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Fern Trinity E.C. Church To Celebrate 125 Years

Fern Trinity E.C. Church will celebrate 125 years on September 25-26, 2021 at the church, located along Golf Course Road in Kossuth, PA. A community Hymn Sing will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 25. On Sunday, September 26, the 10:00 Worship Service will feature Bishop Bruce Hill. At 2:00 p.m. a 125 Year Celebration Serice with Bishop Bruce Hill will be observed. The public is welcome to attend.

Evangelicals have been worshipping in the Fern area much longer than 125 years. As far back as 1830, classes were organized and worship services held. Weather permitting, these services were held in groves under the trees in the summertime and in homes in the winter. It was not until 1834 that services were held in a public building--the Wise School, located on the Camp Coffman Road.

A Philadelphia Inquirer reporter wrote in a 1885 article that in July, Fern had only a school house, a hardware store, and a tent. But by August, Fern was “a thriving community, with a weekly newspaper and other evidences of civilization.” This increase in population happened after oil was struck in Fern. A month later, the Oil City Derrick reported in a front-page article on the fighting, lawlessness, and general debauchery that was occurring in Fern. Probably not coincidentally, the first preaching happened in Fern City on October 4, 1885, when the Reverend J.H. Keeley, of Edenburg, gave his sermon, according to the Fern City Weekly Iluminator, a local newspaper at the time. It would be another ten years, though, in 1895, until an official building, Fern Trinity E.C. Church, would stand on the grounds of the oil boom area.

In 1873, in the village bordering Fern, Ashland Church was built. This was a year after oil was struck in Fern in 1872. Fern's congregation and Ashland's joined forces for a time, but in 1891 the United Evangelical arm became a separate church, which met at Maccabeen Hall in Fern. The United Evangelicals separated from the Evangelical Association over property rights (that is, should the property belong to the conference or the congregation?). and became a separate church. During this time this local congregation met in the Maccabee Hall in Fern.

One of the first problems of this new congregation was the selection of a church site. Mr. & Mrs. William L. Hess came forward with a gift of an acre of land. The new church was dedicated debt free in 1895 by Rev. J.J. Carmany. The charter members were Mr. & Mrs. John Cotherman, Mr. & Mrs. John Stumpner, Mr. & Mrs. John Kenemuth, Mr. & Mrs. Alexander Shreffler, Mr. & Mrs. Christian Stumpner, Mr. & Mrs. Conrad Kenemuth, Mr. & Mrs. Henry Webber, Mr. & Mrs. J.N. Buzza, Luella Kenemuth, and Grandfather Stumpner.

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