The Port Vue Church begin in 1905 as the Port Vue Methodist Episcopal denomination in the Pittsburgh Conference. This congregation evolved from two Sunday Schools started in the early 1900’s. The first Sunday School was stared by Mr. And Mrs. McPherson. It was held in the Old Dale School house near the P&LE tracks. William Hitchens was Superintendent and Louis Sinn was Assistant. The second Sunday School was held on top of the hill under the trees near the G. F. Myer homestead. In case of inclement weather services of this class were held in Myer’s barn or Myer’s home. Later services were held in a newly built home which was not occupied yet.
G. F. Myer wanted the Port Vue people to have a house of worship and offered to provide, free of charge, two lots on a side of a hill for a church building. Dr. John Murray, presiding elder, and T. D. Gardiner from McKeesport chose the site on Port Vue Avenue. They believed that site was a central location to McKeesport and those who lived on the top of the hill. Port Vue received $2,500.00 from the sale of the abandoned Sixth Street Methodist Episcopal church in McKeesport and with some help from the Pittsburgh Conference were able to begin the building project. In 1904 the cornerstone of the new structure was set. The names on the charter read as followed – Fred Rankin, Annie Rankin, Lizzie Penny, Hazel Penny, Henry Lavendar, Emma Lavendar, Lizzie Lavendar, Thomas Baird, Katie Baird, Robert McQuatty, Jessie McQuatty and Gilbert F. Myer.
The first Pastor was Rev. James M. Mason and the Port Vue Church shared his services with Christy Park in McKeesport. First listed members were — Thomas and Katie Baird, G.C. Barnes, Susie Schwotzer, Mrs. Emma Crossland, Mrs. May Findley, Laura Hoak, Celia Jackson, Henry, emma and Lizzie Lavendar. Mr and Mrs G. R. Myer, Ruby Myer, Bess Myer, Mr and Mrs. Robert McWuatty, Hazel Penny, Lizzie Penny, Fred Rankin, Annie Rankin, G. Louis Sinn, Mary Sinn, Lizzie Thompson, Frank Butler, Mr and Mrs. Frank Butler, Martha J. Brown, Mrs. C. J. Butler, Irene Crossland, Rebecca Findley, William Clark, Mrs. Lizzie Ferguson, Emma Ferguson, Mrs. Hattie Minear, Myrtle Rankin, Milton Rankin, Nellie Thompson. 37 members began this congregation that would span across the decades to 100 years.
The tenth year Anniversary was celebrated by burning the mortgage by G. F. Myer on September 2, 1915. The pastor at the time was Rev. Andrew M Shea and church membership was at 119. During our first fifty years Port Vue Church has been connected with East McKeesport, Glassport, Christy Park, McKeesport 1st, Coulter and West Side churches. The relationship was pleasant but our congregation very happy to become a single charge. In 1955 the Port Vue Church became a Station appointment. Our 50th year Anniversary was held on Sunday, November 20, 1955 at 3:00 in the afternoon.
Over the years repairs and improvements where needed at the old church. During these times various organization were always ready to have fundraisers and take responsible for the repair or improvement. The “Ladies Aid” could always be counted on in a time of need.
In the late 1949, there was a great increase in building homes in Port Vue and neighboring communities. Rev. Roney was the first to see the need for a new church in a better location. Rev. Johnson made a similar observation so the church leadership began looking for a possible site for a new church. At the conference in 1951, the pastor from the Port Vue congregation, Rev. James Robb moved at the conference to approve the action that Port Vue congregation build a new church. This motion was carried and Rev. Robb proceed to take the steps towards that end. The new location would be about two miles from the original church site. Land was purchased from the McClure farm.
Rev. J. B. Dodd continued the church project when he was assigned to the Port Vue church in 1952 and in 1955, when assigned as pastor, Rev. Hartley worked very hard to help our congregation achieve their goal of “a new church in a new location.” The new cornerstone was set in 1958 and the church building was completed 1959 on its present site facing Washington Blvd. An additional Sunday Morning Worship Service was added at that time. In 1998, Rev Jody Dausey was added as our first associate pastor.
The first parsonage located at 900 Morton Avenue was purchased in 1960 during which time John H. Hartley was our pastor. In 1966 this parsonage was sold and a new parsonage was erected adjacent to the church. Rev. Hugh Ashby and his family were the first to reside in the new parsonage. Later during Rev. James Laughrey’s pastorate, the church purchased the present parsonage at 1118 Portsmouth just down the street from the church. The adjacent building was then used as the administrative offices of the church. Membership grew throughout the years to more than 600 members. In 1998 an associate pastor, Rev. Jody Dausey was added to staff. And in 2002 a third Sunday morning worship service was added.
In 2001 the wall in the front of the church next to the large outside cross toppled down. At that time it was the consensus of the trustee committee and the congregation to begin looking at the possibility of building additional space onto the existing church structure. After much planning and discussion a plan was in place and fundraising began.
In 2002 the cornerstone for the new addition was set. The church increased its structural size by adding a new Welcome Center, new wing which would hold the infant and toddler nurseries and increase the capacity of the existing Fellowship Hall. The Sanctuary and downstairs Sunday School rooms and Preschool rooms where also increased in size. An additional room was added to the lower level under the new upper addition. The face of our church changed dramatically with a new brick and stucco facade. The Christ Mosaic which once hung outside on the front of the building was renovated and moved to the south side of the building at the main entrance. Landscaping became a priority with bushes, trees and fish pond being added along with a new lower level parking lot.
Over the years our church has experienced many challenges, but the words of the 50th Anniversary bulletin remains true:
“We have visions of great things ahead for Port Vue Church
and with God’s help we shall accomplish them.”