St. Jacob's Reformed Church, now St. Jacob's United Church of Christ, is the oldest surviving Reformed Church in Armstrong County. Iseman's, Welfrick's, Beck's, Zion's Valley and Mt. Union churches are all gone.
The first church building was a log building called the meeting house, and it had plain benches for pews. There were no stoves in the building so in cold weather, the services were discontinued. This seemingly continued until about 1840 when the Reformed and Luthern Churches together built a frame worship house.
It was known for years as the White Church on the Hill. It stood on the hill where the South Bend Cemetery is located. The two congregations worshipped in that building and setup for some thirty-eight years.
Rev. Weinel served the St. Jacob's congregation from its beginning in 1822 until 1850. He died a year later. In 1852, Rev. F. Wise became the pastor, serving until 1864. He has replaced by Rev. H. Hockman who served for three years, leaving in 1867. The church was without a regular pastor for two years until 1869 when Rev. F. Wiant became its minister.
In 1872, the Lutherans built a new church across the road and moved into it, St. Jacob's Reformed then had the old white church for themselves. Rev. Wiant left in 1876 and the Rev. A.K. Kline pastored the church for four years before leaving in 1880. Once again St. Jacob's was without a pastor, this time for two years until Rev. J.S. Hartzel became the minister, serving for one year. He was replaced by Rev. D.H. Harnish for three years until 1886.
In 1887, Rev. Christian Gumbert became the pastor and during his ministry, in April 1890, the congregation purchased a parcel of ground from Henry and Rebecca Townsend for $200.00 in the Village of South Bend along Crooked Creek.
The cornerstone of the present church building was laid in May, 1890 and the church was dedicated in September, 1891. The cost of the building was $3,200. Rev. Gumbert and Mr. Franklin Laughlin designed the church building and ceiling, and Mr. Laughlin built it. The present Communion table (altar), lectern and baptismal stand were made by Mr. Daniel King.
Rev. Gumbert pastored the church for ten years, leaving in 1897. Rev. I. A. Sites then served St. Jacobs through 1902. He was followed by Rev. J.J. Wagoner who served until 1907. In 1908, Rev. F. K. Stam became supply minister for two years, and then became the pastor until 1912.
In 1912, Rev. W. H. Cogley became the supply minister for that year, when Rev. A. S. Lenhart became the pastor through 1915. He was followed by Rev. J.I. Lauffer from 1915-1918. Once again the church had a supply minister, Rev. J. N. Garner who served the church through 1921. In 1922, Rev. A. S. Kresge became the pastor for one year, followed by Rev. C. L. Bash as minister from 1924 to 1929.
In 1930, Rev. Sarkis Papajin took over the ministerial duties until 1934. During his pastorate, the basement was dug out for the furnace and fellowship rooms. During the Great Depression, Rev. D. Horton Nace pastored the church from 1935 through 1938, and Rev. Lee O. Carbaugh through 1942. During the war years of 1942 - 1944, the church seemingly was without any pastoral leadership.
From 1944 to 1950, the church had four supply ministers; Rev. Clarence Hover until 1947, Rev. C. H. Kichline until 1948, Rev. Joseph J. Gilbert until 1949, and Rev. George Geisler, a senior at Lancaster Theological Seminary, served as supply minister until 1950 when he became the pastor for one year.
Rev. Jacob F. Painter became pastor in 1951, and during his tenure, the present windows were installed in the church. he left in 1958, succeeded by Rev. Alvin E. Master until 1964.
The Rev. John Kautz, D.D. began his ministry in September, 1964. In the winter of 1964 and spring of 1965, the addition for the restrooms, started under Rev. Master, were finished and indoor plumbing came to the church. During this time, the church was painted, both inside and outside. Rev. Kautz served St. Jacob's UCC until 1975.
On June 25 -27, 1965, St. Jacob's celebrated the seventy-fith anniversary of the church building. In 1967, the church applied for and received its charter as a member of the newly formed denomination, The United Church of Christ.
In 1975, Rev. Harrison Davidson assumed the ministry of the church serving until he died in 1986. Through an arrangement with the Kiski Presbytery, St. Jacob's was able to obtain a full-time pastor, The Rev. August Thalman, Jr. who served from 1987 - 1989
In 1989, Kenneth Tack, a Licensed Minister in the Clarion Association, became the interim pastor until 1991. He was followed by Rev. Fred Drayer who served from 1991 - 1995, when he retired.