committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs







History of the Churches of the Pittsburgh Baptist Association

by William Pankey


Several years before the town of Monessen came into existence, a Baptist Sunday school was established in the community by Joseph Reed. Through the efforts of John Richards and the Rev. W. S. Prichard, a church was organized in Loutitts Hall, June 20, 1902, bearing the name of Bethany Baptist Church. Of the eleven original charter members, Mrs. Margaret Weddell and Mrs. Mary Winstone are still active in the church. The name of the congregation was changed to that of the First Baptist Church of Monessen, April 15, 1903.

For six years the services were conducted in rented halls and in the homes of the members. The home of Mr. and Mrs. George Nash was a very popular meeting place. The present church edifice was erected in 1909, and the mortgage was burned at a prayer-meeting service in 1913.

In 1903 the church organized a mission Sunday school in Donora, which has since grown into an independent church. Three young men have entered the Christian ministry from the Monessen church: Rev. J.E. Ficco, Rev. Raymond Wreath and Rev. John Myers. The present membership is 303; with a Sunday school membership of 312.

The following ministers have served the church:

Rev. H. H. Hallowell (1902-1904), Rev. Henry Madtes (1905-1907), Rev. John Cherney (1907-1909), Rev. H. E. Wallace (1909-1913), Rev. W. S. Carson (1914-1919), Rev. E. T. Carter (1919-1921), Rev. W. W. Anderson (1921-1923), Rev. C. B. Jones (1924-1928), Rev. D. S. Woods (1929-1930), Rev. H. W. Fowler (1931-1933), Rev. J. E. Ficco (1934- 1935), Rev. John E. Fosnight (1935- ).

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