Church History

Important Moments In Our Church History

1874 -- An evangelist by the name of Benedict holds church services along the banks of the Youghiogheny River near Layton.

1875 -- Church was formed and met at the local public school.

1880 -- J.G. McDonald deeded a parcel of land to the church.

1887 -- Church building is completed. There are 22 charter members.

Early 1900's -- The Christian Women's Fellowship and the Seek, Save, and Serve Sunday School Class began.

1902 -- Rev. James Bell became the first regular minister. Rev. J.W. Zachery held a three week revival, during which 34 converts were added.

Next (dates not known) -- Rev. William Long became pastor. He was followed by Rev. C.C. Clingman. Then Rev. J.M. Canfield. During Rev. Canfield's pastorate the church purchased a bell and an organ. He was followed by Rev. M.S. Blair, Betty Sager's grandfather.

1915 -- Rev. Huffner became pastor. During his pastorate six Sunday School rooms were added to the church and the parsonage was built. He was followed by Rev. Wharton and Rev. Simms.

1923 -- Rev. Percy Davis became pastor. During his pastorate the dining room, kitchen, and baptistry were added.

1931 -- Rev. Kitchen became pastor. He was followed by Rev. Fred Fink. Then Rev. Howard McCloy became pastor for the first time. He was a student at Bethany College.

1941 -- Mrs. Luvada Blair received a pin for 25 years of continuos service.

1951 -- Rev. Lester Snell became pastor of the church.

1952 -- An "electric" organ was purchased for the church.

1958 -- Rev. Raymond Wreath became pastor of the church. He was followed by Rev. V.K. Vose.

1966 -- Rev. George Massay became pastor of the church.

1968 -- Rev. Alexander Haines, from India, became pastor of the church. He was followed by the church's second student minister, Rev. Dean Sparks. Mrs. Ethel McClanahan and Mrs. Hallie Rolison began the "Thrift Shop" in the basement of the church. It later moved to a building next to the local theater and then to its current location.

1976 -- Rev. C. Howard McCloy began his second tenure as pastor, following 25 years as a Army chaplain. Mrs. Emma Blaney and the Flower Committee began the tradition of placing poinsettas in our church for Christmas and lilies in our church for Easter.

1980 -- Rev. Jerry Pardoe became interim pastor of the church following Rev. McCloy's death.

1981 -- Rev. Robert Brooks became pastor of our church.

1987 -- The church held its "Centennial Celebration." Our church was one of the fastest growing in the Disciples of Christ denomination.

1987 -- Mr. Jim Blair retired as our organist of over 30 years of service.

1991 -- The church bought the old garage across the street and converted it into the Family Life Center and new Thrift Shop. The old dining hall at the rear of the church was converted into two offices, two restrooms, a nursery and a library (dedicated to late elder John Domonkos).

1992 -- Rev. Larry Grimes became interim minister of the church after the departure of Rev. Brooks.

1993 -- Rev. Paul Ragle became minister of our church.

1997-1998 -- The men and women of the congregation renovated the church building; replacing the front & side windows, carpet, drywall, tile, doors, refinishing pews, installing handicap access, etc. Sunday morning services were held in the Family Life Center until completion. The church also purchased a brand new sound system.

1998 -- Rev. Vernon Bowers filled in as interim minister while Rev. Ragle was on sabbatical.

2002 -- The church purchased an all new digital piano.

2003 -- John & Vicky Phillips retired as youth leaders after 22 years of service.

2004 -- Rev. John Matsko took over as interim minster after Rev. Ragle's departure.

2006 -- Rev. Michael Malone became minister of our church. During his pastorate the church purchased its own bus.

2007 -- The Perryopolis First Christian Church established its first website over the internet. Christina Sullivan was the first webmaster. The Youth of the church traveled to New Orleans to volunteer after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina & Hurricane Rita from 2006.

2008 -- Men and women of the congregation remodeled the old kitchen in the back of the church. Jeff & Cindy Phillips retired as church custodians after 20+ years of service.

2009 -- Tyler Phillips took over the duties of webmaster. Rev. Walter McNutt took over as interim minister after the departure of Rev. Malone. Maranda Leapline & Tyler Phillips took over as Co-Leaders for the church's youth group.

2010 -- Rev. Edward Arbogast Jr. became the new minister of the church.

2011 -- The church held a combined outdoor service and picnic at the Jefferson Township Park on September 11th. In October, the church celebrated its 125th anniversary.

2012 -- The front porch/steps of the church were replaced with new steps and a ramp. Work was done by Eckman Remodeling.

2013 -- Rev. Melissa Rae Snyder became minister of the church. The first woman to ever minister the Perryopolis First Christian Church

2014 -- The church started using an automated one-call system to keep parishioners informed of events, happenings and the prayer chain.

2019 -- The church started its annual spring and fall vendor/craft shows held in the Family Life Center.

2020 -- On March 29th, the first church service was live streamed on the Facebook group page. March 13th a National Emergency was declared due to the COVID-19 outbreak and everyone was asked to practice "social distancing" resulting in live church services so that everyone could worship together from home. The roof and steeple of the church was renovated with a new red, metal roof.