LINESVLLLE, PA

 

In approximately 1949 or 1950 John Slozat and his family desired to have a holiness church in Linesville, Pa. This desire led Rev. Andy Slozat and Ellis Burchfield to search for a building in which to start holding services. A one-room school, which was the voting house for Pine Township and located on South Mercer Street Ext., ended their search. John Slozat secured the use of the building which was then opened for services and continued for a few months. The voting house was provided rent free; however, twice a year the seats had to be removed and the building set up for voting. At that time it was called the Pilgrim Mission.

In the beginning the church did not have a regular pastor. For the first couple years, John Slozat took on much of the responsibility, and later R. V. Wallace, pastor of the Geneva church, alternated and helped.

Noon prayer meetings were held in 1951, and a revival resulted in which a number of souls were saved and established. This produced a framework for organizing the church. Miles Gray had come to pastor, and it was under his leadership, around 1952, that the church was organized under the old Pilgrims in the Pittsburgh District. The superintendent at that time was Leonard Drury. Charter members include: John and Ethel Slozat, Betty Watson, Marie Waring, Edna Berringer, Jim and Margaret Calladine, Fred and Gayle Calladine, and Maurice and Helen VanRiper. A record attendance of 98 was reached in 1955. There was much enthusiasm as the people of the church made more than one trip bringing other people to church.

Land was purchased on North Chestnut Street in 1958, and the church began to hold services in the old two-story building located in the back of the property. This building has since been torn down. In 1967 the parsonage on 113 Franklin Street was purchased, and much work and many improvements have been made.

After the pastorate of James Reed, who had taken the church with the ‘merger,’ the church pulled out from the Wesleyans and was independent for a while. Then in the early 1970’s Pastor Philip Gray led the congregation in joining the Bible Covenant Conference. It was in the mid-1970’s that the church joined the New York Pilgrim Conference with David Smith as their first New York Pilgrim pastor.

During the late 1960’s a moveable tabernacle, used for starting churches, was purchased and moved from Emlenton, Pa. to its permanent location at 139 North Chestnut Street. It was then bricked and served as the sanctuary from 1969 until February 1996. Although it had served its purpose well, this building was small and did not provide adequate spacing for Sunday School rooms and some major repairs would have been needed eventually, so in 1995 a building program was initiated. Meanwhile, in the small town of Linesville sat a vacant church waiting to be filled with people and plenty of room for growth. Reports indicated that the owner had bought the building with the intent that church services not be held there again. God, however, had different plans. An inquiry into the property found an owner willing to sell not only the church building, but also the parsonage for a very reasonable price. It was purchased on November 6, 1995, with the first Sunday services held on February 18, 1996. The parsonage was moved into on February 3, 1996. In September 1996, the property on 113 Franklin Street was sold allowing the church to completely pay off their debt. God is helping this group of believers in Linesville. Over the past decade the church has become more solid and stable in finances, attendance, and spiritual depth. Good things are ahead. Praise the Lord!

The following is a list of pastors of the Linesville Church: Miles Gray — 1950 to 1954; Delbert Walker — 1955 to 1956; George Harvey — 1957 to 1962; Robert Thawley (filled in) — 1965 to 1966; James K. Reed — 1967 to April 1972; Philip Gray -October 1972 to January 1974; David Gray - November 1973 to August 1974; Claude Eshelman (filled in) -September 1974 to May 1975; David Smith - July 1975 to July 1977; Marvin Blowers - July 1977 to July 1978; Robert Hunt - July 1978 to July 1979; Philip Brewer - August 1979 to June 1981; John Slozat filled in; Raymond Zeigler - March 1982 to July 1986; Roderick Wells - September 1986 to August 1991; David Gardner - September 1991 to July 1994; Bradley Dendler - October 1994 to present.


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Last modified 12/9/00