The Coopersburg Story
A Brief History of
Calvary Bible Fellowship Church
The Civil War was still fresh in the memories of the families who lived along the banks of the Saucon Creek. Great iron horses, steam engines, had just begun to carry passengers from Bethlehem to Philadelphia, winding their way through the hills west of Passer. Electric lights, motor cars, telephones, and indoor plumbing were basically unheard of.
It was 1869 and the quiet, beautiful village of Coopersburg with its strong Pennsylvania Dutch heritage was about to experience the birth of a new church.
Henry and John Musselman had been hosting Sunday School and Worship Services on the threshing floor of their barn for some time now. Each week they would sweep the floor clean and prepare for neighbors to come to worship. The sweet smell of freshly mown alfalfa and the bleating of their sheep provided the backdrop for their hours together. (1)
The worshipers were part of a denomination known as the Evangelical Mennonite Society. On August 31, 1869, those farmers and townspeople paid $410.60 to purchase a piece of ground right along the Philadelphia Pike, just about 1/2 mile south of the Center Valley toll house. On this property purchased from David Mack of Upper Saucon Township, using stones from area farms, the congregation constructed their meeting house. This meeting house still stands as a testimony of God's faithfulness and the commitment of His people. (2)
A snug little building, the church had but one aisle that sloped toward the front. A Seth Thomas school house clock ticked out the minutes the congregation spent in worship. Heated by an iron coal stove and lit by hanging kerosene lamps, the sanctuary was plain and functional. Pews fastened to the outer walls made latecomers crawl over the knees of early arrivers. The modest Mennonite women sat on the right separated from the men and older boys on the left. The pulpit was divided from the congregation by the altar railing where the penitent could pray, the needy would seek healing, and the church family would gather for worship.
To the left of the pulpit, perpendicular to the congregations pews, were the three rows known as the "Amen Corner" where the older men who were leaders of the congregation would assist the preacher in worship. From here they would verbalize their agreement, raise their hands in praise, keep an eye on the sleepy brother or over-active child in the pew, and lead heartily in the singing much like today's choir. People remember when Charlie Yeakel, disturbed by the actions of his young son, Luke, tossed his pocket knife at him... just to get his attention. You can be sure that worked! (3)
The older women including those brought in for worship from the Home Farm in Center Valley would sit in the Ladies' Amen Corner to the right of the pulpit. The biblical concept of the older teaching the younger was exemplified here as the younger women would view these elderly saints in worship. Their voices blended in singing the beautiful German hymns.
All Sunday School classes met in the Sanctuary with nothing more than a row or two dividing one class from another. If your teacher couldn't maintain your interest, you could always tune in to another group just a pew away! As the congregation grew children's classes were held in the furnace room which had been dug out downstairs, on the pulpit itself, and even in the five foot by ten foot entry way where as a young teenager, Mildred Musselman taught a Junior class. (4)
The Fisherman's Bible Class, a men's group under Herbert Gehman's leadership became a discipleship and Bible training ministry for men during the Sunday School hour. Brothers like F.B. Hertzog, Errol Weaver, Isaiah Wismer, Charlie Yeakel, Jacob Wimmer, Frank Musselman, and Ralph Bright and many more met here week after week to study the Scriptures, cry out to their God, and give leadership to the little church along the Saucon.
Most of the ladies of the church dressed modestly in black, brown or navy blue skirts and clean, white blouses with perhaps a simple hat to cover their neatly combed hair which was always pulled back in a bun. The focus on personal holiness had great impact on the outward appearance of many of our early church leaders. (5)
Morning Worship services were rather staid during our early days. German hymns were sung without accompaniment. It was not until the 1930 that a piano was donated to the church by Herbert Gehman when his mother Ida passed on. Some vaguely remember a "foresinger" leading in worship. This brother would sing a line of a German hymn and the congregation would respond by repeating the line. (6) When the German hymns were no longer used, the Rose of Sharon Hymnal became our mainstay.
Preaching was practical, straight forward, and often focused on Christian living. Concern for personal piety led the pastors including the Presiding Elders to preach on external holiness. A public reprimand for bows in the hair, ribbons or flowers on hats, and the like might be clearly voiced from the pulpit as a challenge particularly to the young ladies of the day.
After a lengthy service in the morning with extensive preaching, the families would go home or join friends in town for lunch and fellowship before returning to the 7:00 evening service.
Though morning meetings were considered rather staid, the evenings were quite different. Singing would be more vibrant with choruses of songs and favorite verses being repeated over and over. Testimonies would be accompanied by "Amens" and shouting. By today's evaluation, the events of a typical evening service would be considered somewhat charismatic. Memories still abound of folks who would "get happy", even dance around a bit, walking the aisles, and clapping hands as tears streamed down joyful faces. (7) Ward Shelly's 1931 diary recorded that 61 people gave testimony in one evening service on January 22 of that year. Pastor FB Hertzog incorporated the young people in the evening worship in the mid 1930's, inviting them to sing, read a scripture or share a testimony. This was often the first opportunity for young people to actually become involved in worship. Services were lively and included much congregational participation.
Remembering that there were no open stores, televisions, movie theaters or bowling alleys available on Sunday evenings, it is no surprise that the church became a gathering place for young people in the 1920's and 30's. (8) Wilson Meyers recalls being one of those young men who as an unbeliever came to observe the "goings on," listen to the singing and animated testimonies,... but most of all to get a look at the Mennonite girls sitting across the aisle. But it was during one of those evening services when FB Hertzog spoke that the Holy Spirit broke through the rough exterior and did a work in Wils' life. Wilson celebrated his 95th birthday November 3 and still testifies to God's faithfulness that gives him strength for each day and bright hope for tomorrow. (9)
With an evangelistic focus, each Sunday evening would end with an invitation to gather at the altar for prayer. It was here that young people would commit their lives to Christ, sinners would repent, and those in need of healing would come for a touch from the Great Physician. It was here that farmers and factory workers, teachers and housewives, clerks and students would find renewed strength to face their world during the coming week.
Communion services were held quarterly when the Presiding Elder would come to Coopersburg to serve the elements during the morning service. After the guest preached the morning message to both the congregation and their pastor, participants would come to kneel at the altar to take of the cup and bread before returning to their pews. A business meeting would be held quarterly after the morning service.
Following the business meeting, the congregation would gather in the sanctuary for the footwashing service. After another brief message from the Presiding Elder, basins of water and cloths would be brought to the front near the Amen Corners and the congregation would participate in this worship experience as an expression of humility, servanthood, and even reconciliation. Discretely removing their shoes and socks or stockings, small groups would come to the front of the room and folks would wash one another's feet. Perhaps you had a difference with a sister. This was the time to resolve the difference and publicly express your forgiveness or repentance by washing her feet. (10)
Footwashing was not always a reverential or structured event. In fact, many remember it as an exhilarating experience characterized by handshaking, hugs, kissing, and tears of joy. Young people enjoyed participating in this service that was a change from the norm. Ward Shelly writes that "on one occasion David Bright 'got happy' and before he knew it, he jumped into one of the footwashing tubs." (11) The informal time was an encouraging hour of fellowship and worship valued highly by the church family and maintained even into the 1950's.
Eight semiannual conferences of the Evangelical Mennonites were held here and in 1896, the General Conference of the denomination brought delegates from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Canada to Coopersburg.
The passing of years brought mergers and revisions in the Conference structure. The name changes over the years reflect the various realignments. In 1869, we were the Evangelical Mennonites but in 1875 the name was changed to United Mennonites. From 1883 until 1959, we were called the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. In 1959, the denomination's name was changed to The Bible Fellowship Church and we became Calvary Bible Fellowship Church of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. (12)
The marks of the denomination have always been a strong commitment to biblical truth and Christian lifestyle as well as a focus on prayer and personal expression in worship. In fact, it was this commitment to prayer that brought about the birth of the denomination.
In 1847, before the Coopersburg congregation even existed, the Franconia Conference Mennonites suspended one of their bishops, John Oberholtzer, from their fellowship. Oberholtzer refused to wear the accepted clerical collar of the day and insisted that the church become better organized (which involved following after a constitution that he had developed.) This strong bishop became leader of a group which separated from the Franconia Mennonites and later became part of the General Conference Mennonites, a group numbering almost 400 churches.
William Gehman, a young preacher who had joined with the Oberholtzer group struggled over the issue of home prayer meetings. His focus on extended times of prayer several times a week in parishioners' homes got to be a point of contention with the other Mennonite bishops. Perhaps the leaders feared a loss of control or an over-emotional emphasis in the prayer meetings. Whatever the cause, they urged Gehman and another bishop, William Shelly, not to continue these meetings. Their warnings went unheeded.
In 1853 Shelly and Gehman determined that the focus on prayer meetings was too important to overlook. They left Oberholtzer's group and formed the Evangelical Mennonite Society in 1853. In 1859 the first church building for the Evangelical Mennonites was constructed in nearby Zionsville where it still stands to this day, serving as the home of the Zionsville Bible Fellowship Church. (13)
Not long after this time, a group of Evangelical Mennonites in the Coopersburg area began meeting for Sunday School and prayer times in a barn on Chestnut Hill, just west of Coopersburg where the Southern Lehigh Library is located today. As mentioned earlier, here on the farm run by Mildred Musselman's great grandfather, the Coopersburg church was born.
The commitment that Gehman had to prayer continued to be a key element in the life of the congregation. On into the next century prayer meetings were a central part of each week. In fact, in the 1920's "Cottage Prayer Meetings" were held in as many as eight homes not once a month or even once a week...but each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings! Many travelled by foot or buggy from Zion Hill to Coopersburg, or from Coopersburg to Shelly or even to the top of Flint Hill toward Springtown and as far south as California near Quakertown in order to attend these meetings. (14)
Let's look at a typical night in a Cottage Prayer Meeting.
The farm work would be done early so that the trip could be made with the whole family to cottage prayer meeting in the 1920's. The walk from Center Valley out Passer Road to Flint Hill was quite a trek, especially in winter. People in town could stick closer to home and meet with Herb Gehman in the room above the Hardware Store.
When the family arrived, warm greetings were exchanged with the host family and others already present. Some nights 30-40 people would gather in one home and every available space would be taken. Men and women would sit separately, much like they would in a Sunday worship service. Little ones would sit on the beds or on the floor so they could listen to the Scripture lessons, the testimonies, and the singing and prayer until they fell asleep snuggled up in country quilts on rope beds.
Each home meeting was led by a "class leader" who would begin the evening with familiar songs in German. "Everyone share a verse that the Lord has given you this week," he would direct the group. Seeking to avoid embarrassment, all those in attendance would be prepared to share a verse. (Mildred Musselman recalls an evening when Brother Gehman put her father, Frank Musselman, on the spot to recite a verse. Being caught a bit off guard, Brother Musselman quoted the first verse that came to his mind, John 11:35: "Jesus wept". Some of the fellowship snickered a bit and Brother Frank said quietly, "It was the only verse that came to my mind!") (15)
When testimony time arrived, each adult present would be expected to share what God was doing in their life at the present time. Some repeated the same basic testimony week after week, but others would share a fresh lesson they had learned, a challenge they were facing, or a Scripture that was particularly significant to them that week. Others would lead in a song of worship or praise.
But the focus of the evening was not on singing, testimonies, or even the brief devotional given by the Class Leader...the focus was on prayer. Kneeling around kitchen chairs, living room sofas, footstools, and beds in the side rooms, the early members of Calvary Church would pray in concert about the concerns the Lord laid on their hearts. They prayed for the needs of the church family, the lost in their community, and for personal revival. They confessed their sins and prayed for the renewed filling of the Holy Spirit which would bring about change and growth in their lives.
Imagine the impact on the lives of the youngsters hearing generations of Believers pouring out their hearts to God. There were no club ministries or Junior Church programs here...no videos or craft projects to occupy these young hearts. Instead, they listened respectfully, silently as their elders prayed and testified. As pre-teens many of these committed their lives to Christ and haltingly but sincerely began participating in the prayer times as well.
One night a Coopersburg resident named Alfred Clauser came to prayer meeting for the first time. He was recently saved, but had never participated in public prayer before. In the crowded room Alfred knelt with his new brothers and sisters and spoke to the Lord. Those present were moved by his deepest expression..."O Lord, O my Lord", he prayed, over and over again. As he repeated this quiet prayer the rest of those present were moved with emotion hearing this new saint speaking out loud to His Jesus for the first time. Hearts were touched. (16)
Ward Shelly in his booklet, "Portrait of a Church", shares his brother's memories of prayer meetings this way:
I am reminded of the prayer meetings in which people truly poured out their hearts to God. As a young boy I was struck by what I perceived as a very personal relationship these men and women had with God. Among other things I remember the many strange noises that emanated out of old Charlie Kauffman. There was an honesty, a spontaneity, and a sincerity about the testimonies that I will always remember. I will always remember how Sam Afflerbach would get up and tell us about how he had heart trouble and went to the doctor who told him he had only six months to live and gave him all kinds of medicine and how he went home and prayed for the Lord to heal him and in faith poured all the medicine down the sink and never took any of it. He must have given that testimony for at least fifteen years" - until he died at the age of 88. (17)
Everyone prayed. If you didn't participate someone was sure to ask what was the matter. You knew your purpose in gathering was not for talking together or fellowship; you were there to pray. Because the Home Farm in Center Valley was situated right along the railroad tracks that ran up to Bethlehem, it was typical for the meeting to be disturbed by a soot covered steam locomotive pulling a string of passenger cars up from Philadelphia. But when attenders of the prayer service were to turn their eyes toward the window to watch the train cars rattle past, the class leader would reprimand them saying, "The train will be able to proceed without our help." (18)
The prayer services were a prelude to extended revival meetings in the church, meetings where the Lord called many to Himself. These "protracted meetings" as they were called began in the church in Coopersburg during winters at the turn of the century. What began as a few nights of meetings would often end up continuing for as many as ten to twelve weeks of services every night without a break. (19) As an evangelistic outreach these protracted meetings began to be scheduled for the dance floor in Limeport, fire halls in Mountainville, Leithsville, and Farmington, and in the cigar factory in Shelly. By the late 1920's as many as 300 attended these evening meetings. Evangelists Charles Kiloski, Homer Hannentree, the Poysti family, and Lester and Grace Place were invited to speak night after night and many attenders were saved. (20)
In 1943, the church interior was redecorated and the plain wall behind the pulpit gained a mural depicting the triumphant return of Christ. The painting was done by H. Willard Ortlip, an evangelist-artist in one week. He worked on the painting during the day and preached at services each night. On Saturday, the final night of the meetings, the painting was unveiled and the congregation was provided with a continual reminder of our hope in the Lord's imminent return. (21)
As a further result of the extended meetings in Shelly, an afternoon Sunday School was developed for the children with Addie Baus, Walter Brunner, and others presiding. Scores of little ones gathered together week after week for teaching as the smells of the cigar factory wafted through the air.
Believers' baptism by immersion has remained a key element in our Christian commitment. The first baptisms took place in the Saucon Creek directly behind the horse stables in the back of the meeting house. Church men placed several large stone slabs in the creek to be used as stepping stones to enter a pool formed by damming the creek with heavy timber so that new believers could profess their faith through water baptism. Even Pennsylvania's winters failed to keep some from this ordinance. Stories are told of breaking up the ice so that some could make public profession long before the spring thaw! (22) Herbert Gehman, Florence Kauffman Weiss and Lulu Wismer all had vivid memories of the icy waters in which they made their public professions of faith.
As time passed, baptisms were moved to the Blu Dov Swimming Pool in the center of town and later to a block pool situated directly behind the church facilities. We apparently got softer as the years went by, because milk cans of heated water were brought from the Home Farm in the 1940s so that the water temperature was a bit more bearable! (23) Finally, in the building constructed in 1966 a heated baptismal pool was provided behind the pulpit. Though the methods and locations changed, the importance of this public profession of faith remained unchanged from the birth of Calvary Church until this very day.
In 1942, Ralph Yeakel and Evelyn Moyer were married by Rev. Walter Frank. This was the first marriage ceremony to take place in the sanctuary. Believing music to be an integral part of worship and appreciating the beauty of instrumental music, the church family now enjoys worship with organ, piano, guitar, and brass instruments. German hymns have been replaced with the language of the people. Families sit side by side during worship, Mom and Dad with brother and sister. Changes have come, but godly worship based on biblical directives and principles is still the heart of our church family. (24)
A growing Sunday School ministry brought the congregation to the decision to expand the facilities. In 1953, an addition and renovations to the church basement added large classroom areas, a nursery, a boiler room, and, for the first time...indoor plumbing and rest rooms!
The congregation grew and the leadership sought the Lord regarding His will for the future of the fellowship. A perspective on expanding ministry was always foremost in the minds of some of our folks much as it is today while some others were much more conservative, seeking to remain comfortable and even complacent. In fact, when the Stayer property on which our present sanctuary was built came up for sale, one of the elders commented that there was no need for expansion because the cemetery would never need that much space! (25) Thankfully, due to the foresight and faith of Calvary's leaders, the people purchased the adjacent property and in 1964, the Official Board was authorized to engage an architect.
Ground breaking ceremonies were held in 1966 on a bitter cold winter day and the new sanctuary across from the little white meeting house was dedicated on June 4, 1967. The land for the new church cost $7,500. with building costs of approximately $150,000. The spacious new facility housed our present sanctuary, offices, classroom space, and church kitchen. For the first time baptismal services could take place indoors in the new sanctuary.
Developing ministries began to fill the teaching areas each week. Pioneer Clubs and Christian Service Brigade, Teen Fellowship, Ladies Bible Study and Homebuilders ministries made good use of the new spaces. A gradual change from a focus on programs for our own families to ministries for our church and community brought increased participation in all areas of church life.
Continued growth in Christian Education ministries to the church family and community brought about the need for expansion of the facilities. In 1983, a two-story addition was constructed at a cost of approximately $176,000. The addition provided three classroom areas, a conference room, nursery and enlarged narthex.
God has blessed Calvary Bible Fellowship Church with strong, loving leadership over her 125-year history. From Rev. Abel Strawn, who serves as the first Coopersburg pastor in the late 1800's, to Rev. Carl C. Cassel, our first full time pastor after a time when Coopersburg was part of a circuit with South Allentown, to Rev. Thomas P. Shorb and Associate Pastor Richard T. Paashaus, who currently lead as a ministry team, the Lord has graciously provided shepherds for the Coopersburg flock.
Each pastor brought with him a certain approach to ministry that had impact on the development of the congregation. The stern approach of early pastors like Abel Strawn, William Gehman and H.K. Kratz brought stability and direction to the congregation. R.L. Woodring brought a fatherly, compassionate approach to the ministry and of course F.B. Hertzog and his young family (Roy was born while his father pastored here in Coopersburg) were loved by all for their gentleness and understanding. Walter Frank's enthusiasm and drive brought about the first Vacation Bible School in Coopersburg in 1945 and the tradition has continued to this day. Carl Cassel's commitment to the clear exposition of the Scripture led the congregation through some important changes in doctrine in the late 1950's. Many from our fellowship still know Carl as Pastor Cassel because of his impact on our lives 40 years ago. LeRoy Heller's aggressive outreach and evangelistic style were used to bring many of our current leaders into the Kingdom of Christ. It was during Donald Reitz's six years in Coopersburg that the Sunday School developed and the congregation approved the hiring of a Christian Education Director. Pastor Herb's straight forward teaching and gentle leadership had impact on many and led us through the expansion of our facilities in 1983. Today Thomas Shorb and Associate Pastor, Richard Paashaus serve together as pastors and teachers, leading our 126 year old congregation into a new century.
Seeking to minister to our world, the congregation has made missions support a priority for many years. The Lord has allowed us to be a sending church to many including Leonard and Nina Buck, Shirley and Bob Harriman, Dan and Jackie Scott, and Ralph and Carolyn Ritter. Currently, more than 25% of our annual budget is designated for missions and benevolence.
Presently, average attendance in morning worship services stands at close to 250 while Sunday School averages 174. A dynamic Family Night ministry on Wednesdays provides teaching, fellowship, and fun for more than 200 children, teens and parents. Our 51st annual Vacation Bible School ministered this past July to 300 children and adults. An active Women's Ministries leads in creative teaching and fellowship for ladies from the church and community. Parenting classes, Teen Fellowships making impact on 60+ teens, Prayer and Bible Study, and special events fill the calendar with opportunities for growth, outreach, and interaction. The small group focus for ministry that began with cottage prayer meetings more than 100 years ago is stronger than ever with monthly Home Fellowship meetings where our elders lead in family worship and "Growth Groups" on Sunday evenings with topical and expository Bible teaching being offered for all ages. The Lord has provided us with an excellent staff of committed volunteers who give joyfully of their time and talents to minister to others. Our elders, deacons, and committees give loving leadership to an active congregation. The complementary ministries of our pastors provide us with a well-balanced approach to service. We have much for which to praise our Lord.
Once again, an expansion committee has been appointed by the congregation and discussions are underway with a local architect to develop plans for much needed additional classroom and fellowship space for our children, teen, and family ministries. We are bursting at the seams and know that we have exciting days ahead as we seek God's wisdom for decision-making regarding our facilities and ministries.
Did the Musselmans over on Chestnut Hill ever dream that a vibrant, active congregation of Believers would be ministering in the Coopersburg community more than a century and a quarter after they first met for worship on that threshing floor? What would Abel Strawn think if he were able to look out from his spot over in the cemetery on a Wednesday evening to see hundreds of teens, children, and adults from the community studying the Scriptures and enjoying great fellowship? Would Herb Gehman be pleased to see groups of men who still meet regularly for prayer and study? I believe he would. In fact, I believe they would all say, "Praise be to God for His faithfulness." It is our prayer that years from now, should the Lord tarry, that our children and our children's children will look back and say the same thing, "Praise be to God for His faithfulness."
In 1944 on the 75th Anniversary of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church in Coopersburg, long time resident of Locust Valley, Elfrieda Gerloff Weaver, wrote these words that help us catch the flavor of the congregation at worship. (Note: Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation used in this poem are as per the original.)
Down in the Saucon Valley,
'Twas just a little Band,
Of Bretheren in Christ Mennonites,
For God took up their stand.
They built a little Meetinghouse,
Close to the Saucon Creek,
In which they baptized members,
When the way of the world they quit.
'Twas not a sumptious building,
In which they meetings held;
But what was more important,
Christ's presence was there felt.
They sang and prayed and listened,
To God's Word when they came,
In later years, their Bible Class,
Grew to have quite a name.
Their Ministers often change
Most stayed the alloted time;
Because the Members were real good,
They all had a nice time.
Great Camp Meetings were held
Way up on Chestnut Hill,
Many People attended them,
Coming from Valley and from Hill.
They confessed shortcomings, testified,
Foot washings, were held too,
The new members were baptized,
When to God they proved true.
I want to send you Greetings,
To your Seventy-fifth Jubilee,
And pray, God will send you Grace,
So you may still stronger grow.
Pastors of Calvary Bible Fellowship Church from her birth until the present:
Abel Strawn 1874-1875
William N. Shelly 1875-1876
Abel Strawn 1876-1877
William Gehman 1877-1878
Abel Strawn 1878-1882
A. Kauffman 1882-1886
Jonas Musselman 1884-1886
W.B. Musselman 1887-1889
A.B. Gehret 1889-1891
J.E. Fidler 1891-1894
J.B. Knerr 1894-1895
Wilson Steinmetz 1895-1898
A.M. Clauser 1898-1900
L.B. Taylor 1900-1901
E.W. Martin 1901-1904
W.S. Hottel 1904-1907
J.F. Barrall 1907-1910
E.N. Cassel 1910-1914
H.K. Kratz 1914-1918
R.L. Woodring 1918-1925
F.B. Hertzog 1925-1942
Walter H. Frank 1942-1946
Herbert W. Hartman 1946-1954
R.H. Gehman 1954-1956
Carl C. Cassel 1956-1960
Elwood L. Heiser 1960-1962
LeRoy S. Heller 1962-1972
Donald D. Reitz 1973-1979
Richard T. Paashaus 1976-present (Associate)
Frank L. Herb, Jr. 1980-1985
Thomas P. Shorb 1986-present
Meyers, Wilson Interview, 1995
Musselman, Mildred M. Interview, 1995
Paashaus, Richard T. Calvary Bible Fellowship Church: A Brief History,
125th Anniversary Booklet, 1994
Shelly, Harold P. The Bible Fellowship Church, BFC Historical Society, 1992
Shelly, Howard L. Brief Historical Sketch of the Church, 75th Anniversary Booklet,
Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church, 1944
Shelly, Ward W. Portrait of a Church, 1986
Wetzel, C. Harold Interview, 1995
Wismer, Lulu Interview, 1980
1. Portrait of a Church, Ward W. Shelly, 1986
2. Brief Historical Sketch of the Church, Howard L. Shelly, 1944
3. Interview, Mildred A. Musselman, 1995
4. M. Musselman
6. Interview, Wilson Meyers, 1995
7. M. Musselman
9. W. Meyers
10. Portrait & M. Musselman
12. The Bible Fellowship Church, Harold P. Shelly, 1992
14. Portrait and M. Musselman
15. M. Musselman, Note: Sister Musselman's recollections of these events were as clear as if they happened yesterday. This description of cottage prayer meetings is based on her memories. It is evident that these hours in prayer were life-changing for her and others.
19. The Bible Fellowship Church, Shelly
20. M. Musselman
21. Note: This mural has been removed from the wall but has been kept and will be part of the archives of the Bible Fellowship Church.
22. Lulu Wismer, Interview, 1980
23. M. Musselman
24. Brief Historical Sketch; Shelly
25. Interview, C. Harold Wetzel, 1995