Timeline of First RP Church of Beaver Falls


Congregation Organized

On November 10, 1874, the First Reformed Presbyterian Church of Beaver Falls was organized with 24 charter members.

First Pastor Called

Dr. Robert James George was the first pastor called by First RPC and began his ministry April 1, 1875. He ministered until April 12, 1892.

Geneva RPC Planted

On Oct. 28, 1892, 58 members of First RPC planted the Geneva congregation in the College Hill neighborhood of Beaver Falls.

Second Pastor

Dr. William Melancthon Glasgow served as pastor of the congregation from Oct. 11, 1893 until Oct. 18, 1899.

Outreach in Patterson Township

A Sabbath School began in Patterson Township with the mission of reaching others with the gospel.

Patterson Building Burns

With the success of a Sabbath School in Patterson Township, the church bought property there and built a chapel. Unfortunately, the chapel burned down the night before the dedication service.

New Chapel Built

The chapel, which later became the church building and is still standing today, was built.

Third Pastor

Dr. John Slater Thompson became the third pastor of the congregation on Jan. 4, 1901 and served until June 5, 1911.

Fourth Pastor

Dr. James Boyd Tweed became pastor on Oct. 28, 1913 and resigned on Oct. 26, 1926 to become a full-time Bible professor at Geneva College.

Original Building Sold

With the success of the Patterson Sunday School, the decision was made to sell the building in downtown Beaver Falls and relocate completely to Patterson. The building was sold to Saint Ladislaus Roman Catholic Magyar Church for $20,000.

Fifth Pastor

Dr. Donald Bruce Martin served the congregation as pastor from February 25, 1929 to Feb. 5, 1939.

Sixth Pastor

Dr. Remo I. Robb served as pastor from Aug. 7, 1939 to Aug. 31, 1946.

Seventh Pastor

Rev. D. Howard Elliot came to the congregation on Dec. 1, 1965 and stayed until May 31, 1964 when he left to pastor the church in Topeka, Kansas.

Eighth Pastor

Rev. David Armstrong served the congregation as pastor from Dec. 1, 1965 to Sept. 20 1970.

Ninth Pastor

Rev. Lester E. Kilpatrick served the church from June 9, 1971 to June 8, 1980.

Tenth Pastor

Rev. Robert R. Fullerton Jr. pastored the congregation from Oct. 9, 1981 to Mar. 4, 1987.

Eleventh Pastor

Rev. Charles S. Sterrett served as pastor from Sept. 23, 1987 to June 30, 1989.

Twelfth Pastor

Rev. Douglas W. Comin served the congregation as pastor from July 1, 1989 to May 17, 1991.

Thirteenth Pastor

Rev. John H. Tweed was pastor of the congregation from Sept. 4, 1992 until Oct. 14 1996.

Fourteenth Pastor

On Oct. 15, 1996, Rev. Keith R. Black became pastor of First RPC.

Churches Merge

For different reasons, in 2005 the Geneva RPC and First RPC of Beaver Falls merged and met in the Patterson Township building. The Geneva building was sold to Geneva College.

Fifteenth Pastor

After the merger, Rev. Bruce R. Backensto, who had been the pastor of Geneva RPC since 1995, joined Pastor Black as co-pastors of the merged church.

Associate Pastors

In December 2013, Matt Filbert and Tim McClain became associate pastors at First RPC. They are both serving in varied capacities today.

Sixteenth Pastor

Rev. Steven F. Miller, a longtime OPC pastor and professor at RPTS, joined our denomination. On May 31, 2014 he became the pastor of First RPC where he ministered until 2016 when ALS prevented him from continuing in his duties.

Seventeenth Pastor

Pastor Lucas Hanna served as pastor from 2017 to 2019 before moving with his family to the mission field in Africa.

COVID-19 Pandemic

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the congregation moved to online worship before returning to in-person services in June.

Eighteenth Pastor

Associate Pastor Matt Filbert became the Pastor in August of 2020 and still serves as pastor today.