archives BuildingSouthern Lancaster County Historical Society

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Providence Township, Lancaster County, Pa

"Churches of Today and Yesterday in Southern Lancaster County" by Fellowship of Solanco Churches, Raymond Dunlap, George Herbert, & Richard Yates , Sr. printed 1968

This town, then Black Horse, had a log meetinghouse erected in 1766. This house served for both church and school. Johannes Bowman who lived below Ref ton was the first minister. The Re-formed Mennonites reduced the membership in the schism and the membership was low for many years. Jacob Neff, Christian Shaub, Henry Brenneman, and Christian Herr supplied, as part of the Brick--Strasburg-Providence circuit. George Witmer and Abner Peoples as superintendents in 1872 opened the first Sunday School for the sum-mer months on every second Sunday afternoon, giving the children something more profitable than what some were doing. In the large well-kept cemetery Preacher Christian Shaub (died Jan. 20, 1837) and his wife Nancy Witmer were the first burials. After Amos Herr, the first English minister in the Conference, was ordained in 1850 at the Brick; he and his brother, Benjamin, supplied services for the small membership. By 1855 a new building, 38' x 48' was erected. This has been remodeled, the last time in 1964. Tobias Brubaker, in October, 1888, was the first minister to live in the area, and John Swarr in 1903, the second. The latter led a schism to produce the only General Conference meetinghouse in the area. Amos B. Miller in 1903 was the first local deacon to remain here. The present mem-bership of 154 has as a minister Clayton L. Keener, Bishop; A. Clyde Hostetter, Robert G. Keener, J. Harold Breneman, Paul B. Myer, pastors; and Charles J. Lefever who serves as Deacon. The Sunday School averages 141 and Summer Bible School 177.

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