May the LORD our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us or abandon us. -- 1 Kings 8:57
Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.
Calvin did much of his writing from Geneva, Switzerland. From there, the Reformed movement spread to other parts of Europe and the British Isles. Many of the early Presbyterians in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland. The first American Presbytery was organized at Philadelphia in 1706. The first General Assembly was held in the same city in 1789. The first Assembly was convened by the Rev. John Witherspoon, the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence.
What is distinctive about the Presbyterian Church? Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways: they adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology and a form of government that stresses an active, representative form of leadership provided by both ministers and church members.
East Main Presbyterian Church History
In 1879, the village of Pine Grove, Pennsylvania had a population of about 300 with a grist mill, a post office, a few stores, a hotel, a Presbyterian church erected in 1847, and a Methodist church dating back to 1840. The nearest United Presbyterian churches were Harmony in Harrisville, Scotch Hill and Springfield congregations.
On a suggestion from the Springfield congregation, it was arranged that Rev. W.B. Barr, pastor of that church, hold an occasional service in Pine Grove provided that the local members guaranteed a payment of $100 per year. The spirit of going over the top, for which the Grove City community has been noted in later years, was shown by those early adherents whose subscriptions totaled $154. But money and members were only two of the pioneer troubles. Roads, building, heating and lighting had to be considered. Rev. Barr rode a mule from Pardoe to hold the first meeting on April 6, 1879. A second story room in the Pine Grove School House, [situated where McDonald's Restaurant is now located,] had been secured for the service. Rev. Barr chose for his text, "God's love for His Saints," Isaiah 9:15.
East Main Church Historical Timeline
Pastors of East Main Church
East Main Church Denominational Affiliation Timeline