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In 1815 a log cabin was erected in New Castle to become the first home of the First Methodist Church, originally formed as an outreach of what became known as King’s Chapel Methodist Church in Neshannock Township. The log cabin was replaced with newer churches in 1835 and 1854 – all located at South Jefferson and Lawrence Streets. In 1888, on land donated by singing evangelist Ira D. Sankey, a large brick church (shown above) was opened at the northeast corner of North Jefferson and North Streets. The church was known for its exquisite stained glass windows that were installed in the early 1900’s. (c1906) Full Size
The church remained in service at its downtown location for many decades. In 1963 a site along Decker Drive in Neshannock Township was acquired to build a newer church. The first phase of construction commenced in June 1966 and the fellowship hall, to be utilized as a “temporary” sanctuary, was opened in April 1967. A few months later the old downtown church was razed, with it’s stained glass windows being removed and placed in storage. In 1968 the congregation, due to a national merger, became known as the First United Methodist Church. It wasn’t until September 2001 that the main sanctuary portion of the new church was finally completed. (c1910) Full Size
About 750 delegates of the Pennsylvania State Young Peoples association, comprised mainly of Sabbath school workers, gathered in New Castle for their sixth annual convention from October 28-30, 1921. The First Methodist Church (shown above) was one of the four churches utilized for the various events. The other churches that hosted events were the First Presbyterian Church, First United Presbyterian Church, and the First Christian Church. Activities were also held at Cascade Park and the New Castle High School. Among the officials who planned the event was H. L. Marvin, the Superintendent of the Lawrence County Sabbath School Association. (Oct 1921) Full Size
Parishioners started meeting at the “new” First Methodist Church (shown above) on Decker Drive in April 1967, although construction efforts went on for many years. (c2014)
Denise Guthery #
The beautiful stained glass windows from this building have been installed in the “new” First United Methodist Church on Decker Drive in Neshannock Township. One commemorates Ira Sankey’s hymn The Ninety and Nine. One is of Christ praying. The colors are fantastic.