In April 2012, the Carlisle Brethren in Christ Church will celebrate its centennial anniversary. The congregation got its start as a weekly Sunday school in a rented building at the corner of Bedford and Louther Streets. Now — after three church buildings, six senior pastors, and one hundred years of history — the church continues to minister to its local, regional, national, and international neighbors.
In preparing for its centennial, the Carlisle church invited me to write its congregational history. I’m in the midst of my research right now, and I’ll be sure to share the results of my work with the readers of The Search for Piety and Obedience. (I’ll also let you know how to get your hands on a copy of my history, when it’s finished.)
Until then, you can learn more about the Carlisle church in this historical sketch on the congregation’s website. Here’s a snippet:
It all began in a house on the corner of Louther and Bedford Streets. Although 1892 marks the year that the first Brethren in Christ service was held in Carlisle, March 1912 serves as the official start of regular meetings of what will eventually be known as the Carlisle Brethren in Christ (BIC) Church.
This house served as the church’s meeting place until April 1, 1920 when with an average attendance of 34 and average offerings at $127.58, the group found itself without a home. The owner of the house on the corner of Louther and Bedford died, and the building was sold, forcing the faithful gatherers to move on to find new accommodations.
The story continues from the corner of Louther and Bedford to A Street. Renting a building from a United Brethren Church, the small and fledgling Carlisle Brethren in Christ Church held services on Sunday mornings while the United Brethren Church occupied it Sunday afternoons. This communal arrangement lasted until 1923 at which point the BIC group moved to an old Reformed church on West Louther Street and service times changed to Sunday afternoons.
All this drifting and homelessness did not discourage the church. . . . This small but faithful congregation must have known and understood the idea that they, the people, were the body of Christ, not the building in which they met.
Read more of the congregation’s history here.
Stay tuned to The Search for Piety and Obedience for more on the history of the Carlisle Brethren in Christ Church!