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Central Christian Church - New Castle PA

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A mission of the Park (or First) Christian Church on the public square was formally organized in 1896 to serve the crowded populace on the South Side of New Castle. An associated Sunday school program had actually been set up three years prior. The congregation held services in a small wooden church on Pennsylvania Avenue, until a larger church was built right next door along East Long Avenue. The older building remained in use as a Sunday school. In 1902 the mission became the independent Central Christian Church. An initiative to remodel or rebuild the church buildings in the 1950’s was never carried out due to an ever-dwindling congregation. The church was lost to a devastating fire in the early hours of Saturday, April 20, 1974. Worst yet, the neighboring home belonging to an elderly couple also caught fire and they were forced to jump out of a second-story window. The couple, William and Virginia Phillips, were seriously injured and William died a few days later. The church was never rebuilt and the congregation generally merged back into the First Christian Church. (c1970)

This aerial map reveals the location of the former Central Christian Church at the intersection of East Long Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue. Today, the former site of the church is a vacant lot. (1967)


  1. My grand-parents and aunt attended there for many years. As a child, I remember visiting a few times. For Sunday School, we were in a room near the sanctuary. A big sliding wall separated us from the sanctuary. One time after service when communion had been served, my younger sister and I went onto the platform. There were a couple of the small, empty glasses which the clergy would have left. The glasses were sitting on the ledge for the baptistry. My sister and I – when very young – took one cup each and put them into the water and watched them sink slowly to the bottom. I have since wandered at the surprise the next time someone used the baptistry or emptied the tank.

    This story has been told to me. There was a certain Mrs. Smith who taught the Ladies’ Bible Class. The Sunday School Superintendent invited the ladies to move more closely to the front for some reason. Mrs. Smith led the ladies in singing ‘We Shall Not Be Moved.” Her grand-daughter, my elderly neighbor, has some of her grand-mother’s personality.

    I have one of Grand-mother’s home movies showing people exiting the main door onto the sidewalk. I only recognize George and Mildred “Mid” (Cowmeadow) Bauman.


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