New Castle News


October 6, 2012

First Christian Church Sold: New owners look forward to carrying on work of past 150 years

NEW CASTLE — With its imposing clock tower and soaring spire, the Civil War-era church on Kennedy Square can cast a long shadow.

For the Rev. Kris Kauffman, though, it was more of a foreshadow.

In October 2010, as Kauffman’s three-year-old Family Worship Center was preparing to move into an empty church at the corner of Cunningham and Long avenues, the pastor stood on the square, offering a prayer at the annual Life Chain event.

A photo of that moment, with the venerable brick church then known as First Christian in the background, later appeared in the New Castle News above the headline “Family Worship Center Moving.”

Almost two years later to the day, Kauffman’s congregation is moving again – this time into the same 148-year-old church that loomed behind him on that day in 2010.

The dwindling First Christian flock put its church up for sale in the spring, and in the wake of its purchase by Family Worship Center, a “Sold” sign popped up this week inside the black, wrought iron fence that surrounds the historic house of worship.

The building has been a part of New Castle’s cityscape since at least 1868, when it was first occupied, according to Bart Richards’ 1964 book, “The Churches of Lawrence County.” A cornerstone, though, bears the date 1864, and additions to the structure were created in 1911 and 1962.

When Kauffman looks at the building and considers its past, he shudders at the thought that it might have ended up like the former Elks Club. That once-majestic, 1914 structure stood empty for nearly 30 years at the corner of Falls Avenue and North Mill Street before it deteriorated to the point that it had to be torn down in 2011.

“That breaks my heart to think of that happening to this church,” said the pastor whose full-time job is with Emrick Masonry in Butler. “There’s a sense of honor here. The date on the building is 1864 – one year before Lincoln died.

“There have been so many good people there doing the work of God, we are honored to be able to step in and continue to do the work that was started in that building almost 150 years ago.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • VerySpecial.jpg Jameson Hoyt Atrium display spotlights artwork of special needs kids and adults

    Artwork from dozens of area students will take center stage Thursday in the Hoyt Atrium of Jameson Hospital. The Very Special Arts exhibit will kick off with an opening reception at 5 p.m., and the works will remain on display in the glass-enclosed walkway through Oct. 4.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • DougDanko.jpg Census shows county population getting older

    Lawrence County’s population continues to get older. However, it is not alone, as Pennsylvania overall is aging.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • backpackproject.jpg Councilman picks up tab to help lunch program

    Participants of a local summer feeding program are eating this week courtesy of New Castle City Councilman Tim Fulkerson. On Friday morning, the truck dispatched from New Castle to pick up about 3,500 pounds of items from the Pittsburgh Food Bank broke down as it arrived at its destination.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRESTVIEW.jpg Outreach: Churches plan to host picnic for residents of Crestview Gardens

    Volunteers from several area churches are banding together in hopes of bringing peace to a troubled neighborhood.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

House Ads

Would you want to know what your pet is thinking about you?

Yes! I'd love to know what my pet is thinking.
Nah, it's probably not that interesting.
I don't know. I'm afraid of what I might find out.
     View Results