311 Madison St.
Sligo, PA 16255
Photo courtesy of Pamela Myers-Grewell
Sligo/Piney vicinity Churches
(organized June 22, 1874)
403 Colerain St.
Sligo, PA 16255
Photo courtesy of Pamela Myers-Grewell
Sligo Chapel (Church of God)
1637 Bald Eagle St.
Sligo, PA 16255
Photo courtesy of Pamela Myers-Grewell
(erected about 1873-1874)
506 Penn St. (Penn & Taylor Streets)
Sligo, PA 16255
Photo courtesy of Pamela Myers-Grewell
In 1877 St. John's Memorial Evangelical Lutheran, at Churchville, Piney Township. There were three Methodist churches in Piney Twp. Also, there was a Union Baptist Church in Piney during that year.
In 1887, Sligo also housed a Roman Catholic Church, but no further information on this church is available at this time. The Clarion County Centennial celebration publication of 1940 states that at one time Catholics met on the fourth floor of the brick store (probably the Hodil Store).
Up until sometime in the 60's, the Sligo Charge of Methodist churches comprised Cherry Run, Sligo, Curllsville, Pine Grove, and Monroe Chapel. Somewhere in 60's the charge was divided -- Curllsville and Monroe Chapel became a separate appointment.
Source: New Bethlehem Leader-Vindicator, Thursday, March 5, 1931.
We have been asked to publish the following article on early churches and churchyards written by Miss Jane Orr of Limestone, Pa. Our readers will find it very interesting as well as instructive:
Into the wilderness which is now Clarion County, came the sturdy pioneers, early in 1800, either direct from the old country or pushing on from east of the Allegheny Mountains, or North from Westmoreland and Fayette counties. They were principally of Scotch, Irish or German descent and were very generally God-fearing people.
While leaving civilization with its churches behind; the fact that they carried their religious convictions with them is clearly shown by the early efforts made to have some kind of religious services. At first the services were held either in Groves or in the homes.
Traveling Missionary preachers of different denominations made their way through the unbroken forests, traveling many hundred miles on horseback, fording rivers and streams and enduring untold hardships to preach to the scattered groups of Gospel hungry people. These various denominations formed organizations; some of them meeting in homes or schoolhouses, for years, before they were able to build houses of worship. Without exception, the earliest churches were built of logs, had no glass in the windows, used slab seats for pews, and were either unheated or very inadequately heated.
The (first) pioneer denomination in this country to organize was the Presbyterian. As early as 1668, this denomination appeared in America; the first preaching was in Philadelphia and in 1704 a frame church was erected on Market Street of that city. In 1705, the pioneer Presbytery was organized. From this Presbytery, missionary preachers were sent out into the Western wilderness. As Southwestern Pennsylvania had been settled a good many years previous to 1800, many of these preachers came from the settlements.
In 1802, Rev. Mr. McPherran, who was pastor of a church in Westmoreland County was sent, as a missionary for a short time, to this region, to preach to the scattered groups of Presbyterians in what is now Clarion County. At this time, it is very probable; he organized both Licking and New Rehoboth churches. There has always been a friendly dispute between the two churches, as to which is the older organization. This honor is claimed by Licking. If so, it was only a matter of a very short time and there is little doubt that they were both organized in 1802. Licking's first house of worship was erected in 1809. It is a matter of local history that Rev. Mr. McPherran preached the very first sermon that was heard in all this section.
In 1803, Redstone Presbytery sent supplies to Stump Creek, as the Clarion River was then called, and in 1804 a joint call was given Rev. Robert McGarragh, a young minister from Fayette County, to supply Licking in New Rehoboth churches. He began his laborers in June, 1804, and was ordained in the home of Thomas Brown near Reidsburg in 1806. In the summer of 1804, he brought his wife and family and household possessions from Fayette County. After a journey of seven or eight days with four pack horses, over bridle paths, he arrived at the home of Capt. John Maffett, near Strattanville. In a few days he was settled in a cabin 15 ft. square, given to him by Mrs. John Guthrie. The next year he moved into a log cabin on the Kadie farm near Mechanicsville, where he lived as long as he was pastor of New Rehoboth church. The furniture in this cabin was of the simplest, a trunk of a tree served for a table and blocks of wood for chairs. He acquired some land and supported himself largely by cultivating a patch of cleared land, on week days, while on Sabbath he ministered to the spiritual needs of his congregations.
Before a house of worship was built and he held services in a grove, inclement weather never deterred him. On one occasion we are told, he administered communion while it was raining. An Elder stood by and held an umbrella over him, not so much to shelter him as to protect the elements essential to the sacrament. The First Elders to be elected in Rehoboth church were Messrs. Tate Allison and Alexander Guthrie, Sr.
The first church building to be erected in Clarion County was on land donated by Rev. Robert McGarragh, bordering on Brush Run, near Mechanicsville, in 1808. In size is it was 20x30 feet with a clapboard roof, held in place by weight poles and knees. Boards, nails and glass were all lacking and it was heated by an open fire in a big kettle in the middle of the room. It is a matter of history in my own family, told by a member of my grandfather's family, that she had seen Dr. McGarragh come down from the pulpit while preaching – hold 1 foot and then the other foot over the fire and when warm, go back into the pulpit preaching, all the while. The church was situated in the midst of a burial ground. This was the only place for interment for miles around and many of the early settlers he buried here and in the adjoining church yard, which surrounded the old the Seceder church. James McFadden is buried here. He died in 1803 and was the first white person in Clarion County to be buried in a cemetery. No stone marks his grave. A few years after New Rehoboth church was organized, pioneers of the Seceder faith formed an organization in this same Community. For a number of years these two congregations worshiped together, Rev. Robert McGarragh preaching to both.
About 1820, however, the Presbyterians decided to erect a more commodious building. Previous to this time, in 1812, County records show that the William Bingham Estate had donated 100 acres of land to the Rehoboth congregation.
The new church was built of hewed logs and was quite large and had a gallery built across the back. This building was placed in a new location about 1 mile east of the old one and occupied the same ground on which the present New Rehoboth church stands today. From Clarion County records we read, "Rev. Robert McGarragh deeded to James McGuire, S. C. Orr and John C. Corbett, Trustees of New Rehoboth church, for and in consideration of the privilege of having a seat in the meeting house, 1 acre of land, etc.”. Upon this land the new church and church yard were located. It is said, that the 100 acres donated by the Bingham Estate was given to John Wells, in payment for the building of this church.
The Seceder congregation later erected a large frame building which stood for many years on a site just south of the first log church. The first pastor of this church was Rev. Mr. Dickey. The organization has long since been dissolved and the old building torn away. The old cemetery and the adjoining old Rehoboth cemetery, were for many years sadly neglected. They are located on a farm now owned by Mr. Theo Wilson, who has been instrumental in clearing the land of the weeds and brush and restoring some of the ancient tombstones. It is interesting to wander through these old burying grounds and read the quaint inscriptions on the old tombstones. I shall quote only two epitaphs which are found in these cemeteries:
"What thou art reading o’er my bones I oft have read on other stones. And others soon will read of thee, What thou art reading now of me.”
“Remember this as you pass by, As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so soon you’ll be, Prepare for death and follow me.”
There are many other tributes to beloved husbands and wives or other loved ones. Dr. McGarragh possessed the true missionary spirit and traveled far and wide preaching the gospel. That his efforts were successful is proved by the number of strong churches he organized. Among them: Concord in 1807; Richland 1816 and Callensburg in 1825; Bethesda (Rimersburg) 1836; Greenwest (Shiloh) 1841; Leatherwood 1842; Clarion was organized in 1841.
Of Concord church located in Perry Township we read from a record left a by a member of that church telling of his first meeting with Dr. McGarragh "and the Spring of 1805, hearing that a preacher had come to the Brush Run settlement, it was thought advisable to see if we could get him to preach a day for us so I went up to see him and found his cabin near Rehoboth. After partaking of his hospitality, arrangements were made and a time set for preaching. He arrived in our settlement at the time appointed. The services were held in the woods at a point about a mile west of where Concord church now stands. Standing on a mound caused by a tree falling out of root, this man of God on June 15, 1805, preached the first sermon ever held in all that region." In 1807 the church was organized. In 1822 Dr. McGarragh resigned the charges of Licking and New Rehoboth and moved to Perry Township, where he became pastor of Concord and Callensburg. He continued his labors until he was called to his eternal rest in the year 1842. He and his wife are buried in the old churchyard at Concord, which lies across the road from the present church and modern cemetery. Several of his children are buried in the old Rehoboth graveyard.
That he was a fervent preacher and mighty in prayer is testified by the family records of his parishioners. According to the customs of the times, church services commenced in the forenoon, when the Scripture was propounded. This required at least two hours. Then there was an intermission while the members ate their lunch which was carried with them. In the afternoon they met again and the sermon was preached. This took about three hours. In his fearless way, Dr. McGarragh warned his people against intemperance, Sabbath desecration and all the sins of the day. On one occasion he was preaching at Port Barnett near Brookville. He was much annoyed that the settlers had brought their guns with them. He remonstrated with them as he had done before but they claim they must protect themselves against wild beasts or possible attacks from unfriendly Indians. He knew, however, that they did not like to miss a chance to have a shot at a deer or bear even if it were the Sabbath day. As the services progressed the dogs were heard in pursuit of a deer and instantly everybody deserted the church, except the women and one old man who was too crippled to run. The preacher paused until the excitement subsided and then shaking his head said: "it's all in vain, all in vain." The old man, however, who had his mind on that deer exclaimed in reply: "No! No! By gum, I think they will get him."
The Associate Presbyterian Church or Seceders, were even more strict in their religious ruling than the old time Presbyterian's. They were Psalm singers and many believe that the old Rouse’s version was the only one that was inspired. The singing of hymns was a very real sin to them. They also held very strong views about Close Communion and “Occasional Hearing.” The latter by the way, was the very simple act of attending a service in the church of a different denomination. As the young people were sometimes guilty of this crime, they were dealt with very severely. About 1808, the Seceders organized in the County. It is hard to tell which was the first as there was one at Cherry Run, later known as the Rimersburg church. One at "Upper Piney” near Mechanicsville, to which I have referred and one at Hermon near Smithland. These all served their day and generation but have in later years merged into the denominations.
The Methodists was the second denomination to send missionaries into this region altho they did not organize and build churches as early as some of the others. This denomination first assumed its present name in 1784. Previous to that time the followers of John Wesley had met in societies. In 1736, John Wesley preached the pioneer sermon in America, at Savannah, Georgia, but it was not until 1769 that St. John's was established in Philadelphia. To the zeal and energy of its preachers and maintenance can be attributed the great success of this denomination in the new world. To them can be given the credit of starting the pioneer Sunday schools in America in 1790, by an official ordinance of the Methodist Conference, established Sunday schools to instruct poor children, white and black. “Let persons be appointed by the Bishops, Elders, Deacons or Preachers to teach (gratis) all that will attend and have a capacity to learn; from six in the morning until ten, and from two in the afternoon until six, when it does not interfere with public worship.”
This church was the first officially to acknowledge the United States constitution and was very active in every antislavery movement. It was also the first real Temperance organization in America, as the general rules of the society prohibited the use of liquor as a beverage. With this background it is no wonder their missionaries pushed their way so zealously through the wilderness and finally met such success in the new world. However, they were slow in making an inroad into Northwestern Pennsylvania. The ground was occupied by other denominations and a rather bitter prejudice existed against this new "Sect". The members were prohibited from wearing needless ornaments such as rings, earrings, necklaces, lace and ruffles. Also, their form of worship was more informal than that of other denominations.
As early as 1808, services were held in the home of Mr. Armstrong by a Methodist Missionary preacher but it was not until 1817 that the first-class in Clarion County was organized at the home of John Lawson, near Lawsonham. This was composed of a very few members and was connected with the Mahoning Circuit. With the organizing of the Pittsburgh Conference in 1825, reliable history of Clarion County Methodism begins.
In 1830, the Pittsburgh Conference meetings were held in private homes until 1832 when a log church was built one – half mile east of Rimersburg on land then owned by John Bingham who gave the Society 30 acres. On part of this land was a burying ground used for many years but now there is little or no trace left as the land was sold and has been under cultivation for many years. In later years the church was built on the location of the present Methodist church in Rimersburg. The Rev. Francis Asbury Montjar was the pioneer Methodist preacher, which no doubt accounts for the name Asbury being given to one of the early churches.
In 1889 preaching services were held at the home of Mr. Young who lived on the Turnpike (Lakes-to-Sea Highway) east of Strattanville. For years services were held in groves, private homes and schoolhouses. In 1843 a class was organized in Carney school house but not until 1848 do we have the first record preserved.
Rev. Richard Bear was the first regular pastor and Peter Jones, Class Leader. In 1858 the first church building was erected on 1 acre of land given by John Ion to this congregation upon which to build a church and as recorded in the deed was "for the worship of Almighty God forever and ever for no other purpose." Upon this site the present Asbury Church stands in the churchyard where rest many of these pioneers of Methodism. Other early churches of this faith were organized at Curllsville 1832; Callensburg 1838; Clarion and Strattanville 1848.
Among the early settlers in Clarion County were immigrants from Germany and Switzerland and also those who had come from eastern Pennsylvania. A large number of these were confirmed members of the Reformed church. Rev. John William Weber, the pioneer Reformed minister, came to Western Pennsylvania in 1783 and later was the first regular pastor of that faith in Pittsburgh. He occasionally visited the scattered members of the Reformed faith in Armstrong and Venango counties and conducted services, held communion, and baptized children. Owing to the infirmities of age, the exposure of these missionary trips was too great for him, so younger ministers were sent out, among them, Rev. Henry Koch.
In the spring of 1819, this young theological student from Northumberland County made the journey over the mountains. On entering Westmoreland County he was disheartened to hear only the English language spoken but his fears were allayed by a venerable German woman who assured him that there was enough of the German element to make years of labor in that language acceptable. He came on to what is now Clarion County and found a number of families who had come from his native country, among them the Millers, Mohneys, and Smiths along Red Bank Creek near Millville; the Brinkers, Heplers, Hamms, Hilliards, Kasters, Rimers, Edmonds and Wiants near Curllsville. North of the Clarion river the Alts, Switzers and Thomases from Switzerland and many others from Westmoreland county. After preaching to various groups he returned to the East and continued his studies. He was licensed and ordained to preach the gospel, September 1819, and that same fall settled in Clarion County and began his labors.
During the year 1820, the Congregations of St. Paul's Reformed in Beaver Township, St. John's near Curllsville and the Reformed church at Shannondale were all organized. The Lutheran at these places had also some form of organization and for a number of years the two denominations worshiped together. As early as 1840, in Beaver Township, where the “Stone” church was built later, a building was erected which was used for both school and church. When Rev. Henry Koch came, both Reformed and Lutherans were holding services in this building and he preached to both congregations for a number of years.
When St. John's Church of Curllsville was to be rebuilt, a union was formed by the Reformed and Lutheran membership. When the cornerstone was laid, sometime in the Forties, a Constitution was formed by the Unionists, prohibiting anyone to be stated pastor who could not preach in both German and English. This caused considerable excitement. Rev. Mr. Koch, the faithful pastor, who had stood by his flock for so long, felt himself incompetent to preach in English and with tears in his eyes had to bid his parishioners goodbye. Many of the good old German speaking people honestly believed that the perpetuation of true religion depended upon use of the mother tongue. While other extremists insist that all would be lost to the cause of Christianity if the English language alone was not used. Only those who have passed through such a crisis can fully appreciate the situation. However, this was turned to good, for it resulted in the organization of Jerusalem church at Rimersburg 1841; Salem in Salem Township 1848; and Salem in Limestone Township 1848.
The pioneer Lutheran preaching in North America was held in New Amsterdam (New York) in 1624. This service had to be held in a private house as there was no religious liberty in that colony then and some of these early Lutherans were imprisoned and the pastor sent back to Holland. In 1638, a colony of Swedes settled in Wilmington ,Delaware. They erected a Fort and in this Fort held religious services in 1639. It was not until 1742 that Rev. Henry Muhlenberg located in Philadelphia and really organized the Lutheran church in America.
The first Lutheran organization in Clarion County was in Beaver Township on the farm of Henry Best in 1816. A log building was erected. A story is told of a man by the name of Hammer, who claimed to be a Lutheran preacher, coming to this settlement and desired to preach in the new log church. To quote from an early history "at that early day congregations had to be specially on guard against irresponsible characters, (wolves in sheep's clothing) and as he had neither ordination or synodical papers, the church was locked against him and as an additional precaution a chain was put around the stove."
On August 2, 1845, Henry Best, Sr., sold a piece of land to the Lutheran congregation for Fifty Dollars ($50.00) and to quote from the Deed which is on record at the Clarion courthouse: "Said Henry Best will give this valuation and money toward building a house, stable, etc., on above described plot of land, which is intended for a Pastor’s Mansion of the Lutheran Congregation. However, this is to be understood, in no other way than this namely: that no other ministers shall have the privilege of the above house and lot, except to be a Lutheran preacher, belonging to a Lutheran Synod of the Old School, who believes in the Augsburg Confession and all the symbolic writings of the Lutheran Creed and who is opposed to new measures in whatever shape or form they may be, as Mourning Benches. Considering Prayer Meeting as the only means to obtain salvation, etc., and as long as Henry Best or his children or grandchildren live, or in fine, as long as there is one man who is opposed to such new measures in above named congregation. No such preacher shll have the privilege of above named house and lot."
There is reason to believe that Rev. G. A. Reichart was the first Lutheran minister to visit Clarion County. He was appointed a traveling missionary by the Pennsylvania Synod, at its meeting in Germantown in 1822, after which he started on a three months tour of northwestern Pennsylvania, traveling on horseback. It is quite probable he visited the groups of Lutherans in Clarion County at that time.
In 1823, Henry Shippen and wife of Huntingdon, Pa., deeded a tract of land now occupied by the old cemetery, north of the present Lutheran church, in Shippenville, to the Mount Zion Evangelical Lutheran church for the sum of One Dollar. Soon after the organization, the old log church was commenced, was never finished or dedicated. Church services continued to be held in the schoolhouse and sometimes on Communion occasions, the service was held in a barn owned by William Shippen. In 1842, a lot upon which the present church stands was bought for Seventy-Five Dollars from the Shippen Estate. In 1884 the church was dedicated and in June 1845 [1885?] the first Convention of the Pittsburgh Synod was held. The attendance on the Sabbath was so large that two services had to be held, one in the church, Rev. Jacob Steck, President of the Synod, preaching in German and Rev. W. A. Passevant, the Secretary, in a nearby grove, preached in the English language. Other organizations of the Lutheran faith were formed at St. John's, Fryburg, 1825, Shannondale (Union) 1821, Salem, Salem Township 1830, Mt. Zion, Licking Township 1846, Squirrel Hill 1846.
Early in the Nineteenth Century, when Clarion County was a primeval forest a few pioneer families of the Roman Catholic faith penetrated this wilderness and formed settlements, clearing the land for farms and building homes. Very soon Missionary priests of their faith came among them to minister to their spiritual needs. Sometimes, months would elapse between these visits and to quote from an account of the early times: "It was necessary for parents to carry their infant children as far as Erie, Butler, Indiana or Pittsburgh, that they might be washed in the cleansing waters of baptism.”
Father Galitman (Prince Galitman) was the first missionary to visit the pioneer families in this section. In 1820, a Mission was established at Fryburg. In 1828, Rev. John O'Neill, a missionary priest from St. Patrick's Parish, near Buffalo Creek, sixteen miles east of Butler, organized the congregation of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, at Crates. This congregation was visited more or less regularly by missionary priests, whose journeys through the wilderness were attended by great hardships. They traveled by horseback, over narrow trails, through unbroken forests, infested by Indians and wild beasts and as there were no bridges, the rivers and streams had to be forged [sic]. A story is related of one pioneer priest, who, one cold day, arriving at his destination in Clarion County, was found to be frozen fast to his saddle.
In 1834, through the efforts of Father O’Neill, the Rt. Rev. Francis Patrick Kendrick, Bishop of Philadelphia, visited the parish of St. Nicholas, celebrated the Mass and confirmed twenty-five members in the home of Solomon Cyphert and rewarded the devotion of this little group by giving them permission to build the church. So the following year, 1835, on the site of the present cemetery, a log chapel was erected on land donated by Joseph and George Aaron. This rude Chapel, thirty-six feet in length was unornamented, poorly heated and without seats, but later the interior was decorated, seats were installed and for nearly twenty-five years the congregation worshiped here. As the congregation increased in size, a larger building was needed and in 1854 a frame building 50x36 feet was erected on land donated by George Aaron and Charles Crate and served as a place of worship until 1892 when the large modern church was built. In 1928, one hundred years after the church was organized, a beautiful Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, was erected on the church grounds. This was done under the direction of Rev. John Ring. A relative in Ireland donated the marble statues of Our Blessed Lady and St. Bernadette. To the best of my knowledge, this shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, which is a replica of the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, is the first of its kind to be erected in this part of the country and is a beautiful conception.
While a mission was established at Fryburg in 1820, it was not until 1831 that the first log church was built. This was replaced several years later by a frame building and in 1882 on a beautiful Knoll above Fryburg, a massive stone structure, requiring five years to build, was erected. This beautiful church stands as a monument to the faithful missionary priest and his little group of loyal Catholics who helped to conquer the wilderness and provide a place of worship for those of their faith.
In 1846 a frame building for worship was erected at Lucinda. Before that time Mass was celebrated at the home of John Vogelbacher by Father O'Neill, but there was no regular pastor. This first congregation was composed of thirty-five families. In 1850 the frame building burned out and was replaced by a brick structure. This also was destroyed by fire but was promptly rebuilt and enlarged.
The present organization at Crown was originally known as the "Wilderness" congregation. A log church was partially built in 1836 but a storm blew it down and it was not until 1848 a frame church was erected. In the meantime, Father O'Neill and other priests attended to the spiritual needs of the settlers at their cabins.
Among the early missionary preachers to this region came the Baptists between the year 1815 – 20. When the Baptists first came to America they were persecuted in most of the Colonies. Most of them settled in Rhode Island, where perfect freedom of conscience and religious liberty had been guaranteed by Roger Williams, who was the founder of that Colony. They had much to do with the agitation for religious liberty which resulted in the passage of the first Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Rev. Nathaniel Tibots was the pioneer preacher of this faith to preach in Clarion County. In 1821, the Reidsburg Zion Church was organized by this faithful missionary. This first congregation was composed of fifteen members and the meeting was held and the organization took place in Amos Williams barn near Williamsburg. Rev. Mr. Tibots served as pastor for one year and was highly esteemed by his people. To quote from an early history: "The sisters of the congregation would often assemble and arrange themselves some expression of their appreciation of his faithful labors. Among the gifts bestowed was a pair of fine tow-linen pantaloons, and which were worn in proper season at Sabbath services.”
The first church was a log building located on Brush Run, near the site of the old Corbett Mill. At that time or a little later, 1 acre of ground was deeded by Amos Williams and wife to the Zion Baptist Congregation to be used as a cemetery. This deed was made in 1850. Evidences of this old burying ground still remain. It is located on the Gourley farm near Williamsburg.
From 1822 – 1837, the Zion Congregation had three ministers – Rev. James Williams, Rev. George McCleary and Rev. Samuel Frampton. In 1837, Rev. Thomas E. Thomas accepted a call and continued with them until 1848, when the infirmities of age compelled him to resign. Rev. Mr. Thomas was considered a wonderful preacher and during his pastorate two hundred and fifty members were added. He was succeeded by his son, Rev. Benjamin Thomas, who was the beloved pastor of Zion church for thirty-seven years. He was one of the most popular preachers in Clarion County. His kindly disposition endeared him, not only to his own, but other denominations.
It is interesting to note that Zion church was the first organization of the Baptist faith in all this section of country, comprising parts of the several Counties. They were represented by four Messengers at the meeting of the first Baptist Association formed in this district at Brookville in 1838 and from accounts was the strongest and most prominent church at that meeting. This Association was composed of these churches: Brookville; Red Bank; Mahoning; Gethsemane; Curwensville and Zion. The name of Clarion was given to this Association the word meaning a "trumpet of a ________”
The second assigned church was built on a site, on the hill above Reidsburg, surrounded by a burying ground. In this cemetery are buried both Rev. Thomas E. Thomas and his son Rev. Benjamin Thomas. Also Hon. Hugh Reid, the founder of Reidsburg.
For many years Zion was the only organization of Baptists in the County. In 1843, Mt. Pleasant at Corsica, Leatherwood 1846 and Greenville 1848 were organized by Rev. Benjamin Thomas.
To the faith, zeal and foresight of our Forefathers and Mothers we owe a debt of gratitude which can never be paid. In language of bygone days we can say, "Verily we have a goodly heritage," "Lord God of Hosts be with us yet, Lest we forget, Lest we forget."
Note – I wish to acknowledge my indebtedness for data for this paper to the Early Histories of Clarion County and also to the individuals who kindly gave me access to old papers and records.
Alphabetical Listing of Pastors having served the Piney/Sligo area. (See relevant denominations for more information on individual pastors)
Adams, J.K. - Methodist (Sligo) 1906
Armstrong, Alfred & Isabelle - Nazarene (Sligo)
Askey, Edwin Nelson — Methodist (Cherry Run, Sligo) 1890’s
Babcock, Roger & Debbie - Church of God (Sligo) 1980’s
Baker, W.A. - Methodist (Sligo)
Bell, Boyd—Presbyterian (Sligo) 1970’s
Belloit, Jerry — Curllsville Methodist 2003
Bittinger, Ardo Preston - Presbyterian (Sligo) - early 1900s.
Campbell, Charles C. - Methodist Episcopal (Sligo/Pine Grove) 1913-1914
Chelton, Loyd - Methodist (Sligo) 1947
Clark, Brian - Presbyterian (Sligo) 1980’s-90’s
Core, John—Licking Presby in 1844; pastor at Leatherwood. Died in 1854. Husband of Mary Maquire.
Crawford, Elder D. - Presbyterian (Sligo) 1942-1947
Cummings, Rev. — Sligo, Licking, & Cherry Run Presbyterian Churches. (pre1970)
Dotterer, John—licensed in 1874. Preached at Curllsville over 3 charges.
Doughty, Rodney — United Methodist (Curllsville) - 1980’s
Dunlap, Paul B. - Methodist (Sligo) 1951-1956
Ehrenfield, G.F. — Curllsville St. John’s Memorial Evangelical Lutheran church 1840s
Evans, J.M.—Curllsville Reformed church 1909
Ewing, Henry D. — Presbyterian (Licking Presby)
Fair, Frederick — Methodist, Curllsville 1870
Felt, Russell Madison Methodist (Sligo)
Ferver, William C. — Presbyterian (Licking Presby) Birth: 4 Mar 1874 Death: 23 Dec 1949
Friant, Doug—Presbyterian (Sligo)
Gormon, J. Lee—Methodist (Sligo) 1950’s
Greenlee, W.L. - Unknown
Haines, C.M.—Methodist (Sligo) 1915
Harmon, William M. —Methodist (Sligo, Callensburg) - 1930+
Hasenplug, Edward Charles — Methodist
Heston, William — Methodist (Curllsville) 1972
Hill, Gene & Beth - Nazarene (Sligo)
Holter, Burgess D - Presbyterian (Licking)
Holyan, David—Presbyterian (Sligo) 2001
Howarth, John T. - Presbyterian (Sligo) 1936
Hunsicker, J.D. Hunsicker, Curllsville (Reformed Church) abt 1895
Hunt, Charles—Nazarene (Sligo) 1953
Hunt, Cornelius - Methodist
Ingersoll, Winfield Scott — Sligo/Curllsville/ Cherry Run/Monroe Chapel 1943-1944
Ingraham, Samuel W.—Methodist (Sligo/Rimersburg)
Jewell, Gale A. & Eilleen —Methodist (Sligo) (Cherry Run) early 1970’s
Johnson, Thomas—United Methodist
Koch, Colin — Church of God of Prophecy. New Hope Community Church (Clarion). Resident of Sligo.
Koch, Henry (Lutheran, Curllsville)
Korb, Forest “Victor” and Edith — Methodist (Shamburg)
Lady, Rev. D. — Curllsville 1887 (son of Henry Lady of Gettysburg)
Lam, Dave & Dolly - Church of God (Sligo) 1970s-1980’s
Lyburn, J.H. - Free Will Baptist
Mahle, Bessie - Presbyterian (Sligo)
Mateer, Joseph Presbyterian (Sligo) (1875-1881)
McAndrews, Rev. (unk—buried at County Home)
McAuley, John - Presbyterian (Cherry Run/Sligo) mid 1800’s.
McCoy, Clarence L. - Presbyterian (Licking Presbyterian) 1920’s
McCurdy, James M. - Presbyterian, Curllsville.
McGarrah, Robert — Presbyterian (Licking and several other beginning Clarion Co. churches, 1803+)
McKee, Edward & Minnie (Campbell) - Presbyterian (Sligo) - mid 1900’s.
McLuckie, Benjamin — Presbyterian (Sligo) 1959+
McLure, John — Presbyterian (Licking) 1950’s
McMillen, Homer George — Presbyterian (Licking Presby)
McPherrin, John — Presbyterian (Licking/Rehoboth) - organized Licking Presby about 1802.
Mershimer, L.S.—Nazarene (Sligo) late 1920’s
Metzger, John L. - Lutheran (Sligo/Callensburg) 1880
Miller, Paul E.— United Church of Christ (Curllsville) 1969
Milliron, Bill & Gladys—Methodist (Curllsville)
Mohney, Barry—Nazarene (Sligo) 1970
O’Brien, Paul Robert — Nazarene (Sligo) pastor in 1949-1950
O'Dell, Woody & Jean - Nazarene (Sligo) - abt 1975
Orr, Harold - Presbyterian (Sligo) 1958
Piper, Larry C. & Nora - Church of God (Sligo) 1980’s—present
Panneton, John—Nazarene (Sligo)
Planett, D.C. - Methodist (Sligo)
Renwick, Rev. Albert J. & Lucille (Briggs) —Methodist, Curllsville/Monroe Chapel 1940’s
Rexrode, Lafayette — Presbyterian (Licking Presby)
Rhodes, Dale — Methodist (Sligo)
Roswick, Thomas - Nazarene (Sligo) 1969
Russell, Richard C. (Rick) - Methodist (Sligo)
Shanor, B.E.—Lutheran 1890’s
Shanor, William H. — Nazarene (Sligo) mid 1990’s
Shearer, Elvin — United Methodist (Sligo) 1970’s
Shelton, Rev. — Methodist (Sligo) mid 1940’s
Shepherd, Mr. - Methodist
Showers, L.J. - Methodist
Shoemaker, Joshua G. — Lutheran (Curllsville) —1848+
Smith, Mark R. - Nazarene (Sligo)
Smith, Mary L. - Nazarene (Sligo)
Staubs, Louis W. & Charlotte - Nazarene (Sligo)
Stoufer, Samuel E.—Lutheran, Curllsville, 1860’s-1870’s
Thomas, B.H.—Baptist (b 1817 Wales) - Monroe Twp.
Thomas, Milton Ivon & Eleanor Methodist (Sligo/Curllsville) 1930
Thompson, David R. — Presbyterian (Licking Presby)
Uhl, William —Mt. Zion Lutheran (Church Hill) Piney/Licking border 1996
Weaver, Stephanie - Presbyterian
Weldin, Joseph W - Methodist (Sligo) 1880’s
Wilson, William J. - Presbyterian (Sligo/Callensburg)
Wolfe, L.D..—Nazarene (Sligo)
Yoder, Ray - Unknown
Photo courtesy of Pam Valdez
Read more on Joseph Mateer, Presbyterian
Read more on John McAuley, - Presbyterian
Photo courtesy of Carolyn Hays Raham
Original Presbyterian Church in Sligo, Clarion Co., Pa.
Click on a photo to go to that denomination’s page.
Licking Presbyterian, ca 1890 after remodeling project
Photo courtesy of Clayton Harriger
Licking Presbyterian Church 1848
Photo courtesy of Clayton Harriger
Curllsville Grace Community Church—photo courtesy of Pamela Grewell. Click photo to read more on the Lutheran/Reformed church history.