In 1926 a small group of Hungarian immigrants in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, began meeting to practice their Catholic faith. Without a church of their own they informally met in private homes for the time being. These immigrants had previously arrived from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which had been dissolved into separate states following the Great War (World War I). Most of them resided in what soon became known as Ellport (in 1929), and the men were primarily employed at the nearby National Tube Mill.
In 1927 the small group purchased property along the Portersville Road (at Dunn Street) in Ellport, where they later began construction on a church in September 1929. The church was quickly completed and opened for its first services on Sunday, February 29, 1930. The new house of worship, officially known as the St. Joseph Roman Catholic Magyar Church, was officially dedicated a few months later during a ceremony on Friday, May 30, 1930. Due to the size of its small congregation it served as a mission of the St. Ladislaus Catholic Church in Beaver Falls – whose congregation was founded by Hungarian immigrants in 1923. In 1945 the St. Joseph Church began serving as a mission of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Ellwood City.
The church served the community of Ellport for many years, but in November 1991 it was announced it would likely be closing as part of a consolidation plan. The last service was held on Sunday, March 19, 1992, and presided over by the Reverend Joseph J. Dascenzo – pastor of both St. Joseph’s and the Purification of Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church. Afterwards, its 125 remaining parishioners generally began attending mass at the Purification of Blessed Virgin Mary or the St. Agatha Churches in downtown Ellwood City.
In 1995 the old church building in Ellport was sold and became the new home of the Faith Fellowship Baptist Church. That church, founded in 1993, is still in operation today.
In 1926 a group of Hungarian immigrants began holding Catholic services in private homes in Ellwood City. They soon purchased some property along the Portersville Road and built the St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Magyar Church, which was opened in February 1930. The interior of the small church building is show above. (c1935) Full Size
In late 1991 it was announced that under a consolidation plan that St. Joseph Catholic Church would be closed. The Reverend Joseph J. Dascenzo presides over the last ever service held at St. Joseph’s, on Sunday, March 19, 1992. (Mar 1992)
St. Joseph’s was a mission church throughout its sixty-two years of existence. It originally served St. Ladislaus in Beaver Falls and in 1945 began serving as a mission of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ellwood City. (May 2012) Full Size
The old coal chute hatch located on the front of the church. (May 2012)
The cornerstone of the old church. (May 2012)