The history of Glenwillard United Methodist Church
In the year 1856 in the village of Shousetown, there stood a primitive little building with a frame structure and painted white. It was used by all protestant denominations as a public place of worship. In the same year, this building, the public school, the old Hamilton’s store and the residence of J.C. Boggs were destroyed by fire. This left the community without any public building or place of worship. Captain S.C. Young, although not a church member at that time, seeing the necessity of a place to hold church services, immediately started a subscription, heading it with a goodly sum and soliciting funds from the village, and also from friends he knew in Pittsburgh and Sewickley. In the meantime, Mr. Nathan Porter donated a piece of ground on the opposite side of the railroad for the church site. After considerable canvassing, Captain Young fell short of the required amount. But determined not to be defeated, made up the shortage himself.
Upon the ground donated by Mr. Porter, the church was built and as it neared completion, Andrew Fulton presented the church with a bell. Upon the bell, that still hangs in the belfry, is inscribed “and let him that heareth say, come” which is a portion of verse 17 of the 22nd chapter of the book of Revelation. Early in 1875the building was dedicated. The Methodist service was conducted at 10:30 A.M. by a circuit rider, Rev. Latshaw McGuire, of the Redstone Circuit, which was based in Cumberland.
The church prospered and in 1916 a major improvement program was started, a contractor was engaged. Figley of New Sheffield was commissioned to raise the building and build a basement underneath. The following people donated the Hanson stained glass windows; the two windows at the extreme front of the church were donated by the Sunday School and the Choir; others bear the names of John H Hamilton, Sarah Hamilton McCormick, Hanna Browning Clinton, Anna Porter, Johanna Sharpf, John H. Dune, Gretchen Kent Duve and Kidia H. Keim.
The congregation has upgraded the building ever since. A modern heating system was added as was aluminum siding. On January 1, 2000 a ramp to the second floor sanctuary, parking lots and storage room were dedicated to the glory of God. This project took several years to completion and was under the capable chairmanship of Austin (Dean) Whiteman. Recently, the social room and restroom have received refurbishing, in addition to a new hot water tank and pew cushions.
Through the years, changes and improvements have been made to the church building as needed. Always, our first priority has been to be about the work of our Lord Jesus Christ.