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Sights on the City

01. November 2007

Columns, Congregation of the Month,


Location: Wilkinsburg, Pa.

Presbytery: Alleghenies

Organized: 1973

Membership: 112 communicant; 16 baptized

Pastor: Bruce Hemphill



The Covenant Fellowship congregation came to birth 35 years ago, with a felt need to witness for Christ, minister in His name, and grow in the eastern boroughs and suburbs of Pittsburgh. Paul Wilson and others preached through 1974, when Kenneth G. Smith came to be pastor at the beginning of 1975. We met in the RP Seminary building at first, then in the former Wilkinsburg RPC building. In the mid-1980s we moved to a now-permanent location in the northeast part of Wilkinsburg.

We grew significantly for the first 20 years till we had an average attendance around 195. This growth came by means of the preaching in the worship services and the witness of the people in their community, social, and work settings. There was also a great variety of ministries going on during those years: women’s and men’s Bible studies, prayer and sharing meetings, support groups, area fellowship groups, and a strong missions ministry for prayer and news. There was a significant emphasis on living in proximity to one another, in communities. In the early 1990s we had some turmoil in the congregation that developed into the loss of more than one-third of the membership within a few ...

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