Celebrating 175 Years
Service Times: Sunday at 8:30 & 11:00 AM
35 S Locust St, Shiremanstown PA 17011

Celebrating 175 Years

 

Shiremanstown's 175th Anniversary

 
 


The Shiremanstown Church celebrates 175 years

After the economic panic of the previous year, revival fires burned across the country in 1838. In central PA a young congregation of Winebrennerians decided the time had come to build their own meeting house. From 1827 when John Winebrenner left the Reformed Church concluding his ministry at nearby Salem (Peace Church), the Church of God people in the Shiremanstown community met first in homes and later in the local school house. On April 21, 1833 they organized a Union Sabbath School with occasional preaching and prayer services by itinerate ministers. During warm weather months the congregation also held outdoor camp meetings at various locations in the surrounding countryside. This process of formation became typical of many early Churches of God. Perhaps it could work today too.


Early photos of the Shiremanstown bethel

So it was that on September 24, 1838 the Shiremanstown congregation purchased land and built a frame bethel for the purposes of regular worship and Christian education for youth.


Early photo of the church with the original parsonage

The new meeting house was dedicated exactly two months later on November 24, 1838. Over the years as the congregation grew it expanded its facility by adding a bell tower in 1876, excavating the basement in 1936, and adding educational space in 1980 by renovating the 1926 parsonage. In 1979 the church had acquired an adjacent house across the street and upgraded it to use as a parsonage. The church again made major renovations in 2000 nearly doubling the size of the original facility.


The church sanctuary decorated for Christmas


Left to right: Pastor Floyd and Angie Carlen, Linda and Ed Rosenberry


Looking over the historical display


Kevin Richardson brings greetings from the ERC office


This November 23 and 24 Linda and I had the honor to be guests of the congregation for their 175th anniversary. Saturday afternoon we attended a celebration service where a number of folks wore period style clothing. In addition, across the front of the sanctuary many photos, record books, and relics were on display. It was a festive time with congregational singing and special music.


The choir shares a special song

Kevin Richardson, the Eastern Region director, brought remarks and presented the congregation with a congratulatory letter from the Conference. Pastor Floyd Carlen also spoke and affirmed the ministry at Shiremanstown as the work of people committed to the cause of Christ across the generations. Fred Quade (pictured below), a ministerial son of the congregation, offered a prayer of thanksgiving and dedication.

Before and after the service the congregation provided a meal for everyone in attendance who desired more fellowship time.

   


Kids come forward for the children's chat

Sunday morning Linda and I returned for the anniversary service. I came as John Winebrenner to bring the morning message (pictured below).

I felt humbled and honored to stand behind the sacred desk where I knew Winebrenner once proclaimed the Word.  The service included a mix of old and new songs which would have pleased Brother John as he was very much about spiritual variety in music, whether in choral presentations or congregational singing. I spoke from Matthew 5 on being salt and light, tying together the history of the church with their present mission to reach the least, lone, and lost of their community.


Former Shiremanstown Pastor Denny Hall and sons a few years ago

And indeed they are doing so! I learned that every Wednesday the church hosts a community dinner for any and all who come. In addition, on Thanksgiving Day they offer a full scale holiday dinner for anyone who wants to come.



Volunteers hard at work in the kitchen

The church also blesses their community by supporting New Hope Ministries which ministers to needy families and the Capital Area Pregnancy Center. They actively promote Operation Christmas Child (81 boxes this year) and support a CGGC sister church in Haiti as well as primary schools there. Over the years three members went into vocational ministry and several others went to overseas mission fields for a time. And these are only a few examples.


The Shiremanstown congregation gathers for worship

Pastor Floyd and Angie Carlen


Shiremanstown is definitely a church alive in community and mission. One need only visit for a short time and observe the multi-generations and diversity or feel the positive spiritual energy at work. After services on Sunday Linda and I took Angie and Floyd out for lunch to visit a bit more and encourage them in ministry. They came to Shiremanstown from Illinois in 1991, leaving family and friends to move to a new work. The success of the ministry at Shiremanstown is due in no small part to their long-term sacrifice and dedication as well as that of their church leaders. My parting word to them and to all the Church of God is to keep on keeping on in the Lord’s work–for great is our reward in Him.

ONe Mission with you,
Ed
Soli Deo Gloria!

 

 

 

 

Contact Info & Service Times

Shiremanstown First Church of God

35 S Locust St
Shiremanstown, PA 17011

Phone: 717-737-7600
Fax: 717-737-7600
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

    • Worship—Sunday at 8:30 & 11:00 AM

 

    • Sunday School—10:00 AM

 

    • Wednesday Family Night
      Dinner - 6:00 PM
      Adventure Club – ages 3-grade 5; 6:45 PM
      Youth – grades 6-12; 6:45 PM
      Bible Study - 7:00 PM

 

  • Thursday Bible Study—9:30 AM

Safe Sanctuary Policy

As Christians at Shiremanstown First Church of God we take our responsibility to children and youth attending our programs very seriously. Therefore in September 2016 we adopted a Safe Sanctuary Policy.  This policy and the procedures that are a part of it demonstrate our unwavering commitment to the physical and emotional safety as well as the spiritual growth of all of our children and youth. If you are interested in learning more about this policy please speak to Pastor Floyd Carlen or Youth Director Stacie Reber

Our Staff

    • Pastor - Floyd Carlen

 

    • Director of Children & Youth Ministries - Stacie Reber

 

    • Secretary - Linda Guth

 

  • Webmaster/Media Specialist - Chris Carlen

Administrative Council

    • President - Matt Arva

 

    • Vice President - Mike Grieb

 

    • Recording Secretary - Jackie Adkins

 

    • Financial Secretary - Deb Arva

 

    • Treasurer - Donna Lamonna

 

    • Elders - Maynard Cassell, Mike Grieb, Andy Lamonna

 

  • Deacons - Matt Arva, Marsha Dutton, Wendy Hoverter, Troy Roadcap, Nola Weeks, Seth Weigard