McConnellsburg United Presbyterian Church


In 1948 the McConnellsburg Presbyterians and the McConnellsburg United Presbyterians began an association which led to a merger in 1958. Hence our name, McConnellsburg UNITED Presbyterian Church. This union is the foundation of our present church family, and both merged churches have deep roots within the history of the great and beautiful Cove Valley in which we are situated.

The Presbyterians in the Valley were frequently supplied with preachers as far back as 1766. Records indicate that a petition signed by 41 families requesting a minister was refused by the Donegal Presbytery in 1769. Around 1790 the families organized themselves into a congregation which met in a log church two miles south of McConnellsburg and which had supply preachers appointed by the recently organized Carlisle Presbytery. In 1811 a brick church was built on the present South Second Street lot, which was deeded by Daniel McConnell. This church was occupied until 1867, when it was removed and the present brick church was erected and dedicated in 1868.

During the late 1800's the Presbyterians shared a pastor with the Green Hill Church and the Wells Valley Church. In May 1914, the local Presbyterian and Reformed congregations united in the Federated Reformed and Presbyterian Church, and this continued until 1939 when the Reverend William J. Lowe, the pastor for 21 years, suddenly died. From 1941 until 1947 the Presbyterians shared pastors with the Presbyterian churches of Burnt Cabins and Fannettsburg. In 1948 the Presbyterians joined with the Cove United Presbyterians in sharing pastors and buildings, and this led to the present church family.

The ancestors of the Cove Presbyterians were Seceders and Covenanters from Scotland and Ireland, most of whom merged in 1782 to form the Associate Reformed Presbyterians. A stone church was built north of Webster Mills in 1828 to house the local Associate Reformed congregation. 

In 1858 most of this congregation followed their national denomination which had merged with other Presbyterian sects and became known as the United Presbyterian Church in North America. A small minority of the Cove congregation continued as the Associate Church and worshipped at the Stone Church until they built their frame building at the Union Cemetery in 1879. The United Presbyterian congregation stayed in the Cove until it built a two-story frame building on Lincoln Way West in McConnellsburg in 1886. The Stone Church was abandoned and it collapsed in July, 1919. The few Associated members who refused to enter the union of 1858 continued their existence as an Associate congregation until 1912, when they transferred into the national United Presbyterian Church, became the Second Cove United Presbyterian Church, and then finally merged with the first Cove congregation at the Lincoln Way West building in April 1922. After 16 years as one congregation in this building, the United Presbyterians built a brick church and parsonage on North Second Street and moved into in January 1938.

Beginning in 1948 the McConnellsburg Presbyterians on South Second Street and the McConnellsburg United Presbyterians on North Second Street shared a pastor and buildings. When the two churches merged nationally in Pittsburgh in 1948 and became the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., the “old” local United Presbyterians gave up their church building but retained the parsonage. Their church was sold and became the local Masonic Lodge. The new merged congregation began worshipping at the present South Second Street church, where an education building was added in 1962. To safeguard the church building, a large remodeling job of reinforcing the structure and brick-facing the entire brick exterior took place in 1981.

On November 2, 1988, a house at 116 South Second Street was purchased and named The Fellowship House. Extensive renovations and interior decorating were done, and it was dedicated for use in the spring of 1990. The house contains the pastor’s study, church office, board room for meetings, church parlor, as well as adult and youth meeting rooms.