2008-10-02 / Church News

Historic Tonoloway Church To Hold Autumn Service

Tonoloway Primitive Baptist Church Tonoloway Primitive Baptist Church The Friends of Tonoloway Primitive Baptist Church will hold its annual fall service at the historic church near Warfordsburg, Fulton County, on Sunday, October 5.

Guest preacher for the 2:00 p.m. service will be Pastor Christian Elliott of Knobsville Church of the Brethren. The order of service includes a selection of favorite, old-time hymns sung by the Sharon Mennonite Bible Institute Choir and congregational hymns, all to be performed a cappella at Tonoloway, which has never been wired for electricity.

Friends board member John Mentzer will also announce the publication of his book, "Tonoloway - If Its Walls Could Talk," a documentation of the signatures inscribed on Tonoloway's walls by Union troops hospitalized there during Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's bombardment of Hancock, Md., in 1862. The book will be available for purchase before and after the service.

Worship at Sunday's service will take place in Tonoloway's fully restored mid-19th-century sanctuary. Refreshments will be served in the church yard afterwards.

Organized in 1752, Tonoloway is Fulton County's oldest church, and the 10th Baptist church established by British Baptists in colonial America. More than 20 of its members served in the Revolutionary War, including its first permanent minister, Rev. Joseph Powell, a colonial delegate to state and national constitutional conventions. Powell is buried at Tonoloway.

A nonprofit organization, the Friends of Tonoloway Primitive Baptist Church, was organized in 1979 to restore and preserve the present-day brick church, built in 1829, as a place of worship and as a historic site. Money for Tonoloway's more than $100,000 restoration was raised entirely through donations from individuals, businesses and organizations.

Longtime Friends president Daniel E. Winter said that Sunday's offering will go toward the continued upkeep of the historic church.

Tonoloway Primitive Baptist Church is located on Thompson Road ( PA Route 655) just a few miles north of Hancock.

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