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Reformed Presbyterian White Church Cemetery - Big Beaver Boro PA

In 1833 many parishioners, against the institution of slavery, broke away from the national Presbyterian Church to become Reformed Presbyterians – or Covenanters. A small group of these individuals formed the Reformed Presbyterian Church just north of what later became the settlement of New Galilee, Pennsylvania. They were formerly associated with the nearby “Old School” Presbyterian Church along the North Branch of the Little Beaver Creek – now the site of Union Cemetery.

The new congregation erected a small wooden church in 1835 that became later known as the “White Church.” This was to distinguish it from the nearby Reformed Presbyterian Church of Darlington, which was closely related and often referred to as the “Brick Church.” The members of the White Church established a cemetery on the church grounds as well. In 1888 the congregation erected a larger church at the same location, now at the intersection of White Church Road and Route 351 just north of New Galilee. The most outstanding pastor was probably the Reverend Alexander Savage (1851-1931), who led the congregation of the White Church for thirty-eight years until his death in 1931. In addition, he had served as the pastor of the Brick Church for fifty-one years.

The White Church faced dwindling attendance in the coming years and was closed in 1951. The last service of any kind was held on Sunday, May 20, 1951. I believe the church was torn down sometime in the early 1960’s. The well-maintained burial ground, managed by a cemetery association, remains in active service for the local community.


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