Our History - How we got here
Port Allegany Alliance Church History
1978 - The Western Pennsylvania district of the Christian and Missionary Alliance decided to start a new Alliance church in Port Allegany. Coudersport Alliance was asked to be the mother church. Letters were sent to many families in Port Allegany and a search went out to find a home in which to start Bible studies. North Penn Gas Company headquarters in Port Allegany decided to close the district office in Coudersport one year ahead of time. District Manager Jim Plotts was transferred from Coudersport to Port Allegany. From October of 1978 until February of 1979 meetings were held in the home of Jim and Betty Plotts with Rev. Glenn Thomas, Pastor of the Coudersport Alliance Church leading.
In 1979 weekly Sunday services were started in the second story of the Liberty Grange Hall with Rev. Dwight D. Steiner a retired minister from Jamestown, NY. Rev. Steiner, his wife Bernice and several members spent Saturdays visiting area families.
In June 1979, Pastor Richard Jenkins arrived with his wife Carolyn and infant daughter, Jamie. He became our first full time minister at the Installation Service on June 2, 1979. A short time later it was decided to meet at a one room church building in the Grimes district. (Outdoor toilets and no water.) This decision was made to see if there would be significant church growth. About a year later when there wasn't as much growth as had been hoped for we moved back to the Liberty Grange Hall.
We welcomed Pastor David Armstrong and his wife Beckie on July 12, 1980. The Armstrongs lived at Wrights. For several months, Wednesday night prayer meetings were held in their home. A search was started in 1981 for a permanent church home. Existing buildings, merging with another congregation and land purchase for a new building were all considered. A bid of $72,777.00 was made to the Port Allegany School District for the Liberty Grade School building. The bid was not accepted. The building was purchased one year later in February 1982 at a new bid price of $36,388.50. This was one half the amount that had been offered to the school board in 1981.
Pastor James Liston and his wife Tammy came to us in December of 1984 and were with us until June of 1988.
We became an established church in August of 1987.
In August of 1988 we welcomed Pastor John Boomer, his wife Stacy, and son Josiah. In April of 1990, Pastor Boomer and family moved to the Midwest where they accepted a ministry there.
In June of 1990 we welcomed Pastor Richard McCombie, his wife Donna and three children, Brian, Scott and Christina. As our congregation continued to grow it became necessary to go to two church services in April of 1992. In 1994 ground was broken to add a new 4800 square foot 384 seat sanctuary with offices for Pastor and Secretary. The building was completed in 1995.
In 1998 Pastor Willie Matos arrived with his wife Beverly and son Nathan. A Small Group ministry was started under his leadership. Pastor Matos left on January 31, 2003 to begin a new church in the Pittsburgh area.
In September 2003 Pastor Joseph T Beckley accepted a call to our church. He began his ministry on September 29, 2003. He was joined with his wife Debbie, son Aaron and daughter Rachel. The Children's Ministry was expanded to include Opening Exercises with weekly puppet shows, Sunday School classes for all ages, Children's Sermons that included stories of "The Animals of the Great Forest", as well as annual "Monkey Island" Vacation Bible School that continues to be a big event for the community children. In July 2015 Pastor Beckley stepped down from preaching for health reasons. Pastor Beckley continued to mentor, inspire and guide this congregation until he and Debbie moved to Kansas in February, 2016.
In May 2016 Pastor Stephen Kroh and his wife Jayne accepted the call to our church. They began their ministry on July 3, 2016.
A lot of time and love has been given through the years to renovate the building from a school to a church, which included a parsonage within the church. The parsonage has since been made into offices, a board room and a prayer room. It has been gratifying to see many building improvements made and valuable programs added to our ministry.
God has been faithful to us since the ministry began in 1978.
Psalm 127:1 "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain." We praise God for the house HE has built and blessed many times over.
One ordinary individual in tune to the guiding of the Lord helps to make a whole church dedicated to worshiping God and building HIS kingdom.