Johnstown, PA
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Dedication at Ferndale, Pa., Pittsburg Conference

Another new church has been added to the Johnstown group of churches. At the session of the Pittsburg conference held in Somerset, Pa., September 1914, the trustees of the conference were instructed to proceed with erection of a sufficiently good and commodious place of worship. Ferndale is one of the most beautiful and substancial growing suburbs of Johnstown, Pa. There is no other church in the town. The work was placed under the pastoral care of our beloved and lamented brother, Rev. A. J. Bird, who was pastor of our Village St. church, under whose care the work would naturally fall, as it lies just across the Stoneycreek River, south of his charge. Brother Bird showed a keen interest in the project. Two lots were secured, fronting 80 feet on Vickroy Avenue, and running along Atlee Street 120 feet to an alley, which cost, including expense of paving, $1,833.68.

At the last session of conference the appointment was annexed to Johnstown Mission, under the pastoral care of Rev. H. B. Seese. Brother Seese has worked hard with this additional burden on his hands and did the best he could to promote the interests of this new work. There was no place to hold any service until the new church was built. This handicap prevented the accomplishment of an organization before this time, but inspirational work was done that has blossomed into fruition.

February 13, 1916 was set for the dedication and the writer was asked to officiate. A heavy precipitation of snow on Saturday night interfered considerably with the morning attendance. But in the afternoon and evening a full house enjoyed the services. The financial statement showed that the building cost $5,534.87. The seating, plumbing, heating, lighting and other furnishings and lots increased the costs to a grand total of $9,255.67. The structure is brick. The building is 40 x 52 and of the most modern design. At first sight it may not make a favorable impression because of the departure from the old design, but its beauty becomes more apparent the oftener you see it. The windows are most pleasing both inside and out. The vestibule in the corner opens into a spacious hallway which extends across the front of the building. From this the stairs lead up into the balcony and also down into the basement. it is separated from the auditorium with splendid swinging doors in the center and a frame partition half of which is made up of clear glass windows. The auditorium is seated with modern pews. The left corner is seated with chairs for the choir on the same elevation with the pulpit platform. The right corner is vacant to be used as occasion may require. A spacious balcony above the vestibule and hallway and extending a couple feet into the auditorium is seated with comfortable opera chairs, each tier being elevated a few inches above the one in front of it. This affords a splendid place for a couple Bible classes. The walls are clear white. The inside appearance is very pleasing.

In the morning the audience did not more than half fill the auditorium. The soliciting resulted in $745.82 of which $200.74 was cash. In the afternoon the auditorium and balcony were filled. A most delightful platform meeting was held. Splendid singing, congregational, choruses and solos lifted the services into a most delightful atmosphere. District Attorney Weimer made a good address as representatives of the Ferndale people. The pastors of our Johnstown churches were at their best in bringing their greetings to the baby mission. The collecting resulted in a total of $411.78 for the afternoon, of which $172.78 was cash. In the evening another large congregation greeted us. The total results for the day were increased to $1,400.00 of which there was a total of $498.27 in cash. This was surely well done. It far exceeded the expectations of those of us who are used to this kind of work. All hearts were full of praise to God for the encouraging results of the day's efforts. At the end of the services the church was dedicated to the worship of the triune God as the Ferndale United Evangelical Church. May God bless and prosper this newest mission of the Pittsburg Conference.

Pastor Seese has organized a good Sunday school. 156 were present yesterday.

J. C. A. Curry