(until 1974, and to be continued at a future date...)
The first steps toward establishing a church for the community of Mount Troy were taken in 1923 when the Pennsylvania District Home Mission Board of the Evangelical Synod of North America authorized that a survey be taken to determine the interest of the people in a Community Sunday School. The assignment was given to the Reverend Theodore R. Schmale, chairman of the board and then pastor of the St. Peter's Evangelical Church, North Side and his assistant Mr. A. J. Helm, an Eden Seminary Student.
The second floor in the Schroeffel residence on Mount Troy Road was secured as a meeting place; and the first session of the Sunday School was held in the afternoon of December 9, 1923. Sixty people attended. Enthusiasm was high; and on January 2, 1924, the Mount Troy Community Sunday School was formally organized.
But the people wanted more than a Sunday School. A desire for services of worship as well as periods of study was expressed; so on June 16, 1924, the First Evangelical Church of Mt. Troy affiliated with the Evangelical Synod of North America was founded.
Fortunately for the young congregation, Charles A. Ittel, a son of a neighboring Evangelical Church, St. Paul's of East & Foreland Streets, had become interested in their activities. AIthough he was a layman, an employee of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Mr. Ittel was devoutly committed to the service of God. After considerable conversation with the members of the newly formed Church and after long days of prayerful thought, he entered Western Theological Seminary to study for the ministry.
It was a difficult assignment, working, studying, and filling the pulpit of a struggling church; but Mr. Ittel completed it with flying colors. On July 8, 1927, he was ordained as a minister of the Evangelical Church, a position which he faithfully held for twenty seven years.
Property for a house of worship on Mount Troy was bought at Homestead and Fleiner Streets, the present location of our church. Ground was broken June 28, 1924, with the Reverend Schmale turning the first spade of earth. The cornerstone was laid November 23, 1924. On May 24, 1925, the original part of the building (the basement) was completed and dedicated.
With increasing membership and activities, however, expansion was necessary; and in 1927 a new addition was added to the building.
After the nationwide merger of the Evangelical Church of North America and the Reformed Church, we changed our name to that of The Mount Troy Evangelical & Reformed Church. This all took place in 1936.
After weathering the depression years and other hardships, the dream of the congregation to have a sanctuary dedicated to the worship of God became a reality on May 9, 1954, when the present church was dedicated. After many years of hope and much prayer, our dream had come true.
Unfortunately during the last period of our building program, Reverend Ittel's health began to fail so - after seeing his dream materialized - he called a special congregational meeting at which time he tendered his resignation to take effect September 1, 1954. The congregation very reluctantly accepted his resignation and then held a special service for him on September 20, 1954. The church named him Pastor Emeritus.
Mount Troy Church had a good friend in the person of Reverend Alfred Herman who assisted during Reverend Ittel's illness, always standing by in case Reverend Ittel could not carry on with his duties. Reverend Herman worked with us until May, 1955, when the Reverend Byron Amacher accepted a call to come to Mount Troy Church.
In the meantime another merger had taken place when in 1957 the Evangelical & Reformed Church and the Congregational-Christian Church became the United Church of Christ. So - we again changed our name, this time to that of The Mount Troy United Church of Christ.
When Reverend Amacher left our church in 1959, we searched again for a new minister and contacted Reverend Adelbert M. Gordon, Jr., of Briansville, Pa. He was installed in our church in May 1960, when he came to Pittsburgh with his wife, Minerva, and their children. They were the first occupants of the church's parsonage on Homestead Street, which in the meantime had been purchased.
In December of 1964, Reverend Peter Ainslie was called to our church and on January 10, 1965, he was installed as our minister.