Maurertown Brethren Church
The history of the Maurertown Brethren Church begins in 1885 when the Shiloh Brethren Church was founded by E.B. Shaver. He, and others, split from the Valley Pike Church of the Brethren and sought to form a new church based on the “Gospel of Jesus Chirst alone” which was a tenant of the more progressive Brethren Church that was emerging at the time.
This congregation met alternatively at schools, union churches, and in tents until a church could be built. A meeting house would be finished on this site in April 1887. E.B. Shaver continued to lead the church during this time. His tenure, which ultimately spanned 39 years, saw the spread of the Brethren denomination in the Valley and the establishment of several other churches in the area. Ultimately he would become known as “Moses of the Valley” for his efforts to spread the church’s message.
Following his death, Ed Miller became the minister at Maurertown Brethren. The church expanded greatly during his service. A Sunday School addition was constructed in 1957 to meet the growing population the church desired to provide Christian Education for. That same year, the church suffered a loss when Rev. Miller died after 33 years in his position.
He was replaced by Robert Hoffman who led the church’s new effort to reach the youth of the community. These projects saw the creation of a youth group and organized youth programming. This new focus helped several members of the church community advance their education and role in society beyond what had previously been possible.
During the 1950s, the tenure of a new minister, Clyde Baumgardner, brought controversy to the church. A newly established radio program became Clyde’s platform for issuing controversial messages against divorce and remarriage. This resulted in a negative backlash from the community and the church. In 1952, after only a single year at the church, he was replaced by Pastor Wilber Thomas who devoted much of his four year tenure to repairing the fissures opened by this controversy.
After these events, Maurertown Brethren Church once again began to grow. A new educational wing was added in 1978, a new musical outreach program led to the formation of the singing group the Harmonaires, and outside space for community events were added. Today, the church continues to be a central part of the Maurertown community and attempts to welcome all into its worship services and community programs.