Burgettstown church is 195
BURGETTSTOWN — Tucker United Methodist Church, located at 641 Steubenville Pike, just across the West Virginia line, will celebrate its 195th birthday on Sept. 7 and 8.
The celebration begins at 1 p.m. Sept. 7 as the congregation meets for a time of worship with an old-fashioned hymn sing and testimonies from former members and pastors, concluding with a time of fellowship during a picnic on the church grounds. The celebration will continue Sept. 8 with the Rev. Eric Park, district superintendent, and his wife, Tara, ministering at the 11 a.m. service.
Tucker UMC has a rich history of continuous service that dates back to the pre-Revolutionary War days of 1770, according to the Rev. Kenn Jacobs, the church’s pastor.
Although the building itself was not erected until 1824, prayer meetings were held in the home of John and Henrietta Tucker many years before. Often referred to as the “Tucker Meetinghouse” or “The Old Stonepile,” it has been home to unnumbered descendants of old pioneers who settled near neighboring Fort Vance just a few miles away in the Cross Creek, Pa., area.
In 1822, John Tucker deeded a tract of land located in what is now known as Hanover Township that was designated for religious purposes only.
The following year, the church construction began under the direction of the four Minesinger brothers from Jefferson County, Ohio, considered the leading stone masons of the day, at a final cost of around $80.
The stone was quarried and hand cut on the grounds below the church, and in 1824, it was completed, providing spiritual guidance for local families during many generations.
John Tucker died six years later at the age of 100. He and his wife were laid to rest in the churchyard next to his beloved meetinghouse.
“I have served as the pastor of this church for more than 11 years,” Jacobs said. “I am humbled when I consider my small role as the 199th pastor of this church, and I can only imagine the number of souls that have crossed the threshold of this small country church and knelt at these altars to pray,” he said, adding that the community is invited to share in the celebration.