Walnut Grove Church of the Brethren 1916

The Walnut Grove Church of the Brethren, on the corner of Bedford Street and Miller Avenue in Johnstown, was dedicated on April 30, 1916.

Walnut Grove Church of the Brethren is reaching a milestone.

The church, 1068 Bedford St., Johnstown, will celebrate its 100th anniversary of the dedication of its current church building with a weekend of services beginning on Friday.

A communion service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

A ham dinner will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

An anniversary service will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday, with a covered dish dinner to follow.

The weekend celebration will conclude at 6:30 p.m. Sunday with the Mountain Anthems performing a concert.

All the activities will be held at the church and are open to the public.

Walnut Grove Church of the Brethren can trace its roots to the formation of the Johnstown Congregation of the Church of the Brethren in 1879.

After a split in 1882 over the principle of simplicity, the conservative wing of the church built a house of worship on Walnut Grove that was dedicated in 1884.

By 1912, membership in the Johnstown Congregation had risen to 2,000 people and a larger church was needed.

Property at the corner of Bedford Street and Central Avenue, now Miller Avenue, was purchased for the project.

The building dedication service was held April 30, 1916, with Gov. Martin Grove Brumbaugh in attendance.

By 1929, Moxham, Locust Street, Conemaugh and Maple Grove were established as independent congregations of the Church of the Brethren.

To better identify its independence and eliminate confusion with the new churches, the name of the 1916 church on Bedford Street became Walnut Grove Congregation of the Church of the Brethren.

The congregation at Walnut Grove has been active in projects of the Church of the Brethren, both in the Western Pennsylvania District and at the national level.

Members have been involved in Brethren Volunteer Service, Brethren Disaster Relief, Church World Service and Heifer Project.

On the local level, the church supports Camp Harmony, the Church of the Brethren Home in Windber, the Conemaugh Pediatrics Unit, Walnut Grove Emergency Food Pantry and interdenominational projects.

For more information, call 536-1811.

Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.

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