*** ONLINE AS OF AUGUST 5, 2011 ***
    



Hermon Presbyterian Church & Cemetery – Slippery Rock Twnp (Lawrence Co) PA

The Hermon Presbyterian Church has its beginnings in the Neshannock United Presbyterian Church of nearby Hickory Township – then a part of Mercer County, Pennsylvania. In about 1840 a dispute in the Neshannock Church resulted in the traditionalist portion of the congregation forming the Hermon Reformed Presbyterian Church under the Reverend Josiah Hutchman. At some point they set up just south along Frew Mill Road in Slippery Rock Township, Beaver County. Exactly where they initially met seems cloudy. The next forty years of the Hermon Church was a time of confusing splits, divisions, and schisms.

In 1868 the congregation of the Hermon Reformed Presbyterian Church divided, with a group led by the Reverend Robert McMillan being forced out. They set up initial services in the nearby Shaw School before moving into a temporary building known as “the Tabernacle” at the southeast corner of the intersection of Frew Mill Road and Princeton Road (later Mount Hermon Church Road). In about 1870 this group relocated south to the village of Princeton where they built their own church soon after. The Hermon group soon moved into the vacated Tabernacle building, where a church cemetery had been established just across the road on the William Munhall farm. In April 1887 the two groups were officially recognized as separate congregations, however they remained affiliated and often shared a pastor in the coming decades.

In November 1903 the new Hermon Presbyterian Church was opened on the opposite side of Mount Hermon Church Road and directly across Frew Mill Road from the cemetery. The $6,000 wood frame building was mostly paid for by the dedicated fundraising efforts of the small congregation. The church was in service for many years until it was gutted by a disastrous fire on the morning of Friday, January 7, 1955. The local fire department as well as those from the neighboring townships of Hickory, Shenango, Scott, and Union arrived in scene to fight the blaze. The fire, which apparently was the result of faulty wiring in the basement area, resulted in $20,000 worth of damage to the structure. The main auditorium was gutted, the organ and other equipment suffered water damage, and a large section of the roof collapsed.

Services were held a half mile away at the Willard Grange Hall while the church elders debated on a course of action. The decision was soon made to utilize the foundation and rebuild the church at the same location. The new church, which was enlarged, opened for services on Friday, March 30, 1956, and was officially dedicated later that year during the last weekend of September. The church, which underwent upgrades and renovations in the 1970’s, is still in active service and celebrated its 170th anniversary in 2010.

The cemetery, in a rural setting surrounded by a corn field and wooden area, is known as the Hermon-Union Cemetery or the Mount Hermon Cemetery. There are graves dating back to the late 1840’s and among those buried at the site in recent times are my aunt Dorothy (Bales) Sawyer and my paternal grandparents Ray and Dorothy (Hake) Bales.


The congregation of the Hermon Presbyerian Church was formed in 1840. The group met at several locations over the years until they opened this church on Frew Mill Road in November 1903. The building was heavily damaged during a fire on Friday, January 7, 1955. (c1950)


An enlarged church (shown above) was rebuilt from the charred remains and opened for services in March 1956 with official dedication ceremonies taking place later that year in September. (1956) Full Size


Full Size


The old church was gutted by a disastrous fire on the morning of Friday, January 7, 1955. Firefighters from all around the region arrived on scene to help battle the blaze, which resulted in major damage including a large portion of the roof collapsing. (1955) Full Size


Hermon Presbyterian Church c2005. The congregation celebrated in 170th anniversary in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Dee Dee Laird) Full Size


(Jul 2009)


(Sep 2009)


(Jul 2009)


(Sep 2009)


(Jul 2009)


(Sep 2009)


(Jul 2009)


(Sep 2009)


Of all the pics I’ve taken this has always been one of my absolute favorites. (Jul 2009)


(Jul 2009)


(Sep 2009)


(Sep 2009)


(Sep 2009)


(Jul 2009)


The stone of my paternal grandparents. Miss you Gram & Pap! (Jul 2009)


(Sep 2009)


(Jan 2012) Full Size


(Jan 2012)


(Jan 2012)


(Jan 2012)


(Jan 2012)


(Jan 2012) Full Size


(Jan 2012)


(Jan 2012)

---

Comment

  1. The picture of Angelia’s headstone brought chills. She was a Foster Daughter to my daughter. Angie and her boyfriend were on a lunch break and in a hurry to get back to work at Kmart in Lawrence Village. He lost control of the car on a turn and rolled over. Angie didn’t have her seatbelt on and was thrown from the car. I’ve never seen this picture. Thanks for including it.

    Carol McVicker · 03/01/2012 02:18 AM · #

  2. My father Robert H. Houk was a carpenter and did some work on this church. I believe he built the spire.

    Sam Houk · 05/14/2012 02:29 PM · #

  3. hi, we r trying 2 find my grammas an papaps plot.. we r stoners, greys, and suttons… can u help?

    kandy · 07/19/2012 07:35 AM · #

  4. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Kandy, Thanks for your post. Well, I can certainly try to help. Send me some full names and any date of birth or date of death info you might have. Thanks. Jeff

    Jeff Bales Jr · 07/23/2012 11:17 PM · #

  5. Jeff. As you well know this is a beautiful cemetery. My dear wife of 56 years is buried there along with her mother & dad and many relations. Wont be to long I will be there. Harry Banks

    Harry Banks · 01/16/2014 11:08 PM · #

  6. There is significance to the butterflies on Angelia’s headstone: She was a talented commercial art student at Lawrence County Area Vocational Technical School (now called Lawrence County Career and Technical Center). She loved to draw and doodle; these were two of her drawings forever etched in stone. As for the Batman doll: I can only guess it was either from her boyfriend or friends who shared a love of everything Batman. A little about her final months with us: She once told me that LCAVTS was her 13th school. Here, she found her “place” in life. Loved by many, she was voted onto the Holiday Dance Court; she was also scheduled to be inducted into the National Vocational Technical Honor Society before she passed. She planned to attend college and become a counselor so she could help children through tough times like she had experienced. Her day of birth and date of death was purposely not included on the headstone so that her friends could simply celebrate her life — a life that touched so many in such a bright and wonderful way.

    Lyn McVicker · 08/04/2014 09:49 PM · #

  7. My 3rd great uncle Maj James Harvey Cline Civil War (Roundheads) is buried here.

    Tom Altman · 09/15/2016 12:22 PM · #