First Church of God - Punxsutawney, PA

Historical Sketch

The beginning of the First Church of God in Punxsutawney had it's roots in the viIlage
of Elenora, where traveling ministers brought the message of the Church of God. In 1910 some of those who were attracted to the teachings of the church invited Rev. H. M. Riggle, an author and world traveler, to lead a series of meetings in Snyder Hall, a well known meeting place in Punxsutawney.

In 1913 weekly meetings were begun in the homes of Edward Hepburn on North Main Street and David Bell on Greenwood Avenue, with the meetings alternating between the homes each week. In 1916 a tent-meeting was conducted by Rev. I. S. McCoy at the corner of West Mahoning and Lane Streets, which resulted in additional adherents to the young congregation.

For the next year the congregation met in a meeting hall in the Kurtz Building at East
Mahoning and Front Streets, then moved to the home of Mrs. Powers on Pine Street where John and Nellie Huebner led the group. In 1918 two rooms in the Charles Mackels home on Pine Street were rented for worship, and Rev. A. J. Phillips led the group, assisted by C. H. Wilson. A successful revival was conducted at this location by Rev G, E. Sample.

In 1921 the vacant Welch Baptist Church at North Main and Perry Streets was rented for $10.00 a month. In 1922 a revival was conducted by Rev. J. W. Strotman, and in Decem­ber of that year the 32 year old church building was purchased fo r $3,000.00.

The first paid minister, Rev. Fred Kirkpatrick, was installed in 1926. He was followed by Rev. Clifton Lord, 1928-1930; Rev. H. C. Swecker, 1930-1936 and Rev. B. W.Barcus was pastor 1936-1942. Rev. C. H. Wilson assisted at
times when the church was with­out a pastor.

In 1942 Rev. J. Edward Hepburn became pastor of the church, and with his wife Ella Mae as his co­worker built it into a congregation that was widely known for it's outstanding growth. Bible cen-tered preaching, and effective Sunday School, and the Sunday Worship Broadcast built the congregation into what is truly a landmark in the community. The Hepbums led the congregation until 1965 when they retired from the active ministry.
                                                                                                                                                  (from the 1969 church directory)