Welcome to Portersville, Pennsylvania
founded circa 1796; incorporated 1844
PORTERSVILLE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1883
This church was organized October 13, 1920. The settlement at that time was entirely new and very sparse, and being made up mostly of seceders, the Presbyterian families were consequently few. There was preaching occasionally among them in private houses for something like six years before this time. The first preaching was in the cabinet shop of Mr. Thompson McCosh. This was in the year 1814 or 1815. The services were conducted by Rev. Reid Bracken. One of the hearers – now a very aged man – referring to this first service, said: “I do not remember much of his sermon now, but I have not forgotten how his son, William, then but a boy, folded his hands in a peculiarly reverent manner, closed his eyes, and stood perfectly erect and still during the delivery of the prayer.” At the organization the following persons were received on certificate: John and Sarah Walker, Robert and Margaret Stewart, Samuel and Nancy Stewart, Ephraim and Martha Hunter, Thompson and Nancy McCosh, and Elizabeth and Barbara Stewart, making twelve in all. John Walker and Samuel Stewart were chosen Ruling Elders. Mr. Stewart continued to serve until 1829, when death ended his career. Mr. Walker continued to serve until 1842 – twenty-two years – when he was gathered home to his Fathers. Other persons elected to the session were John Stewart, Thompson McCosh and Alexander Morrison. Minutes of the session bear this testimony with reference to them: “Mr. Morrison continued to meet with the session regularly until 1837, when it is probable his death occurred. It was sudden, and in the morning of his manhood, and it was much lamented by all. Messrs. Stewart and McCosh both ceased to act about the year 1845, on account of increasing infirmities, and both died soon after their retirement. Father Bracken, as he was called, continued to supply this congregation from 1820-1841. Rev. Newton Bracken, his son, was ordained and installed October 15, 1841. He ministered to this people until 1859. Rev. William P. Harvison settled in 1863, and was dismissed in 1867 on account of failing health. Rev. Samuel L. Johnson succeeded him and, was ordained and installed in 1870. He remained until 1872, when Rev. R. B. Walker succeeded him, and has served as stated supply since July, 1872. The present session of the church are James Morrison, George Oliver, John Cheeseman, William Humphrey, Guyan Morrison and Horatio Payne. The present membership of the church is 100. The Church edifice was probably erected in 1924. It was a frame structure and small in size. Ten years later it was remodeled, receiving an addition of ten or twelve feet. It was replaced by a brick building in 1841. The present of the church of William Humphrey, Esq., Milton Kennedy and Joseph Morrison.
UNITED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 1893
The United Presbyterian denomination came into existence in 1858. It was the result of a union of the Associate Reformed and Associate congregations. The first services were held in the same church building which the Associate Reformed congregation had used. The sermon was preached by Rev. Andrew Irons, of Michigan, who was installed regular pastor in 1859, and who ministered to this charge until the outbreak of the rebellion. Rev. John M Donaldson labored with great zeal and profit for five years, when he resigned his charge and removed to New Wilmington, where he assumed a charge, and where he labored until a short time before his death, which occurred in 1871. In 1873, Rev. William Galbraith accepted a call, and remained pastor of the congregation until 1876. Rev. James A. Clark, the present pastor, succeeded Rev. Galbraith, accepting a call for one-half of his time in 1879.
The church building was erected in 1840 and 1841. It is a brick structure, forty-five feet front and fifty-five feet deep. It is well finished in the interior and its seating capacity is about 300; the numerical strength of the congregation is about 120; the original number was seventy-five. The first members of session were John Cowden, Thomas Christy, James McClymonds, James Gardner, George Frazier, John McClelland. The Trustees were David Cleeland, Jonathan McClymonds and James Gardner. The present members of session are George McGee, James Frazier, Robert Glenn, John McClymonds and William B. Dodds. The present Trustees are Robert Frazier, Robert Walters, William McClymonds and Orrin Stewart. The cost of the church building as $3,000.
COVENANTERS OR REFORMED PRESBYTERIANS 1883
The united charges of Rose Point and Portersville are a part of Camp Run congregation, which was presided over by Dr. Guthrie about the year 1833. The first settled minister was Rev. Thomas Hanna, who was installed in 1858. He was of Scotch parentage, and received his education in Scotland. His pastorate lasted about four years when he became a United Presbyterian. He was succeeded by Rev. J. C. Smith, the present pastor, who was ordained and installed in 1863. The first session of this congregation was composed of Mr. Thomas Spear, John Love, Mathew Stewart, Thomas Wilson, Joseph Kennedy and Thomas Blair. The Covenanters have no Trustees, the Eldership attending to the secular offices of the church; present Elders are: Fullerton Kennedy, Thomas Young, Robert McCaslin, Robert Wylie and James McElwain. A Sabbath school neighboring sixty-five pupils, is connected with the church, the Superintendent of which is Dr. James M. Balph.