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A Tale of Two Churches

06. June 2008

Columns, Congregation of the Month,


First RPC of Beaver Falls

Location: Beaver Falls, Pa.

Presbytery: Alleghenies

Organized: Nov. 10, 1874

Membership: 130 communicant; 29 baptized

Pastor: Bruce Backensto

Web Site:


The history of the First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Beaver Falls is one of church planting and church merging.

In 1874 the church was organized with 24 members. Dr. Robert James George was called as the first pastor. During his ministry, the church grew to 275 members.

In 1892, a mission Sabbath school was begun in Patterson Heights. A church was also planted that year by First RPC on College Hill and organized as the Geneva RPC on Oct. 28.

Attendance at the Patterson Heights mission work reached 103. In 1894, a chapel was built for those people. On Christmas Eve, one day before the dedication service, the chapel burned down.

In 1924, the downtown building was sold and the First RPC reunited with the Patterson Heights congregation. In 2004, daughter again reunited with mother as the Geneva and First congregations merged. The congregation now worships at the Patterson Heights location.


In addition to morning and evening worship and Sabbath school on the Lord’s Day, the members of the First ...

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