History

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coilachurch_and_parsonage

Early photo of the Coila Church and the Manse.

 

listen Click on the speaker to listen to an audio recording about the life and history of the first pastor at Coila Church. Chris Sawicki is a regular guest preacher at Coila Church who enjoys historical research. This recording delivered by Chris is a historical account of the founding pastor of the Coila Church, Reverend Thomas Beveridge. Reverend Beveridge was born in 1749 in Scotland, he traveled to North America as a missionary to the Philadelphia Presbytery before being called to Cambridge. The brick Church described in this message, erected in 1834, still continues to serve the community as Coila Church.

The Coila Church traces its roots back to 1785 when a group of Scottish-Irish Presbyterians purchased land in Coila and erected its first edifice under the auspices of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.  The brick building, currently in use, was completed in 1834.  With the union of Presbyterian churches in 1965 the Coila Church came under the jurisdiction of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA). The Rev. George Orlemann was installed as pastor in 1970 and served the Lord at Coila for 42 years until his retirement in 2012.  During his tenure the congregation began to recognize the liberal trends in the PCUSA. After much prayer and consideration Coila Church sought, and was granted, release from the PCUSA in 1978.  Acknowledging a desire for authority and direction, Coila Church joined the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference in 1985.

After Rev. Orlemann’s retirement, Coila was blessed to be served by the intentional interim pastor Rev. Dick Brookes. During his interim pastorate, a Next Church Team and Pastor Search Committee met regularly to prayerfully formulate a cohesive plan of action for the future of the church. On December 23, 2013, hearts were grieved as Rev. Brookes was called home when he suffered a fatal heart attack. As a Church we trusted that God would guide and direct our efforts as we searched for the right man to fill this position.

Jason Kleber served as Coila’s pastor from September 2014 to March 2015.  On September 20, 2015 the Coila Church voted to call, Washington County native, Pastor Peter Bailey as our new full time pastor.