The Redstone Circuit of the Methodists was formed in 1784. It comprised all the territory west of the Allegheny Mountains. In 1788, Jacob Seaton and Lasley Mathews were sent to influence Methodist preaching in the Ligonier Valley. The Ligonier Methodist Episcopal Church was established in “name, style and title” authorized by a letter from John Wesley which was dated September 19, 1788 and postmarked Bristol, England.
Jacob Shaw held the first services in his home. The congregation consisted of five of his family and one other. Later that year, Robert M. Roberts and his family joined the group. Their son went on to become Bishop Roberts. Abel Fisher, a former Quaker, came into the congregation and did much to establish the Methodist denomination in Ligonier Valley.
For a time, services were held in an old pottery on Main Street. A lot on the corner of St. Clair and Church Streets was purchased for twenty dollars and a small wooden church was erected.
The congregation outgrew the little church by 1857 and land was bought at the present site of Main and South Market Streets on which a brick church was constructed. In 1867, the remainder of the lot was purchased and a parsonage was built beside the church. This church is pictured above.
This brick church served the congregation until 1902 when it was torn down to make room for the larger present church. The bluestone for the building was quarried from Laurel Mountain. The parsonage which stood beside it was moved down to the southeast corner of the lot. The new $25,000 church was dedicated debt-free in 1903. The first pipe organ was installed in 1905.
The first phase of an educational building was added in 1959 behind the parsonage. By 1961, a new parsonage was built on Mellon Street and the old parsonage torn down in order to complete the final phase of the educational building which consisted of classrooms, lounge, church offices and a chapel.
In 1968, Ligonier Methodist Episcopal Church joined with Evangelical United Brethren Church to become the Heritage United Methodist Church. A fine new organ, free of debt, was dedicated in 1982.
In 1988, We celebrated our bicentennial year with special worship services, socials, history, drama, and other events, we were all reminded of our wonderful heritage in this church. The congregation and ministers are looking forward to the future in continuing to have this church a place of worship, teaching and learning where all may come to join in the experience of spiritual growth through Christianity.
In 2003, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of our present church building. During the year different events occurred such as recovering the 1903 time capsule from the cornerstone, a service with former ministers and also with Bishop Kim, and placing our own time capsule back in the cornerstone.
Part of our Church’s history began in 1962 when our Church started serving pancakes and sausage during Fort Ligonier Days.