrs. Lucy Shaffer, his wife; and on examination: Mrs. Elizabeth Mackintosh, Mrs. Elizabeth Winklebach, and Mrs. Elizabeth Maxwell."
Adam Shaffer and B. P. Little were elected to the office of Ruling Elders. Mr. Shaffer was ordained according to the rules of our book. Mr. Little declined ordination at the time, but as the members increased in number he was afterwards ordained and installed one of the Elders of the church.
The Rev. John Wray (17) was Stated Supply for the church from the time of its organization until June 20, 1860, when the Beechwoods Church had so greatly increased in numbers as to require all the time of its minister.
The Rev. B. O. Junkin (28) began laboring on August 1, 1860 and was Stated Supply for a period of two years, until August, 1862.
The Rev. Levi Little (37) was Stated Supply from April 24, 1866 until the fall of 1872.
From 1872, the time when Mr. Little ceased preaching here, the membership gradually declined on account of removals, and a complete change in the surrounding population, until there were no elders and no male members left in the congregation.
In April, 1881, Presbytery appointed a committee consisting of Rev. D. W. Cassat, Rev. W. H. Filson, Rev. T. J. Sherrard, Rev. F. P. Britt, and Elder H. Little to visit the field, who invited Rev. S. L. Thompson of Northumberland Presbytery to meet with them. The committee met on May 26, 1881, and carefully ascertained the situation. They found the membership to consist of seven women. On the following day they reorganized the church in the sense of making a complete roll and receiving new members. They ordained elders but retained the original name Elkton. At that time there were ten members received by letter and eleven on confession of their faith. J. Henry Beadle, Robert Hodgson, Sr., and Andrew Ruddock were elected, ordained and installed as Ruling Elders. The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was administered the following Sabbath. It was also recommended that the place of meeting be changed to Dagus Mines, about one mile from the old church. The session obtained leave of Presbytery to employ Rev. D. L. Thompson of Northumberland Presbytery as Stated Supply, from June 29, 1881 to April 23, 1884. The Rev. D. Kennedy of the same Presbytery was Stated Supply for about six months from June 24, 1885. The Rev. a. B. fields was Stated Supply from April 28, 1886 until the time of his death, October 17, 1886. The Rev. J. Bruce Carruthers was pastor for one-half of his time in connection with Brockwayville from June 29, 1887.
On December 3, 1863 a deed was made where John Horning and Polly, his wife, conveyed to George Taylor and Horace Little, Ruling Elders, and John Winklebeck, Deacon of the Elkton Presbyterian Church in Fox Township, elk County, Pa., a plot of ground containing one hundred and twenty perches (120-P), together with buildings and improvements, in the village of Earleville. This original building, which was used by the church, became deteriorated and was sold in the year 1913 by the officers of the Clarion Presbytery, the proceeds of which were turned over to the Elkton Presbyterian Cemetery Association, Inc., composed of E. R. Treharne, George Johnson, Bert James, R. W. Beadle, F. C. Smith and George Pfaff, for the purpose of managing and maintaining the Earleville cemetery. To this cemetery two (2) acres of adjoining land were added, which were bought from the Northwestern Mining and Exchange Company in September, 1927.
In the year 1882, a church was erected at Dagus Mines on a lot that was donated by the Northwestern Mining and Exchange Company, where the congregation continued to worship. During these later years the following men have supplied the pulpit at Elkton or Dagus Mines: Rev. J. Bruce Carruthers, Rev. James Dickson, Rev. John H. Graybeill, Rev. Henry W. Bloch, Rev. E. Burgett Welsh, Rev. Willard C. Mellin, and Rev. Nodie B. Wilson. This church of Elkton, Dagus Mines, has been associated with Ridgway in recent years, which has made a very active and interesting parish.
This church was organized by a committee appointed by Presbytery which consisted of Rev. D. M’Cay and the Rev. James Montgomery, with Messrs. J. B. Lawson, Samuel Keifer and John Guinn as Elders. On the day appointed for the organization Rev. Mr. Montgomery was unable to attend, but the church was organized with charter members, as follows: Alexander B. Crawford, Mrs. Margaret Crawford, Mrs. Elizabeth Crawford, Mrs. Louise Widle, Robert Colbert, Mrs. Ellen J. Russell, Mrs. Lucy Truby, Benjamin F. Junkin, John F. Agnew, James M. Agnew, Mrs. Julia P. Agnew, mrs. Susan M. Agnew, J. F. Agnew, Jr., John Camp, Benjamin Junkin, Miss Mary S. Junkin, Mrs. Ann M. Junkin, Mrs. Mary L. Camp, Miss Hannah J. Wilson, Miss Dorcas Proterfield, Jamaes Orhort, and Mrs. Ann Orhort.
Mr. Alexander B. Crawford and Mr. Benjamin Junkin were elected Elders, and upon the evening of the organization Mr. Crawford was ordained, Mr. Junkin having been ordained by another congregation, and both were installed over the church at Emlenton. Robert Colbert and James M. Agnew were installed January 16, 1860. G. G. Crawford and William Patton were elected in January, 1866, and installed soon thereafter. The "Rotary System of Eldership" was adopted by this congregation October 18, 1873, and elders have been elected periodically at proper times ever since.
During the first two years of its existence the congregation held its meetings in the Town Hall. During the second year a substantial frame building was put up at a cost of $1,800.00. This building was dedicated January 13, 1860 – just two years from its organization. The ministers at the dedication were: J. R. Agnew, James Coulter, s. P. Kinkaid, Loyal Young, D. D., S. J. M. Eaton, and D. X. Junkin. The sermon was delivered by the Rev. D. X. Junkin and Dr. Young offered the dedicatory prayer. It is interesting to note that this Dr. Young was the father of the late missionary, S. Hall Young, D. D. Dr. Loyal Young was for many years the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Butler, Pa.
The first building, due to the encroachment of the Allegheny Valley Railroad and a manufacturing establishment, was sold in 1874. It was used for the last time as a church on Sabbath, May 3, 1874. during the summer and fall of that year the congregation worshipped in the Lutheran Church, and in the early winter in Redic’s Hall. On the first Sabbath in January, 1875, the second and present building was occupied for the first time. This building is of brick and cost, with the lot on which it stands, about $11,000.00. It was built in the fall of 1874 and dedicated August 27, 1875. dr. George P. Hays preached the sermon, and the Rev. Andrew Virtue – a former pastor – offered the prayer of dedication. Other ministers present were: J. R. Coulter, s. A. Hughes, S. C. Faris, John C. Hench, and the pastor, Josiah McPherrin. The Rev. George E. Moore, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was also present.
The church for some years after its organization had no pastor. It was occasionally supplied by neighboring minister. The following ministers have served the church:
The Rev. William Colledge supplied steadily for a part of 1860 and, it seems, supplied at various times from 1858 until 1860. Rev. Mr. Mitchell supplied at times for the congregation. The Rev. John McKean supplied for one-fourth his time from November, 1860, until May, 1863. Reverends J. R. Coulter, James Travis, and Joseph Mateer preached at various times for the congregation. The Rev. Matthias M. Shirley was the first pastor. He was called for one-fourth of his time in October 1864, and installed June 13, 1867. The Rev. Andrew Virtue was the second pastor for one-third his time from June 9, 1868, until June 25, 1872.
The Rev. Josiah M’Pherrin preached to this congregation November 3, 1872, and supplied for one-half his time until April 23, 1873, when a call was placed, and on May 12, 1873, he was installed over the church for all his time. He continued as pastor until January 1, 1884. the Rev. B. F. Williams was then appointed as Stated Supply during the summer of 1885. he became pastor June 22, 1886, and continued as pastor until 1893. the Rev. E. A. Culley was pastor from 1894 to 1899. the Rev. D. E. Craighead was pastor from 1900 to 1902. The Rev. E. L. McIlvaine was pastor from 1902 to 1907. The Rev. B. F. Williams became pastor the second time in 1908 and continued to serve in that capacity until March 31, 1929. The Rev. J. V. Koontz was called and installed pastor November 21, 1929.
The settlement began when "Wheeler and Dusenberry" began operating a lumber mill, not far from the village of Hickory, in Forest County. The work was a success and there came a time when they must decide on a name for the settlement. Several names were suggested, one of the mos popular was a combination of the names, making "Wheelerberry." This suggestion was satisfactory to the men in charge. In the meantime a Christian Endeavor Society had been organized for the benefit of the lumbermen, and was very active in Christian leadership, both in the Sabbath services and in the mid-week socials. Soon it became a familiar expression around the mill to hear someone say: "Let’s go up to Endeavor," or "I am going to Endeavor." So this name was suggested by Mr. Wheeler as the name of the settlement, and the town became known as Endeavor, Forest County, PA.
This church was organized by a committee from Presbytery on April 19, 1896, the committee being Rev. J. V. McAninch, Rev. S. A. Cornelius and Elder A. B. Kelly.
At the time of the organization there were seventeen charter members enrolled, ten coming by letter and seven by profession of their faith. In May, 1896, the congregation called the Rev. J. V. McAninch (86). This was even before there was a definite organization. This pastor remained with Endeavor until September, 1902.
The next year after the organization plans were made to build a suitable house of worship. This church was dedicated on February 6, 1898. The following is an abbreviated copy of the press account of this dedication service:
"On February 6, 1898, at eleven o’clock, the Presbyterian Church at Endeavor was dedicated to the services of the Lord, with the following dedicatory program: Singing of the Doxology; Invocation by the Re. S. A. Cornelius of Oil City; Hymn, "Coronation," by the choir; Scripture Lesson and Prayer by the Rev. J. E. Hilliard of the East Hickory M. E. Church; Quartette, Misses Parshal, Mess, Hague, and Ulf, Hymn, "How Firm a Foundation." Dedicatory sermon by Rev. S. A. Cornelius, from Exodus 32:29: "Consecrate Yourselves this Day to the Lord." After urging the members to apply this to themselves and obey the command he alluded most feelingly to the new church home; of the vows that might be exchanged before the altar; of the dead that might be brought there; of the little ones dedicated to the Lord’s service, and the souls saved within its walls.
"The dedicatory prayer by our own pastor, Rev. J. V. McAninch, was most earnest and impressive and made u all feel that the house was now truly the Lord’s, and that H smiled upon and accepted the gift from the hands of His loving children.
"After a touching hymn, ‘Feed My Lambs,` by Mrs. Marks, a Home Missionary offering was made, resulting in the sum of $94.56, to be divided between the regular Board and the Woman’s Missionary Society.
"The church stands on what the Scotch would call a brae, a frame structure 28 x 56. The interior is finished in polished oak, the windows are of amber cathedral glass, and a large memorial window in the front of the church, with the inscriptions, Mark Atkins Wheeler, 1883-1890, and Isabel Smith Wheeler, 1880-1895.
"Rarely has a winter’s Sabbath dawned more fair and peaceful; never was the snow whiter nor the sky bluer than on the day Endeavor dedicated this new church to the services of God. Long before the time of the service jingling bells announced the arrival of sleigh loads from Tionesta, Tidioute, West Hickory and other direction, far and near, until the edifice was taxed to its utmost capacity and about 300 were seated."
After the pastorate of Mr. McAninch the Rev. C. G. Burd (138), served the congregation for about two years, when the Rev. J. F. Scherer (124) became pastor in 1906 and remained until 1920. The Rev. F. D. Scott (218) served from 1922 until 1926. The Rev. William E. Thomas (249), who had been the Methodist pastor in West Hickory, came to this church in the fall of 1928 and remained until his death January 23, 1935. In the summer of 1936 the Rev. Harold B. Taylor came upon this field.
The church in now happily supplied in a parish consisting of Tionesta, Tylersburg, Marienville, and Endeavor.
Falls Creek (1891)
The Falls Creek Presbyterian Church was organized with four charter members on June 18, 1891, under the direction of the Rev. Dr. J. Vernon Bell.Dr. Bell served as Stated Supply and preached in a school house at Edgemont Park for a number of years. The first church was built upon the present site and was burned, and a fine new frame building was built to take its place.
From the beginning until the present time (1934), there has been enrolled a membership of 592, many of whom have moved away and have been regularly dismissed to other churches.
With Dr. Bell as Stated Supply, seven ministers have served the congregation for various periods of time, as follows: Rev. H. H. Ryland, Dr. H. T. Chisholm, Rev. S. D. Waldrop, Rev. S. G. Palmer, Rev. Chas. W. Cochran, Dr. A. D. Bateman, and the Rev. Arthur Llewelyn.
Twenty-two elders have served the congregation up to the present time, and seventeen deacons.
The church quite early in its history organized a Woman’s Missionary Society and a Ladies’ Aid Society. There are two active Endeavor societies for the young people of the church, a Senior and a Junior Society. And in this manner the church has endeavored to maintain something of the spirit of the Church of Thyatyra. Rev. 2:19, "Known for its works, charity, service, faith, and practice."
The Presbyterian Church at Foxburg was organized November 20, 1877, with twenty-two members, by Revs. Bryan and McPherrin with Elders Joseph Pollock and O. C. Reddic.
James C. Patterson, P. S. M’Intosh, John Spear, and George T. Atkinson were elected elders and installed. At first the congregation had no church building of their own but worshipped in the hall that was built by Mrs. Fox for school and preaching purposes.
Rev. W. N. Sloan commenced preaching in the summer of 1878, and was installed as pastor on October 31st of that year. This relation was dissolved September 28, 1880.
Foxburg was an oil town that was depleted by a large number of removals, and the congregation soon suffered seriously from this cause. After a period of time the church was dissolved.
The village of Greenville in Limestone Township, was given this name because of the dense growth of evergreens along the banks of Piney Creek. The Craig Woolen Mill was established here in 1866, and a few years later the Ogden Woolen Mill came into operation. But by 1840 lumbering became the chief industry of the community.
The first religious services held in the township were in a log school house, erected in 1918 on the corner of the farm belonging to George K. Miller, the farm later owned by Mr. George Hoover. For several years these were union religious services.
About 1848 the Rev. James Montgomery from the New Rehoboth Church began preaching in the school house at Greenville, with considerable frequency. As a result of these services four acres of land were donated by Mr. Washington Craig for a Presbyterian Church, and in the summer of 1853 a house of worship was erected. This building was completed in November, 1858.
On December 14, 1858 a committee from Clarion Presbytery came to Greenville and formerly organized the church. This committee consisted of three ministers, Rev. James Montgomery of New Rehoboth, the Rev. C. P. Cummins of the Pisgah Church, Corsica, and the Rev. Dr. Joseph Mateer of the Leatherwood Church, and the two elders, James Armstrong of Licking, and Samuel Craig of New Rehoboth.
At the time of the organization there were sixty-six members received from the mother church, New Rehoboth, six from Leatherwood, seven from Pisgah, one from Licking, and one was added on profession of faith, making a total of eighty charter members.
At the time of the organization four elders were elected, Joseph Cochran, John Neil, Culbertson Orr, and John Wilson. Three deacons were elected, D. S. Orr, W. J. Corbett, and C. M. Sloan.
The first pastor of Greenville was the Rev. James S. Elder who came as a Licentiate from the Presbytery of Saltsburg, the call being made for two-thirds of his time, the other third being shared with the church of New Bethlehem. Dr. Elder served the church from June 28, 1858 until February 11, 1868. In December, 1863 his services were transferred from New Bethlehem to Pisgah, and his time was to be equally divided between Greenville and Pisgah. This relation was dissolved February 11, 1868.
Rev. J. M. Hamilton commenced preaching in this church May, 1869 and was installed June 8th, and continued as pastor until April 26, 1871, when he was compelled to resign on account of failing health.
The Rev. Orrin A. Elliott was installed November 19, 1872. At first he gave all his time to this one church, but in March a vacancy occurred in the New Rehoboth church, and Mr. Elliott was invited to supply that pulpit, and his pastoral services arranged for one-half his time. This relationship was dissolved September 25, 1878.
After the resignation of Dr. Elliott this church had only occasional supplies, appointed by Presbytery for a period of three years. When on April 13, 1881, the churches of Greenville and New Rehoboth presented a call to Rev. F. P. Britt, D. D., who enjoyed the distinction of holding the longest pastorate in the history of the church. His pastorate continued until April 18, 1894, a period of nearly thirteen years.
After the resignation of Dr. Britt the pulpit was supplied by Rev. G. A. B. Robinson, who came to this Presbytery from the United Presbyterian Church. He was installed October 10, 1894 and continued to serve the church until February 25, 1897.
Within a few months the Rev. J. C. Dible was called and installed November 7, 1897, and remained on field until May 1, 1900. After this pastorate there occurred a vacancy for nearly a year, when the Rev. J. A. James was called, and installed on April 1, 1901, and remained until September 1, 1907.
The Rev. J. C. McGaughey served this church from October 1, 1909, until December 2, 1912. The Rev. Hugh Rowlands came May 14, 1914, and served until March 23, 1919. The Rev. William M. Saunders served the church from January 18, 1821, until December, 1923. The Rev. Ruel E. Keirn was installed pastor October 12, 1925, and remained until April 20, 1931. In October of 1931 the Rev. J. Wallace Fraser, D. D., of the New Bethlehem church, was appointed Stated Supply.
During the Summer of 1933 the Greenville Church celebrated their seventy-fifth anniversary. During this three-quarters of a century eleven men had served the church, the twelfth man was then on the field. During this time the church of Greenville had been very active in missionary work. Six of the sons of the church had entered the ministry and nine had gone forth as missionaries. One of the unusual features about these missionaries was the work of three sisters who served among the Negroes of the South. A sketch published by the Board of Freedmen some years ago is reproduced in part in this Centennial History (see the article entitled "The Travis Sisters in Virginia").
Another very interesting fact is that ten men from old Greenville, finding work in other fields, became Elders in the churches of their adoption: Dr. R. H. Speer in Vandergrift, Pennsylvania; R. C. Wilson in Minnesota; A. O. Wilson in South Bend, Indiana; J. H. Wilson in Rockford, Illinois; Frank Cochran in Brockway, Pennsylvania; Dr. J. L. Thompson in Washington, Pennsylvania; Franklin Orr in Apollo, Pennsylvania; Harry M. Walters in New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; William J. McElhoes in New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
This section of the country has suffered greatly from emigration. One section of the congregation where Presbyterians were very numerous at the time of its organization in 1869-1870, has so changed in population that scarcely one Presbyterian family remains in the neighborhood.
The War of the Rebellion made serious inroads on the church organization. As nearly as can be ascertained thirty soldiers left Greenville for the Civil War. Of this number twelve were either killed in battle or died in the hospital, and never returned home. Prominent among these heroes stands the name of Colonel Calvin A. Craig, who recruited a company of his own, which became known as Company C of the One Hundred and Fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Again in the World War the Greenville boys were quick to respond to the call of the Nation, and nineteen men enlisted for service. Numerous and varied have been the vicissitudes of this congregation. During its existence it has suffered greatly from death, removals and from transfer of membership. At the present time there is an enrollment of seventy-three in the church membership, with an average Sabbath School attendance of sixty. A most active Missionary Society of fifty members, and during the past three-quarters of a century there has always been one and often two Presbyterial officer in this little band of faithful workers.
Another one of the interesting features of the Greenville Church is the fact that during its entire existence the congregation has worshiped in the same identical building, except for a few changes which have been added from time to time to make the house of worship more comfortable or more attractive, it is the same as was erected in 1858.
In 1938 the Greenville Church celebrated its eithtieth (sic) anniversary with a week of specially arranged services. Extensive landscaping had been done on the grounds arround (sic) the church, shrubbery had been planted as a memorial to Mr. And Mrs. W. Harrison Craig by their children, Mrs. W. A. Reed, Mrs. Myra Simpson, and Mrs. Florence Himes. The church building has been completely wired for electricity. The old crystal chandelier bearing the date of 1873 was electrified, and six individual lamps made to correspond to the same period as the chandelier. Outside lamps and lamps on the driveway have added greatly to the beauty and convenience of the evening worship. These electrical fixtures were bought and presented to the church by Mr. Charles E. Andrews, Jr., of New Bethlehem, in honor of his mother, Mrs. Blanche Craig Andrews, who was reared in the Old Greenville Church. These lighting fixtures make the interior of the church one of the most unique sanctuaries in the whole Presbytery, and perhaps in Western Pennsylvania.
Church of Greenwood was organized with seventeen members on the third day of June, 1841, by the Rev. J. Core, acting under directions from the Presbytery of Allegheny. John Reed and James Johnson were elected and installed as Ruling Elders.
This church seems only to have had occasional supplies up to September 6, 1843, when the Rev. Robert W. Orr was appointed as Stated Supply for one-half of his time, and served in this capacity for a period of six months.
Rev. William M’Michael served this church as Stated Supply for one year from August, 1844. Then the Rev. James Smith was Stated Supply for one year from April, 1847. The Rev. Henry Neal was Stated Supply for four years from October, 1848. Rev. John W. Potter was Stated Supply from October, 1854, until January, 1856. Rev. Wm. M’Michael again became Stated Supply for two years from June, 1856 and served until 1870.
Rev. James A. Ewing was then called to the church for one-half of his time, and installed November 23, 1858, and served as Stated Supply at Mill Creek and Tylersburg, each for one-fourth of his time. This relation was dissolved April 26, 1859. Then for several years it was only irregularly supplied by appointments from Presbytery until in 1874 it separated into two bands. The Southern band being organized under the name of Shiloh and the Northern band as Scotch Hill. After this division there were services occasionally held in the old church until it was dissolved in April 29, 1885.
Hawthorn - or - West Millville (1874)
This church was organized with seven charter members on May 25, 1874, by a committee from Presbytery, consisting of Dr. Joseph Mateer, Rev. Ross Stevenson, and Elder James Wilson.
Prior to this organization, meetings had been held in the local school house, and the petition was sent to Presbytery requesting the organization, in the spring of 1874. On July 14 the congregation met in the school house to consider the erection of a house of worship and plans were drawn for a building thirty-five feet by fifty feet with an eighteen-foot ceiling and basement. In the spring of 1875 work was started on the church building.
At the time of the organization J. R. McAfoose and Isaac N. Sloan were elected and ordained Ruling Elders. For the first few months the pulpit was supplied by various ministers: In October, J. C. Hench (54); in November, Rev. Ross Stevenson (47); in December, Rev. Josiah McPherrin (50); in January, Rev. J. H. Hawk (55); in February, A. B. Fields (49); in March, Rev. O. A. Elliott (48), and in April, Rev. D. W. Cassat (52). In September, 1875, a call was issued to the Rev. James M. McCurdy, D.D., for one-half of his time. Dr. McCurdy was installed January 24, 1876, and released June, 1888.
During the pastorate of Dr. McCurdy the church was duly incorporated and a burial lot was purchased from Mr. Wm. C. Sloan. The church building was erected and work was well organized.
Following Dr. McCurdy a call was issued for the services of Rev. G. A. B. Robinson (91) for one-third of his time. This relation was dissolved March 1, 1897.
On March 15, 1898, Dr. J. L. Proudfit was called for one-half of his time. This relationship was dissolved in 1903. For the next two years the pulpit was filled with supplies, Dr. F. P. Britt from Corsica and Dr. J. L. Proudfit from New Bethlehem.
In the spring of 1906 calls were issued for the services of the Rev. J. A. James (125) and by him accepted. He was dismissed in 1909. Then followed a period of irregular supplies with Rev. J. H. Ralson, Rev. H. H. Rayland, Rev. U. D. Reiter and others supplying the pulpit.
In 1910 this church united with Summerville and extended a call to the Rev. D. I. Schaeffer (163). This relationship was dissolved May 21, 1911.
On March 10, 1913, the Rev. E. W. Bates was called and installed. He only remained about one year, when the Rev. Clifford H. M. Graves (187) was called to the Summerville and Hawthorn Churches, April, 1915, and dismissed September, 1916.
In the summer of 1917 the Rev. J. J. Gurber (196) came as pastor and remained until 1923. If we would judge by the number of additions to the church, this was a most successful pastorate.
In 1924, the Rev. Maxwell Cornelius was appointed Stated Supply until the spring of 1926. In the fall of that year the Rev. J. Wallace Fraser, D. D., was appointed Stated Supply until the summer of 1930 when the Rev. R. E. Keirn was appointed as Supply. This relation was dissolved in 1933 and the Rev. William J. Organ was called as pastor. Under this pastor the work assumed new life and activity. This relationship was dissolved in the summer of 1938.
The original name of this village, West Millville, is derived from the nature of its activity. In 1803 the first brick house was erected, as the early settlers began to locate along the Red Bank Creek. Soon several stores, shops and ample hotel accommodations were erected and the town became the principal stopping place for the stage coach and for teamsters in their hauling from Mahoning to Brookville. And the first grist mill of the entire community was located here. But after the completion of the Low Grade Railway in 1873, the hauling ceased, and the large hotel remained as a silent reminder of the past. Later the name of the town was changed by postal authorities to Hawthorn.
And during the pastorate of Rev. R. E. Keirn the name of the church was changed to that of Hawthorn Presbyterian.
This church was organized April 29, 1890, by a committee from Presbytery cinsisting (sic) of Rev. J. Vernon Bell, D.D., Rev. John S. Helm, D.D., and Elder J. L. Brown.
Having met for some time and holding religious services in a little school house, located between Market and Center Streets, and later in the Swedish Mission Church on Cobb Street, this little group of Presbyterians decided to have a church of their own.
They met in the home of Mr. George Bowman on East Street for a social time, at which time they drew up a petition to Clarion Presbytery signed by eighteen residents of the community. This petition was presented at a meeting of Presbytery held in DuBois April 23, 1890 by the Rev. W. J. Arney, member of the Kalamazoo Presbytery of Michigan, and who was invited to sit as a corresponding member of Clarion Presbytery.
Mr. Arney reported that he had been laboring for some time in the community of Johnsonburg, and they were ready for a church organization. The petition was granted, the committee appointed and in due time met and organized the church.
The congregation was incorporated July 14, 1890 with the following trustees: W. J. Ebert, James E. Smith, George Barnum, R. C. McIntire, M. M. Morrison and W. R. Palmer.
The church building was erected in 1892, and dedicated January 1, 1893. The Sabbath School was added in 1901. The church has been served by the following minister: the Rev. W. J. Arney, never a member of the Clarion Presbytery, but working in the community under the direction of Presbytery. The first minister served for a year and a half; the Rev. Albert Allen Bird for nine and one-half years; the Rev. J. Montgomery Travis (123) for about a year and a quarter; the Rev. John H. Cooper (11) for twenty years; the Rev. C. L. McCoy (243) for four years; Mr. Edwin A. Schoemaker, while a student in Theological Seminary supplied this church during the summer months of 1933, when the Rev. N. B. Wilson (198) was appointed as Stated Supply and is still serving the church.
The original elders elected by the congregation were W. H. Reese, W. J. Ebert, Charles Phillips, Joel Kline, George W. Warner, W. T. Watrous and C. I. Beekman. And those who have served the church since that time are J. H. Alleman, J. M. Bell, George Yourger, S. G. Snyder, W. E. Heckendorn, John Davis, R. K. Knight, E. T. Winckey, G. A. Deise, Frank G. Knights, Jonab Davies, Forest Thompson, C. E. Wilson, Gilbert Laving, Dr. J. W. Warnick, Howell Gregory.
The charter members of the congregation were Andy McCrea, George W. Barnum, Mrs. C. Barnum, Misses Minnie and Ella Barnum, W. H. Reese, all of whom came by letter; W. J. Eberts, Mrs. Naney E. Eberts, Mrs. Laura Morrison, Miss Bell Altenberg, Miss Anna Golly, Mrs. H. Pugh, Mrs. W. G. Quigley, and Mrs. W. H. Duncan, who came by profession of their faith. At the time of the History, Miss Ella Barnum is still living and the only charter member that is still connected with the church.
Altogether there have been approximately four hundred members on the church roll as follows: One hundred and thirty-six have come by letter and two hundred and thirty-six have come by profession of their faith. Dismissals and suspensions have amounted to one hundred and forty-six. This record shows that the greatest increase in any one year was during 1909 and 1910 which reached a total of ninety-two. The present membership of the Johnsonburg church is one hundred and forty-nine.
Statistical reports show that there has been rough sledding at times when it has taken great inspiration to continue the work. But the building has been kept in repair and has recently been redecorated. Under the present pastorate the work is progressing happily.
There have been several successful young people’s organizations under the name of Christian Endeavor and Boy Scouts, the latter is still sponsored by the church. Many classes of the Bible School have been organized and registered, that have given special aid to the Worship Services.
A church choir was organized quite early in the history of the church, which has "wavered according to the trend of the times." At first the foot-pedal organ was used, which later was replaced by three pianos.
Also at a very early date the women of the church were organized into an aid society, which has had a steady and happy growth and is now divided into three circles. This organization has taken a deep interest in the religious work of the community and has helped tremendously with the financial burdens.
The men have also had their Brotherhoods, but it has not had such an active growth. "During the recent campaign in the spring," (referring to the Loyalty Crusade of 1937-38, prompted by the Committee on National Missions on a Presbytery-wide scale) "splendid progress was noted in membership, in attendance at all services, and in attitude of the congregation." This is the personal testimony of one who is residing on the field and has taken a special interest in all the work of the church. This writer continues, "In a record which has been kept by the pianist for the past eight years, shows that January, 1938, had the best church attendance in all these years.
This church has the distinction of being the first church organized by the Presbytery of Clarion, after its erection, October 22, 1841. The Presbyterian Church of Leatherwood was organized May 14, 1842, with nineteen charter members, by the Rev. E. D. Barrett. At the time of its organization Robert Henry, Daniel Beck and Ross M. Corbett were elected and ordained the Ruling Elders.
As a matter of historic record, the charter members were: John Ardry, Daniel Beck, Nancy Beck, Ross M. Corbett, Fanny C. Corbett, Isaac Corbett, Kashiah Corbett, Davis Goheen, Sarah Goheen, Joseph Guthrie, Mary Ann Guthrie, Robert Henry, Nancy Henry, Isabell Henry, William Kirkpatrick, Sarah Kirkpatrick, Nathaniel Peoples, David S. Rankin and Margaret Rankin.
A call was presented to the Rev. E. D. Barrett (8) on September 26, 1842. On the Wednesday following he was installed for one-half of his time, the other half being given to Pleasant Grove, a church within the bounds of Blairsville Presbytery, and later received into Clarion (June 30, 1907). He was released on April 4, 1848.
If we would judge by the activity of the church and the number of additions, we must decide these first years were very busy and the pastor most successful. In September, 1842, there were thirty-four added to the membership. Again in July, the following summer, there were twinty-one added to the church most of them by profession of the faith. And the third year at the mid-summer communion an ingathering of twenty-one. With these repeated large accessions, this was one of the most active churches in the Presbytery.
For two years after the departure of the first pastor the church was supplied fairly regularly by the Rev. John Core (4) from the Licking Church, and on April 9, 1850, he was called to be their regular pastor, and was installed in May for one-half of his time, still continuing one-half at Licking. This relation continued until his death, May 7, 1854.
On September 24, 1854, the Rev. Joseph Mateer was called to this church for one-half of his time, the other half being given to the Licking Church. He was ordained in this church and preached his last sermon her, serving faithfully as pastor for twenty-nine years, or until his death in 1883.
The Rev. L. W. Barr (74) was pastor from April 24, 1884, until September 28, 1886. This minister was followed by the Rev. O. G. McDowell (83) who was the son-in-law of Dr. Joseph Mateer. He was installed May 17, 1886, and remained until September 28, 1892.
The sixth minister of this church was the Rev. James C. Dible (101), who served as pastor from May 8, 1893, until 1899. Then for about a year and a half the church remained vacant, with only occasional supplies, until the Rev. John A. James (125) was called as pastor, who served from April 1, 1901, until August 30, 1907.
The eight pastor of the church was the Rev. W. C. Ferver (148), who remained about three years, from 1909 until November 21, 1911. This minister was followed by the Rev. Lafayette Rexrode (171), who was installed April 16, 1912, and remained until April 19, 1915.
The tenth minister to serve this church was the Rev. D. R. Thompson (193), who served from October 12, 1915, until April 21, 1919.
Then followed a period when the church was served by supplies, until the Rev. Wm. McClelland Saunders (211) was called as their pastor in January, 1921, and remained until June 16, 1924.
The twelfth minister to serve this church was the Rev. Ruel E. Keirn (195), who served as pastor from July 5, 1925, until April, 1933. This minister was followed by the Rev. Wm. John Organ (264), who served from October 5, 1933, until July, 1938.
Beside the three elders that constituted the Session at the time of organization, Robert Henry, Daniel Beck, and Ross M. Corbett, the following men have served as Elders of Leatherwood: William Henry, Evan Thomas, Henry M. Wick, M. D., George T. Henry, McConnel Hindman, John Wilson, S. H. Hamm, Thomas J. Henry, Uriah Wilson, Daniel Gourley, Robert Sample, Michael Jack, Samuel A. Fowkes, David Fagley, Milton Hepler, Chas. J. Henry, Grover C. Delp, H. A. Swartsfager, M. M. Sample.
It was during the winter of 1906 that the church of Leatherwood caught on fire and burned to the ground. But the members of the congregation heroically set themselves to work to erect a new house of worship, which was dedicated in 1907.
During the pastorate of the Rev. Ruel E. Keirn the basement of this church was excavated and a delightful and very much needed social room was added to the building. It was during this same administration that the cemetery committee was organized, which made extensive improvements in the adjoining property.
Some of these improvements were completed under the pastorate of the Rev. William J. Organ, who was especially active in Youth Administration. And during this period the church bell was secured and hung. For four score years this church had been most active, yet without any means of calling the community to the hour of prayer.
Leatherwood will also be remembered as the home of the great foreign missionary, Dr. Hunter Corbett, who, with Mrs. Corbett, left for the mission field of China in 1863, and gave fifty-six years to that land. The children of this family were born on the mission field but returned to America for their education and looked upon the grandmother’s home at Leatherwood as their own home. But after completing their college work, six returned to the mission field, and together this family has given one hundred and ninety-nine years of service to the foreign field.
This church, as nearly as can be ascertained, was organized in the fall of 1802, when the Rev. John McPherrin was sent by Redstone Presbytery to preach in the "Connecticut Reserve." During the formative period of our Nation, all the lands between the Allegheny Mountains and the Mississippi River were claimed by some of the colonies along the Atlantic seaboard. These claims were known as the "Reserves" of some certain colony. Immediately after the Revolutionary War these states (formerly colonies) reasserted their claims very loudly. But there were conflicts by overlapping claims. And it was not until October 10, 1780, that a plan was arranged whereby all the states would relinquish their claims, and cede their rights to the Federal Union. This land was then known as the "Western Reserve" and was to be divided into separate states as the Federal Congress might decide. The "Connecticut Reserve" lay between the claims of Virginia and Massachusetts, but stretched from the mountains to the Mississippi and touched the southern edge of Lake Erie and Lake Michigan.
The late John Moffett stated not long before his death, that he remembered well of his father telling that the Rev. John McPherrin preached the first sermon that was ever delivered in this section. And local testimony states that this sermon was delivered under the "Twin Oaks" which stand just in front of the present Licking Church building. (See oak trees in the picture in this History."
However, the name of "Licking" was not used in reference to this first organization, but the term "Stump Creek," that being the name by which the Clarion River was then, and a long time afterwards, known. But as the territory became more thickly settled the term "Stump Creek Region" or the Clarion River Valley" was too indefinite for the location of any one church, so one of the tributaries of this river, known as Licking Creek, was chosen as the name for this church. And the first definite record we have regarding its organization is from the pen of the Rev. John Core, the second minister of the church, who says, "Licking was organized in 1802." And it is believed that New Rehoboth was organized at the same time, even on the same day, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. And the story of these two pioneer churches of the Presbytery is so interwoven, that they appear at times to be one church. For further details regarding this association, see the record of New Rehoboth in this History. The first pastor of Licking was the Rev. Robert McGarrah, who came in the spring of 1804 and remained until 1844.
The second pastor of the Licking Church was the Rev. John Core who came in 1844. Licking enjoyed Mr. Core’s services all the time from April 3, 1844, until Leatherwood was added to his charge, May 3, 1850. After that time he continued to labor one-half of his time in Licking, until the day of his death, May 7, 1854.
On September 4, 1854, Licking, in connection with Leatherwood, presented a call for the services of the Rev. Joseph Mateer, a Licentiate of Redstone Presbytery. Accepting the calls, he was installed over Licking for one-half of his time on December 7, 1854. After a pastorate of over twenty years he was released from Licking on June 17, 1875.
This church then made out a call for half the time of the Rev. James M. McCurdy, a brother who had recently been received from the "Cumberland Body," and who was pastor of Millville (later Hawthorn) for half of his time. He was installed October 6, 1875, and continued until 1905, a ministry of over thiry (sic) years.
This church, like that of New Rehoboth, suffered greatly in the point of members from the organization of other churches within her old territorial limits. Although it is a great honor to be the Mother Church of the younger churches around the old parent nest.
During the period from 1905 to 1907 the following ministers supplied the pulpit: Rev. A. C. Powell, Rev. W. F. Fleming of Clarion, and Rev. H. A. Bailey of Callensburg. In 1908 the Rev. Homer George McMillen supplied the church for a time, and in 1909 the Rev. Fred Dent and the Rev. Arthur L. Hail.
But in July, 1909, the church extended a call to the Rev. W. C. Ferver, who continued until 1912. Between 1912 and 1915 the Rev. Lafayette Rexrode served as their pastor. And in August, 1915, the church called Rev. David R. Thompson, who served Licking until 1919, when the Rev. H. D. Ewing was called to serve Licking and Sligo. In July, 1921, Rev. Burgess D. Holter was called as their pastor and served faithfully until the date of his death, April 30, 1926.
In July, 1926, the Rev. C. L. McCoy was called as their pastor and continued until the summer of 1930 when the Rev. John C. Howarth was called in 1931 and continued until 1937, when Mr. Howarth resigned and retired from the active ministry. In 1938 this church extended a call to the Rev. Elder D. Crawford, who came upon the field and served Callensburg and Sligo. Dr. Crawford is still upon the field doing splendid work at the time of this printing.
The first house of worship was erected in 1808, four years after the first minister began to serve the field. At that time the total number of communicants stood at thirty-three, but they were encouraged to build their meeting house. In the construction of this original building we find recorded that twenty-five-foot logs were used, and the roof was made of clap-boards. Later this building was used as a school and finally became the Manse, or home of the minister.
The second church building was erected in 1822, also made of logs but double the size of the first building. These two log meeting houses were located a few feet southwest of the present church building. It is interesting to notice that the windows in the first Log Church were made of "greased paper" but the second church was built of "hewn logs, shingle roof, glass windows and board seats. As the congregation entered their own pews they also shut the doors and two ten-plate stoves furnished the desired heat.
But after a time this church was considered to be too small and there was talk of a "new church." This talk finally crystallized into fact and a substantial frame building was erected in 1848. This church stood on the site of the present church building. After a period of years this church became too small for the growing congregation and, as the building needed extensive repairs, again the congregation decided to build a new church. This fourth house of worship was erected and dedicated on October 12, 1890. And, except for some alterations and remodeling from time to time, is now used by the congregation of Licking.
In recent years one of the interesting projects of this church has been the Male Chorus under the direction of Mr. H. C. Craig. The size of this chorus has varied from year to year, often numbering as high as twenty male voices. For several years this chorus has been in demand among the neighboring churches of various denominations.
The first settler in Marienville was Cyrus Blood, who came from New Hampshire and opened a clearing in the forest which became known as the "Blood Settlement" and the family held their membership in the Presbyterian Church of Brookville. Afterwards, when Forest County was organized and a post office established, the region was named "Marion" in honor of the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Blood, who afterwards became the wife of Col. John D. Hunt.
Religious services were held as often as a minister could be secured, and these services were always held in the home of Mr. Blood. In 1880 a narrow gauge railroad was built, known as the Pittsburgh and Western, and immediately a great lumber business followed, and the community began to grow. The Presbyterian Church was organized by a committee from Clarion Presbytery, May 29, 1883, with then charter members by the Rev. William M’Michael. Mr. S. S. Towler, M. D, and J. B. Watson were elected and ordained Ruling Elders. In 1884 a church was erected and the congregation was occasonally (sic) suppled (sic) by Dr. Elder, William M’Michael, B. F. Williams and Dr. H. F. Earseman. In 1888 the last named man was called as their pastor for one-fourth of his time, the other three-fourths being given to the church at Edenburg.
In 1902 the original church building was destroyed by fire and the next year a new and modern structure was erected in its place, the dedication sermon being delivered by the Rev. Geo. B. Robinson of the Presbyterian Church of Parker. The church as suffered just as the whole community has suffered with the decline of the lumber business.
In the fall of 1931, Dr. H. F. Earseman resigned as the pastor of this church that he might devote all his time to the church at Knox. Supplies were heard occasionally during the winter and spring and in May, 1932, the Rev. J. C. Porter, then pastor of Tionesta Church, was secured as pastor, dividing his time between the Marienville and Tionesta charges.
An event of great interest took place in May, 1933, when this church celebrated their fiftieth anniversary with a young people’s service on Sabbath morning, May 28, at eleven o’clock. On Monday, May 29, a social hour was held in the I. O. O. F. Hall, with an evening service at eight o’clock, in which the former pastor, Dr. Earseman, gave the address on "Memories of My Pastorate." At this time eighteen members were received into the church.
In 1936 the Rev. Harold B. Taylor was called to this church in part-time service with Tionesta and Tylersburg. Mr. Taylor has been doing a very aggressive work on the field.
Maysville - or - Hazen (1870)
This church was organized June 14, 1870, with ten charter members by the Revs. Messrs. Wray and Marks.
J. R. Trimble and M. C. Hoffman were elected and installed Ruling Elders.
The Rev. W. H. Filson was installed as pastor September 27, 1871, for one-fourth of his time. Beechwoods and Richardsville being the other churches in the charge. This relation was dissolved April 29, 1875, to take effect the following May.
Following this resignation, the church was supplied for a period by various ministers under the appointment of Presbytery. During the winter of 1881 this church enjoyed a splendid season of evangelistic services and revival in religion under the preaching of Rev. A. B. Fields.
In 1871 the congregation built a very comfortable church at the cost of Two Thousand Six Hundred Dollars.
This church was dissolved in 1927.
Medix Run (1896)
This church was organized by a committee from Presbytery on March 4, 1896, with thirteen charter members. The first elders of the new organization were Messrs. Alexander Doig, Reed D. Corbett, and John V. Thompson, who were elected, ordained and installed on the date of organization.
On April 29, the Rev. David Caldwell was called as their first pastor, who was installed over the churches of Penfield and Medix Run, April 29, 1896.
For several years previous to this organization we find the "Committee of Presbyterial Missions" reporting that they were using Penfield as a center and had three preaching points, or missions: Winterburn, Tyler, and Medix Run. Then because the work seemed to be favorable, they proceeded to organize the church at Medix Run.
However, the church enjoyed a very short existence. Because of removals from the community the work was disbanded and the church was dissolved April 21, 1897. The Rev. David Caldwell continues to labor at Penfield with marked success.
Middle Creek (1843)
This church was organized October 9, 1843, by the Presbytery of Clarion. At a meeting held in Brookville in September, 1843, a petition was presented asking for the organization of a Presbyterian Church in that portion of Armstrong County east of the Allegheny River, and between the creeks of Redbank and Mahoning. This was the result of the labor of David S. McComb, a licentiate of Clarion Presbytery, who had for some time been preaching in the neighborhood in private homes, barns and school houses, as a humble but faithful missionary in the Master’s work.
In April, 1844, this church extended a call to Mr. McComb which he declined. The committee appointed by Presbytery to organize the church was Revs. E. D. Barrett and David McKay and Elder A. N. McCain. The committee met in the Salem church on the above date and completed the organization with ten charter members. Thomas Gray, John Beham and Henry Heasley were elected and ordained Ruling Elders.
From its organization until 1846 this church was supplied by the Rev. E. D. Barrett; during 1847, the Rev. David McKay; in 1848 and 1849, the Rev. John Core; again in 1850, by David McKay; from October, 1850, until December 1852, the pulpit was supplied by the Rev. Laverty Grier; from 1853 util 1856, by the Rev. James Montgomery of Clarion, and Rev. William McMichael of Richland; from October 1856 until August 1857, by the Rev. N. M. Crane; from September 1858 until October, 1860, by the Rev. W. P. Moore of Rimersburg.
On September 24, 1861, the Rev. John H. Sherrard (31) was called and installed, and continued as their pastor until February 19, 1867. The call was then extended to Rev. J. A. E. Simpson and by him accepted. He was installed on July 3, 1867, and continued pastor until April 27, 1870.
Up until this time the church was in the Clarion Presbytery. But in 1870 the church was transferred to the Presbytery of Kittanning.
During the pastorate of the Rev. J. A. E. Simpson the church enjoyed a period of revival, when there was a goodly addition by profession of faith. The Sabbath School has been from the time of its organization, a union school, ministering to the needs of the entire community.
The house of worship was not erected until 1864, when a neat edifice was erected at the cost of One Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars, measuring forty by fifty feet, with a twelve-foot ceiling. Rev. James S. Elder writes, "I think their house of worship must have been a union one. I remember preaching in the old one which stood for some time after they entered the new one in 1864. The first time I preached in Middle Creek the men were all in their shirt sleeves and the pews were simply slabs with feet by no backs."
In 1919 the name of this church was changed by the Presbytery of Kittanning to the "Tidal Presbyterian Church." The church still enjoys a thriving existence and is at present under the able direction of the Rev. A. H. Gettman.
Mill Creek - or - Fisher (1844)
This church was organized April 22, 1844, with four charter members. The committee sent from Presbytery consisted of the Rev. William Kennedy, the Rev. David Polk and Elder James Hindman.
Joseph Pierce and Thomas Guthrie were elected and ordained Ruling Elders. From its organization the Rev. William Kennedy supplied the church until the time of his death of November 2, 1850.
Then followed several supplies: The Rev. David Polk from April, 1852, until April, 1853; the Rev. J. W. Porter from June, 1853, until October, 1856; and occasionally the Rev. J. A. Ewing supplied the pulpit during the same period.
In 1856 the Rev. Theodore S. Leason, D. D., pastor of the Mt. Tabor Church at Sigel, was appointed by Presbytery to visit the field. And to the great surprise of everyone the church took on new life and Dr. Leason continued as Stated Supply from 1856 until December, 1891.
The Rev. Jacob I. Humbert was called to the field in 1893 and remained until February, 1924. This minister was followed by the Rev. C. LeRoy DePrefontaine, who began September 24, 1924, and remained until December, 1930.
In 1931 the Rev. Harvey W. Logan began to labor on this field with unusual success, and is still on the field at the time of this printing.
For a number of years this congregation had no house of worship, using first the district school house. But in the spring of 1865 plans were made for the erection of a house of worship. The pastor and people became enthusiastic over these plans and the church was erected at a cost of Two Thousand Four Hundred Dollars, and dedicated on June 26, 1866. In 1909 extensive repairs were made, and a belfry added. During the pastorate of Mr. Logan the church became self-sustaining, and a basement for social and educational purposes was added to the church building.
Beside the original session, Messrs. Joseph Pierce and Thomas Guthrie, the following men have served as Ruling Elders: William Ion, David E. McNaughton, Ernest J. Malmgren, Harry G. Miles, Harry Terwilliger, Harry Allen Agnew, and Oscar Blaine Davis.
Mt. Pleasant (1857)
This church was organized May 16, 1857 by the Rev. C. P. Cummins and Rev. John M’Kean. Services connected with the organization were held in a barn belonging to Mr. D. S. Chitester. There weretwelve charter members in the organization, viz.: Samuel Davison and Elizabeth, his wife; John S. Lucas and Cordelia Lucas, Thomas W. Anderson and Eliza Anderson, William Davison and Emeline Davison, Nicholas M’Quiston and Martha A. M’Quiston, Sarah Clark and Phoebe Hall.
Samuel Davison and John S. Lucas were elected and installed Elders. On the following day (Sabbath) the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was administered in the house of Mr. Chitester. The first person received into the church was Miss Elizabeth Gibson on the twelfth of December, following.
Rev. John M’Kean was Stated Supply of this church from its organization until September 14, 1860. Rev. John Wray was Stated Supply for some time during the period from 1862 to 1863. Rev. T. S. Leason began laboring on the field for one-fourth of his time as Stated Supply in September, 1864, and continued until June 26, 1883.
This little church has passed through many dark and discouraging days. It has suffered greatly from removals. Several times as new recruits would assume the responsibility of the church, they would find their lot cast into other fields.
In 1862 the little log church and adjoining lot, which had belonged to the Evangelical body, was purchased and used during its early existence. In 1870-1871 the congregation succeeded in erecting a very beautiful and commodious frame house of worship at a total cost of Two Thousand Eight Hundred Dollars.
Rev. J. S. Helm, D. D., was pastor from November, 1883, until April 1885.
From 1885 to 1893 services were conducted by supplies. In 1893 the Rev. Mr. H. H. Ryland was called to the pastorate. Under his leadership the church and community experienced a geat spiritual revival. Many professed their faith in Christ and were received into full membership of the church. Rev. H. H. Ryland served as the regular pastor until 1897. The church was served by supplies until 1900 when the Rev. Mr. R. M. Coulter was called to the regular pastorate and served until 1902. Again for several years the church was without a minister. In March 1904, the Rev. Mr. A. C Powell was called. He served until November, 1906.
On April 14, 1905, the ladies of the church organized a Ladies’ Aid which proved to be a great factor in keeping the church building in good repair. In 1906 the Aid furnished the money for the painting of the building, and in 1909 bought carpet and colored glass windows. A few years later the organ was replaced with a new piano.
After a short pastorate by Rev. J. H. Ralston in 1909-1910 services were held by supplies until 1912 when the Rev. O. F. Chittick was called. He served until 1915. Rev. J. T. Alexander served as pastor from 1915 until 1919.
The church building was in need of repairs in 1914. Although the church was without a minister the members raised enough money to plaster, paint and carpet where necessary. A reopening service was held on January 11, 1925, with the Rev. Mr. Offut of Kittanning Presbytery, in charge. At this service Four Hundred Dollars were contributed by friends of the congregation, so no debt was placed on the congregation.
After a number of years of services with supplies in charge or with ministers serving for a year or part of a year, the Rev. B. M. Taylor was called in 1931. On August 19, 1934, a Homecoming Service was held to celebrate the Seventy-seventh Anniversary of the organization of the church. A large number of former members attended this service at which the Rev. H. H. Ryland, of Ligonier, a former pastor, preached and administered communion at the morning service. After a basket picnic in the grove adjoining the church, the Rev. Mr. Taylor gave a brief history of the church, recalling the names of the former ministers and asked for volunteers to tell what they remembered about these men. Mr. Ryland also reminisced. After a successful ministry of five years, Mr. Taylor resigned in November, 1936.
During 1937-1938 the church was served by a student pastor, Rev. A. F. Kearney. In July, 1838, the congregation called the Rev. Warren W. Warman. He was installed on the nineteenth of that month.
Mr. John Cummings was elected as clerk of sessions in 1866 and served for thirty-one years. Relatives of the faithful Elder are still active in the Mount Pleasant Church. Mr. Grant Cummings is treasurer and a trustee of the church, his wife is an elder, and a niece, Miss Mabel Cummings, is an elder, serving as temporary clerk, and a teacher in the Sunday School.
Following are the names of Elders of Mt. Pleasant Church at Knoxdale, Pennsylvania: John Lucas, elected May 16, 1857; Samuel Davidson, elected May 16, 1857; J. H. McKee, elected in 1863; John Cummings, elected July 2, 1866; Thomas Wadding, elected July 2, 1866; N. W. Stewart elected June 9, 1878; John Matthews, elected June 9, 1878; H. E. McCracken, elected January 4, 1895; H. D. Morrison, elected January 1, 1895; Samuel Bailey, elected May 29, 1898; David Stoner, elected May 29, 1898; Wm. Calderwood, elected October 14, 1905; J. L. Cummings, elected October 14, 1905; Clare Calderwood, elected June 6, 1915; Calvin Matthews, elected June 6, 1915; M. R. Jones, elected February 25, 1917; Mrs. S. G. Cummings, elected August 30, 1931; Mabel Cummings, elected September 25, 1932.
To be continued...