Our merger in 2008 was very much like a marriage and, like any marriage, our new family has two family histories.
Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church started in Pittsburgh in 1937. One of the first acts for the small group of folks that started the church was to call the Rev. Calvin Knox Cummings to be their first pastor. Cal served the church faithfully for decades overseeing the move to a church building in Blackridge and the founding of Trinity Christian School. The congregation continued to meet in Blackridge from the early 1950’s until a fire made the building completely unusable in March of 2007. After the fire the congregation met at Trinity Christian School and then in the old Chapel of Beulah Presbyterian Church. On Easter Sunday, 2008 they began to meet together with New Hope PCA in their building in Monroeville.
New Hope had formed in 1981 when 83 members left the PCUSA with Rev. Bruce Mawhinney. Several years later the congregation was able to purchase an old elementary school in Monroeville and convert some classrooms into a sanctuary. By 1997 the congregation had grown and so had the building with several major additions.
By Easter of 2008 the New Hope congregation had been through some difficult times and the membership had dropped. When Covenant OPC asked about a joint Easter service, the New Hope elders began to think about a more permanent arrangement. At that time one congregation had a large building and no pastor and the other had a pastor and no building. As the two congregations began to meet together they found they had much in common and each brought gifts the other needed. It appeared that the Lord was leading toward a merger as the best course of ministry for both congregations, the best stewardship of resources, and as the best means of advancing the Kingdom in Pittsburgh’s eastern suburbs. Covenant then left the OPC and was received into the PCA. The two congregations joined as one, chose the name New Covenant PCA, and called the Rev. John W. Wilson, the pastor of Covenant, to be the founding pastor of the new church.