Erie County (PA) Genealogy

City of Erie - Central Presbyterian Church

Brief History 1911

Contributed by Bill Klauk


The information below has been extracted from various annual pamphlets put out under the title of "Hand-Book of the Central Presbyterian Church, Erie, Pa., Dr. George Bailey, Pastor, The Manse, 412 West Tenth Street". This information is specifically from Page 5 of the "Fortieth Annual" "For Use From May, 1911, to May, 1912." and published in Erie in 1911 by Dispatch Ptg and Eng. Co.

The contributor is not of the Presbyterian faith, and does not have any additional information other than to verify what is actually printed on the page. This church was located on the North East corner of Tenth and Sassafras Streets. This is from the page marked "Historical Items".

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Central Presbyterian Church. - Historical Items.

"Write this for a Memorial."---Ex. 17:14.

The following facts, connected with the history of our Church, we deem worthy of record in this book, year by year:

This Church was organized February 23, 187l, with a membership of 54 -- 9 of whom are still with us.

David Shirk and Jos. A. French were the first Elders. The former ceased from his earthly labors, November 30, 1873, and the latter left us during the year 1884, to join a Church in Scranton, Pa. He died and was buried from our Church, September 6, 1887.

Five other Elders have also passed to their reward -- G. W. F. Sherwin, September 24, 1887; W. R. Davenport, December 13, 1888; James P. Covert, April 2, 1909; James F. Love, March 8, 1910 and Lucius H. Couse, January 1, 1911.

Rev. Charles C. Kimball was the first Pastor, installed May 11, 1871; released to take charge of a church in Kansas City, Mo., October 12, 1878. He died May 26, 1905.

Rev. Solon Cobb was installed December 26, 1878, and released to take charge of Point Breeze Presbyterian Church, of Pittsburg, January 10, 1895. He died in Pittsburg, May 26, 1900, and was buried in Erie, May 29.

Rev. Hugh Lenox Hodge was installed October 15, 1895, and on account of impaired health was, at his request, released February 28, 1909.

Rev. George Bailey, Ph.D., D. D., was installed September 28th, 1909.

The Church was formed in Walther's Hall, worshipped for about two years in Temperance Hall, and dedicated the Chapel, we for nearly fifteen years occupied, June 8, 1873. It was burned January 27, 1888. The building we now occupy was dedicated November 17, 1889. The Sunday School building was erected in 1896.

The present amended Charter was granted by the Court of Common Pleas in the County of Erie, April 10, 1883.

The present By-Laws were adopted at the Annual Meeting in January, 1884. The Charter and By-Laws may be found in the Hand-book of 1884-5, and the By-Laws, as amended up-to-date, in the Hand-book of 1904-5.

Since the organization of the Church, to the original membership of 54, 1244 have been added on Confession of Faith, and 707 by Letter -- in all, 1951; an average of 50 a year.

The roll has included 2008 names. Of these 210 have died; 651 have been dismissed; 381 retired from active roll; leaving the present membership, April 1911, 766. We have received and paid out for building, current expenses, general benevolence, etc., during the thirty-nine years, about $414,071.34.

Our Sunday School has been under the care of the same Superintendent, Mr. C. C. Shirk, ever since its organization. Commencing with a membership of 35, it has increased, until now we have 500 names on our roll, and 799 of the scholars have joined the Church -- an average of 20 a year.


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