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Local Quaker and Mennonite families, with Elder William Lauer, organized the Free Christian Meeting House of Carversville, Pennsylvania in 1837. In May of the following year the church joined the New Jersey Christian conference and changed its name to the Carversville Christian Church. The congregation built the current stone church building in 1866, after dismantling the original 1837 church structure.
Five years later, in 1871, the first Oyster Pork Supper was held with the price being fifty cents. It continues to this day, with several hundred people coming to enjoy this distinctive meal! This renowned dinner has long been a strong venue for building community and fellowship, as well as a fundraising event to benefit the congregation.
In 1931, the merger of the Congregational and Christian Churches was effected, with our congregation retaining its name of Carversville Christian Church. Twenty-six years later, in 1957, the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Churches merged, forming the United Church of Christ. Carversville joined the United Church of Christ, Pennsylvania Southeast conference in 1960, being one of the few churches of the Congregational Christian heritage in the conference.
The congregation built an addition to the Fellowship Hall in 1950 to install a commercial kitchen. In 1986 the church purchased an acre of adjacent property for the purpose of parking so that the present parking lot could be used to create an education/administrative wing.
The church suffered a devastating fire in July 2010, which destroyed the steeple and the belfry and caused extensive smoke and water damage to the sanctuary. For more than a year, services were held in the grove behind the church, a neighbor’s barn and then in the church social hall. Finally, in September 2011, the congregation was able to return to worship in the renovated sanctuary. The new belfry and steeple were fashioned after the original 1866 structure, with a new bell also installed.
In 2018, the Carversville Christian Church informally changed its name to Carversville United Church of Christ. This change aligns more closely with the denominational initiative, 3 Great Loves. The purpose of the initiative is to collect and lift stories of local churches that show how they live out God’s love through expressing love of neighbor, children and creation. The hope is to tell how individuals, churches and organizations of the UCC are transforming the world with God’s love working through them—work that lives out the love of God and leads to creating a just world for all.
The faith and determination that inspired the founders of Carversville Christian Church are still evident today. The community of faith at Carversville United Church of Christ looks toward the future and continues to celebrate its motto, “a church family, a family church.”