Four Mile Presbyterian Church
6078 Tuscarawas Road
Ohioville Borough, Beaver County, Pennsylvania 15009


Part I

Elders - Deacons - Membership

Elders

As there were are no records to show who were elected elders at the time of the organization, we have to take the statements of living witnesses, and here there is some discrepancy. But the most reliable statements are that they were Hugh Graham, Hance Johnson and Robert Herron. After these the only way by which we have been able to get the names of the Elders, is from the list given of those who were present when the session would meet. In all the minutes there is no record of the election of Elders till 1886. In the first minutes of session that we have, we have the names of the Elders who were present at a meeting held forty-five years ago, or on the seventh of May, 1831. The list is as follows: Hugh Graham, Robert Herron, William Scott, Bernard Anderson, Robert Barnes, Andrew Ingles, John Hunter and William Vance. In 1838 the name of John A. Scroggs first appears. In 1844 the names of James Graham, John Shane, Alexander Ewing and John Herron, first appear. In 1852 the names of George Barclay and William Galley appear. In 1855 the name of Jesse McGaffick. In 1860 the name of William Edgar. In 1871 the name of Joseph Niblock. In December, 1861, we have the first notice of an election of Elders, when N.L. McCormick was elected. From June 21, 1867, till March 13, 1868, there are no records of any meeting of session, when the names of Samuel Gibson and John Slentz appear in the roll of Elders. January 4, 1869, William A. Laird was elected. At this time the number of Elders was nine. But there was only one meeting, when the records show that all were present. June 21, 1875, David W. Scott, David Hammond and Samuel Anderson were ordained and installed elders of the congregation, making in all twenty eight Elders. So far as known, just one-half of these are dead and one-half living.

Deacons

The first notice we have of Deacons in the congregation is in 1852, when the names are given as follows: Noble Graham, John Sutherland, Thomas Moore, John Slentz, Matthew Johnson and William Powell. The next is in 1862, when William B. McGaffick, David W. Scott, Charles Given, and John Herron were elected. Charles Given and John Herron were ordained to the office of Deacon, October 17, 1862. At a Later period D. W. Scott was again elected Deacon, and David Hammond; but the record does not show when either election or ordination took place. But it is said that they were elected and installed about 1867. It is said, too, that William Galley and Robert Ewing were Deacons before 1852, though their names do not appear in the roll as given in the minutes. But in 1852 Mr. Gailey was elected Elder.

Membership

We have no means of ascertaining the number of members at the time of the organization, nor for some considerable time after. We have obtained the names of a number of families who were here at the time of the organization, and of some who came in no great while after. There were two Graham families, two Johnsons, McLaughlin, Herron, Ingles and soon after these English, Rhodes, Slentz, Cameron, McCullough, Anderson, Vance, and Scott. In 1862 the number of members reported in the three congregations of the charge, is 250. This, on an average, would give each congregation about 83, and it is believed that at that time the number was nearly 100 in Four Mile alone. In 1846-47 and 48, the number in Four Mile alone is reported at 104. In 1859, the first year after the union, the membership is 78; in '60, 68; in '62, 112; '64, 107; '68, 128; '69, 153; '70, 154; '71, 154; '72, 134; '74, 100; '76, 109. As we do not know how many members there were when organized, so we do not know how many were received up to 1831. So far as the record shows the number received from 1831 to 1851, or for twenty years, was 71, or an average of three and one-half a year, the number from '51 to '68, for seventeen years, was 107, an average of six, and from 1868 to the present time - eight years 48, averaging six a year, making the whole number received since 1831, 226; and estimating that the number in 1831 was 100, this would make the whole number received into the congregation 326, numbering at present a little over 100 members. In Mr. Scroggs' time, he sometimes examined the applicants privately, and then recommended them to the session for membership, and Mr. McGill also, in one or two cases, did the same as recorded. In the whole of the records of session from 1831 to 1868, there is no notice of any members being dismissed. Of course many were dismissed by certificate, but the minutes don't record the fact.

The congregations of Beaver and Beaver Falls both occupy a portion of the territory once embraced within the bounds of Four Mile congregation. And many, once members of the congregation, have removed to the towns of Beaver and Beaver Falls, arid other neighboring towns. Some have removed to the West. And in addition to removal in this manner, death has been doing its work; as in a little over two years, eight or ten members have died. So that the congregation today is much smaller than it was many years ago. In 1840, the congregation engaged in the work of public social convenanting, though it is said there were some of the members who did not join in the service. For many years the public teaching in the congregation was in opposition to Sabbath School instruction; and this was not without its effect. But the influence of the oppostion to such an institution gradually abated, so that in 1861 the first Sabbath School was organized, which increased so that in 1867, it numbered about one hundred members. And with some intermissions, this is still continued, and is generally regarded as an important auxiliary in carrying on the work of the church.


Four Mile Church History Index

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