It's 1914. Woodrow Wilson is in the White House; the Boston Braves and Philadelphia Athletics are in the World Series; lucky drivers are in $200 Model T's and the members of the Fawcett Avenue United Brethren Church are finally in their new house of worship.
On October 19, 2014 at 10:30 am, members and friends of the now Kephart United Methodist Church will hold a special service to mark the centennial of their church and parsonage. Pastor Deborah Kociban and retired pastor John K. Smith, one of a number of pastors who emerged from the congregation, will lead the time of worship and fellowship. An open house with refreshments will follow until 3:00 pm and items of historical significance to the church will be on display.
The plot of ground at the corner of Fawcett and Shields Streets in McKeesport was purchased by the church's founders for $2,350.00 in 1904. A chapel was built and dedicated on the site the following year at a cost of $3,000.
The chapel was outgrown in a few years so, during the pastorship of Rev. J.M. Feightner (1912-1916), a building program was started. The current church was built in 1913 and dedicated on March 8, 1914.
hrough mergers, Fawcett Avenue United Brethren Church became Kephart Memorial United Brethren Church (in honor of Bishop E.B. Kephart in 1914), Kephart Memorial Evangelical United Brethren Church (1946) and finally Kephart United Methodist Church (1968). In 1955, a fundraising effort led to the construction of an Educational Building to replace the original chapel next to the church. It has been used as a Sunday School and for outreach programs.
The members and friends of the church look forward to the beginning of Kephart's "Second Century."