News

CAMP RUN CELEBRATES 150 YEARS OF MINISTRY

Posted October 18, 2022

The Presbytery of Beaver Valley organized Camp Run Presbyterian Church with 50 charter members on September 21, 1872 in the eastern end of Franklin Township. Formed by a group of members from the Mountville and Wurtemburg congregations, services were held in a grove of trees near the present building. The minister preached from a raised platform and the worshipers sat in wagons or buggies and on logs in favorable weather. In the winter they met in the Little Log School House at the foot of School House Hill.

The first church building was erected in 1873 on land that was donated by Caleb Pyle. The rectangular building rested on logs and was heated by two pot-bellied coal stoves.

The charter for Camp Run Presbyterian Church, N.A. (North America) was registered on June 28, 1880 in the Beaver County Courthouse. It was signed by Abraham Thomas, Henry Bradford, William J. Wright and John P. Scott. The first elders were John Slater, A. C. McKenzie and Francis J. Wilson from Wurtemburg; and Francis M. Scott from Mountville.

Camp Run Church in photo from the 1950s.

Supply pastors served until January 1874. The first Women’s Missionary Society was organized in 1890 with 12 members. By 1954 there were 32 members who met monthly. Minutes from their December 14, 1949 meeting stated:

The Women’s Missionary Society of Camp Run Church met on Wed., Dec. 14 at the home of Mrs. Wm. Steffler. The day was spent in quilting. The devotional exercises were conducted by Marion Kroll. Topic: “Learning to Serve Him.” A poem appropriate for Christian gathering was read; Hark, the Herald Angels Sing was sung. Scripture taken from the book of John, 5:34 and 5:30.

The Y.P.C.U. (Young Peoples’ Christian Union) at Camp Run started in the early 1890’s and had around 25 members in 1954. 

In 1949 a basement was excavated under the church building and in 1953 the main floor was remodeled. Classrooms were added and the sanctuary and basement were lengthened in 1966, changing the original rectangular shape into a T-shaped structure.

The current building, set within a lovely grove of trees, is a T-shaped structure.

The Rev. Frank E. Wright, a “son of the congregation,” was called into ministry and was ordained in 1956. Other former members who answered a call to serve the Lord were Rev. James Nye and Rev. Frank M. Kroll.

For many years, Camp Run members enjoyed planning and hosting annual community-wide events such as the Ice Cream Festival and the Buckwheat Pancake and Sausage Supper. The set-up drawing for one of the annual Ice Cream Social shows the level of planning involved in the event.

This poster from the 34th Annual Buckwheat Pancake and Sausage Supper attests to the popularity of the event.

From left to right, Tom West, George Brown and Brian Stuck pose for a photo promoting the Buckwheat Pancake and Sausage Supper.

Organizational drawing shows how an Ice Cream Festival was set up outside the church building.

More recently the church presented two Quilt Shows. And this year Camp Run raised funds for Ukraine after the Russian invasion by making and selling soup. 

We recognize the 150 year anniversary of Camp Run Church and lift prayers for a future of meaningful ministry. 

Pastors Who Have Served
Camp Run Church

1872-1874
Supply Ministers

1874-1879
Rev. John Patterson

1879-1890
Supply Ministers

1890-1895
Rev. M. L. Telford

1895-1896
Supply Ministers

1897-1907
Rev. J. J. Sharp

1907-1910
Supply Ministers

1911-1914
Rev. J. H. Braeden

1914-1915
Rev. Braden & Rev. Sharp (Yoked with Wurtemburg Church)

1915-1934
Rev. K. F. McFarland, Stated Supply

1935-1942
Supply Ministers: Rev. Rob’t McCaslin, Rev. Oliver Stang, Rev. John Caughey and others

1943-1946

Rev. W. C. Sweet, Stated Supply
1946-1948

Rev. A. F. Purkiss, Stated Supply

1948-1955
Yoked with Park Church, Zelienople

1948-1950
Rev. Leslie Van Inwegen, Stated Supply

1950-1955
Rev. W. Allan Shannon, Stated Supply

1956-1977
Rev. James S. Seaman, Stated Supply

1997-1998
Rev. Frank Churchill, Jr., Temp. Supply

1978-1997
Rev. Theodore C. Lawson

1978-1997
Yoked with Park Church, Zelienople

1997-2000
Rev. Maxine Pardee, Interim Pastor

2000-2004
Rev. Andrew Shaffer, Designated Pastor

2004-2016
Rev. Andrew Shaffer, Installed Pastor

2017-2018
Rev. Rosalyn Kummer, Stated Supply

2018-present
Rev. James E. Swanson, Stated Supply

A special worship service will be held at 10 a.m. on Sunday, November 6 followed by a soup luncheon and time of fellowship. Former members, guests, community friends and visitors from sister congregations in the presbytery are welcome and encouraged to attend.