From Wheeling Intelligencer, Nov. 8, 1919:
Impressive services commemorating the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the Third Presbyterian church will be held in that edifice Sunday morning and evening. The most interesting feature of the day, perhaps, will be the service at 10:45 a.m., at which time the pastor, Rev. J. P. Leyenberger, will preach an historical sermon realing with the founding of the church and the progress of the congregation during the seventy years of its existence.
The evening service will be featured by the inauguration of a Sunday school contest, which will cover a period of four or five works, to be conducted by Mr. J. E. Acker, superintendent of the school. The church choir will render a special program in the evening.
The anniversary celebration was inaugurated last evening when the choir directed by Mr. George D. Rose, rendered the beautiful oratorio by A. R. Gaull, "The Holy City" The choir of thirty-four voices gave a most inspiring interpretation of this beautiful masterpiece, ably aided by Miss Bertha Rasel at the organ. The church was well filled by an appreciative audience.
The Third Presbyterian church was organized November 4, 1849, by the Washington, Pa., Presbyterial board. The first services were conducted in a school house at Boggs Run. At that time the Sunday school met in the home of Samuel Ott, which stood at the corner of Fortieth and Walter streets.
A few years later Rev. Alfred Paull, an uncle of Alfred Paull, of this city, gave the congregation the lot on which the present church stands. Here in 1884 was erected a little frame church which served the worshipers for several years. Then there was erected a small brick edifice, in the read of the lot where the present church stands on South Jacob street.
The last of the charter members of the congregation died eight years ago. Among the charter members was Campbell Henderson, grandfather of C. H. Henderson of the Telegraph.
The purpose of the Sunday school contest to be inaugurated tomorrow is to promote a 25 percent increase in enrollment and attendance. This contest will be conducted with the Presbyterian New Era Movement. There will be three separate contests. The firs is for the Junior and Primary departments, one for the Intermediate and Senior departments and one for the Adult classes. Two points will be awarded for each new pupil enrolled, and one point for the return of a pupil absent for four weeks. At the expiration of the contest the winning department will be tendered a banquet.
A white gift service is planned for December 21, constituting a self, service or substance offering at Christmas time. A Christmas cantata will be rendered during Christmas week.
From Wheeling Intelligencer, Nov. 8, 1919:
Fitting and impressive services were held Sunday morning and evening in the Third Presbyterian church, celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the congregation.
At the morning service the pastor, the Rev. J. P. Leyenberger, preached an interesting historical sermon in which he summarized the foundation of the church at Boggs Run seventy years ago and the early development and subsequent growth of the church. The sermon was supplemented with special music by the church choir.
At the evening services a number of members and former members of the congregation took part in the service. Dr. Harry Hall gave a brief sketch of the history of the Third church, tracing its origin and dwelling upon the history of the founders of the congregation and the part they played in the early history of Wheeling.
Mr. Alfred Paull spoke of the early days of the congregation, referring to his early recollection of the days when he lived in that part of Wheeling. Mr. Paull spoke of the growing power and might of the church, and of its ability to cope with the present unrest in the world.
Miss Rhea Steele at the evening service read a very interesting poem of her own composition entitled "Our Anniversary." In an unusual interesting way Miss Steele related in verse the story of the founding of the congregation at Boggs Run in 1849 by a Mr. Ott, and the growth of the congregation until the present substantial edifice on South Jacob street became a reality. Miss Steele in her verse paid a pretty tribute to each pastor of the congregation leading up to a tribute of love to the present pastor of the church.
The church was beautifully decorated for the anniversary occasion with a profusion of palms and chrysanthemums.
Selections from Gaul's "Holy City," the oratorio which was presented so successfully by the church choir on Friday night, were repeated by the choir last evening.