State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Historic Egg Hill Church honors its past once a year

by on October 04, 2018 1:34 PM

SPRING MILLS — Deep in the woods of Potter Township, on a narrow dirt road between Sinking Creek and Georges Valley, stands Egg Hill Church. 

A weathered, wooden, one-room structure, it stands as a monument to the faith and tenacity of the early settlers of Penns Valley. The original church building was erected in 1838, and dedicated in September of that year. The building and its adjoining cemetery were named Egg Hill because they were located on the bluff of a hill which locals claimed to be egg-shaped.

The currently standing building was constructed by members in 1860 on the foundation of the earlier church, which had been razed. The plain building reflects the simplicity and humble nature of the founding Evangelicals. The original steeple was removed in 1970 due to deterioration.

Regular services ended in 1927, but one Sunday afternoon every September, the old church comes alive for an annual homecoming service. The Egg Hill Conservancy maintains the church and surrounding property.

This year’s service was held Sept. 30 and was attended by about 75 people, filling the stark and simple sanctuary. The building's plain plaster walls, straight-backed wooden pews with no cushions, uncarpeted wooden floor and small, simple pulpit were typical of small churches of the 19th century. There is no stained glass in the windows; no ornate statues, pictures or crosses adorn the walls. Six kerosene lamps hang on the walls to provide lighting, as the building has no electricity.

Pastor Gabriel Morley, of Millmont, presided over the service, as he has for many years. Morley formerly was the pastor at God’s Missionary Church near Spring Mills. During the service, several songs were performed a capella by that church's youth choir.

Congregational hymn singing also was done without instrumental accompaniment, as was common during the church’s heyday.

As the service concluded, local historian Vonnie Henninger gave a presentation detailing a plan for needed renovations to the building.

She said an architectural inspection determined the building was basically sound, free of rot or insects, but needed some work on its foundation. She invited all interested parties to attend a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at Progress Grange Hall in Centre Hall to discuss raising funds to repairs the historic building.



Disclaimer: Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.