Daley Church

photo taken by Jim Small, August 2003

Daley Church plans centennial
The Johnstown Tribune-Democrat
Saturday, July 25, 1981
by Dora Rose

Central City

Homecomings have been held of the first Suday of each August since 1930 at the Daley Christian Church east of here, but this year's event will be something special.

The 100th anniversary of the tiny church in the picturesque mountain setting will be celebrated at the 51st annual homecoming August 2. The observance will recall the completion and dedication of the chuch in 1881. A worship and Communion service will be held at 2:30 p.m., followed by a mini concert of gospel music and a fellowship supper on the church grounds.

Ties to beginning

Descendants of some of the charter members will take part in the service, including the speaker, the Rev. Victor S. Koontz, minister of the Little Flat Rock Christian Church, Rushville, IN, and former pastor of the Richland Church. He is a great-grandson of the late William Small, along with the Rev. David A. Gray, pastor of the Moxham Christian Church and program chairman, and the Rev. Edgar Gearhart, pastor of the Johnstown First Church.

Music for the service will be provided by Carol Beal, a great-great-granddaughter of Mr. Small's, and a youth sextet of the Moxham Church. Sextet members Meredith Harrison and Scott Emmel are great-great-grandsons of the late David C. Lambert, a charter member who had donated the ground for the church; and James Koontz is a great-great-grandson of the late Samuel Fleegle, also a charter member.

A mini concert will be presented at 3:45 by the Brethren Four of the Berkey Church of the Brethren, Windber R. D. 1.

Organized in 1871

Under the leadership of the Rev. Ed Bevans, the Daley congregation was organized with 11 members in 1871. Initially, he conducted prayer meetings and services in the schoolhouse near the old lime kiln and in the shook shop, an old-fashioned barrel factory. Services also were held in the homes of nearby residents.

By 1881, the membership had grown to 30 and the present white frame church was constructed along the Lambert Mountain Road at a cost of $1,000. The 35- by 70-foot building has a seating capacity of 100.

Membership climbed to 58 by the 1890s, but began declining after the turn of the century as residents of the area moved away in increasing numbers. Many of the members affiliated with the Moxham and Central City congregations.

For many years, the Daley church was part of a charge that was served by ministers from Central City and Hooversville. Ministerial students from the Central City church often conducted services during the summer.

Regular services were discontinued about 18 years ago. Weekly Bible school was held for a number of years, but also was discontinued when the attendance declined.

Now only two services are held each year at the century-old church. One is held during the annual homecoming, known as Daley Day. Denver Reitz is president of the Daley Day Association, which sponsors the August observance.

In the 1950s, the Men's Bible Class of Moxham church began sponsoring an annual Lamplight Communion Service in observance of Worldwide Communion Sunday in October. Two years ago the service was moved to the second Sunday of October.

Oil lamps, which provided the only illumination in the church until it was wired for electricity in 1963, still are used for the October Services.

Created: 01-January-2006 Revised: 01-January-2008