Photo/Informational Links To
Brookline has several churches located
in the community to serve the religious needs of the neighborhood. There are
many denominations represented. Whether you are Roman Catholic, Lutheran,
Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist, or non-denominational, there is something
here for you. If you can't find it here, there are many other denominations
represented in the nearby communities.
Brookline's parishes have long played a
vital role in the formation of our community. For most of the 20th century, most
parishes had elementary schools associated with them, and many a Brookline child
gained a religious and academic education at diocesan schools like Resurrection,
Our Lady of Loreto and St. Pius.
The original Brookline Methodist Church
built at the corner of Wedgemere Avenue and Fitch Way, shown in 1909.
In 1996 these schools were merged into
one institution named Brookline Regional Catholic, with classes held on the St.
Pius campus. In 2014 the name was changed to Saint John Bosco Academy, and in
June 2019 the school closed. For public school students CCD classes were available
at all of the parishes. For those wishing to continue a Catholic education after
grade school, there is Seton-LaSalle High School, located along McNeilly Road in
Over the years there have been Bible
classes and other church groups, like the Holy Name Society at Resurrection,
for the adult members of the congregations. There were the youth groups and the
church choir, which performed at Sunday Mass. Many Brookline children longed
to be an altar boy and assist the Father with the celebration of Mass, and many
did just that. Many of the older kids also served as "Safeties", or crossing
guards, before and after school.
The Men of Brookline group joins with
members of the St. Nicholas (Beaver PA) and St. Peter and Paul (Northside)
groups on a visit to the St. Paul of the Cross Retreat House in
June 1954. For a list of names click on image.
The Boy and Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and
Brownies generally had a troop associated with the various parishes. Yearly
fundraisers like the Resurrection Fun Flair, the St. Pius Expo and the Loreto
Carnival were eagerly awaited summer events. There was something for everyone,
and the church was, in many ways, the hub around which families thrived. Still
today, during these tough economic times, our churches provide many services
to help ease the burden of their congregations and strengthen the concept that
Brookline is a faith-filled community and that, as Bishop David Zubik states,
"Nothing is Impossible with God."
It is difficult to understate the many
contributions that our local churches have made in a historical and spiritual
sense to the Brookline community.
Historical Brookline Mural made by the
children at the Tree of Life Open Bible Church in August 2018.
Brookline's First Church
The first church gatherings in Brookline
were held at a stump church located near Pioneer Avenue and Brookline Boulevard.
People came together around a preacher, sitting on log stumps to listen to his
The first official church, called the
Knowlson Methodist Church, was built in 1850. The church building stood on a
hillside near the present-day junction of West Liberty Avenue and Brookline
Boulevard. The property was donated by Richard Knowlson.
In 1905 the church united with the
Banksville Methodist Church and the Reflectorville Methodist Church. Together,
they constructed a new church along Wedgemere Avenue. The congregation formed
the Brookline United Methodist Church, chartered in 1913, and a larger church was constructed at Brookline Boulevard and Wedgemere Avenue
The old Knowlson Methodist Church,
built in 1850 above the junction of Brookline Boulevard and West Liberty Avenue,
shown here in 1915. The church was used over the years by the Brookline Methodists,
the St. Mark's Lutherans,
and the Brookline Presbyterians, all of whom later relocated to larger churches
built along Brookline Boulevard.
Other Congregations That Used the Knowlson
A small group of United
Presbyterians had a
small house of worship, erected in 1902, near the Bell House Tavern on West Liberty Avenue. In 1907, they moved to the West Liberty
Elementary schoolhouse on Pioneer Avenue, then to the old Knowlson Church.
The Presbyterians constructed a stone chapel at Queensboro and Brookline Boulevard, dedicated on
February 13, 1913. The church was enlarged in 1924, and again
In October 1906, Pastor Schoenlein
began the St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Mission in Brookline. The first
services were held in a home on Pioneer Avenue until the pastor secured use
of the Knowlson Methodist Church. By 1908 the Lutheran City Mission Society
had purchased a lot on Brookline Boulevard near Pioneer Avenue. The Mission
erected a frame chapel at the location. The building dedicated on
September 20, 1908.