Recently my wife and I embarked on a mini theological/nostalgia trip to the roots of my youth. This trip would cover memories that were created during the 3rd through 9th years of my life. Truly boyhood memories. The period of time...1942 to 1950.
My dad, Rev Leslie M. Van Inwegen, graduated from Sterling College in Sterling, Ks in early 1942 and we were settled into his first pastorate in mid-1942 in a small Western Pennsylvania town called Langeloth. Why Western Pennsylvania? Pittsburgh Xenia Theological Seminary was the next stop for this young five member family consisting of mom, two boys and a girl and a father who’s heart was on fire to preach the gospel. His head, nevertheless, needed the theological training that would qualify him to rightly divide the Word of Truth.
During this period we lived in 3 different houses and Dad pastored 7 different churches. In addition to the pastorates, plus full-time seminary, he also worked part-time in a steel factory. His highest paying pastorate yielded an annual salary of $2200.00/yr. So...our purpose in this theological trip into the past was first to visit some of these seven churches where my father’s fortune was amassed and secondly to see if the memories in the boy’s head were anything like the reality of today. Fifty-six years had passed for grass to wither and flowers to fade since these boyhood memories were shaped. Were these 7 churches still in existence?
What thou seest, write in a blog, and send it unto the 7 churches which are in Western Pennsylvania, unto
The Langeloth Community United Presbyterian Church, and 9 miles away Cross Creek UP Church in Colliers, WVA, unto Hanover Presbyterian Church rte 18, Clinton, Pa, unto Frankfort Presbyterian Church, Frankfort Springs, unto Mt Pleasant Presbyterian Church, and unto Park UP Church in Zelienople, Pa and finally unto Camp Run UP church near Zelienople. WOW!....not only still in existence but thriving! “Seven golden candlesticks.” Now, I operate under no illusions of grandeur. Dad himself would say he had only a minute part in the development of these thriving seven churches, nevertheless what a testimony this is to our Lord and Savior and to some very faithful folk in Western, Pa. “Soli Deo Gloria”
Who says you can’t go back? We made this trip in less than a week. We met some of these very faithful folk that are continuing the tradition that we were so privledged to be a part of some 50 plus years ago. We thank them for their warm and wonderful hospitality. Thanks be to God!
Here’s some photos: