History of Fairhill Manor Christian Church
(Formerly Known as Second Christian Church)
Second Christian Church began due to the evangelistic zeal of Rev. E. A. Cole, Pastor of First Christian Church, Washington, Pa. Rev. Cole initiated the idea of a Bible School in the Tylerdale section of the center. This took place in the storeroom of D. M. Frazee, corner of Woodland and Jefferson Avenues in the summer of 1902. The Bible School quickly outgrew the building, and a lot was purchased and the church building erected on the corner of Chelmsford (now E. Wylie) and Allison Avenues (present location of the Get-Go service station). We are thankful for the dedicated members of First Christian who lived in Tylerdale and helped with the Bible School, and for the sixty members who became the charter members of Second Christian Church, signing the following covenant on October 11, 1903.
“We, therefore, enter into this solemn covenant with God, and with each other, that we take the Holy Scriptures as our guide in learning our duty to God and to our fellowman. As a church of Jesus Christ, we will be guided by the teachings of Christ and His Apostles as contained in the New Testament, which furnishes a sufficient rule of faith and practice and under His divine guidance, and upon His divinely appointed foundation, we will earnestly plead and pray for the union of all God’s children.”
Mrs. Annie Ballinger and Gladys Keener called on families in the developing areas of West Wylie Avenue and the West End, inviting them to church. This resulted in a mission school being built, known as Hayes Avenue Tabernacle. It is wonderful and inspiring to hear the stories of the faithful in the past history of the church.
A major building campaign began in 1956, but the new plans had to be changed because of the construction of I-70, a new major highway. The highway would be so close to the church that future expansion was impossible. Also a huge problem was consistent damaging flooding in the church basement from any heavy rain. Hymnbooks, classroom materials, etc. would be floating and sometimes the water was within a foot of the ceiling. Many volunteers labored countless hours cleaning up after the floods came.
Our present building was completed in June 1964, the first worship service was on Sunday June 7. On May 1, 1963, the congregation accepted a new constitution which included changing the name from Second Christian Church to Fairhill Manor Christian Church. Fairhill Manor is the name of the residential area surrounding the church site. We have a lovely chapel downstairs which includes many meaningful items from the old building: pews, communion table, lights, two stained glass windows, etc.
We had quite a few different ministers in the beginning, but have been fortunate to have had a few long-term ministers.
- Rev. Cole – 1917 to 1935
- Rev. A. C. Young – 1959 to 1977
- Rev. John Haniford – 1977 to 1996
- Rev. Robert Brooks – 1998 to 2001
- Rev. David Mansfield – 2002 to 2010
In early 2003, Fairhill Manor celebrated the 100th anniversary of the church. It was a time to remember for many years to come.
The church has always placed a high value on outreach activities. Helping others less fortunate or with special needs has been a continuous strength of our congregation. We thank God for our past and look to Him for guidance and wisdom in the future.
– History Committee:
- Chuck Wiseman, Chairperson
- Ruth Cox, Historian
- Chuck Riggle, Mary Wiseman, Alice Cokeley