In the early 1880’s the town of Houstonville was located at the junction of Chartiers Creek and little Chartiers Creek. At that time, there were no real churches in the town. There was a small group of Seceders who met in a small brick building that stood on the site of the Templeton Feed Mill structure. The Seceders met for 10 - 12 years before disbanding.
1884 - 1888
As the town increased in size, its needs for educational, moral, and spiritual guidance also increased. In May of 1884 a committee met with Chartiers Presbytery to make a request for organizing a United Presbyterian Church. However, this attempt failed because there was not enough support from the community.
After four more years passed, the village of Houstonville was outgrowing its schoolhouse. Erection of a new building was necessary. The citizens requested that a second story be added and used as a town hall. The request was granted and the community started collecting funds for the new addition. Once completed, the town hall would also be used as a meeting place for a church. In 1888, the Presbytery was petitioned for permission to organize a church. A list of 82 names was submitted on June 14, at the Presbytery meeting being held at North Buffalo. A commission consisting of Rev. A. R. Anderson, D.D. and Elders Thomas Miller, William Giffin, and Johnson Agnew was established to effect the organization.
The committee first met in the town hall on October 9, 1888. At this meeting Messrs. A. T. Haft, S. W. Berry, and James W. Pollock were chosen as elders. The committee’s work was completed on November 15, 1888, when the aforementioned were installed. Pulpit supplies were sent to the new congregation. On December 8, 1888, a call to the pulpit was extended to Mr. E . E. Douglass, a young Seminary student.
1889 - 1900
On January 6, 1889, Mr. Douglass preached and announced his acceptance of the call. He was ordained and installed on May 7, 1889. The people continued to worship in the town hall for 5 years. In 1891, Mr. William B. Houston donated ground for a church to be built. A committee was established to raise funds. When $7,000 was raised, ground was broken. This event took place in August of 1893. After completion, the church was dedicated on May 4, 1894. Cost of the building with furnishings was about $12,000. After serving the church for ten and a half years (1889-1900), Rev. Douglass accepted a call to East Palestine, Ohio. His resignation forced the church to hear candidates and select a new pastor.
1900 - 1922
On the second Sabbath in August 1900, Rev. J.C. Kistler preached and held Communion. In October of the same year the congregation extended a call to him. In January of 1901, Rev. J.C. Kistler began his work at the church. During his pastorate a great increase in membership can be noted, the church debt was liquidated, and the church basement was enlarged. His pastorate ended July 16, 1922. When Rev. Kistler left the community, his home was purchased for a Church Manse. Also, during this time a committee was appointed to solicit funds and purchase a pipe organ. Generous contributions led to the completion of this task before the arrival of a new pastor.
November 1922 - August 1935
A call was extended to a man from Washington D.C. and in November of 1922, Rev. W. F. Harkey became pastor. His pastorate brought forth a financial budget system and the addition of a Bible School facility. The new addition was dedicated March 3, 1929. Work reaching youth was stressed and the membership swelled to over 600.He remained as pastor for more than 12 years, leaving in April of 1935.
September 1935 - November 1942
At a congregational meeting on September 4, 1935, the call was extended to Rev. Evert L. Haney of Richmond, Kansas. On October 16, 1935, he took over as church pastor. All indebtedness of the church was dissolved and the mortgage was burned at a congregational dinner on April 8, 1942, during his pastorate. Rev. Haney remained pastor until November 1, 1942, when he left to become Synodical Secretary in the Midwest.
October 1943 - November 1946
On October 12, 1943, Rev. J.B. Orth began his work as pastor of the Houston congregation. Rev. Orth left November 10, 1946, to take up work in another field.
March 1947 - March 31, 1968
On March 23, 1947, Dr. Rev. E. V. Condron became pastor. Extensive repairs and remodeling of the sanctuary was done during his pastorate. Discussion in 1951, established a need for another educational unit. At a meeting on September 17, 1952, the congregation voted to add on an Educational Wing and Chapel to the church. Dr. Rev. E. V. Condron remained pastor until his death on May 28, 1958. The church additions voted on in 1952 were completed and dedicated in 1959— adding a chapel, a large kitchen, fellowship hall, a family room, and a large second floor for classrooms. The church was undergoing rapid growth after WW II!
Rev. Harry W. Rankin became the next pastor on December 14, 1958. Rev. Rankin’s years as pastor were years of growth, especially in the Bible School. A West Virginia Mission Project was established. Also during his pastorate a badly needed parking lot was bought, radio services were introduced, and the pipe organ was completely rebuilt. On March 31, 1968, an Easter Cantata, written and directed by Al Cole, was performed by the choir. A recording was made of the performance. Many members may own a record of this special performance.
1970 - 1975
In 1970 Rev. Samuel Lewis was appointed as pastor. During his ministry, the Open Door Nursery was formed for preschoolers. As our church became more involved with the community, the Meals on Wheels Program was started under the direction of Virginia Craig. While Rev. Lewis was pastor a Christmas card was published featuring our sanctuary decorated for Christmas services. He remained with us until 1975. The Lewises became residents in Tyrone.
1977 - 1992
Rev. James Adair, became pastor in 1977. During that time our church purchased a new pipe organ, re-carpeted the sanctuary, repaired the roof on the sanctuary, refurnished the family room, and made major repairs to the church in preparation for the 100th Anniversary. Since that time our church has provided space for the Open Door Nursery, Meals on Wheels, and a Youth Club, as continued interest of community outreach and evangelism. Annual Beach Mission projects provided evangelical experiences for many local teenagers. Rev. James Adair served as pastor from 1977-1992 when he retired.
1994 - 1997
Rev. David Pieplow was the pastor from 1994 - 1997.
1998 - 2014
Dr. Rev. Clarejean Haury came to us as a designated pastor in 1998. She was installed in 2002. Many building projects were completed under Dr. Rev. Haury.
Sanctuary stained glass windows were removed and repaired in a project that lasted from 1998 to 2003.
The parking lots were repaved in 2005. The family room was updated with new paint, furniture and carpeting in 2006—all paid for by the Deacons.
The windows in the Fellowship Hall were replaced in 2009. The fellowship hall was renovated in 2010.
A new roof was put on the chapel in 2012, as well as, a new slate roof installed over the sanctuary the same year. The old slates were used by the Girlfriends Group to make painted Christmas plaques.
The pews in the sanctuary were upholstered in 2012 and new carpeting with freshly painted walls were completed in the church office and hallways.
2015 - October 2018
Installation of Nature Stone flooring was completed in the basement, new entry doors and a security monitor were installed in the church. Updates to the garage were completed, and an LED electronic sign was installed to advertise church service times and events to the public.
We pray for the ministry of each new pastor, that they will always encourage and counsel the flock with wisdom and discernment. We pray for the stress they bear in their work, and in carrying the weight of responsibility for our souls, that they would find rest in Christ. We pray that they would: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2