The Center United Presbyterian Church Midway PA 100th Anniversary. McDonald PA_Washington County PA Genealogy and Family History_Little Washington

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The Center United Presbyterian Church Midway PA
100th Anniversary

From the McDonald Record-Outlook, June 18, 1959, page unknown:


Family night, this Wednesday evening, will begin the observance of the 100th anniversary of the Center U. P. Church, Midway. The celebration will be culminated with two services next Sunday.

The Rev. Charles VAN DYNE, pastor, will give the invocation at the family night program. The Rev. A. A. LOVE, D.D., of McDonald will be the guest speaker.

Others participating will be Harry LINDSAY, who will sing a solo, and Miss Katherine BEBOUT, who will show slides of members and former members of the congregation. Both the senior and junior choirs will sing.

Following the service, the congregation will retire to the basement for refreshment and fellowship.

The Rev. Walter RALSTON of Quincy, Mass., a son of the congregation will deliver the sermon at this Sunday morning service. Glenn AIKEN will sing a solo.

The Rev. Harold of ELLER of San Felix, Venezuela, another son of the congregation, will speak at the evening service which begins at -:30 o’clock. Kenvin (sic) MOREAU will sing a solo at this service.


The Center United Presbyterian church of Midway was organized May 2, 1859. The first meetings were held in a log barn on the John CAMPBELL farm, presently owned by George U. LOFFERT. After various meetings of those in the vicinity belonging to the United Presbyterian church, it was agreed to apply to the Presbytery of Chartiers for the organization of a congregation to be called Center.

At a meeting of Presbytery at Hickory in April, 1859, an organization was granted and the Rev. James C. Campbell was appointed to preach on the first Sabbath of May, at which time the church came into being. On the following Monday, Jacob GEORGE, Thomas STEVENSON, John CAMPBELL, Dr., and John D. REED were elected ruling elders. They were installed by the Rev. James C. HERRON on the 18th of September, following. On September 27, 1859, session met and was constituted by the Rev. J. G. RANKIN, moderator, when 54 members were received by certificate and five on examination. These 59 comprised the charter members.

The congregation enjoyed the labors of ministers appointed by Presbytery, services being held in private residences of members of the congregation and in school housed in the vicinity until the third Sabbath of February, 1869, when a new church was occupied for the first time. The church, a frame structure costing $2,500 was located in what is now the Center cemetery, and stood a short distance from the entrance to the cemetery.

The Rev. D. S. KENNEDY became the first pastor on September 4, 1862.

The present place of worship was erected in 1891 and was dedicated January 19, 1892, during the pastorate of Rev. W. J. GRAHAM.

The semi-centennial of the church was celebrated on June 22, 1909. Chartiers Presbytery met in regular session at this time to take part in the celebration. The Rev. J. D. GIBSON, pastor of the church, was in charge of arrangements. David A. McCALMONT read a history of the church and the Rev.

Alexander McLAUGHLIN, D. D., gave its presbyterial history. C. R. BRICELAND gave a prophecy and read greetings from other churches. At the evening session, addresses were delivered by the Rev. J. M. FARRAR, D.D., LLD, of Brooklyn, N. Y., a former member of the congregation, and the Rev. J.T. McCRORY of Pittsburgh. Both dinner and supper were served at the church. Mrs. Sarah G. BAMFORD was the only charter member present.

Three sons of the congregation have entered the ministry; W. S. BAMFORD (deceased), Harold ELLER, and Walter RALSTON. Miss Veda GRAHAM, a daughter of the congregation, is serving in the mission field, at the Avalon Girls’ School, Pathankot, India. Another daughter of the congregation, Elizabeth DICKSON EWEN, served on the teaching staff at Stanton Academy, Stanton, Ky. 

Present membership of the church is 373

Ministers who have served the congregation are the Rev. D. S. KENNEDY, 

September, 1862 to October, 1872; the Rev. J. B. WADDELL, May, 1873 to February, 1886; the Rev. W. J. GRAHAM, May 1888, to February, 1898, the Rev. J. D. GIBSON, November, 1898 to April, 1910; the Rev. J. G. REANEY, January, 1911, to November, 1914; the Rev. E. D. MILLER, May, 1915 to March, 1918; the Rev. R. W. NARIN, D. D., August, 1918 to March, 1926, the Rev. E. L. RALSTON, November 1926, to may, 1936, the Rev. Alfred HUBBARD, November, 1936, to January, 1945; the Rev. Eldin L. BENNETT, July, 1946, to June, 1948; the Rev. W. D. MERCER, D.D., December 1949, to December, 1952; the Rev. John MELLINGER, May, 1953, to April, 1954; the Rev. Lawrence SVANE, February, 1955, to June, 1958; the Rev. Charles VAN DYNE, April, 1959.

* See Town-Talk section for a more information on the history of McDonald Pa.* 


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Index to McDonald PA Folder 1  |  Index to McDonald PA Folder 2 a Collection of 3,000 marriage licenses / wedding notices  |  Divorce Notices



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McDonald PA newspaper items were researched and typed by Victoria Hospodar Valentine for the over the course of 5 years.  Vicki had submitted hundreds of articles to the [email protected] mailing list and other Lists.  Her work is presented here in the McDonald, PA section of this website.  Please use the links to navigate or use on-site search to locate articles.  


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