committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs







History of the Churches of the Pittsburgh Baptist Association

by William Pankey


At the annual meeting of the Pittsburgh Baptist Association, held at the Apollo Church, June 4, 1873, the following resolution was adopted :

"Resolved, that the Rev. Dr. John Winters he requested to write the history of the Baptists of western Pennsylvania, and to have the same published in 'The National Baptist or in some other permanent form.''

No trace of such a publication has been found, and we therefore conclude that this noble resolution went the way of the majority of resolutions.

The most outstanding layman who was zealous in collecting and preserving historical data was the late Francis J. Rebbeck. He served for thirty-two years as Clerk and Assistant Clerk of the Pittsburgh Association. Two historical sketches of the churches were published by him in the Association Annuals of 1889 and 1899. A volume entitled, Centenary of Organized Baptist Work in and about Pittsburgh, was published by the Pittsburgh Association in 1913. This, however, is not a historical narrative, but merely a compilation of the addresses delivered at the centennial meetings of the First Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, January 30, 31, 1913.

At the annual meeting of the Pittsburgh Association, June 3, 4, 1937, a resolution was adopted authorizing the Reverend William R. Pankey and Mr. Lewis C. Walkinshaw to write and publish a complete history of the churches of the Association, the task to be completed prior to the centennial celebration in June of 1939.

By mutual consent it was agreed that the first section of the book should deal with the general movement and settlement of Baptists in western Pennsylvania, and the second with the histories of the individual Baptist churches in the Pittsburgh Association. Mr. Walkinshaw accepted the responsibility for the first part, while I was given the responsibility for writing the second section.

In the meantime, the sudden and untimely death of Mr. Walkinshaw has made it impossible for his unfinished manuscript to be included in this volume. This is a decided loss. However, it is hoped that the seventy-two historical sketches of the churches contained herein, together with the brief introductory chapter, may be found useful and interesting to all lovers of Baptist history.

April 24, 1939                                                                                                                                  W. R. P.

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