The Salisbury Church of the Brethren

Brethren Church  

Salisbury Church of the Brethren built in 1878

   The Brethren community originally held church meeting in barns and homes, and sometimes in schools.  these meetings, one Sunday in the Glades (Stonycreek-Berlin area), the next Sunday at the river settlement (Meyersdale-Summit Mills), were held in common, and manyof these pioneer families attended meetings at both places, even though it might have involved walking twelve miles or more for services. In 1845 the Berlin (Glades) Brethren built a meeting house near Berlin, known as Grove Church, and in 1846 the Elk Lick Brethren (on the river) built the house in Summit Mills, which is still standing but no longer used as a church.

    This Elk Lick congregation at Summit Mills included membership from Meyersdale, Salisbury and even from across the mountain at Savage, the "Peck Corner".  Presiding elders were John Berkley, Jr. and Ira Lichty.  Earlier ministers included John Livengood and John Beachley.  During the mid-nineteenth century families of Brethren found it inconvenient to travel the great distances to meetings at Summit Mills, and there was a flurry of church-building, so that by 1854 southern Somerset County had five Brethren meeting houses; one along Flaugherty Creek in Meyersdale (then Meyers Mill); one on the Casselman River at West Salisbury; one on the headwaters of the FlaughertyCreek in Greenville Township; one at Berkley's Mill in Summit Township;and the larger meetinghouse at Summit Mills.  In addition, a schoolhouse in the Peck Corner (Savage, Pa.), was used as a meetinghouse (now Maple Glen congregation).

    In 1877 the Elk Lick congregationwas divided into three:  Elk Lick, Summit Mills and Meyersdale. After this division, the name Elk Lick would refer to the Salisbury- ElkLick Township area rather than to the larger originally centering on the Elk Lick Creek settlement at Summit Mills.  With this division the present two-story building in Salisbury was built on Union Street in 1878, at a cost of $3,200.  The small church building in West Salisbury (River Bridge Church) was then abandoned as a church and was subsequently occupied as a dwelling until about 1920.

    Pastors who served the Salisbury Brethren Church from its beginning in 1851 were: Johnathan Kelso, Silas Keim, Nathaniel Merrill, Joseph B. Sell, Silas Hoover, W. A. Gaunt, T. S. Fike, D. K. Clapper, E. J. Egan, B. F. Waltz, Guy N. Hartman, George L. Detweiler, Guy E. Wampler, John D. Long, A. J. Replogle, Russell K. Showalter and Daniel J. Whitacre. Other ministers who served the Salisbury congregation were:  Howard H. Keim, G. E. Yoder, John N. Davis, Lewis Peck, Jacob Peck and J. C. Beahm.

Information obtained from "The Casselman Chronicle" Volume XXXII


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