Source History of Jefferson County 1888 pages 247-248
These churches are all in the Presbytery of Clarion, which is a part of the
Synod of Pennsylvania, which is a part of the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.
They have an aggregate membership of 1,200, are teaching 1,300 children in
their Sabbath-schools, own church property estimated to be worth $60,000, and
contributed during the last fiscal year $10,000 for the support of the gospel
and the benevolent work of the church at large.
The work done by this denomination since Father McGarrough began his labors
in the bounds of the county cannot be computed; the influence and the fruits
of the sermons preached, the Bible lessons taught, the prayers offered, the
contributions made, the mission-work accomplished, the words of sympathy and
counsel and invitation spoken, and the quiet, faithful, devoted Christian
lives lived for Christ, never can be known upon earth; in heaven alone where
the book of remembrance is being kept, is the record all written.
The changes that have taken place within the church since its first
organization in the county are considerable. The ridiculously elevated,
boxed-up pulpits reached by a flight of stairs have been superseded by the
commonsense ones of the present day; the "clerks" who stood at the
front of the pulpit to lead the singing have given way to organs and choirs;
the old psalm-books have been exchanged for the new hymnals; the old custom of
having two sermons a day, and each one of them two or three times as long as
the modern sermon, and a half hour's intermission to eat the cakes and get a
drink, has been discontinued; the use of "tokens" at the communion,
which were small pieces of lead of various shapes, and without which no one
was allowed to commune, has been abandoned; the holding of what we call
"examines" when pastors would meet at stated times and places the
young people of the congregation and question them on the Shorter Catechism
and the Bible has also been given up. The habit which once prevailed of people
getting up in their seats and stretching themselves or leaning against a wall
or pillar of the building whenever they became tired is unknown by the present
generation; and yet, perhaps it would be a better thing to do than to sleep
during the sermon. The old members of Pisgah Church can remember, too, when it
was no uncommon sight to see a well-known minister take his coat off in the
pulpit when he got warmed up with his discourse, and finish his sermon in his
shirt-sleeves. What a sensation such a proceeding would cause now-a-days.
What the changes may be in the years to come, it would be difficult to
tell, but let it be hoped that the Church will prosper and that all the work
done by all the Lord's people within the bounds of the county and in all the
land, may be blessed of God to whom for all that has been wrought in the past,
be all blessing and praise.
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