History of Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church
The Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding on October 6th and 7th in 1984. Its roots go back to the Old Bradford Church still standing adjacent to the Bradford Cemetery in Woodland, PA. Old Bradford Church was the mother church of the United Brethren Churches in Clearfield County.
The Bradford Class of the mother church was divided into and formed the Woodland Class and the Pleasant Hill Class which later was changed to Pleasant Valley. The Pleasant Hill group met at the Pleasant Hill schoolhouse. Promoters of the class were A.B. Lansberry, Nicholas Wilson, Martin Wilson, Jerome Wilson, and their families. Dudley R. Wilson was licensed to preach by the class.
In 1884, The present church was built on land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Justus McDowell. The heavy timbers were given by Nicholas R. Wilson and hewn into square timbers by Isaac W. Shirey. The church was dedicated by Bishop Nicholas Castle.
In 1924, under the pastorate of M.S, Bittner, the church was remodeled at the cost of $1,600. It was rededicated by Dr. J. S. Fulton.
Starting in 1952, when Rev. Boles was minister and in the following years, extensive remodeling and refurbishing was accomplished. The church was raised, and a basement excavated. An addition was built on the front and a stairway constructed to the basement. A Sunday School room and rest rooms were added to the back of the building. A new ceiling was installed along with hanging chandeliers. The floor was tiled, and new pews and altar furniture purchased. A spinet piano replaced the old piano. The roof was shingled, and aluminum siding applied to the exterior. An electric organ and new choir robes added to the beauty of the worship services. An oil heating system was installed, and the church completely carpeted throughout. The basement boasts a kitchen and Sunday School classes for the youth. Sliding, vinyl track curtains separate the classes. New, heavy glass entrance doors and a lighted bulletin board grace the church front. The latest project is the upholstering of the pews and altar furniture.
The Pleasant Valley Church was originally United Brethren, then Evangelical United Brethren. and currently is United Methodist.
Lake Street United Methodist Church History from the 100th Anniversary in 1986
The parish constituted three churches plus Old Bradford Church, which has been abandoned except for the annual Homecoming. Old Bradford Church is the mother church of the United Brethren Churches in Clearfield County and was built in 1844. The original charge was called Otterbein, after the founder of the denomination, and embraced the territory now occupied by Philipsburg, West Decatur, Bigler, Clearfield, and Woodland Charges.
By mutual agreement, membership went to the Woodland and Pleasant Valley Classes when it was decided to abandon Old Bradford as a class. Among those moving to the Woodland Church were William Woolridge, William Hoover, S.K. Cowder, Charles Barger, Isaac Barger, Isaac Wilson, and I.J. Duke.
The Woodland Church was built in 1866 and was dedicated by Bishop E.B. Kephart. Under Rev. M.S. Bittner, the church was completely remodeled. A Sunday School room was added and a basement constructed under the church at a cost of $7,600. The dedication service was conducted by J.S. Fulton on October 19, 1924. The trustees were C.B. Knepp, George W. Muir, A.R. Soult, T.E. Wisor, B.O. Duffy, D.A. Campman, N.G. Stewart, Jerome Knepp, and Ashley D. Peters.
The first parsonage was built about one-half mile above Woodland. It burned to the ground during the pastorate of Rev. A.E. Fulton. New and better housing was erected, but was later sold when another frame parsonage was built next to the church building at Woodland. This frame structure was replaced in 1960 with a modern brick parsonage under the pastorate of Rev. Harrison Price.
In the 1940’s, during the pastorate of Rev. J.F. Strayer, construction was begun on a Parish House adjoining the church building. The Parish House contained Sunday School classrooms for children and a large auditorium with a stage. It also contained a kitchen. On October 31, 1953, a fire did extensive damage to the Parish House and Church Sanctuary. The Parish House was rebuilt, and extensive remodeling was done in the Sanctuary during the pastorate of Rev. Hubert Boles.
Other improvements include: Electric heat, new heavy glass entrance doors with a canopy, storm windows, a speaker system, the ceiling lowered in the Parish House auditorium, etc.
We are grateful for our church building and the Parish House, which is available for personal group activities such as wedding receptions, senior citizen activities, fellowship suppers, scout activities, Lions Club meetings, banquets, parish activities, aerobics, etc.
We are grateful for our church and its achievements. We are especially grateful for the ways in which God has worked in our midst and for the generous offering and gifts of the congregations down through the years.