The United Presbyterian Church, on
Brookline Boulevard, was originally built in 1912, and expanded in 1924 and
1953. The mission celebrated it's 110th Anniversary in 2010. The church,
located at the intersection of Brookline Boulevard, Queensboro and Chelton
celebrates it's 100th anniversary on Brookline in 2013. The magnificent
structure is one of the most iconic buildings along Brookline
The Brookline Presbyterian Mission
dates back to December 9, 1900, when Mr. C.F. Mulholland of Bell House,
West Liberty, suggested to his pastor, Robert H. Hood, that a Mission
Sabbath House be organized to provide Christian instruction for the
neighborhood children. Thirty-five young persons responded and a Sabbath
School was started with Mr. Mulholland as Superintendant.
The first building used by the
Mission was an old blacksmith shop located near the south entrance to the
yet unheard of Liberty Tunnels. A small chapel was built nearby in 1902,
and formally dedicated on June 11, 1903. Due to the repid growth of the area,
the Mission was forced to relocate to West Liberty Public School in January,
The West Liberty United Presbyterian
Church building in 1907.
A formal congregation was established
a few weeks later. Services were held in the West Liberty public school
building until March, 1908, when the "Knowlson M.C. Church", at the
corner of West Liberty Avenue and Brookline Boulevard, was purchased and
renovated. At this time the Mission was known as the West Liberty United
The former West Liberty United Presbyterian
Church, located above the intersection
of Brookline Boulevard and West Liberty Avenue, shown here in 1915.
The growth of the congregation was
impeded by the unfavorable location of the church, and in 1911 the Mission
took steps to find a new place to worship. A location was soon agreed upon,
and it was decided that a new church would be built along Brookline Boulevard,
at the intersection with Queensboro Avenue and Chelton Avenue.
The present lot was purchased in 1911
for $4050. The Knowlson Church continued to be used for services while the
new church was constructed. It would be a small stone structure which is now
considered the Old Chapel. In May 1912, the congregation voted to change the
name to the Brookline Boulevard United Presbyterian Church. In June 1912, an
additional adjacent lot was purchased for $3500.
The original Stone Chapel, constructed
in 1912. This small chapel comprises
the inside of the expanded United Presbyterian Church, built in 1913.
The original cornerstone was laid
on September 29, 1912, and the new building dedicated on February 13,
1913. The Old Chapel stood alone for eleven years, until such time when the
increasing growth of the Mission called for an expanded sanctuary. In 1924, the
cornerstone was laid for a large addition, known as the New Santuary. The
stunning addition was built around the Old Chapel, which was incorporated
into the new structure.
The facade of the enlarged church
featured three prominent red doors at the top of a stone stairway. For the
next twenty-nine years the New Sanctuary and Old Chapel served the continually
enlarging Mission. A further expansion was soon needed to accomodate the
growing educational needs of the Mission's youth.
Artist's Conception of the United
Presbyterian Church and the new Educational Wing in 1952.
In 1953, at a total cost
of $175,000, construction began on the new Christian Education Wing. The
cornerstone was dedicated and installed by Reverend Stillman Alan Foster.
The new wing was the final building addition to the church. Recent upgrades
include a handicapped ramp, installed in the 1980s and some foundation work in
The laying of the second cornerstone
on the United Presbyterian Church expansion building in 1953. The minister is
Reverend Foster, who headed mission from 1951-1959. On the right hand side
of the platform in the back row
is Samuel McClelland, and to his right is Nettie McClelland. The McClelland
family had been
members of the Brookline United Presbyterian Mission since February,
According to Carolyn Wood, here is an
interesting anecdote on Brookline United Presbyterian history: During the heyday
of trolley transportation in Brookline, the local route designation was #39.
During Sunday school, children were taught a quick way to remember the Brookline
route number. Thirty-nine is the number of books in the old testament, and 3 times
9 is the number of books on the new testament.
The Three Cornerstones
Photos of the Brookline
United Presbyterian Church
Photo from 1913 showing the newly
constructed Stone Chapel.
Photo of Brookline Boulevard from 1916
showing the Stone Chapel.
The newly expanded
Brookline United Presbyterian Church in 1924.
On a warm, sunny afternoon on June 18,
1939, the Women's Bible Class gathered on the lawn of the Brookline Boulevard
United Presbyterian Church for this photo. The class had well over 125 students
on its roster and the women played an active part in the church
The photo above appeared in the Pittsburgh
Sun-Telegraph two days before Christmas, 1943. The Second World War was raging
in Europe, North Africa, and in the Pacific. A fund was established by the
Sun-Telegraph newspaper to purchase Christmas gifts for wounded servicemen
who were being treated in local hospitals. Cub Scout Pack#18, which was based
at the United Presbyterian Church in Brookline, collected $25 for the fund.
An entourage of Cubs from the pack presented the donation.
Pictured are (left to right):
Seated: Jimmy Karl, Gary Stepp, Jack Gessner, and Jimmy Hoetzlein.
Standing: Herman Evert, Roger Neubauer, Don Sayenga, Don Little,
Bob Campbell, Bob McCartney, Ron Thompson and Paul Conrad. At the time,
Gary Stepp's father was the Cubmaster. He was an inspirational leader.
Pack 18 was large and active, with about fifty Cubs organized into seven
A 39-Brookline trolley passes the
Brookline United Presbyterian Church in the late 1940s.
The United Presbyterian Church
and new Education Wing in 1957.
The Brownie Troop from the United
Presbyterian Church in 1957. Some members of the troop were Susan Schmidt
Denise Jamise, Karen Hensler, Maureen McMillan, Karen Hoff, Lynn Domastoy,
Gwen Haddad, Linda Pendercroft,
Jill Jamise, Gwen, Kitty and Doris Anderson. The troop leader was Mrs.
The John Calvin Choir in 1960.
The list below shows all of the choir members.
Boy Scout Troop #227, known as the
"Beetles Beehive", back in 1961. The photo to the right
shows the scouts on a camping trip to South Park in 1961. The scoutmaster
was Alex Bailey Sr, whose son Alex Jr. was known as Beetle.
The photo above appeared in the
Brookline Journal on November 1, 1962. It shows the new Bobcats of Cub
Pack #18 and their parents. Shown here are, kneeling, Ricky McKee, James
Murray and James Shirley. Standing from left, George Roach and Mrs. Roach,
Ralph Ankrom and George Ankrom, Richard O'Neill and Mrs. O'Neill, Mike
Farber and Mrs. Farber, Freddie Muellershoen and Mrs. Muellershoen, Bobby
Swetkis and Robert Swetkis, Kenny Watson and Mr. and Mrs. Sam Watson,
Jimmy Hathaway and Mr. Hathaway, and John Evans and Mrs.
The Brookline Boulevard United
Presbyterian Church in March 2013.
Images of the United Presbyterian Church
in 2013. The image on the left shows parts of all three churches.
The picture on the right shows a section of the New Sanctuary and the
Old Chapel along Chelton Avenue.
* Last Modified
- March 31, 2013 *