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History of the Churches of the Pittsburgh Baptist Association

by William Pankey


This congregation had its beginning in the old Loyalhanna Baptist Chnrch, in 1828. Prior to that date meetings had for several years been held in the homes of the people under the leadership of Andrew Johnston (1726-1815), Baptist pioneer. The organization meeting was held in the town of Saltsburg, November 29, 1828, with Rev. James Frey, pastor of the Big Redstone church (Smock), Rev. James Estep, pastor of Forks of Yough church (Salem), and Rev. John Thomas, pastor of the Two Lick Baptist church (Dixonville), as the organizing delegates from the Redstone Baptist Association.

A beautiful pool at the Perry-Kirkpatrick-Snodgrass mill, half a mile away, was the church's convenient baptistry through the years. As the membership increased and scattered over a larger area, a second house of worship was erected in Saltsburg, in 1853. The two preaching stations were maintained for a number of years. The church in the town of Saltsburg soon became predominant, and assumed the name of the Saltsburg Baptist Church, which it has retained to the present time. The country congregation of Loyalhanna gradually disintegrated. When their building was razed in 1929, a large marker was constructed from the foundation stones, and a title slab was dedicated October 26, 1930, in the presence of four hundred people. The chief addresses were delivered by Rev. Raymond G. Pierson and Mr. Lewis C. Walkinshow.

September 1, 1832, the Loyalhanna church and Forks of Yough and Turkeyfoot (Ursina), were dismissed from the Redstone Baptist Association to form the Monongahela Association. The church was received into the Pittsburgh Baptist Association, October 12, 1844. In 1847 it entertained the Association. In 1882 the church was dismissed from the Pittsburgh Association to join the Indiana Association, but returned to the Pittsburgh Association in 1892. The congregation still worships in the old church building erected in 1853—but made modernly beautiful by remodeling within recent years. A continuous church life has been sustained since 1828. The present membership is 121.

The following ministers have served the church:

Rev. William Shadrach (1829-1835), Rev. Benoni Allen (1836-1839), Rev. Isaac Wynn, Rev. John Parker, Rev. Milton Sutton, Rev. John P. Rockefeller, Rev. Caleb Rossell, Rev. Edwin M. Miles, Rev. Peter M. Weddle (1849-1852), Rev. Thomas J. Penny (1852-1855), Rev. D. W. Hunter (1855-1857), Rev. J. R. Morris (1858), Rev. W. T. Johnston (1859-1862), Rev. Samuel Furman (1862- 1864), Rev. A. H. Taylor (1864-1866), Rev. Azariali Shadrach (1867-1875), Rev. George W. Baker (1875-1876), Rev. John Burke (1876-1879), Rev. E. C. Baird (1879-1880), Rev. D. W. Swigart (1881- 1882), Rev. A. B. Runyon (1892-1895), Rev. W. H. I. Kirkendall (1895-1897), Rev. L. D. Bass (1897- 1898), Rev. Clement Tomlin (1898-1900), Rev. Howard I. Stewart (1901-1902), Rev. Herbert Grimwood (1903-1905), Rev. John Krumm (1906- 1909), Rev. A. J. Bowser (1910-1913), Rev. C. W. Mitchell (1914), Rev. John E. Arblaster (1916), Rev. W. P. Wheeler (1920-1921), Rev. L. L. Bradley (1922-1924), Rev. Lloyd S. Erb (1926-1929), Rev. Albert G. Mason (1929-1931), Rev. David Thompson (1932- ).

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