The history of Methodism in the Clarion area can be traced back to the early 1800’s when the itinerant pastor, Francis Asbury Montjar, proclaimed the gospel to the families who had settled in the wilderness of western Pennsylvania.
When Clarion County was formed in 1839, several Methodist families moved to the new county seat. A Clarion Circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church was established in 1841, and services were held in homes, the school and also the county jail. Just three years later, through generous sacrifice, the small congregation dedicated their first church building on October 16, 1944. (This building now serves as the home of Grace Lutheran Church).
After a series of revivals, the membership had grown to the point that a larger building was needed. Again, the people of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Clarion responded, and the construction of the current church edifice was begun. It was dedicated on August 25, 1889. A parsonage was added to the structure in 1906. In 1915, the borough of Clarion was the setting for a series of revival meetings, resulting in over 800 persons giving their lives to the Lord. Of these, 200 were admitted to membership in the Clarion Methodist congregation. The facility underwent renovations to meet the need for additional space.
Throughout the years, the people of the church have continued to enlarge the structure to meet the changing needs of the congregation. The Education Annex (including Sunday School rooms and a large kitchen) was opened in 1956, and the Connection (including the Gathering Area, new library, and elevator) was completed in 1913.
A more detailed story of the church may be found by clicking here.
The publications, Methodism in Clarion 1808-1984, by Hazel and Melvin Blish, and Methodism in Clarion 1984-1992, by Hazel Blish and Marian Peltcs are also available in our church library, for those who would like more information on the history of the church.
“When the hills about Clarion gave up their stones to be transformed into this magnificent temple, they were only answering the call of the Master to service, and these stones will remain here for generations saying to the world, “This is the temple of the living God: hear ye Him.” N. E. Heeter, 1916
For more information, please contact our church office.