WHPC History


The West Hempfield Church began as a joint project of Redstone Presbytery and The Board of National Mission of The United Presbyterian Church U.S.A. In July of 1960, the two church bodies agreed to work together to establish a new church in the West Hempfield community. In September of 1961, the Reverend Douglas T. Ibach and his family moved to the community to serve as the pastor of the new congregation.

The earliest home for the church was the Odd Fellow Hall in Adamsburg (currently the Adamsburg Post Office). The first worship service was held there on November 5, 1961 with 210 people in attendance. About four months later, February 11, 1962, the Presbytery of Redstone officially chartered the new congregation with 216 charter members.

Ground was broken for the new church building on June 3, 1963 and on February 9, 1964 the congregation moved into its new church building. These were exciting years of growth and service for the new congregation. On October 29, 1967, Reverend Ibach terminated his relationship as pastor of this congregation to accept a call to a church in Virginia.

The second pastor to serve our congregation was Reverend James Hartsoe. He began serving the congregation on July 14, 1968. During his seven years as the pastor, Reverend Hartsoe led the church beyond the stage of a "new church development." A new organ was purchased, the manse was sold and many new programs were developed. Pastor Hartsoe resigned on December 26, 1976 to accept a call to a church in Minnesota.

On June 4, 1978, The Reverend Dr. John B. Simpson was installed as the third pastor of this congregation. For thirty-three years, Pastor Simpson served the church enthusiastically. In 1987, the church sanctuary was refurbished. Carpeting, plastered walls, and comfortably padded pews replaced tile floors, cement block walls, and folding chairs. On a snowy day, November 15, 1992, ground was broken for a new addition. It included a gathering area, fellowship hall gymnasium, new offices, seven new classrooms, a drop off area, and parking for one hundred fifteen cars. The addition was completed and dedicated on December 12, 1993. The mortgage was paid in full on September 19, 2001. On September 1, 2011, Pastor Simpson retired from WHPC.

WHPC thanks God for His kindness to the congregation in the past and we humbly pray that He will continue to give us dreams for the future that are even greater than these memories of the past.