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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

McKean Township - Sterrettania Church

Contributed by Rick Polaski

The information below was extracted from a 1963 US Government publication by Rick Polaski. The publication is titled United States Post Office, Fairview, Penna. April 28, 1963 Program Booklet and Historical Highlights. Please contact the contributor directly with any comments or questions, etc.

Sterrettania Community Church    

The Sterrettania Community Church is located on West Road near Peffer and Neuberger Junction. Mr. David Sterrett donated the land for the grave yard, the school house and the church. The church was built by contract for $750.00 between 1840-41. David Sterrett subscribed $100.00 besides the land and he advanced most of the other subscriptions. The use of the church land contains a clause designating that the church was to be used by any denomination but that the Presbyterians were to be given the preference.

The first gatherings were held in the school house. Shortly after the church was built the Congregationalists occupied the building for a while. Early ministers were Rev's Aurora, Nathaniel Calendar and J. Chandler. Later on the Evangelicals held services in the church for years. Of the Pastors who served were Rev. Yoder 1881-1883; Rev P.J Fowler 1883-1886; J.H. Heubner 1886-1888; J.G. Ziegler 1888-1890; J.A. Hetche 1890-1893; S.E. Goetz 1893-1897; G.W. Miller 1897-1900; C. Hollinger 1900-1902; J. Hoffman 1903-1907; L Sohl 1907-1909; A. Peters 1909-1912; F. Hanke 1912-1916.

It was during the pastorate of Rev. Hanke that the church was raised to its present level and a basement put under it. Much of the work was donated by volunteers. Then Rev. Charles M. Faulk served from 1916-1918. We found no records from 1918 to 1931. Then the Alliance began to hold services under the direction of Mrs. Dorothy Eller 1931; Miss Rugh Shadduck 1932; Mr. Benjamin Hingston 33-34; Rev. Floyd McFarland 37-39; Rev. Paul Winder 40-41; and Rev. Robert Shane in 1942.

After 3 years of closed doors, Mr. Harry Girts opened the church with the help of the American Sunday School union. Then the Erie Gospel Tabernacle started the work again with Miss Margaret Churchill as Superintendent. Then Frank Collier took over from 48-50, then left for Europe for the Youth of Christ.

On Feb. 5, 1950 the present group was organized under the Christian and Missionary Alliance with 13 Charter members. On Aug.24, 1950 Mr. Alton Sugden accepted the pastorate and served until his death in 1958. Rev. Herman Van Schooten, present pastor starting in 1958. The church purchased a partly completed house on Rick Road for a parsonage. This was completed in 1953. The mortgage paid off in 1957.

As the Church continues to grow may she be a lighthouse that can guide many a wayfaring man into the harbor.   Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth for I am God, and there is none else."  Isa. 45:22   Compiled by Burton Lewis.  

This page was last updated on  Tuesday, October 22, 2002 .

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