What We Believe
St John’s Reformed Church is an evangelical Christian church partnered with the Conservative CongregationalChristian Conference. We believe in one God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit as expressed in the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. We also use the Heidelberg Catechism. St. John’s comes out of the German Reformed tradition and maintains the five “solas” of the Reformed faith:
Sola Scriptura: Scripture is the inspired Word ofGod, without error in the original writings, the ultimate authority forChristian faith and practice. The church is guided by God’s Word in Scriptureover reason, experience, culture or any other authority or influence. Theliving and active Word of God penetrates to address the deepest needs of thehuman heart.
Soli Deo Gloria: For God’s glory alone do Christianslive, worship, minister and grow. The temptation to serve self, such as choosingentertainment in place of God-centered worship, self-improvement talks insteadof expository Biblical preaching, or church marketing strategies at the expenseof ministries that truly advance the Kingdom of God must be recognizedand avoided in favor of more edifying pursuits.
Solus Christus: Jesus Christ is the head of thechurch, the foundation and focus of the Christian life. Individualism, in itsincessant quest for experiences, feelings, gratification, permissiveness orself-indulgence must surrender to the way, the truth and the life found inJesus Christ alone. The current revival of universalism is inconsistent withthe only name under heaven given through whom humans must be saved, that is,Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
Sola Gratia: One is saved by grace alone, throughfaith. Despite impressive technological advances that have “flattened” ourworld, humans are not able to save themselves or others. One should not presumeany self-sufficiency through the latest methods, strategies or techniques, butprayerfully use such resources as tools to further the proclamation of theGospel while radically relying upon the grace of Almighty God. It is the HolySpirit alone who can persuade individuals, change a human heart, or bringsaving faith.
Sola Fide: Salvation is a free gift secured throughChrist’s sacrifice in that “great exchange” where one’s sin is imputed toChrist for justification and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to the faithfulbeliever to live a new life of grace as a child of God. “Faith alone” means onerecognizes that believing this good news and receiving all these benefitsthrough faith is the only sufficient means of living a regenerate life in theHoly Spirit.
The Reformed Church of Loysburg was formally organized in 1848. These German immigrants had beenmeeting in homes and in a privately-owned school building for worship and Sunday school in the preceding years. Worship services were conducted in both German and English.
The first building was consecrated in June, 1849. It was built of brick on a lot donated by MajorJames Patton, a prominent local property holder at the time. Maj. Patton had the name Loysburg changed to Pattonsville. The $1,700 cost of the structure wasmet by subscription on the founders and others in the community. Members donated much of the material and labor. It was 50 by 25 feet. The pastor was Rev. Matthew Irvine, who served the Bloody Run (Everett) Charge, consisting ofseveral churches. In 1850 the Yellow Creek and Pattonsville (Loysburg) congregations were transferred to the Martinsburg Charge and Rev. Frederick A. Rupley became the pastor.
In July of 1853 the church leaders called Rev. Samuel Philips of Ohio as pastor. The congregation adopteda charter prepared by him and took the name of “German Reformed Church atPattonsville.” The name “St. John’s” was first used in 1856. The Yellow Creek (St. Paul’s) and Pattonsville congregations became a two-church charge in 1855.In 1884 the residents of Pattonsville successfully petitioned the Post Office Department to change the community’s name back to its original Loysburg.
No record shows when a parsonage was built, but an 1877 map shows the parsonage and church at their present locations.
In 1881 the congregation decided a larger building was needed and the present brick building was completed on the same site. The new building was 55 by 36 feet and cost about $3,500. Many improvements have been made since, particularly the excavation of the basement to create a kitchen, rest rooms and fellowship hall.Also, the creation of an adjacent parking lot, the remodeling of the sanctuary and the addition of an electronic organ were all completed in the 1950s. A two-story Sunday School wing was built in 1986-87, and the organ was replaced the following year.
In 1898 the Loysburg congregation was instrumental in establishing a sister church at Lafayetteville. However, after its building was damaged by wind in 1927, its members united with the Loysburg congregation.
In 1933 the Loysburg congregation was separated from the Yellow Creek Charge and made part of the Hickory Bottom Charge. This remained a three-point charge with the Mount Pleasant and East Sharpsburg congregations until Mount Pleasant separated from the charge in 2004 and East Sharpsburg in early 2006, leaving St. John’s of Loysburg as a stand-alone congregation.
Through merger, the German Reformed synods became part of the Evangelical and Reformed denominationin 1934 and part of the United Church of Christ in 1956. In 2005 the congregation voted to withdraw from the United Church of Christ and apply for membership with the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference. The congregation reverted to its earlier name, St. John’s Reformed Church of Loysburg.
The Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (CCCC) was officially formed in 1948 and welcomes all congregations that believe strongly in the autonomy of each local church under the headship of Christ. Member churches include those who are Congregational, Christian, Evangelical and Reformed in their background, as well as independent community churches.
OUR PASTOR >>
David Mark Meckley
Baptized a believer in the Waynesboro Church of the Brethren, Pastor Dave was introduced to the Reformed Church while a student at the Pennsylvania State University. Dave earned a B.S. in Individual and Family Studies and upon graduation in 1979 served as Student and Parish Worker at Faith UCC in State College for two years. Dave and PeggyAnne met at Penn State and were married October 7, 1979.
Pastor Dave also served as Summer Youth Director at St. John’s UCC in Boalsburg before beginning seminary studies at Gordon-Conwell in 1981. While a student, he served as Summer Chaplain at Hartman Center in Milroy for two summers. He also worked as a farmhand during the school year. Dave earned his Master of Divinity degree in 1985 and his Doctor of Ministry Degree in Advancing the Church, also at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, in 2007. His doctoral thesis on Motivating Church Health with Theology, and his book, A Church After God’s Own Heart: A Biblical Understanding of Church Health have been utilized in workshops and leadership retreats.
Pastor Dave was ordained at Faith UCC in State College in 1985 and served Christ Church of Beaver Springs from 1985-2008. He received ordination standing with the CCCC in 2002. He served High Street Community Church in Conneaut Lake from 2008-2011. Dave began his ministry at St. John’s Reformed Church in Loysburg on August 12, 2012 and is delighted to at last be serving a CCCC congregation. He also serves as Regional Representative for the Allegheny Fellowship of the CCCC.
Dave and PeggyAnne have four grown children: EllaMae Barnwell is a Reading Specialist in Carroll County, MD and lives with her husband Brad and their two children; Hannah Brewer teaches Health at Slippery Rock State University and lives with her husband Steven; Charis Dunne is a Registered Dietician living with her husband Tony and their son in Miami, FL; Mark Meckley lives in Middleburg, PA and works at Playworld Systems in Lewisburg.
Dave and PeggyAnne enjoy outdoor activity: hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing – both downhill and cross-country and running. They love their two Golden Retrievers and living in the beauty of Morrison’s Cove.
Front: Beth Clark, Secretary, Brenda Colyer, Deacon, Joel Ritchey, President, Charles Mountain, Deacon, Wayne Kagarise, Elder
Back: Cathy Snider, Treasurer, David Meckley, Pastor, Brad Gable, Elder, David Snyder, Vice President
Brad Gable, Superintendent Tina Gojeski , Secretary
Beverly Smith, Treasurer, Song Leader