R.I.P. Fourth Street Church of God, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

4th St COGI walked through this Church many years ago. I wanted to picture my great-grandparent’s wedding in 1890. I wanted to picture myself sitting through a Church service led by my great-great-grandfather, Jeremiah Mark Carvell, PhD, Pastor there from November 1885 thru November 1891. My great-grandparents met there. My great-grandfather sang there. Their cousins went there, as did their aunts and uncles. Members of my family were married there and others buried from there. This was a family Church in the middle of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, just blocks from the State Capitol and the Railroad Station.

The Fourth Street Church of God in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was one of the last Churches that my ancestor served as Pastor. The Church no longer belongs to the Church of God; attendance had dwindled and the congregation sold their beautiful edifice for financial reasons. Last week (26 April 2015) they closed their doors permanently. Attendance had dwindled and growth was not seen. I cry for them; I cry for my ancestors who depended on this Church for their support, solace and edification. This Church that was once a cornerstone in the community, now gone.

Many reasons can be given for it’s demise and I can think of several, however, it doesn’t matter why, it just matters. I wish we had taken a Sunday and driven there just to say I had worshipped in the same Church so many of my ancestors did. Lesson learned. Nothing is permanent. Nothing lasts forever.

From Jeremiah and his daughters, Rosa and Carrie, and Edwin and his sister Katie, and Edwin’s Uncle’s family, and Katie’s family when she married, and Edwin’s maiden Aunts Harriet and Susannah, and their parents Philip and Mary, and finally from me, we bid you Farewell, and God’s Blessings for your Congregation.

What a void this must leave in a Community and a Congregation! I weep with you and pray for you.


One thought on “R.I.P. Fourth Street Church of God, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

  1. I know just where you are coming from. My grandparents helped start a church in Chicago in 1906, thus were charter members. My father was one of the first children baptized there. My parents were married there,,as was I and my three children were baptized there. It was our family church and many of my aunts, uncles and cousins also attended. By the 1990’s attendance was rapidly declining. We had moved to another city and joined a new church. By the 2000’s, the weekly attendance was about 15 people. Sadly the church had to close about 4 years ago, more than 100 years since it was started. We did attend the last service, along with some remaining family members as well as many former members of the church who came to say goodbye. It was very sad. There was a plaque on the wall with my grandfather’s name on it as a founding member. I really wanted to take it home as a souvenir but it was plastered into the wall. I was able to take an old pew hymnal home that had my family’s name in it.

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