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Third Presbyterian Church - New Castle PA

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A handful of Presbyterian worshippers held a meeting in a store on Lathrop Street in the late summer of 1899, with the intention of establishing their own congregation on the mostly rural East Side of New Castle. A small wooden frame chapel, situated at the corner of East Washington and Beckford Streets, was completed in early 1900 and became known as the Third United Presbyterian Church. The first pastor was the youthful Reverend Thomas L. Rose, who died rather suddenly in October 1905. He was succeeded by the Reverend J. Elmer Campbell, who served the congregation until 1921. The church was soon expanded (shown above) with a large sanctuary and re-dedicated on Sunday, December 16, 1906. (1908) Full Size

The Reverend Thomas L. Rose (left), a graduate of Muskingum College in Ohio, served as the first full time pastor beginning in 1900. He was very active in city affairs and was elected to the City Council in early 1904. He fell ill to a kidney ailment and passed away rather suddenly in October 1905 at the age of forty-one. He was succeeded by his brother-in-law, the Reverend J. Elmer Campbell (middle), who had assisted at the church from time to time and was well known to the congregation. Campbell departed in late 1920 and was succeeded in early 1921 by the Reverend Samuel B. Copeland (right). It was under Copeland’s skilled direction that the congregation began efforts to construct a new brick church. (Photos from left – 1904, 1905, and 1921).

In 1925 fund raising efforts began to replace the old wooden church. Construction began on an impressive brick church on an adjoining lot to the south bordering Adams Street. The cornerstone was laid during a ceremony on Sunday, November 7, 1926, although it took some time to complete the work. The impressive brick church was dedicated on Sunday, October 16, 1927, with the Dr. J. Knox Montgomery, the President of Muskingum College, conducting the dedicatory address. At that time the flourishing congregation had an estimated 1,000 members. The old church was subsequently torn down and a manse was erected at the location. (1949) Full Size

The church was greatly expanded over the years and celebrated its 50th anniversary on Sunday, October 2, 1949. The Reverend Copeland, who departed in 1935 and was then serving in Pittsburgh, returned to address the congregation. Due to a national merger became known as the Third Presbyterian Church in 1983. It is still in active service today. Sadly, as the years passed the congregation dwindled in size and could no longer sustain operations. The congregation held its last service on Sunday, August 27, 2017, and the East Side landmark closed its doors for good after ninety-one years of faithful service. (Aug 2013) Full Size

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  1. My great uncle, Robert Harold Cromie, a veteran of 4 years fighting in the trenches of France and Belgium during WW1, gave a presentation at this church 1-26-1920
    , signifying the church’s tribute to it’s Gold Star veteran, Francis Bookwalter, (one of the first to die in the war), and to signify the official cessation of conflict in the war. The flag was removed, furled and kept on the premises for future use. We have been unable to connect Harold to any service units, either in US forces, or in Canadian forces. If anyone knows the location of this banner, I would love to hear of it, in hopes there might be some record somewhere within the church. Thank you.


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