Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Cumberland Presbyterian Church

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Presbyterian Church - New Cumberland, West Virginia (post card from Uible vintage collection)

Close-up color picture of the stained glass windows at this website.  According to the website the church was built in 1888. Here's some additional information about early Presbyterians in Hancock County.

According to the Hancock County WVGenWeb site: The first Presbyterian church in the area was due to JAMES CAMPBELL who was born in Scotland in 1719 and emigrated to "The Colonies" as a young man. He took as his profession the dangerous vocation of overland pack merchant. He would routinely travel across the Allegheny Mountains through Indian Territory delivering badly needed supplies and news to settlers in the frontier.

The wilderness drew James and his family west into the Kings Creek area where he marked out his "tomahawk" claims and set out improving his land. It was during this claiming process that James and his wife Patience lost their oldest son John. While being pursued by Indians, John was drowned in Harmon's Creek, and another son James Jr.narrowly escaped being captured. Despite the hardships, James and Patience settled and began farming. He built a mill on Kings Creek, (then called Indian Creek) and would guard the mill at night to ward off any Indians that might be interested in burning the mill. James eventually acquired many large tracts of land and owned several thousand acres of present day Weirton, as neighboring settlers moved on, or became uncomfortable with Indian activity and sold their land.

James Campbell was an avid Presbyterian and family man and so set aside five acres of his land (south of New Cumberland, closer to Weirton) for the building of a church and cemetery, and donated a large sum of money for the establishment of a minister and congregation. In 1790 the new church petitioned the Redstone Presbytery for a preacher, and in November of that year the first sermon was taught at Three Springs Presbyterian Church by the Rev. John Brice.  James Campbell died in 1805 and was buried at his beloved Three Springs Presbyterian Church.

There is a Historical Marker in Weirton showing the location of the original Three Springs Church, and a dedication to James for his generosity. There is also a Historical Marker naming James as the owner of the land at the Peter Tarr Furnace.

According to information on Flats Cemetery: Settlers from eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut organized a Presbyterian congregation in 1794 at Pughtown.  (Pughtown is an unincorporated area 3 miles NE of New Cumberland, name since changed to New Manchester) Called the Flats Church, it later became the Fairview Presbyterian Church.  The original log church was located a mile south of Pughtown. It was replaced by a frame structure in 1808, and a red brick building was erected in 1839, seating 600. The Fairview church was built in 1890, and the old church torn down.  [Jean's cousin, Kenneth "Pat" Kessel lives in New Manchester.]

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