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New Salem Evangelical United Brethren Church
New Salem – Evangelical United Brethren Church (later became United Methodist), Redbank Twp., Armstrong Co., village of New Salem, PA. Erected – 1896, and celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 1996. The bell tower has been remodeled from the original construction because it was leaking terribly in the foyer. This is a back view from the hill behind the church and Cemetery.
The Evangelical Association of the Pittsburgh Conference had a Church in New Salem circa 1850. The old parsonage of that Church was where Larry Troup [2001 now has his home] From County Histories this congregation had quite a large membership. However, in the 1890's there was a Church paper called "The Evangelical," and one of the writers of whom Bishop Escher in his dastardly evil attempt had persuaded his cooperation in printing material submitted by he himself, Bishop Escher, in an apparent "character assassination" attempt of destroying his comrade Bishop Dubbs, with newer ideas and beliefs of Biblical study and examples. This was a time of great "dispute" over certain church rituals such as Baptism by emersion verses "sprinkling" and other beliefs, etc. As a result, it caused members of the congregation to take "sides" and thus literally split and eventually totally destroyed the Church!! From the "old timers" in the community, where I personally grew up only one mile away [This was my "home" Church] I was told "only a handful of the old members remained... some Copenhavers, Himes, Millers, and the rest all left. They couldn't keep up the Church so it was closed!" Bishop Escher eventually admitted his wrong, at conference, and was "severely & harshly reprimanded" but it was too late for the "foundation" of the Church and entire Conference had been destroyed and its main "pillars" of the community as well as the Evangelical Association were literally crushed and torn apart beyond any repair or mending of the "body" of the Church. Eventually in the 1940's the Evangelical Church was torn down and the lumber used for other building in the area. I might add...trying to obtain information on this was like "pulling teeth"...the little I found was in the Church History of The Evangelical Association Church Minutes, Carnegie Library, Pittsburgh, PA.
From the Minutes & Proceedings of the New Class of the United Evangelical Church (Called The Olivet United Evangelical Church) of New Salem
---- "November 2, 1896, The Congregation of the New Salem Class of the United Evangelical Church met in New Salem Church [Note: This would have been the "old" Evangelical Association Building] by a call of W. H. Cramer, pastor, Object of Meeting slated by Rev. W. H. Cramer, Chairman, on the motion of Jacob Troutman was elected Secretary. Object of meeting being for the purpose of building a new Church edifice on motion G. H. Wise, J. M. Wise, Cal Shick, S. W. Reichard and Jacob Troutman were elected Trustees on motion Rev. W. H. Cramer, G. J. Reitz, John Rettinger, G. W. Troutman, and Charles Shiry [Grandfather of the submitter] were elected Building Committee. On motion Lena Miller, Emma Shick, Eliza Troutman, S. V. Rettinger, Anna Copenhaver, Carrie Doverspike, Gertrude Shaffer, C. M. Copenhaver, R. C. Reichard, were elected Soliciting committee on motion of Trustees were instructed to procure lot of ground from A[dam] Miller at once. On Motion building committee were instructed to commence work at once, and draft specifications on Motion to commence work on Nov. 3. Motion carried. On Motion the Trustees organized G. H. Wise, was elected President, Jacob Troutman was elected Secretary, Calvin Shick was elected Treasurer, meeting closed by an address by chairman to push project of building to completion as speedily as possible, followed by singing "Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow," with the Benediction. Minutes read and approved." - signed: Jacob Troutman, Sec.
In years to follow the Church united with the United Brethren's and became known as the Evangelical United Brethren Church, of New Salem, Redbank Twp., Armstrong County, PA.
When the conference brought up the suggestion of "uniting" with the Methodists in more recent years the Church voted to join and is now known simply as the "United Methodist Church of New Salem", Redbank Twp., Armstrong County, PA. It is still used to this day, but very small membership.
Submitted by Clarence R. Shirey. Permission granted for use on this site only.