Church History

The Clover Creek Church nestles against the western foothills of Tussey Mountain, just east of the village of Fredericksburg. The “Dunkers”, as they were then called, residing in the vicinity of the vast Brumbaugh land grants between Tussey Mountain and Roaring Spring, organized the Clover Creek Congregation in 1790 with a membership of twenty. Services were held at the Isaac Metzgar farm, now owned by Lawrence Zimmerman, halfway between Fredericksburg and Martinsburg. It was there that the congregation entertained the Annual Conference of the entire brotherhood in 1823.

A church house, the first in the Cove built exclusively for religious purposes, was completed in 1841. George Brumbaugh, Sr., was bishop from its construction until his death in 1875. The house was used until 1881. At that time a new and larger building was built at the same site. It has remained in use until the present time. A rededication service in April, 1938, marked the completion of a major renovation program.

During 1960-61, the building was enlarged and completely remodeled with the addition of an educational wing and relocation of the sanctuary. Its completion was marked with a three-day homecoming and dedication service, September, 1961.

Our country’s bicentennial marked the next major celebration within our church. In 1976, the ladies of our church, dressed in 1776 style of dust caps and long skirts, served a colonial cuisine for our Mother and Daughter Banquet. The fare began with old-fashioned soups and ended with homemade pie. In addition, September 26 featured a Bicentennial Homecoming Sunday welcoming former ministers and a guest speaker from the Germantown, PA church. Fellowship followed during a carry-in meal.

To mark the 100th Anniversary of the Clover Creek building, October 4, 1981 was a special Sunday of prayer, thanksgiving and reminiscence. The Reverend A. Emmert Frederick spoke during morning worship. The day’s events ended with a traditional Love Feast and Communion in the upstairs sanctuary.

The Clover Creek Church was the “mother” church from which the following churches were organized: Martinsburg, Cross Roads, James Creek, Fairview, and Albright. These offspring proved fruitful as the following congregations emerged: Huntingdon Stone Church from James Creek, Smithfield and Williamsburg from Fairview, and Roaring Spring from Albright. Gradually these churches organized into their own separate congregations, leaving only the Fredericksburg house to comprise the Clover Creek Congregation.

As important as a suitable building may be, the people who were responsible for the spiritual guidance of the church through the centuries are of far greater importance. The early church ordained men, usually farmers, from among its members, who preached without remuneration. John (Honnas) Martin, Daniel (Paulus) Paul, George Brumbaugh and Christian Hoover were leaders who served prior to 1800.

In 1925, it was decided to employ a full-time salaried pastor. Rev. C. O. Beery was that first pastor. At that time the congregation consisted of three churches: Martinsburg, Cross Roads, and Fredericksburg. Rev. A.R. Coffman became pastor in 1933. It was during his pastorate that the congregation divided, with Martinsburg becoming a separate congregation, retaining Rev. Coffman and the parsonage. The Clover Creek Church was served by Rev. H.H. Nye and Rev. Paul Yoder as part-time pastors until 1953, when the congregation hired Lloyd Stauffer to assume full-time ministerial duties. He was followed over the next three decades by Rev. Harold Bowser, Rev. Richard Wenger, Rev. Charles Heltzel, Rev. Don Snider, Rev. John Jackson, Rev. Paula Bowser, (Associate Pastor Linda Banaszak) and our present pastor David Banaszak, present associate pastor Paul Stutzman.

Together, the faithful who have come and gone have all made Clover Creek the church that it is today. We in turn are the ones who are making Clover Creek the church it will be for our children and grandchildren. Together we continue the legacy of faith begun in 1790. What faith history are you making today?