Anglicans were among the early British settlers in our area. Our St. John’s history began in 1826,
when the Diocese of Pittsburgh issued a charter, officially authorizing the start of construction of a
new church building on the very site where St. John’s Episcopal Church now stands. Then as now,
a dedicated group of faithful disciples rolled up their sleeves and began the work that God called
them to do, Preparing the Way for God’s people in the region. Unfortunately, funds ran out and the
unfinished building was leased to a Cumberland Presbyterian group, who were likewise, unsuccessful
in their efforts to complete the structure. The building was dismantled.
Over the next four decades, the region saw significant growth in population and prosperity,
largely the result of the development and success of the oil and gas industries. St. John’s membership
boomed as well, and in 1866, a large new church was constructed, Preparing the Way for a growing
congregation and the community God was serving through St. John’s parish. In 1898, the adjoining
parish hall was completed.
On February 24, 1900, St. John’s Church was radically changed when men working on the organ
left a candle burning in the bellows room when they went to lunch. The bellows caught fire and the
fire quickly spread, demolishing all but the bell tower and the lower exterior walls of the church
On the Sunday of the Resurrection, 1901, the first Mass in the new church building was held.
Construction was completed by early summer at a cost of $39,000. On December 27, 1904, during
the celebration of the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, the mortgage was burned and St. John’s was
consecrated. In 1905, the installation of a complete set of Tiffany windows began. Over the course of
the next twelve years, St. John’s Church became home to a complete set of Tiffany windows, placing
us in a select group of churches in the United States blessed with such beautiful and amazing works
of art. The Tiffany Window Collection at St. John’s is truly a gift to enjoy and share with all who enter
In 1986, fire threatened our church home once again, when Christ United Methodist Church
burned next door. The heat from the fire was so intense, the Tiffany windows on that side of the
building were reportedly moving. A window restoration project followed, designed to preserve the
collection for decades to come.