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  Lake Township 

Bethany Presbyterian Church



“The true and grand idea of a church is a society for the purpose of making man like Christ, earth like heaven, the kingdom of the world the kingdom of Christ.”

About the year 1858 Bethany congregation had its beginning, not then as an organization, but as a mission point or outpost of the Jackson Center Church.  For the first two or three years Sunday school and preaching services were held in the schoolhouse, which is within a quart of a mile of the present church house. 

Rev. A. M. Blackford was the first preacher to this people.  He, however, did continue this relation very long; and the one to follow him was the Rev. J. M. Gallagher, so well known to most Pennsylvania Cumberland Presbyterians.  He took charge of the work about the year 1860, and soon after the beginning of his ministry here the present house of worship was erected, although it might be well to say that several changed have been made on the first building within the last fifteen years.

Dr. Gallagher continued to have charge of the work, until the organization of the church, at which time he was called as pastor and he continued in this relation until he resigned in the spring of 1895.  Thus, the church was favored with a long pastorate in the beginning of her work as Dr. Gallagher was in charge of the work for about thirty-five years.

While this people were apparently quite strong in numbers and had a good house of worship for that day, they were satisfied to continue as part of the Jackson Center work until the spring of 1876, at which time they petitioned the Allegheny Presbytery to allow them to organize into a separate congregation to be known as the


Bethany Presbyterian Church in 1905.  Click to enlarge photo


Photos and article at left from The Fieldhouse, June 1905, Submitted by Norris Burdette.

View the actual article as it appeared in the book

Rev. J. M. Gallagher, pastor 1860-1895

Read his Biography

The Bethany Presbyterian Church was closed about 1940 and torn down soon afterward.

Women's Missionary Society 

View photos of church members and other pastors:


Daniel McClure

John Kemm

Thomas Kemm

W. W. Runkle

John Zahniser

Jas. H. Norris

David Zahniser

Enlarge group photo show above


The First Church in Lake Township


The First Church in the township was built by the Cumberland Presbyterians about 1859-60, the society have been organized previously




The Bethany Congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized April 1, 1870, in Lake Township, by Rev. J. M. Gallagher,   continued 


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