“The following Bits of Church History have appeared in the Sunday morning Bulletin Inserts, on the dates noted below. The Inserts will continue to appear weekly throughout the year. Copies may be obtained in the Gathering Place, along with specially prepared folders for collecting them throughout the year”
June 24 "FAITH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH - Part I"
1 January 1, 2012
As early as 1755, several families of Presbyterians were gathering to worship in their homes in York. And in 1762, their petition to the Presbytery of Donegal to recognize and supply The English Presbyterian Church in York was granted. But it would be some years before the congregation would have a plot of land, a sanctuary, or a full time pastor.
As we celebrate our 250th Anniversary throughout 2012, weekly inserts in the Bulletin will provide brief insights into the Saints who have gone before us, the Pastors, the Sanctuaries, the Sunday School buildings, the stained glass windows, the organs, the manses, the cemetery, our Mission work, our missionaries, and some of the special events.
In the heart of the city, THE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH has been A SERVING SPIRIT FOR 250 YEARS
# 2 January 8, 2012
Following the recognition of the English Presbyterian Church of York in 1762, records indicate that over the next twenty years “supply pastors” (often theological students) were occasionally sent by the Donegal and Carlisle Presbyteries. Where they were meeting in those early years is not clear.
However, on October 25, 1777, John Adams, a delegate to the Continental Congress then meeting in York, wrote to his wife Abigail, “There is one church here erected by the joint contributions of the Anglicans (Episcopalians) and Calvinists (Presbyterians), but the Minister, who is a Missionary, is confined for Toryism, so that they have had for a long Time no publick Worship.”
#3 January 15, 2012
In 1785 the York Presbyterians received an affirmative answer to their petition to Philadelphia for land on which to build a church. John Penn and John Penn, Jr., heirs of William Penn, deeded the land “situated on the corner of High [now Market] and Queen Streets as a site for a house of religious worship and burial ground for the use of English Presbyterians and their successors in and near the town of York.” The fee for transfer of the deed was five shillings.
Four years later, construction of the first building for the “religious society” in York began. Rev. Henry Niles in his history of our church later described the building as “a plain brick building with a wide brick central aisle, an entrance on one side, large square pews and a high pulpit.” Some other descriptions of the building’s materials, design, and orientation leave its exact appearance and placement on the lot uncertain.
#4 January 22, 2012
The First Pastor
After several attempts to secure a pastor, in 1792 the congregations of York and Hopewell received an acceptance from the Rev. Robert Cathcart, D.D., a Scotch-Irish immigrant who had been in America since 1790. Among the signers of his call was James Smith, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The terms of his contract were for seventy-five pounds annually from each congregation. Initially sponsored by the Philadelphia Presbytery, Dr. Cathcart joined the Carlisle Presbytery when he was installed as Pastor in October of 1793.
Dr. Cathcart, born in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, in 1759, was a graduate of the University of Glasgow in Scotland, majoring in sciences and theology. He came to America at the urging of an uncle living in Wilmington, Delaware. Dr. Cathcart served the Hopewell congregation for forty-two years and the York congregation for forty-four years, until April of 1837. During his long pastorate, he preached on alternate Sundays at York and Hopewell, traveling by horse and carriage seventeen miles over rough roads, missing his Hopewell service only twice because of illness. He had a favorite saying: “Punctuality, if not a Christian grace, is certainly a moral virtue.”
Insert #5 January 29, 2012
EARLY DAYS OF OUR CHURCH
The Reverend Robert Cathcart, our first pastor, was ordained to the ministry October 2, 1793, and installed pastor of the York and Hopewell (Round Hill) congregations. At that time, about twenty-five families, mostly of recent Scots immigrants from Ulster (Northern Ireland) comprised the York church. However, six women were the only communicants (church members). As a result, for some years the affairs of the congregation were managed without Elders or an elected Board of Trustees. As Dr. Niles wrote in his historical sketch of the early days, “Yet all things moved on harmoniously, a few active individuals cooperating with the Pastor, whose regularity, punctuality and good judgment were abundant guaranty to all.”
Another accomplishment for our church during Reverend Cathcart’s pastorate was obtaining a charter of incorporation granted in 1813 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The grant was to “the Reverend Robert Cathcart, William Harris, John Forsyth, William Barber, James Johnson, and Penrose Robertson, and their successors duly elected . . . , to have continuance forever thereafter, by the name, style and title of the Trustees of the English Presbyterian Congregation.” Following approval of this Charter, the first Ruling Elders, Peter McIntyre and William McIlvaine, were elected. A framed copy of the Charter is displayed in our church library.
Insert #6 February 5, 2012
THE FIRST SUNDAY SCHOOL
In the 1780’s, Robert Raikes founded the Sunday School movement in England to educate poor boys and girls who worked in factories, typically twelve hours a day and six days a week. Using the Bible as a textbook, volunteers taught reading, writing, hygiene, and citizenship. Here in York, the first Sunday School was established in 1817 with Reverend Cathcart as a prominent leader. This Union Sunday School of several denominations met in a schoolhouse on Philadelphia Street with sessions scheduled from one to four o’clock. After one year, when the attendance grew to three hundred children, classes were moved to the York County Academy. Reverend Cathcart eventually agreed to be President.
Gradually, the various York denominations established their own Sunday Schools. In the 1840’s, our church built a Lecture and Sunday School Room, which was enlarged twice until it was replaced in 1867. Another Sunday School was opened in 1882 in the “South End” of York in a “cooper shop” (baskets and repairs) behind 713 South Duke Street. The sponsor was Elder Samuel Small, Sr., of our congregation. In a few months, the school had one hundred “scholars.” Soon song sessions and prayer meetings were held in the neighborhood. Mr. Small then provided funds for a chapel that became known as Calvary Presbyterian Sunday School. This structure and organization were the genesis for Calvary Presbyterian Church.
Insert #7 February 12, 2012
PASTORS 1839 – 1859
The second pastor of our church, Rev. Benjamin J. Wallace, D.D., was installed on May 9, 1839, and served until September 1845, when he accepted a professorship at Delaware College. He later moved to Philadelphia to become editor of the “Presbyterian Quarterly Review” until his death in 1862.
Rev. Daniel Hopkins Emerson, D.D., was our third pastor from October 1, 1845, until April 1855. He then served the American and Foreign Christian Union. Subsequently, he returned to pastorates in St Georges, Delaware, and Philadelphia until his death in 1883.
The fourth pastor, Rev. Charles J. Hutchins, was installed in October 1855, and served until 1859, when he accepted a call to Racine, Wisconsin. During the Civil War he served as an Army chaplain with the Wisconsin 39th Regiment, after which he moved to pastorates in Fulton, New York, and in 1869, Petaluma, California.
Insert # 8 February 19, 2012
THE REV. THOMAS STREET, D.D. AND A NEW SANCTUARY
By 1859, the congregation had grown to more than 120 members, and the Trustees decided that a larger sanctuary was needed. Philadelphia architect Joseph C. Hoxie was hired to draw plans for the new church.
Our fifth pastor, the Rev. Thomas Street, D.D., of Philadelphia, was installed by the Presbytery of Harrisburg in January 1860. That winter part of the sanctuary ceiling collapsed. With remarkable speed the decision was made to proceed with a new church. In May 1860, the original building was torn down, and work on the new church was begun. The cornerstone was laid in June 1860.
With the onset of the Civil War, it became difficult to raise the needed funds, but construction continued. The sympathies of the people of York, and presumably those in the congregation, were divided between the two sides; but Dr. Street had strong convictions, and he reportedly spoke powerfully for God, for the Right and Liberty, and for the Union.
The sanctuary was dedicated on September 8, 1861. The final cost was a bit over $20,000. The English Presbyterian Church in York was poised to complete its first 100 years.
Dr. Street resigned in May 1864 to accept a call from the North Presbyterian Church in New York City.
Insert #9 February 26, 2012
BUILDING THE SANCTUARY AND STEEPLE
The York Gazette of October 16, 1860, reported: “The new church edifice now in course of erection by the Presbyterian congregation of this borough is under roof and promises to be a structure of which the congregation may well be proud. The roof just completed is quite a novelty, being composed of black and green slate, laid off in figures. The green figures on the black ground quite relieves the sameness and monotony which so large a surface would otherwise present to the eye. The work on the spire which is to be, we believe 180 feet high, the highest in town, is likewise progressing. About 75 feet of brickwork have already been put up and the remaining 25 feet will be completed in a week or so. 8 immense pieces of timber 62 feet in length were hoisted to their places a week ago and will form the foundation of the wooden spire, the sides of which are to be covered with slates. These timbers are fastened about 55 feet from the ground so that the weight of the woodwork above will rest upon the lower and thicker part of the structure, thus rendering it very secure and permanent. No work has been done to the interior of the edifice and we are not aware how long a time will be required to finish it for the congregation.
The foundation walls supporting the tower are 4 feet thick except the north wall which is supported by an inverted brick arch which mirrors the arch-opening of the tower above at the rear of the sanctuary, an unusual architectural feature. The brass finial atop the spire is 5 ½ feet in diameter.”
More than 150 years later, this steeple continues to reach upward to proclaim the Glory of God.
Insert #10 March 4, 2012
"The Rev.Henry E. Niles Arrives"
Our sixth pastor, Henry E. Niles, was born in Massachusetts, grew up in Spencertown, NY, and graduated from Union College in 1844. He received his divinity degree from The Princeton Theological Seminary in 1848. After serving congregations in Valatie and Angelica, NY, he was called to the North Church in St Louis, Missouri. With the onset of the Civil War, he returned north to serve the Presbyterian Church in Albion, NY.
He had accepted the call to York just as Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865. Then, on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The Presbytery of Harrisburg was meeting at FPC York the following day, when they learned of the President’s death. That Easter Sunday, April 16, the Sanctuary was draped in black bunting, and that evening, the Rev. Henry Niles was installed as our pastor.
On Wednesday, April 19, Rev. Niles gave one of the two addresses at a community memorial service for President Lincoln at the Lutheran church. He said, “And what an Easter Sabbath was that—when all over the land, bells that a few days before had been ringing out their joyous peals on the festal air, were tolling the knell of a nation’s Hopes; when flags, which had blossomed out from every window in the sunshine of victory, were fringed with a crape, their exultant folds gathered with bands of black; when in all our churches were worn badges of mourning and hung the drapery of woe…This day, when a mighty nation is bowed as by one common impulse of sorrow and shame, shall be remembered as the beginning of increased Union and Loyalty and Fidelity to the truth.” This Black Easter was a somber advent to Rev. Niles’ remarkable 35-year ministry here in York.
INSERT # 11 MARCH 11, 2012
"THE REV. HENRY E. NILES, D.D., THE FIRST 25 YEARS"
On the occasion of his 25th Anniversary at First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Niles noted that, on his arrival in 1865, there were 115 communicants, only 22 of whom were males. By 1890, that number had grown to 457, including 135 males. In addition, 26 members were sent to form the nucleus of Calvary Presbyterian Church in 1883, and in 1887, another 38 were dismissed to start Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Dr. Niles reflected, “Some of the best experiences of my life have been in laboring with and for young people. They are comparatively free from the deadening, restrictive influence of old habits; and on them must be the hope of the Church.” He talked about the importance of the Sabbath School and the completion of the new building in 1868. A list of new groups formed during this time included: the Ladies’ Prayer Meeting, the Temperance Society, the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society, the Niles Mission Band for young ladies, the Always Ready Band for little girls, the Woman’s Home Missionary Society, and the Westminster Home Mission Band.
In 1874, Rev. Niles was the moderator of the Synod of Philadelphia. He served as a Founding Trustee of The York Collegiate Institute (later to become York College) and as a Trustee of Lincoln University.
In 1876, Rev. Henry E Niles received a Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of Wooster, now called the College of Wooster.
INSERT #12 MARCH 18, 2012
"REV. DR. HENRY E. NILES, EPILOGUE"
In reviewing Dr. Niles’ legacy in his 1907 History of York County, George Prowell states: “But he was more than a successful pastor of a flourishing church. He was a practical advocate of that practical Christianity which is today recognized as the highest aim of human achievement, the most liberal interpretation of the new commandment. He had: the industry, the perseverance, and the executive ability which are necessary in the makeup of a good business man; the thirst and capacity for knowledge, which made him a devoted student all his life; and the high morality which made all these serve a common end, the good of his fellowmen. It was his well-rounded character which won to his projects the respect of all who were associated with him in any kind of work.”
Nearly 35 years after his installation at First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Henry E. Niles died on May 14, 1900. He was interred in the church yard west of the Sanctuary near the Sunday School Building. His wife Jeannie referred to as a “handmaiden of the Lord,” lived until July 2, 1913, and was buried beside him.
In the narthex of the Sanctuary is a bronze plaque honoring Dr. Niles: “IN LOVING RECOGNITION OF A LONG AND ACTIVE PASTORATE, SINCERELY DEVOTED TO THE WELL BEING OF HIS DEAR PEOPLE. FOR THIRTY-FIVE YEARS FAITHFUL PASTOR, ELOQUENT PREACHER, SYMPATHETIC FRIEND, COURTEOUS NEIGHBOR…BE THOU FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH AND I WILL GIVE THEE A CROWN OF LIFE.”
Insert #13 March 25, 2012
"THE THREE ANSES"
In 1817, after about twenty-five years in York, Dr. Robert Cathcart and his family moved into our first parsonage. This brick building was on the corner of High Street (now Market) and Queen. It became the home for nearly seventy years for six successive pastors, from Dr. Cathcart to Dr. Henry Niles.
As time went by, the l817 building continued to need repairs and modifications, including some paid for by Dr. Niles, who became pastor in 1865. After much debate concerning whether to repair or build, in 1886 the foundation was laid for a new red brick, 2 1/2 story Victorian manse facing Queen Street. In his historical sketch, Dr. Niles later wrote about “the present convenient, healthful, and tasteful manse,” one that he had successfully led the congregation to build. Six pastors from Dr. Niles to Dr. Dickson (1937-1953) lived there. The only artifact remaining in our archives is a sizeable, dark red brick saved by Mrs. Gail Cunningham, a church member.
By 1955, the decision was made to tear down the second manse, clearing the land for open space. To provide a parsonage, the church purchased a suburban home for $40,000 at 1349 Hillcroft in Spring Garden Township, near Queen Street. This address was the residence for two pastors, Dr. Ernest Campbell and Dr. Richard Oman, until it was resold about 1973.
INSERT #14 APRIL 1
"THE BELL TOWER AND STEEPLE"
As viewed from the hills surrounding York, the steeple of the First Presbyterian Church stands out as it soars above our neighborhood. With its finial, it tops out at 211 feet. The current sanctuary, bell tower, and steeple were completed in 1861, although it would be some years before the interior décor was finished.The large bell in the tower is inscribed:
"Presented To the Presbyterian Church York By P.A. & S. Small A.D. 1861"
For nearly a century, it was rung by pulling on a rope, but today, it is rung electronically.The carillon broadcast system was originally installed at Calvary Presbyterian Church and dedicated:
"In loving memory of Mr. and Mrs. Philip R Adams, Sr.by their children Christmas 1962"
Following the merger of Calvary with FPC on October 6, 1996, it was transferred to our tower.
The star near the top of the steeple, which is illuminated during Advent and Christmas, was first installed in the early 1950’s by Al Uhler and Len Tomes. It measures 3 feet across and has been replaced once. A second replacement is currently under construction.
INSERT #15 APRIL 8, 2012
THE STAINED GLASS WINDOWS
In 1892, our sanctuary underwent renovations to include the installation of electricity and the stained glass side windows. The pattern is similar among the windows, and most are constructed with opalescent glass. A few have translucent glass. Both the transom above and the hopper below open for air exchange. The plaque at the base has the name of the donor or the person memorialized. At the time, each window cost $200, or about $5000 in today’s market. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has not been determined.
The original 1867 Sunday School building underwent major renovations in 1899-1900, including installation of stained glass windows. J. A. Dempwolf was the architect on this project. These windows were manufactured by Conroy and Prugh of Pittsburgh at the bargain price of $12.50 per window. They are double-hung and are made mostly of “cathedral glass,” which is a semi-transparent sheet of rolled glass. In contrast to the sanctuary side windows, the transoms contain religious symbols.
The last stained glass windows to be installed were the three in the narthex below the steeple. Prior to 1917, the organ and choir were housed in this area and precluded a view of the original 1861 windows. With the removal of this organ during the 1917 renovations, the windows became accessible and were replaced with stained glass designed and manufactured by J. Horace Rudy, one of the premier artisans in the country. Rudy had trained in Philadelphia, but established his reputation in Pittsburgh under the aegis of H. J. Heinz. He worked mainly in opalescent glass. He married a woman from Emigsville and relocated to York in 1906, but still commuted regularly to Pittsburg. In 1916, at the height of his career, he designed the windows for our church. The beauty and craftsmanship can best be seen up close. Facing east, south, and west, they catch the sun’s rays at different times of the day and change accordingly. They are the only windows in the church to show figures, angels on the east and west windows and Jesus and the woman at the well on the south-facing one.
Insert #16 April 15, 2012
Following the death of Dr. Niles in 1900, the Reverend David Stewart Curry became our seventh pastor (1900-1908). Born in Ireland, he was a graduate of Princeton Seminary and was serving as our Assistant Pastor. He was installed in York by the Presbytery of Westminster on November 13, 1900. A year later he travelled to Edinburgh for his marriage to Catherine B. Fraser on March 12, 1901. As reported in our local newspaper, the young married couple was welcomed home to a manse “repapered, repainted, and completely refurnished.” His pastorate later was described in Session minutes as “marked by devotion, spiritual fervor, intellectual power, and physical energy.” In 1908 he accepted a call to Mount Union, PA. He died unexpectedly in 1924.
Our eighth pastor was Dr. John Ellery Tuttle (1908-1916). A graduate of Amherst College, he had previously served the Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska. During his ministry here, the sanctuary was extensively remodeled, moving the organ and choir from the rear of the church to the front . In 1910, the use of individual glasses for communion services was begun. A year later pew rents were discontinued and the envelope system for offerings was inaugurated. In April 1916, the Session voted “to erect a Board of Deaconesses to be elected on the rotary plan, organized with classes for three years, two years, and one year.” During his tenure in York, the Sunday bulletin listed Dr. and Mrs. Tuttle as being “at home, afternoon and evening” on Mondays (welcoming callers). Resigning in 1916, he accepted the pastorate in Swarthmore, PA.
Insert #17 April 22, 2012
DR. TAYLOR: 1916-1919
Dr. Andrew Todd Taylor became our 18th pastor in 1916. Born in Antrim, Ireland, in 1866, he came with his family to settle in Pittsburgh at the age of about fifteen. In l889, he graduated from Grove City College and for one year became a high school principal in Sewickley, PA. The next year he attended Western Theological Seminary and then transferred to Princeton Seminary, graduating in 1893. His first pastorate was at Mount Prospect Church in Philadelphia (1896-1908). He achieved an A.M. higher degree from Princeton in 1901. Grove City awarded him a doctorate degree in 1906. Two additional pastorates before coming to York were in Toronto (1908-1912) and Trenton (1912 -1916).
His three years and three months pastorate here in York included patriotic midweek services during World War I, interceding for our cause and praying for world peace. During his pastorate he inaugurated The Visitor, a weekly bulletin mailed to church members from 1917-1934. Dr. Taylor was also a co-founder of the Inter-Church Federation of York. In 1919 he attended the World’s Brotherhood Federation in London and served as secretary for the United States Committee. Following his sudden death in December, the Session Minutes declared: “By his cogent message we were quickened to honor God and to do good to men.” He is buried in our churchyard along with his wife, Lauretta Brownson Taylor, who survived him for forty-one years.
Insert # 18 April 29, 2012
DR. HOGUE: 1920-1936
Dr. Walter Jenkins Hogue became our tenth pastor in 1920. Born in 1878, he graduated from Franklin College in Ohio in 1900, and attended Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1903. From 1903 to 1904, he studied at New College in Edinburgh, Scotland, then in 1919, received his D.D. degree from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Before coming to York, Dr. Hogue’s pastorates were in Swissdale, PA (1904-07); Unity, PA (1907-12); and Second Church in Washington, PA (1912-20).
During his first year in York, Dr. Hogue initiated classes for new members. In 1921, the Sunday School building was remodeled at a cost of $113,000. Also in 1921, donations from church members enabled Dr. Hogue to be our first pastor with an automobile. In 1930, Dr. Hogue had the honor of serving as the Moderator of the Synod of Pennsylvania. By 1935, our church membership had increased to 973 active members. During his pastorate in York, Dr. Hogue also participated in several clerical and civic groups and served as a trustee of Wilson College and the York Collegiate Institute.
At the time of his death in 1936 at the age of 57, he had served sixteen years, more than most of the previous pastors. Writing a Tribute for his funeral, Elder W. McConkey Kerr reflected, “He was probably the most widely read man in York. He believed that, in the ministry, scholarship should be at its best.” Dr. Hogue was buried in the Silver Springs cemetery, between Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg, at the church founded by his ancestors.
INSERT #19 May 6, 2012
CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – PART I
When residents in the south end of York city appealed to the First Presbyterian Church to form a neighborhood Sunday School, the response was positive. The South Duke Street Sunday School opened in Hess’ cooper shop in the rear of 713 South Duke Street on August 6, 1882, under the leadership of Elders Samuel Small, II and Henry S. “Harry” Myers. The membership grew quickly. Elder Samuel Small, Sr. donated land at the southeast corner of Boundary Avenue and Duke Street where a small frame Chapel was built, opening on November 19, 1882, as Calvary Presbyterian Sunday School. Guided by Westminster Presbytery and 26 members from FPC, the Rev. George L. Smith was called. Calvary Presbyterian Church had its first service on October 9, 1883. Rapid growth led to additions to the chapel, and in 1885, the cornerstone was laid for a new stone sanctuary. It seated 425 people and was dedicated on February 16, 1886.
Rev. Smith served through 1897 and was followed by Rev William J. Oliver (1898-1929), Rev. Warren E. King (1930-1934), and Rev. Frank L. McCormick (1934-1942) who enlisted as a Chaplain in the U. S. Navy. Rev William M. McElwain (1944-1949) and Rev. T. Thompson Moore (1950-1969) followed. With the decreasing city population and flight to the suburbs, the membership gradually decreased. On March 1, 1969, Calvary merged with Trinity United Presbyterian Church located at West Market and West Streets with Rev. Kenneth A. B. Wells as pastor. Trinity was established in 1903 by the United Presbyterian Church in North America, which merged with the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) in 1958.
The Calvary property on South Duke Street was sold to Crispus Attucks in June 1971 for $60,000. Calvary then contributed $20,000 toward the construction of the Crispus Attucks Center.
INSERT # 20 MAY 13, 2012
FIRST UNITED TRINITY/CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – PART II
In 1902, the United Presbyterian Church of North America (UPC-NA), a sister denomination of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (PC-USA), had 3 congregations in York County at Guinston, Hopewell, and Chanceford. As members of these churches began to leave their farms for work in the city of York, they decided to start a Sunday School in the west end of the city. It opened on October 26, 1902. By January 10, 1903, this Sunday School grew into a congregation with 14 charter members. This was the First United Presbyterian Church. The following year, a sanctuary was built at the corner of West Market and West Streets, which was dedicated on January 31, 1904. The Rev. Charles E. Newcomb was the first of a series of Presbytery Home Mission supply ministers (1902-11), followed by Rev. Howard S. Wilson, D.D. (1911-18), Rev. B. M. Wallace (1918-21), and Rev. John E. Coughey (1921-25).
When the Presbytery ceased appointing ministers in 1926, the congregation called Rev. Paul Stewart, who served 1926-35. Within 3 years, the church had 130 members and became entirely self-supporting. Rev. Stewart was followed by Rev. Duncan K. MacPherson (1935-49), Rev. James G. McConnell (1949-52), Rev. Kenneth L. Stewart (1952-56), Rev. George H. McCredie (1957- 67), and Rev. Kenneth A. B. Wells (1967-85).
The UPC-NA and PC-USA merged in 1958, and since the First Presbyterian Church in York predated it, First United became Trinity United Presbyterian Church. In 1960 the church built a Christian Education Building, but the variable rate mortgage became a burden, as interest rates rapidly rose in the late 1960s. In 1967, Donegal Presbytery initiated a study of “the feasibility of merging some of the churches in the York area.” Trinity United and Calvary initiated discussions on a “Plan of Union”’ on October 1, 1968. Following overwhelming approval by both congregations and unanimous authorization on January 21, 1969, by Donegal Presbytery, the Calvary United Presbyterian merger date was finalized on March 1, 1969. The new congregation celebrated Communion on March 2, 1969. Two days later, 255 gathered for a united fellowship dinner with the singing of “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.”
INSERT # 21 MAY 20, 2012
CALVARY UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – Part III
The members of Calvary Presbyterian and Trinity United Presbyterian Churches celebrated as a merged Calvary United Presbyterian Church congregation at a Communion Service on March 2, 1969, with Rev. Kenneth A. B. Wells as minister. On May 9, 1981, a congregational dinner celebrated the burning of the mortgage. Rev. Wells served until 1985 and was followed by Rev. Guy W. Dunham (June 1985 thru June 1991). Rev. Brenda Lindsey Harcourt, a daughter of Calvary, was ordained and installed in September 1992, and served through March 1996.
With a landlocked location, inadequate parking, a city with declining population, and continued flight to the suburbs, the membership rolls were dropping. In early 1996, Calvary entered discussions to merge with First Presbyterian Church. The merger was approved by the Presbytery and both congregations on September 22, 1996. The two congregations again worshiped as one on October 6, 1996, with the Rev. Dr. Fred Webb, our Interim Senior Pastor, completing a circle begun 114 years previously.
The Calvary buildings were sold to the York County Council of Churches for $150,000 with First Presbyterian Church holding the mortgage and loaning the Council $25,000 interest free to pay for needed repairs and remodeling. After a successful fund raising campaign, the Council paid off the debt, and these receipts became the Calvary Fund in our endowment, Our Sure Foundation.
A baptismal font that was fashioned from multi-colored rock, brought back from Mt. Sinai by Samuel Small II and presented to Calvary in November 1892, now stands in our Chapel. Also brought from Calvary are the carillon sound system in our bell tower which was donated by the Adams family, and the large metal cross used for the Contemporary Service in Christine Thomas Hall.
INSERT # 22 MAY 27, 2012
WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
In 1869, First Presbyterian member, Henry S. “Harry” Myers, attended a conference in Portland, Maine. He was impressed so deeply by the messages of Rev. Dwight L. Moody, that he decided to start a Mission Sunday School on North Duke Street, in what was then a neglected area of the city. On August 7, 1870, this Sunday School building was dedicated. The building was erected through the generosity of FPC Elder Samuel Small, Sr. Miss Sallie Small, daughter of Philip A. Small and niece of Samuel Small, Sr., was actively involved from the onset.
In 1884-1885, evangelistic services were held at the site and, as there was no church organization, the converts united with the First Presbyterian Church. At the Presbytery meeting on February 8, 1887, First Presbyterian’s Rev. Henry E. Niles, D.D. read a petition signed by thirty four individuals seeking to form a new church. On April 12, 1887, their request was granted. First Presbyterian released 38 members to join them in establishing the Westminster Presbyterian Church. Through the liberality of Miss Sallie B. Small and the Small relatives, the current stone edifice was erected on Queen Street, north of the Pennsylvania Railroad. The cornerstone was laid on June 30, 1887; and the building was dedicated on December 15, 1887.
Miss Sallie Small was one of the Lady Managers of the York Orphan’s Home from its beginnings in 1865; and, in 1890, succeeded her aunt, Mrs. Samuel Small, as President of the Board of Lady Managers. She also was elected a manager of the Young Women’s Christian Association and was an active member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Her work with Westminster Presbyterian Church was interrupted by failing health in the summer of 1895. On August 28, 1895 she fell asleep in Jesus, and was buried in the graveyard of First Presbyterian Church.
Insert #23 June 3, 2012
THE WOMAN’S FOREIGN MISSION SOCIETY
On Wednesday, June 28, 1871, Pastor Dr. Henry Niles invited women of our church to meet at the parsonage to consider the possibility of forming a Woman’s Foreign Mission Society. Twenty-five women responded, and the York society was created. As recorded in a Historical Sketch of the Society in our archives, Mrs. Henry E. Niles was elected President and Mrs. Samuel Small, Jr. became Vice-President. At a second meeting in July “a larger number” were present, and twelve were elected managers “to look after financial interests.”
Also at the second meeting, pledges were obtained to be paid weekly or monthly, as convenient. By the September meeting, $280 was in the treasury. It was voted to send this amount to the Presbyterian Board of Missions in New York for the support of a Mrs. Wilder in Kalhapura (Calcutta), India. She was the only female missionary in the whole province. In l873, $250 in gold (as required) was sent to help Miss Martha White in Africa. In l874, funds went to a village school in Syria and to a native Bible Reader in Ningpo, China. In subsequent years, contributions were sent to a girls’ boarding school in Mexico City and to other missionaries in Japan, China, India, and Africa.
In l896, when the York Woman’s Foreign Mission Society celebrated its 25thanniversary. The membership had increased to one hundred and thirty-four women, and their treasury contained nearly $7,000. Their affirmation was, “We are all coworkers with Christ.”
Insert #24 June 10, 2012
OUR MISSIONARIES, TIM AND PATTI FADER
Tim and Patti Fader and their two children arrived in York in June 1977, when Tim began a 3-year Family Practice Residency. They soon decided to join our church. According to Patti, “We appreciated the kind and friendly people, the Bible-based teaching, the program for children, lots of young couples, and many opportunities to serve.”
After Tim’s residency, the family moved to the Navajo Indian Reservation, Ganado, AZ, where Tim worked at 30-bed hospital, originally a Presbyterian mission. They lived in Ganado from 1980-85, adding two more children. Our church helped by contributing funds, sending numerous short-term doctors to work in the hospital, organizing large summer work teams for Vacation Bible School, and providing some hard physical labor on the Reservation.
In 1984, the Faders took a 4-month trip to Kenya, where Tim substituted for a missionary doctor on leave. With the help of a large group of “senders” who supported the mission, including our church, the Faders went on to serve at Kijabe Mission Hospital for 15 years. During that time, some FPC members made mission trips from 2 weeks to a year, to help as needed. At Kijabe, Tim helped establish a 3-year Family Residency Program for Kenyan doctors
In 2003, Tim was invited to start a similar program in Kabul, Afghanistan. He felt this was “a great opportunity to live in that country, which is 99.9% Muslim.” The Faders have served there for the past 8 years, where Tim helped set up two Family Residency programs. Tim reports on the results: “As of now, 20 Afghan doctors have graduated and 25 are in training. Also, 15 graduates have returned to the programs as faculty members.” He explains, “This is the sustainability that is such an important part of mission work.” Leaving Afghanistan, the Faders felt blessed to be replaced by two very capable missionary couples.
Recently, they received an invitation to go with a team of doctors developing family medicine in northeast Africa. This Family Training Program will be similar to the one at the Afghanistan Hospital. Tim will be serving in a newly built (70% finished) rural hospital. The Faders summarize their mission this way: “We want to take God’s love to a people who do not understand how much God loves them.”
Insert #25 June 17, 2012
EASTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
With the population growth in York County in the 1950s, First Presbyterian Church of York proposed to Donegal Presbytery that a new church should be formed in East York. Upon the approval of the Presbytery and the Board of National Missions, the process began in 1956. The Reverend Philip Magee, Associate Pastor at FPC, met with Reverend Raymond Rossnagel, then serving in Summit Hill, PA. Rev. Rossnagel, who was also a personal friend of FPC’s Senior Pastor, the Reverend Ernest Campbell, accepted the call to organize the new church.
On March 21, 1957, Rev. Campbell sent a letter to FPC members who lived in East York, inviting them to meet with Rev. Rossnagel and assuring them, “…that we will not consider them disloyal in any way should they decide to unite with the new congregation.” The property on Haines Road was purchased with FPC offering $3,000 to secure the transfer. On July 14, 1957, an evening vesper service was held with 62 in attendance, using hymnals from FPC and chairs from a funeral home. By fall, a Petition for Charter, signed by 157 individuals, was submitted to the Presbytery, which approved it on November 26, 1957.
Eastminster Presbyterian Church was formally organized on December 8, 1957, and on March 2, 1958, Rev. Raymond Rossnagel was installed as its first minister. By 1960, the membership passed 300, and following a successful capital fund drive, ground was broken for a new sanctuary on October 15, 1961. It was dedicated on September 16, 1962.
INSERT #26 JUNE 25, 2012
FAITH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – PART I
“Sometime in May 1894, a small group of persons, four or five, met at the home of Mrs. Susan Saunders in South Queen Street for the purpose of canvassing the sentiment as to the organization of a Presbyterian Church for the colored people of York. It was known that some persons who had been members of Presbyterian Churches in other communities and others…felt that the worship and polity of the Presbyterian Church would be helpful.”
In June 1894, Edward W. Coberth, a senior seminary student at Lincoln University, began to conduct services in the hall over Reineberg’s Shoe Store on South George Street. On November 11, 1894, services were moved to the recently vacated Heidelberg Reformed Church on North Duke Street.
“Our Church’s name, ‘Faith,’ as well as the venture to secure this property was suggested by our now deceased, but dearly beloved friend and Christian Brother, Mr. Samuel Small.”
Under the leadership of First Presbyterian’s Rev. Henry E. Niles, D.D., a petition to recognize the new church was presented to Presbytery on April 9, 1895. The next day, Faith Presbyterian Church was declared a constituted congregation. Following his graduation from Lincoln University, Rev. Edward A. Coberth was formally installed on June 18, 1895.
All quotations are taken from a paper in the Faith PC file at York County Heritage Trust.
INSERT # 27 JULY 1, 2012
FAITH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – PART II
The ties between Faith Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church, and Lincoln University are many. When First Presbyterian replaced its organ in 1892, the old one was donated to Lincoln University. First Presbyterian’s pastor, the Rev. Dr. Henry E. Niles, was serving on the Board of Trustees of Lincoln University at the time Faith Church was founded. And at least 10 of the 12 installed pastors at Faith were graduates of Lincoln University.
The first pastor, Rev. Edward W. Coberth (1895-1900) was followed by Rev. Thomas H. Lee (1901-1906), Rev. Charles P. McLurkin (1906-7), Rev. Charles S. Freeman (1907-10), Rev. Beverly M. Ward (1911-14), Rev. Frank M. Hyder, D.D. (1914-15), and Rev. William Edward Williams, D.D. (1915-20).
Dr. Williams noted that the youth in his growing congregation did not have access to the YMCA or YWCA. In 1917, Faith purchased the building adjacent to the church at 52 North Duke Street for $5000. The second and third floors became the Manse. On the first floor The Community House for Colored People was established.
Succeeding Dr. Williams were Rev. George R. Brabham (1920-28), Rev. Thomas E. Montouth (1928-38), Rev. Shelton B. Waters (1944-50), and Rev. J. Jerome Cooper (1957-1963).
INSERT #28 JULY 8, 2012
FAITH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH – PART III
In the late 1950s, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. called for “a nonsegregated church in a nonsegregated society.” The National Missions Committee of Donegal Presbytery invited Rev. Douglas G. Parks, a recent graduate of Union Seminary in New York City, to serve Faith Presbyterian Church in 1964. He was asked to study the relationship between Faith and sister churches, both within and outside the denomination. The congregation decided that they would remain Presbyterian and would investigate a merger with First Presbyterian Church.
A merger committee of 15 members from each church was co-chaired by Fred Moore and Clifford Ford from Faith Church and John Voerman and Raymond Wiegand from First. Others serving from Faith were Ronald Carr, Louise Riley, Leola Jones, Cleo Carr, George Jones, Regina Barnes, Jenette Moore, Elizabeth Holmes, Ivan Reeves, Perry Arugunes, Elijah Lambert, Patty Hedgepeth, and Stephen Woodward. Serving from First were McConkey Kerr, Dr. Charles Brimfield, Allan Petit, Amy MacDougall, William Snowden, Taylor Hess, Clair Rupp, Margarete Gladding, Jacqueline Robertson, Otis Morse V, Joseph Bath Jr., John Yates, and Olin Hyde.
On October 27, 1965, at separate congregational meetings, the merger was overwhelmingly approved. Donegal Presbytery and court approvals followed. Members and officers of Faith assumed identical roles in the merged church. The congregation first worshipped together on December 24, 1965, at which time the Rev. Dr. Richard Oman delivered the sermon, “Never the Same.” asserting that by this merger “all are one in Christ.”
Insert #29 July 15, 2012
THE LADIES’ AID SOCIETY
Following the creation of the Woman’s Foreign Mission Society in 1871, a Home Mission Society was organized in 1880 with the motto “Our Land for Christ.” Then, in 1890, Dr. Niles invited members of the church to meet at the parsonage to organize a Ladies’ Aid Society. Fifteen women came, adopted a Constitution, elected Mrs. Mary F. Small president, and chose four vice-presidents, a secretary, and a treasurer. The members agreed to pay ten cents monthly to the treasury and to increase funds “by obtaining donations from any interested person.”
At a later meeting, the Society decided on a motto that would combine “Be not weary in well doing” and “By their fruits ye shall know them.” At the first annual meeting in February 1891, the membership had increased to seventy-seven members and six “honorary members.”
The first major activity of the Society was to re-cover the cushions in the lecture room. Other projects included completely furnishing the church kitchen, supplying carpet for the parlor and hall, contributing five hundred dollars for the new church carpet, and providing new hymnals.
Society records indicate that in later years the members provided lunches and dinners for the annual church picnic, contributed $3,000 for the Building Fund, and pledged $850 to help reduce the church debt. During World War I, the women assisted the Red Cross and made 420 knitted articles “for men at the front.” Each year, an anniversary banquet was followed by “an entertainment.”
Insert #30 July 22, 2012
REV. DR. THOMAS SINCLAIR DICKSON
Our eleventh Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian was the Rev. Dr. Thomas Sinclair Dickson. Born on June 1, 1888, to the son of a Presbyterian minister in Philadelphia, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1909 and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1912. Following ordination, he served pastorates in West Orange, NJ; Milwaukee, WI; and Altoona, Johnstown, New Kensington, and Warren, PA, before being called to First Presbyterian Church of York in 1937. He received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Tennent College in 1935 and Washington & Jefferson College in 1940.
During World War II, Dr. Dickson was a source of comfort and strength to the families of the 206 members who served in the military and the six members who gave their lives. When post war membership and activities increased in our congregation, an Assistant Minister and a Director of Religious Education were added to the staff.
In addition to being the beloved pastor of this congregation, Dr. Dickson was a respected leader in the community. He served on the Board of Trustees of the York Collegiate Institute and of Wilson College. From 1945-48, he served as President of the Board of the York Junior College.
Dr. Dickson died of a stroke on August 8, 1953, while vacationing at the New Jersey shore. The funeral service was held at FPC on August 11, 1953, with burial the following day in White Marsh Memorial Park Cemetery, Philadelphia.
Insert #31 July 29, 2012
REV. ERNEST T. CAMPBELL, D.D.
The Rev. Dr. Ernest T. Campbell was the twelfth Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of York. Born in New York City in 1923 and a product of its public schools, he received an A.B. degree from Bob Jones University in 1945 and B.D. and Th.M. degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1948 and 1950 respectively. He served as pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Stroudsburg, PA, from 1949-1954, before accepting the call to serve this congregation in 1954.
A popular preacher, he attracted new members and many visitors which led to the addition of a second service on Sunday mornings. He received an honorary doctorate from Westminster College in 1958. Dr. Campbell served as President of the York County Council of Churches and Moderator of Donegal Presbytery. Under his leadership the cornerstone for the John Calvin Chapel was laid in 1959 and “Dial a Prayer” was initiated in 1960. In 1961 he delivered 10 weekly messages on “The Protestant Hour,” a radio ministry broadcast on more than 400 stations nationally and internationally. He was elected to the Board of Trustees at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1962.
He left York in 1962 to serve The First Presbyterian Church, Ann Arbor, Michigan, before returning to New York City in 1968 as Senior Pastor at Riverside Memorial Church thru 1976. For the next 5 years, he served an at-large ministry: writing, preaching, lecturing, and leading retreats and workshops. He was a visiting lecturer at Fuller Theological Seminary and Claremont School of Theology in California, as well as at Princeton and Pittsburgh Seminaries. He was awarded honorary degrees from Grove City, Drury, Albright, and Wartburg Colleges. Dr. Campbell was Professor of Worship and Preaching at Garrett Evangelical Seminary (1982-89) and Lecturer in Homiletics at Union Seminary, New York, (1989-90). He died on July 9, 2010.
Insert #32 August 5, 2012
REV. RICHARD JAMES OMAN, PH.D.
The thirteenth Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church was the Rev. Richard J. Oman, Ph.D. A native of St. Paul, MN, he attended Macalester College before earning an A.B. from the University of Minnesota in 1950. He earned his B.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1953. Dr. Oman then studied at New College in the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, earning a Ph.D. in 1958. He was an Instructor at Princeton Theological Seminary and Pastor of Oxford (PA) Presbyterian Church before accepting the call to First Presbyterian Church in York in 1963. He was installed on March 17, 1963.
Highlights of Dr. Oman’s time in York included the merger of Faith Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian York which took place on December 24, 1965, and the ordination of our first two female Ruling Elders, Martha Stebbins on January 21, 1968 and Christine Thomas the following year. He also served as Moderator of Donegal Presbytery for 1965-1966.
Dr. Oman departed York in 1972 for Georgetown Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC, where he served as Senior Pastor until 1978. From 1978-1999 he was the Howard C. Scharfe Professor of Homiletics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where he also served as Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the faculty from 1993-1999. He was Honorably Retired as Professor Emeritus in 1999 and moved to Anchorage, AK, where he served both the Yukon Presbytery and Alaska Presbytery in various positions through 2006. He and his wife Maryellen now reside in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Insert # 33 August 12, 2012
OUR SPECIAL INTEREST MISSIONARIES
“Letters from Missionaries,” a Mission Committee scrapbook compiled in 2001-2002, has information about these former church members:
RICK CHASE and father LERRY were at Border Links based in Tucson, AR, and Nogales, Mexico. Lerry had been our associate pastor (1968-85), and Rick later became the Moderator of the PCUSA General Assembly for 2004-2006. Today, Rick and his wife are Co-Directors of Stony Point Conference Center, a Presbyterian facility in Nyack, NY, along the Hudson River
In southern California, SHAWN and AMY MCFEELY were counselors at The Oaks summer camp, founded by World Impact for city kids from Los Angeles. Today, he is the Director of Operations for Mount Herman Christian Camp and Conference Center in Santa Cruz, CA.
DAN MEDILL with wife Pei and their three children began an experimental mission with chicken farming and evangelism in Uzbekistan. Today, he is teaching high school in Arizona.
After a year teaching in Chester, PA, for World Impact, KATHY TIPPING (active in our youth group) taught at least five years at Timothy Academy, a Christian school in an impoverished area of North Philadelphia. Now married to Tim Moyer, she is home schooling their 3 children in Medford, NJ.
Insert # 34 August 19, 2012
OUR PC(USA) FOREIGN MISSIONARIES
In 1994, the Mission Committee responded to a PCUSA invitation to select missionaries for a Personal Interest Program and chose to support TOM and CAROL HASTINGS near Kobe, Japan, and RODNEY and SHARYN BABE in Haiti.
Tom Hastings was teaching English and Bible classes at Seiwa College while Carol had four children to care for at home. In January 1995, the family barely survived when an early morning earthquake struck, severely damaging their house. They flew back to the USA with only the clothes they were able to retrieve. After two years of home leave and further study, they returned to Japan where Tom taught theology and education courses at Tokyo Seminary. They returned home in 2010, and Tom is now the Associate Director of the Center for Theological Inquiry at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Rodney and Sharyn Babe were commissioned by the PC(USA) in 1991. Their mission was to improve the lives of Haitians in a deforested and eroding hilly area. A native of Tyrone, PA, Rodney majored in agriculture. For fifteen years the Babes supervised a model planting of over 3.5 million trees, built 140 family cisterns, created 40 ponds to raise tilapia, introduced new “cash crops,” and organized summer Bible Schools.
After a home leave in 2007, they were assigned to the faculty of the developing Episcopal University in Port-au-Prince. When a major earthquake struck Haiti in January 2009, Sharyn was alone in their collapsing apartment building. She suffered severe facial, head, and back injuries and was evacuated to Florida for treatment. Rodney was safe in another part of the city. Sharyn is still recuperating in Haiti where Rodney now works for the United Nations in refugee resettlement.
INSERT #35 AUGUST 26, 2012
REV. DR. JOHN T. GALLOWAY, JR.
The Rev. John T. Galloway, our fourteenth senior pastor, is the son of a Presbyterian minister, the Rev. John T. Galloway, Sr. A 1963 graduate of Princeton University, John stayed and received his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1966. He served congregations in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Ogden, New York, before being called to First Presbyterian Church of York. He was installed as our Senior Pastor on December 17, 1972.
Living under the shadows of Vietnam, Watergate, Three Mile Island, and race riots, John says, “We had to reverse the trend away from downtown churches. We faced up to the notion that it is ‘‘inconvenient” to come downtown. Our tag line was that discipleship itself is “‘inconvenient.” People responded, as membership, worship attendance, and education grew. It was a time of coming alive.”
In 1980, John was called to Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, and in 1993 he returned to Wayne Presbyterian Church, the church where his father had served and where John had grown up. John retired from Wayne in 2007. He has received honorary doctorates from Davis & Elkins, Muskingum, and Westminster Colleges.
Rev. Galloway currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Princeton Theological Seminary, where he is co-chairing the capital drive. He is also the Executive Director of Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, Tony Campolo’s ministry that reaches around the world. During his career John has authored three books, The Gospel According to Superman, How to Stay Christian, and Ministry Loves Company, a Survival Guide for Pastors.
Insert #36 September 2, 2012
REV. DR. BLAIR R. MONIE
The fifteenth Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church was Rev. Dr. Blair R. Monie. He received his Master and Doctoral degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. He served as Associate Pastor at Neshaminy Warwick Presbyterian Church, Hartsville, PA, and as Pastor at Langhorne Presbyterian Church, Langhorne, PA, before accepting the call to FPC as Senior Pastor/Head of Staff in 1981.
Highlights of these years include finishing the renovations and moving into the Billmeyer House, converting the old office space into The Gathering Place, and renovating Christine Thomas Hall.
In 1985, Dr. Monie did a pastoral exchange in Russia. While there an old woman pressed a three ruble note into his hand, saying, “Buy a candle, put it in your church for prayers for peace. That way there will be prayers all over the world.” First Presbyterian continues to light the “Peace Candle” on our communion table, and the gift has spread to churches in many countries.
Leaving York in 1989, he served as Interim Senior Pastor at Wayne (PA) Presbyterian Church and Senior Pastor at The Presbyterian Church of Tom’s River, NJ. In 1995, he was called to Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas, TX, where he continues as Senior Pastor of the 2900 member congregation. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, of the Texas Health Resources/Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas, and of Presbyterian Communities and Services of Dallas.
Insert # 37 SEPTEMBER 9, 2012
REV. DR. J. JEY DEIFELL
The sixteenth Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church was Rev. Dr. J. Jey Deifell. Born in South Carolina and raised in North Carolina, he earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, attended the Princeton Theological Seminary on a Rockefeller Scholarship, received his Master of Divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, in 1966, and a Ph.D. in Systemic Theology from New College of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1969. From 1966-1969 he served St. Cuthbert’s Parish Church in Edinburgh, followed by pastorates in Gaithersberg (MD) Presbyterian Church from 1978 to 1977 and Trinity Presbyterian Church in Clearwater, FL, from 1978 to 1990.
Dr. Deifell was our Senior Pastor/Head of Staff from 1990 to 1996. During this time the Sanctuary was refurbished, the elevator in the Kerr Building was installed, the Prayer Chain was initiated, the Prayer Room opened, the neighborhood dinners on Thanksgiving Eve and Palm Sunday were begun, and the Lunch Bunch started to meet.
In 1996 Dr. Deifell was called to lead the First Church of Christ in Weathersfield, Connecticut, the largest Congregational Church in New England with more than 3,000 members and a staff of 35. He and his wife Joan, who headed up the Caring Ministry, retired from there in 2009 and now reside in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
Insert # 38 SEPTEMBER 16, 2012
THE BROTHERHOOD OF OUR CHURCH
On January 14, 1909, forty-five men of our church met in response to pastor Dr. Ellery Tuttle’s invitation to consider forming a men’s organization called the Brotherhood. This group would become part of the Presbyterian (USA) Brotherhood of America, a national effort encouraging men “to become more active and better informed church members.” The Constitution of the Presbyterian Brotherhood stated the members “shall seek its purpose through Bible Study, Personal Work, Social Friendship, Friendly Help, and Social Service.” Members should be twenty years of age or more, voted on favorably by a majority of the membership, and pay annual dues of fifty cents. Also, each member was expected to join one of several committees selected by the chapter.
At the first meeting, the FPC men organized eight committees: Membership, Programs, Evangelistic, Bible Study, Missionary, Social, Visiting, and Advertising. Many of the founding fifty men were also members of the Sunday Bible Class taught by Judge Henry Niles. The regular monthly meetings of the Brotherhood usually featured a guest speaker (including college presidents and faculty), government officials and diplomats, leaders in the national Presbyterian Church, and other prominent men who spoke on a variety of topics. Documents of the Brotherhood from 1909-1938 indicate the annual membership was about 100-125 men. These documents record in considerable detail the talks by guest speakers, some of which were also featured in York’s daily newspapers.
Insert # 39 September 23, 2012
THE BILLMEYER HOUSE
The property at 225 East Market Street, where the Billmeyer House stands today, was part of the original property deeded to the English Presbyterian Church by the Penn family in 1785. However, in 1814 that parcel of land was sold to Robert Wilson over the signature of Robert Cathcart, the pastor. In 1820, it was sold again to Daniel Rupp, at which time the narrow, rear part of the current building was probably built. The title passed to Jacob Barnitz, Sr. in 1834, to Benjamin Thomas in 1842, to Mary Schmidt in 1847, to Francis M. Weems in 1857, and in 1860 to Charles Billmeyer who built the Italianate structure which bears his name. On his death in 1876, it passed to Charles S. Billmeyer, who died in 1917, willing it to his widow Fannie Edwards Billmeyer. She died intestate in 1932, leaving as her sole heir her sister Mary P. Evans, who conveyed it to The Historical Society of York County in 1937. It served as the headquarters of that organization until they moved across the street and sold the property back to the church in 1959.
For the next decade, space in the Billmeyer House was rented to several nonprofit agencies before the decision was made to raze the building for additional parking. The permit to do so was denied by the Historic Architecture Review Board and the York City Council. The courts upheld this decision. In 1978, the church agreed to maintain the property if the $225,000 needed for restoration was raised. The successful campaign was headed by Bill Baker in our congregation and John Zimmerman in the community. Following the restoration, the church offices moved into the Billmeyer House, with a dedication service held on May 20, 1984. The vacated offices in the Kerr Building were subsequently removed and the space remodeled into The Gathering Place.
Insert #40 September 30, 2012
OUR PIPE ORGANS
The first pipe organ, a gift of Dr. Alexander R. Blair and Mr. Alfred E. Lewis , was placed in the original sanctuary in 1855. Upon completion of the present sanctuary in 1861, it was moved into the bell tower alcove. In 1876, it was replaced by a Roosevelt pipe organ donated by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Small, and the 1855 organ was donated to Lincoln University.
As the Sanctuary was undergoing extensive remodeling in 1917, the choir loft was moved to the front of the Sanctuary. A new Hutchings organ, donated by George H. Whiteley and John Steacy, was the first to be located in a large room above the choir loft. The console was placed in front of the choir, and an antiphonal pipe organ division was installed in a brick walled room above the ceiling of the bell tower alcove. The organ pipe facade and distinctive natural wood casework done at that time is still enjoyed today.
A new Moeller 55-Rank Pipe Organ was purchased in 1967, and installed behind the existing organ façade. The console was also replaced.
In 2007-08 the Moeller Organ was completely rebuilt and upgraded to combine with an electronic digital interface and a new electronic Allen Organ Console under the direction of Burton K. Tidwell, organ builder. Some of the funds raised for the project were designated to start an Organ Endowment Fund to help cover future maintenance.. This rebuilt organ with electronic components provides the worship music in our Sanctuary today.
INSERT #41 OCTOBER 7, 2012
WHO WERE THE KERRS?
There were a couple of unrelated Kerrs who, at different times, played a significant role in our church history.
James W. Kerr, M.D. (1813-1889), was the son of a Presbyterian minister in Lancaster County. He grew up on a farm, attended Nottingham Academy in Maryland, and graduated from Jefferson College. He studied medicine with a physician in Harrisburg and at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1840. He then practiced medicine for fifty years in York and was the first consulting surgeon at York Hospital.
Dr. Kerr became a leader in our church and for forty-eight years was the superintendent of our Sunday School which had several hundred pupils. He was an Elder for more than thirty-five years. His memorial is located in the wall on the north side of the Gathering Place and is inscribed “He loved the children.”
In 1908, W. McConkey Kerr transferred his membership to our church from Third Presbyterian in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where his father, Rev. John T. Kerr, was the pastor. He became active here and was elected a Trustee in 1913 and an Elder in 1918. From 1917 to 1935, Mr. Kerr was the principal editor of The Visitor, a weekly of four small pages sent to subscribers for fifty cents a year. It featured church events, Sunday School news, messages from the pastor, and inspirational articles from various sources.
Mr. Kerr served 23 years (1937-1960) as Sunday School superintendent. Our education building, was named for him at the 1987 annual meeting.
Insert # 42 October 14, 2012
ORGANISTS/DIRECTORS OF MUSIC MINISTRY
Although there have been organs at First Presbyterian Church since 1855, there is little information about the organists until the 20th century. A photograph in the archives from about 1902 identifies Mrs. A. A. Long as organist.
J. Frank Frysinger served as our organist and choir director from 1909 to 1911. He was followed by Arthur L. Jennings, Jr. (1912-1915) and Harold Jackson Bartz (1915- 1922).
In1923, J. Frank Frysinger returned to the post and published more than 200 organ and voice compositions. From 1942 to 1953, he was a member of the faculty in the Music Department at York Junior College. He retired in 1953 and died on December 4, 1954.
Ralph S. Grover served from 1953 to 1959 before leaving to pursue a doctorate in music at the University of North Carolina. He was followed by Theodore C. Herzel in September, 1960, who served until his retirement in 1988. He died in 2007. William K. Miller was our organist and choir director from 1988 to 1994.
Robert E. Frazier received his B.A. in piano performance from East Tennessee State University, his Masters in conducting from Eastman School of Music, and his organ performance degree from Indiana University. He served at FPC from 1996 to 2004 during which time he earned his Doctor of Music Arts from Eastman School of Music.
James R. Spark joined the staff of First Presbyterian in 1995 as Interim Director of Music. Shortly thereafter, he was installed as Associate Director, and in 2004 became our current Director of Music Ministries. He received his formal musical education from the Royal Conservatory of Music, University of Toronto.
Insert #43 October 21, 2012
REV. DR. JOHN E. MORGAN
The seventeenth Senior Pastor for our church is the Rev. Dr. John E. Morgan. He was born in Kentucky, the son of the Rev. and Mrs. F. Leon Morgan. John grew up in Ohio, New Jersey, and mostly in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Morgan graduated from Grove City College in 1982 and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1985. From 1985-1994, he served as Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Coldwell, New Jersey. He then became the Senior Pastor in Arlington Hills Presbyterian Church in Minnesota (1994-1999). While in St. Paul, he received his Doctor of Ministry in preaching from McCormick Seminary. He began his ministry at First Presbyterian Church of York in March 1999.
Dr. Morgan and his wife Ellen have a long time love for the Chautauqua Institution in western New York. He notes that his daughters, Erica and Grace, have been there every year since they were born. He was recently elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian House. During his annual visits, he volunteers to lead daily worship for the Department of Religion.
Dr. Morgan describes his wife as his partner in ministry and “the best spouse a pastor could have.” His daughters, Erica, now living on her own in Arlington, VA., and Grace, a junior at Dickinson College, bring him “great joy in my life.” His personal motto is:
“Lord, make me passionate for your Word,
compassionate for your people,
and joyfully disciplined in my life.”
Insert #44 October 28, 2012
THE CARING COMPANY
The Caring Company is a social outreach ministry of First Presbyterian Church of York. The Caring Company began to operate in 1989 in response to a generous bequest in 1988 by Frank Smith, who left the money to “help the poor of York.” We have been serving the needy of York City and York County ever since.
The Caring Company’s first director was Judy Gibbs who served in that capacity for over fifteen years. Under her guidance, the Caring Company grew from a small operation of food donation and distribution to one that served hundreds of families meeting a variety of different needs. Judy was instrumental in introducing the Giving Tree at Christmas that continues to this day.
In 2006, Ginny Melody took over as the director of the Caring Company. During Ginny’s tenure, the Caring Company saw substantial changes. Some of these changes included the introduction of an electronic database to track the records of clients over the years. The Caring Company developed into a customer-based organization (CBO) providing client access to programs that provide both debt relief and monthly credits for utilities.
In 2012, Bill Gellman was named Director of the Caring Company. Currently, the Caring Company operates a food pantry that serves approximately 150 families/450 individuals per month and offers vouchers for prescription medications. The Caring Company also enrolls clients in Met-Ed’s PCAP and Columbia Gas’ CAP program, both of which serve low-income families. These enrollments are projected to save more than $650,00 for over 650 households (at least 1700 individuals) in 2012.
Insert #45 November 4, 2012
IN THE NATION’S SERVICE – Part I
James Smith, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is the best known First Presbyterian veteran buried in our graveyard. William Barber, John Fitzsimmons, David Grier, William Harris, William Haslett, George Irvin, Robert Kennedy, M.D., John Neal, Andrew Robinson, and Robert Wilson, like Captain Smith, also served in the Revolutionary War and are interred here as well.
Our graveyard is also the final resting place of veterans of military service in the War of 1812: David S. Cassatt, Jacob Emmitt, James Lewis, and Daniel McBride.
Following the War of 1812 and before the Civil War, Henry H. Cassat, William Andrew McIlvain, M.D., and Samuel Small served with the Pennsylvania Volunteers and are buried in our graveyard.
John Francis Baird of New Jersey served as Chaplain with the Pennsylvania Volunteers during the Civil War, died in York, and was interred here. First Presbyterian, John McIlvain, is listed by the DAR as buried here; but his grave is actually in Wisconsin, where he died.
During World War I, eighty-nine First Presbyterians answered the call to the military and six died while serving: Harold C. Noble, Sherman Leifer, Wilbur C. Suiter, Martin S. Weiser, G. Ardrey Billmeyer, and J. C. Morris Small.
First Presbyterians have continued to answer the call to serve our country throughout our 250-year history.
Insert #46 November 11, 2012
IN THE NATION’S SERVICE – II
As in previous conflicts, First Presbyterian responded to the call for service during World War II. Records show that 206 members served in the armed forces with six deaths: Robert L. Arthur, William H. Hargreaves, Alfred G. Kell, Donald W. Liggett, Edward L. Manifold, Jr., and John M. Shellenberger, Jr.
Rev. Dr. Thomas Sinclair Dickson wrote the following “‘Prayer for Those in the National Service” and offered it each Sunday during World War II:
“Almighty God, who art a strong tower of defense to them that fear thee, we bow in earnest prayer for all those in the service of this nation, who are facing danger on land or sea. We thank Thee that they are encircled by Thy loving care. Keep them strong to resist all dangers to heart or soul; protect them against the perils of the sea or air or land; guard them from the violence of enemies; and enable them so to do the duty that may fall to them that, for the inhabitants of this land and of all lands, there may be peace and freedom to serve Thee. In the longing of great love we pray this for our own, who have gone out from this congregation. In deep sincerity we pray this for all who are serving this nation. And we pray it in the name of Him who is the Captain of our Salvation, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen”
With Dr. Dickson, and all the Saints of our congregation who have gone before us, we join in this prayer on Veterans Day 2012. We salute and thank all those First Presbyterians who have answered the call to serve our nation.
INSERT #47 NOVEMBER 18, 2012
TWO OUTSTANDING WOMEN
ANNA L. HUBER (1874-1971) was born in York and resided all her life on East Market Street. Her maternal grandfather, the Rev. Augustus Lockman, was pastor of Christ Lutheran in York for forty years. She graduated from the York Collegiate Institute and was active in the Women’s Club, the YWCA, and the Historical Society. After joining our church in 1889, she became a deaconess, was active in the Women’s Association, and also taught a Sunday School class. In 1904, Miss Huber helped organize St. Anne’s Guild, a group devoted to sewing for and helping poor women with babies in the maternity ward of York Hospital. In 1907, the group started a district nursing program that eventually became the Visiting Nurses Association. For forty years, Miss Huber served as VNA president and became a crusader for helping to improve the health of York’s citizens.
CHRISTINE D. THOMAS (1899-1999) was born in Elkins, West Virginia. In 1920, she graduated from Goucher College in Baltimore, where she was president of the student government, and selected for Phi Beta Kappa. In 1928, she married Arthur D. Thomas in Maryland. They came to York in 1934 when he accepted a position as executor of the Family Service Bureau. For thirty years, Christine was a beloved Sunday School teacher working with three-year-olds in the nursery. Her class included orphans from the nearby Children’s Home. She served as president of the Women’s Association, and in 1969, became the second woman to join the Session. In the community, she was active in the College Club, the Girl Scouts, the Red Cross, and president of three Parent-Teacher Associations. On February 12, 1987, during the annual meeting, Christine Thomas Hall was dedicated in the Kerr Building. She celebrated her 100th birthday in July 1999 and died that September.
INSERT #48 NOVEMBER 25, 2012
THE CARMEL MATRICULATION SCHOOL
In 1998, Mr. Backiaraj and his new wife Freena Suganthy, received a calling from their Creator to dedicate their lives to ministering to the poorest children in South India. Both of them, in fact, had been raised in just such a ministry. During the next year, they worked and prayed unceasingly for discernment of God’s will for them. In early 1999, they pawned their worldly possessions and bought about 2 acres of land in a tiny village near Dharmapuri. They recruited all of their friends to help with the initial building construction. Less than a year later, the Carmel Matriculation School opened with two adobe style buildings with thatched roofs, three teachers, and forty-seven students. Despite only modest and irregular support from three American churches, the school thrived even while deserving students were turned away as resources struggled to catch up with needs.
In 2005 FPC began annual mission trips to Carmel. Dozens have made the journey. Today, the Carmel ministry has two campuses, almost a thousand students, and a staff of over fifty. Eighty of the poorest students live at the school. More than 300 students have personal sponsors in the United States, including 135 by members at FPC. Many of Carmel’s first three graduating classes are now enrolled in higher education programs in India.
Despite the astonishing educational accomplishments, Carmel’s real business, like Christ’s, is changing lives. Nearly a thousand of India’s “throw-away” children study, grow, laugh, play, and pray on the grounds of an oasis whose sole and sacred purpose is the joyful celebration of their lives. It is where they are taught the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that they matter deeply in God’s eyes, that God has plans for them, and where coming generations of His Indian workers for the Great Commission are nurtured. The Carmel School is a beacon of Christ’s light amid the brutal atmosphere of the caste system, illiteracy, despair, oppression, and stifling poverty.
INSERT #49 DECEMBER 2, 2012
ASSOCIATE PASTORS – PART I
It was not until the twentieth century that the First Presbyterian Church of York installed its first associate pastor. Rev. David Stewart Curry arrived on January 31, 1900, to assist Dr. Niles, who died on May 14, 1900. Rev. Curry was then installed as our pastor (see Insert #16). The next associate pastors were Rev. Andrew F. O’Conner (1945-46) and Rev. John M. McClain (1947-48). Both served with Dr. Thomas Sinclair Dickson.
Dr. Dickson also employed students from Princeton Theological Seminary. One of these was Thomas W. Gillespie who served from 1951-1952. After graduation, he served several congregations in California, earned his Ph.D., and later became the President of Princeton Theological Seminary from 1983-2004. He died in 2011.
Another student assistant, Rev. Philip R. Magee, arrived in 1952 and was installed as our associate pastor, a position he held thru December 23, 1956. He then ministered at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, NYC; First PC, Baltimore; and First PC, Plymouth, MI. He died on June 21, 2009.
Rev. C. Frederick Mathias, also a student assistant from Princeton Seminary, was installed on July 1957. He left to serve at First PC, West Chester, PA, in 1960; Westminster in Wilmington, DE, in 1965; and Northminster, Indianapolis, IN, in 1983. He and his wife were tragically murdered there on December 15, 1996.
Rev. J. Raymond Brubaker graduated from Princeton Seminary in 1960 and was installed on September 11, 1960. After being with us thru 1967, he departed for Pennside PC, Reading, PA. He retired from Pennside in 2002 and still lives in Reading.
Rev. William W. Ford, who graduated from Princeton Seminary in 1959, served churches in Tennessee and Alabama before being installed at FPC in 1968. He returned to Alabama in 1971 and later retired to Arizona.
A 1968 graduate of Princeton Seminary, Rev. Lerold W. Chase was installed as associate pastor on October 20, 1968. In 1982 Lerry earned his Doctor of Divinity at Princeton; and, in 1985, accepted the call to Central Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, NY. In 1987, he began to work with Border Links in Arizona, which was then headed by their son Rick. Rick, who grew up here at FPC, became the moderator of the PCUSA for 2004-06. Lerry retired in 2008, and he and Ethel now live in Vermont.
Rev. William Lloyd Roberts served as associate pastor from June 1973 until September 1976, when he was called to Sisterville, WV. He later went to Wolf Run Presbyterian Church in Cameron, WV, before he died on October 29, 2012.
(To be continued next week)
INSERT #50 DECEMBER 9, 2012
ASSOCIATE PASTORS – PART II
Rev. Gregg E. Townsley, a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary served as Associate Pastor from 1977-1981 when he was called to Union Presbyterian Church, Carney’s Point, NJ. He received a D.Min. degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1983, and in 1994 moved west to serve churches in Oregon, Nevada, and Alaska. He now lives in Oregon.
Another graduate of Pittsburgh, Rev. Dale W. Marx served as Associate Pastor from 1982-1985. He has been an Associate Pastor at Highland PC, Lancaster, and is currently Director of Youth Ministry at First Presbyterian Church, Lancaster.
Rev. Burton J. Parry earned his M.Div and Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1972 and 1973, was ordained in his native North Dakota in 1973. He served in Hopewell, NJ, and was then installed as our Associate Pastor on February 16, 1986. On July 31, 2003, he entered full time Interim Ministry serving Presbyterian, Moravian, and Lutheran congregations in South-Central Pennsylvania. He and Judy continue to live in the City of York.
A Princeton Seminary graduate, Rev. Robert A. Melone, Jr. was ordained and installed as Associate Pastor at FPC on September 21, 1986. In August 1992, he accepted a call to First/Covenant PC in Erie, PA, and since August 2000, has been serving Stone House PC, Williamsburg, VA.
Rev. Sandra L. Strauss graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary in 2003, and served as our Interim Associate from November 2003 to April 2004. Since then, she has served the Pennsylvania Council of Churches as Director of Public Advocacy.
Following graduation from Princeton Seminary, Rev. John Wesley Craft was ordained April 10, 1988, and served as Pastor at Holly (MI) Presbyterian from 1988-2004. He served as an Interim Associate here at FPC from February 2004 through January 2005. He has since been doing Interim Ministry in Presbyterian Churches in Maryland and South-Central Pennsylvania. He and Betsy continue to live in York.
Rev. Nicole Richardson, a graduate of Austin Theological Seminary, was ordained in July 2001 and served Elm Street PC, Alyon, IL, through January 2005. She was installed at FPC as Associate Pastor in February 2005 and served through June, 2010. She and Tom live in York.
Rev. Allison J. Beaulieu graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2004 and was ordained here at FPC on June 26, 2004. She then served as Chaplain at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and interim positions in Glenshaw and Marietta, PA. On September 2, 2010, she became our Temporary Supply Associate Pastor and was installed as the Associate Pastor on November 4, 2012.
INSERT #51 DECEMBER 16, 2012
ORDAINED SONS AND DAUGHTERS – PART I
Rev. Jesse Hines was born in York on November 2, 1806 and baptized at FPC on September 20, 1807 by Dr. Cathcart. His family moved to Ohio in 1823. Jesse taught school and later studied for the ministry. He was ordained by the Reformed Church of America in June 1846 and served congregations in Ohio until his death in 1879.
Rev, John Francis Baird was born in York on August 24, 1835 and baptized on May 11, 1836, by Dr. Cathcart. He graduated from Union Theological Seminary, NYC, in 1860, was ordained shortly thereafter, and served Fairview Presbyterian Church in Cedarville, NJ, for two years. He then joined the 87th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers as a Chaplain from 1862- 1863. Shortly after his release he returned to York and unexpectedly died on April 27, 1863. He is buried in our graveyard.
Twin brothers Rev. Daniel McClellan Butt, D.D. and Rev. Jacob Scott Butt, D.D. were born in York on February 15, 1863, and confirmed by Dr. Niles. Both graduated from Lafayette College in 1884 and Princeton Theological Seminary in 1887 and were ordained in April 1887. Daniel served as a missionary in Britton, SD, from 1887-1915 and as Superintendent of Home Missions for the Synod of South Dakota from 1915 – 1922, when he retired because of poor health. He died on February 20, 1950. Jacob was a missionary in Groton, SD from 1888-1915, after which he returned East to serve Presbyterian Churches in Bloomsbury NJ, 1915-19, and Belleville, PA, 1919-31, at which time he retired. He died on October 30, 1954 and is buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery. Both received D.D. degrees from Huron College, Daniel in 1909 and Jacob in 1911.
Rev. T. Davis Richards, D.D. was born near Rising Sun, MD and joined FPC on June 5, 1881. He graduated from the College of Wooster in 1885 and Princeton Seminary in 1888, at which time he was ordained. He served congregations in Maryland, received a D.D. degree from Wooster in 1910, and died on October 20, 1938.
Rev. George Bailey Troub, Ph.D. was born in Honey Creek, PA on February 20, 1863, graduated from Lafayette College in 1889 and Princeton Seminary in 1892, and was ordained on September 6, 1892. After serving Petersburg (PA) Presbyterian Church from 1892-94, he toured and studied in Europe, Egypt, and Palestine before returning in 1996 to serve congregations in Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, and Indianapolis where he died August 29, 1907. His PH.D. was from Illinois Wesleyan in 1903.
Rev. Edward Small Niles, D.D., the son of Rev. Dr. Henry E. Niles, was born in York on September 18, 1868. He graduated from Williams College in 1891, Union Theological Seminary (NYC) in 1894, and was ordained in The Reformed Church of America in 1894. He received his D.D. from Center College in Danville, KY. He served in Gardiner, NY (1894-98), Middle Collegiate, NYC (1898-1901) Bushwick, Brooklyn (1901-10), American Church, The Hague, Holland (1910), Hope, Holland MI (1910-11), Second Presbyterian, Baltimore (1911-22), and First RCA, Newtown, Elmhurst, NYC (1922-45) where he died on July 8, 1945.
Rev. George S. Burton was a member of Faith Presbyterian Church when he was received as a candidate for the ministry in 1898 and graduated from Lincoln University in 1902. He was ordained on April 11, 1905. He had been severely burned in a Christmas program fire at AME Zion, York, in 1892, and because of ill health, did only supply service.
Rev. Howard L. Olewiler was born in York on April 3, 1893, graduated from Lebanon Valley College in 1914, Princeton Seminary in 1917, and was ordained on October 17, 1917. He served Bellevue Presbyterian, Gap, PA (1917-19), several congregations in the Pittsburgh area (1919-1927) and then Marion, OH (1927-54). He retired in 1954, but did later supply work in York, Ohio, and Florida.
Rev. Earl Raymond Yeatts was born in York on February 22, 1894, graduated from York High, Ursinus College in 1916, and Princeton Seminary in 1919, and was ordained on September 25, 1919. He was then installed at the Presbyterian Church in Burke, NY. Tragically he died on December 11, 1920, of a brain tumor and is buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery here in York.
Rev. J. Plumer Van Eaton , born June 18, 1890, in Salem, OR, graduated from Colorado College in 1910 and 1912 and served on the faculty in Colorado Springs from 1912-15, before entering Princeton Seminary. He transferred his membership to FPC in 1918. He graduated in 1919 and was ordained on April 9, 1919. He then served as a missionary in Chile 1919-42 and Columbia, South America in 1942.
Rev. Earl Allison Smeich was born in Seven Valleys on July 25, 1895, graduated from York County Academy, F & M in 1920, and Auburn (NY) Seminary in1924. He was ordained on June 25, 1924. He served Presbyterian Churches in Oneida, NY (1924-29) and Binghamton, NY (1929-40). Health problems prevented him from continuing full time. He returned to York in 1943, did some supply work, retired in 1963, and died in 1981. He is buried in Jacobus
(to be continued)
INSERT #52 DECEMBER 23, 2012
ORDAINED SONS AND DAUGHTERS – PART II
Rev. James Stuart Dickson , the son of Rev. Dr. Thomas Sinclair Dickson was born March 21, 1919. He graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in 1940 and Princeton Seminary in 1943. Following ordination he served Leacock (PA), Glenolden (PA), Westminster, St Petersburg (FL) and Bush Hill, Alexandria (VA). He retired in 1984 and resides at the Presbyterian Home in Newville (PA).
Rev. William C. Langston, JR. was born May 16, 1932 and Graduated from Grove City College in 1953 and McCormick Theological Seminary in 1957. Following ordination on June 3, 1957, he served as an Associate at Covenant PC, Erie, PA (1957-59) and Pastor at FPC, East Syracuse, NY, from 1959 until his untimely death on May 10, 1966.
Rev. Dr. Robert Philip Hoover graduated from The Mercersburg Academy, F&M, and Princeton Seminary in 1964. He was ordained at FPC on June 28, 1964, and served PCs in New Harrisburg, OH (1964-70), Massillon, OH (1970-85), Oak Hill, Akron, OH (1986, while completing his D. Min. degree at Ashland Seminary), and Poland, OH (1987 – 2004). Following retirement in 2004 he served as Senior Interim Pastor at First, Wichita, KS (2004-2006), and Darnestown, MD (2006-2008).
Rev. Dr. Bruce D. Williams was a graduate of the College of Wooster and Pittsburgh Seminary with a M.Div. 1974 and D.Min. in 1994. Following ordination on July, 19, 1974, he served in Plymouth, OH (1974-1977), Eastminster, York (1977-85), Lisbon, OH (1985-89), and Cranford, NJ (1989-2000). He died on October 12, 2000 at age 51.
Rev. Thomas A. Sweet graduated from Grove City and Princeton Seminary (1980), and was ordained on June 29, 1980. He served at Catonsville, MD (1980-1984), Bethel, White Hall, MD (1984-1994), and First, Jamestown, NY (1994-2012), and since December 1, 2012 has been Senior Pastor at Market Square PC, Harrisburg, PA.
Rev. Dr. Barbara Brummett was born on February 20, 1941, and earned BA degrees from Buffalo (1962) and Eastman School of Music (1968) and a BS degree from Georgia. Her M. Div. (1981) and D.Min. (1987) were from Lancaster Theological Seminary. She was ordained on March 29, 1981, and served as Chaplain at F & M from 1981 until her retirement in 2005. She died on June 24, 2010.
Rev. Dr. Deborah De Meester, a graduate of Westminster College, Bowling Green (Masters in Counseling) and Yale Divinity School, was ordained at FPC on November 24, 1985. She served in Minneapolis, MN, earned an Ed.D. from the University of St Thomas in Minneapolis where she is currently on the faculty.
Rev. Timothy R. Monroe graduated from Grove City (1979) and Princeton Seminary (1982), and was ordained at Calvary PC on June 27, 1982. He served Cherry Tree and Heilwood PCs, PA (1982-88) and yoked congregations in Northern Indiana County, PA (1988-2004). Since January 1, 2005 he has been Pastor at United PC, Blairsville, PA.
Rev. Brenda Lindsey Harcourt is a 1989 graduate of the Lancaster Theological Seminary and served as a missionary in Ghana before being ordained and installed at Calvary PC on September 27, 1992. She also served as Director at Camp Donegal, as Chief Administrative Officer, Wildwood Camp, Cincinnati, OH, and on staff of churches in Il and GA before returning to Africa in 2009. She is on the faculty of the Presbyterian University Seminary of East Africa in Kenya.
Rev. Allison Jan Beaulieu graduated from Barnard College in 2000 and Princeton Seminary in 2003, and was ordained at FPC on June 26, 2004. She then served as a Chaplain at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center from 2004 – 05. She was a Temporary Supply at Glenshaw, PA (2006-10), English, Marietta, PA (2010), and FPC York from September 2, 2010 thru her installation as our Associate Pastor on November 4, 2012.
Rev. Donna Rae Ryan graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2008. She was ordained at FPC on October 12, 2008 and one week later installed as Pastor for yoked churches in Burnt Cabins, PA, and Lower Path Valley, Fannettsburg, PA.
INSERT #53 DECEMBER 30, 2012
Two hundred and fifty years ago, when a small group of Presbyterians successfully petitioned The Presbytery of Donegal to establish The English Presbyterian Church in York, they could hardly have imagined that a century later they would be worshiping in a new Sanctuary, much less that it would still be the center of worship today.
Therefore, let us pause to give thanks for those many Saints who have led this Church through that quarter of a millennium. And let us pray to God the Father, to Jesus Christ the Son, and to the Holy Spirit to fill us with that same spirit of direction, purpose, and wonder that will lead us through the coming New Year and – if we dare imagine – the next 250 years.