South Canonsburg Church was founded March 9, 1924 as a mission to the Canonsburg residents and began its meetings in the Nickelodeon, directly across the street from its present location. Services were conducted by Rev. and Mrs. Charles Pridgeon, the former pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Canonsburg. In 1901, Rev. Pridgeon left that position and founded the Pittsburgh Bible Institute and later the Evangelization Society, which now operates under the name Heights International Ministry, headquartered in Gibsonia, PA.
In its beginning as a mission, the Pridgeons would come and hold meetings in the frame Nickelodeon building with its sawdust floor, open burner gas heaters and a pump organ, which Mrs. Pridgeon played. People of the town would brave the coldness of the building to come and hear the soul-saving gospel from these dedicated people. In 1913, the building was altered so that it could be better used as a church and thus the ground work was being laid for a permanent church.
The work really forged ahead with Laura Silbaugh in 1920. A mighty spiritual revival ensued through the power of the Holy Spirit and the crowds grew until they packed out the building. God worked in the hearts of the sinners, especially the alcoholics of the town. Miss Silbaugh gave herself to the ministry of reaching the community and was often seen walking the hills of Canonsburg inviting those who needed God to the meetings.
Soon after this movement of God, the leaders of the meetings started a building fund and with the proceeds they purchased the lot across the street from where the present church now stands. Because of the low laying area of the property, dirt was hauled in to raise the property to street level. Much of the building was erected by the individuals who attended the church. The church was finally completed and was dedicated on March 9, 1924.
Rev. Ralph T. Kemper and Miss Silbaugh were married in August of 1923 and the two of them labored together in the work of the church until her death in 1925.
Several years later, Rev. Kemper married Evelyn Poole, a home missionary to the mining towns around the area. The two of them co-pastored the South Canonsburg Church for a number of years.
God began to bless the church with many souls. In one revival service that Rev. Kemper was preaching, there were over 100 souls saved. Attendance was running around 250-350 in each service. The balcony was often used and the doors were opened from the prayer chapel into the sanctuary for additional seating.
The church began to have a large outreach with children and youth choirs. Rev. Kemper directed these choirs along with the accompanying musician, Mrs. Beatrice Kreer. As their ministry expanded, the Whosoever Chorus Ministry, as it became known, sang at Pittsburgh radio stations, hospitals and jails. They would travel on their own bus to sing at many revival meetings.
Rev. and Mrs. Kemper left the church in 1960 to pastor a church in Pittsburgh. Rev. and Mrs. John Brooks, former missionaries to the Belgian Congo, came to pastor the church. The next five years brought many changes in the church. The Brooks family left in 1965 to return to Africa. After graduating from Asbury college in August of 1965, Rev. David Vogel and his family came to the church. Rev. Vogel's wife, Carol, is the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Kemper. Joy Chapel, with their pastor, Rev. Jeanette Simpson, merged with South Canonsburg Church on June 1, 1970.
In 1979, remodeling began on the church building in order to make Sunday School rooms and a fellowship hall in the basement. While construction was underway, the church structure collapsed and consequently a new facility was erected. We have been enjoying this church building since.