of the Regular Baptist Church
Timeless Home, Smethport, Pennsylvania
From 1836 the church met in the court house,
academy and private homes until a church building was constructed
in 1847 on Main Street, of Smethport, in the area now occupied by
Johnson's Diner. In 1837 an academy was opened with Luther Humphry
as principal. It was turned over to the Smethport School District
in 1870 by it's trustees.
In March of 1850, a petition, signed by J. L. Smith, Ghordis Corwin,
Vester Corwin, William Williams, U. S. Oveall and E. J. Cook, was
presented to the judges of the Court of Common Pleas of McKean County,
stating their desire to be incorporated under the name of the Regular
Baptist Church of Smethport. It was marked filed on the 17th day of
The small congregation grew slowly and in 1854 dedicated its first
edifice. In 1879 the "meeting house" was moved to Water
and Fulton Streets, the present site of the Fulton House. Work was
started on the parsonage across the street in 1873, the present site
of the Lauren Mix residence and the Clarence Larson residence, with
a cemetery close to that property.
Disaster struck in 1899, as fire destroyed the church. The congregation
rallied in the face of misfortune and started a new building within
a short time on the corner of King and Hill Streets. The ceremonies
of laying the corner stone took place August 28, 1899. Music was furnished
by a general choir, composed of singers from various churches in the
town, directed by D. H. McCoy. The address was given by Rev. I. T.
Walker, Pastor of the Methodist Church. The corner stone was laid
by the Pastor, T. D. Ware, assisted by Mr. W. D. Camp, chairman of
the building committee.
In the early 1950's, there was a court battle in which the church
came out of the Pennsylvania Baptist Convention of the American Baptist
In April of 1969, a ground breaking service, with Pastor William Stroup
officiating, was held on the site of the new property on East Water
Street extension to initiate the construction of a new church building.
Members of the congregation gave sacrificially for the new building.
Construction was done by Pastor Matthewson and Harold Warren, and
many other members of the congregation. The first service was held
in the new church in October of 1970.
Realizing the Scriptural imperatives of Deuteronomy 6:5-7a, "And
thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all
thy soul and with all thy might. And these words, which I command
thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them
diligently unto thy children." And of Proverbs voted in November
of 1974 to establish Smethport Calvary Academy as an extension of
the Christian home in the training of young people.
Pastors Who Have Served This Church
Rev. P. Evans, 1841-1844; Rev. A. Lull, 1844-1849; Rev. J. L. Smith,
1849-1858; Rev. Conferth, 1858-1861, ordained here. In August 1861,
he resigned to serve in the Civil War with the Bucktail
Regiment, 1861-1897; Rev. John Taylor, 1897-1899