The History Of Central

Central Assembly of God Church goes back to 1939 when a small group of people, under the leadership of James Wardrop, met in the Christian Church of North America. He organized the first Sunday School of the church. Evening services and cottage prayer meetings were held. Later the congregation met in the Junior O.U.A.M. Hall, Pike Street, Canonsburg PA, for a brief period of four months. The church then moved to 132 North Jefferson Avenue, Canonsburg.

In 1942 Robert H. Shipp assumed the pastorate bringing an aggressive leadership style to which the church responded. He reorganized the Sunday School in 1944. He held many revival Crusades and all-day fellowship meetings of the section. In 1946 Christ's Ambassadors (Youth Group) was organized. The Christ's Ambassadors held socials, outdoor baptism services, street meetings and exchange youth fellowship services. During this time, the church organized a Fisherman's Club for the purpose of distributing evangelistic literature, supporting missionaries, building a church library and initiating a building fund.

In 1952 a home and a building were purchased at 316 S. Central Avenue, Canonsburg. The building was remodeled and became Glad Tidings Tabernacle where the assembly worshiped for twelve years. Robert Shipp remained the pastor of the church until 1961 when he accepted the pastorate at Windsor PA.

George VanRiper followed Pastor Shipp and continued to lead the Assembly forward. During this period the church and parsonage on Central Avenue were demolished to make way for a state highway. Building a new facility became imperative. The church purchased 4.5 acres of ground on McGovern Road, Houston PA (our current property), in 1963. Ground was broken for a new facility on September 29, 1963. The new complex, including a 200 seat sanctuary, offices and educational classrooms, was completed in October 1964 and named Central Assembly of God Church. George Hatchner followed Pastor VanRiper in 1966 and served the church as pastor until the spring of 1968.

In July of 1968 Ralph Volpe accepted the call to assume the pastorate. On his first Sunday there were 55 people in attendance. Over the next several years the church experienced tremendous growth through Spirit-led pastoral leadership, the addition of associate staff members, a successful Sunday School ministry and ongoing evangelistic efforts carried out primarily through a weekly bus ministry. The necessity to expand the facility became essential. After much prayerful planning, fundraising and sacrificial giving on the part of the leadership and congregation, a new 650 seat sanctuary was constructed. The first Sunday in the new sanctuary was December 12, 1976. By the early 1980's the sanctuary was filled to capacity and the need to offer two Sunday morning worship services was realized.

In 1981, the vision of the church expanded in the area of Christian education. Under the direction of Rick Volpe, an associate pastor, Central Christian Academy was born. A two-floor school/church educational complex, complete with gymnasium and kitchen, was built in 1980. Today the school operates at full capacity (approx. 200 students) and offers a kindergarten through 8th grade Christian education as well as maintaining Central Storybook Village Preschool and Day Care. Mr. Don O'Hare was our school administrator from 1984 - 2003. In 2001 Central Christian Academy celebrated 20 years of educational excellence! Rev. Stephen Getchell served as our school administrator from July, 2003 until December, 2004 when he was chosen to assume the duties of the Senior Pastorate. Mr. Don O'Hare agreed to serve as the interim school administrator.

The need to expand the church facility has been a crucial issue for the past several years. An intense search for property has been ongoing during this period. In September 1999 the church purchased 109 acres of ground located on Rt. 519 in Houston, PA. Our long term plan is to relocate our campus to this site. For now, we are have updated our current campus with some new construction and remodeling, which was completed in February of 2004. We stand confident upon the promise of Christ who said, "I will build my church ..." (Matthew 16:18).

In 2003, Pastor Ralph Volpe marked 35 years of fruitful ministry as Senior Pastor of Central Assembly of God Church and the church celebrated the 50th anniversary of its incorporation. On Sunday, July 13, 2003, Pastor Bill Volpe was elected to succeed his father as our next Senior Pastor. He was officially installed and assumed duties as Senior Pastor on Sunday, August 10, 2003. Ministries and staff continued to grow and lost souls were continually being brought into the Kingdom through the efforts of the church. After faithfully serving Central for 18 years as Youth Pastor, Associate Pastor, Ministries Administrator and Senior Associate Pastor and 1 very fruitful and effective year as our Senior Pastor, Pastor Bill Volpe completed his tenure with Central Assembly on Wednesday, August 11, 2004.

Pastor Ralph and Carol Volpe continued to serve our Lord through serving this congregation until their official retirement on December 31, 2004 after 36 1/2 years of faithful service to church and community.

On Wednesday, December 15, 2004, Pastor Stephen Getchell was elected as our next Senior Pastor by a supportive and substantial majority vote at a special business meeting of the voting membership. He was officially installed by Penn-Del District Superintendent, Rev. Stephen Tourville on Sunday, January 16, 2005.

Mr. O'Hare continued to serve as interim school administrator at CCA  until Kate Giacalone was hired in 2007.

Feeling led by God to pursue a passion for missions, Pastor Getchell resigned from the Lead Pastor position at Central and gave his farewell message on August 16, 2015.

After much prayer and fasting, the congregation elected Associate Pastor Kurt Jenkins to be the Lead Pastor in a special meeting on November, 15 2015 with an installment service by the Penn-Del District to come in January 2016.

Without question, God has placed His Divine hand upon Central Assembly of God Church to make her a key instrument in Washington County and the surrounding areas for reaching the lost and building believers into the image of Christ. We have entered the 21st century with great faith and expectancy as we are led by the Holy Spirit to expand our horizons and accomplish the vision God has placed upon the heart of our pastor and leaders. To God be all the glory!