The History of Harmony-Zelienople Global Methodist Church


The Harmony-Zelienople Global Methodist Church has a rich heritage dating back to the early 1800s. Methodism got its start in southwestern Pennsylvania in 1784 with “circuit riders” traveling by horseback and organizing Methodist societies. Records indicated that the “Harmony Circuit” was established by Elder Joshua Monroe in 1834, which brought preachers to the Harmony-Zelienople area for the first time.

Church on German Street - 1880

The Harmony Methodist Episcopal Church Built in 1880 on German Street, Harmony

A group of thirty Christians in Zelienople belonging to the “Harmony Circuit” applied to the Pittsburgh Conference and was granted a charter in 1842, and a small building was erected on the corner of High and New Castle Streets in Zelienople. This meeting place, known as “The Monroe Chapel,” was the first Methodist Episcopal Church in the area.

After many years the people of Monroe Chapel bought property on German Street in Harmony and built their first Church in 1880. The church name was the “Harmony Methodist Episcopal Church.”

In 1915, a group of 60 members for unknown but most likely hostile reasons withdrew from the church and met separately in Zelienople. Shortly thereafter in 1918, they were granted a charter by the Pittsburgh Conference and erected their own church on New Castle Street in Zelienople, which was most recently occupied by Faith Full Gospel Church.

At that time in history, it was rare that a pastor would serve only one church, as we enjoy today. For example, the Harmony Church shared their pastor with one of many other small churches in the area, including Dutilh, Concord, Unionville, Wurtemburg and Renfrew. Although the records of the church do not state it outright, it seems strange that two Methodist Churches as close as Harmony and Zelienople would not be served by the same pastor; a testimony to the hostility and dissension between the two congregations.

In 1937, however, a young pastor named Wayne Patch was appointed pastor of both the Harmony and Zelienople Churches. This dynamic minister helped both churches grow, and he soon suggested uniting the congregations and building one larger church edifice. In an overwhelming but certainly not unanimous vote, the congregations voted to merge, and on Oct. 14, 1945, a merger service was held in the Zelienople Church, and then they proceeded to the Harmony Church where they celebrated communion. The church name was thereafter known as the “Harmony-Zelienople Methodist Church.”

Property Purchase

Property Purchase

The property was purchased in 1946 for the building intended to unite the two small churches, and the new sanctuary was erected in 1947. The cost of the new edifice was estimated to be $175,000, but with God’s grace and the hard work and sacrifice of the church, the costs were reduced to only $75,000. What is even more remarkable is that only eleven years later, the church joyfully burned the mortgage, and was debt free.


After only 14 years in the new building, the ministries and Sunday school program had outgrown the basement of the church, and the educational building was erected to provide more classroom space. In 1970 the church built a new parsonage for the pastor and his family, and the home on Peffer Street was paid for in only five years.

In the 1980s the congregation realized that the facility was nearing 50 years old and needed serious attention. The trustees, beginning in 1986, encouraged the congregation to take on an annual project, which resulted in having the pews padded, refinished floors, new carpeting, a ramp for easy access, a paved parking lot, a waterproofed fellowship hall with new carpeting, and a new boiler. All of these projects totaled $90,000 and each was paid for in the year it was done.


By the mid-1980s, under the leadership of Pastor John Seth, special groups were formed to study and research the possibilities of expanding our facilities for the growing congregation. In 1996 a major capital fund drive was implemented, titled “Forward in Faith.” Plans for a new state-of-the-art sanctuary, fellowship hall, office complex, youth center, parking lot and old building renovations were underway. A vibrant, enthusiastic congregation far exceeded financial goal expectations. An additional loan was secured from a local bank for $1 million to cover the ambitious project. In May 1998, ground was broken for the new facility

Without all the details: A new, larger sanctuary was completed in 1999 with a cost of $1.5 million. A great savings was had when the new fellowship hall, kitchen, and youth room below were finished by volunteer labor. Then over the course of the next two years with volunteer expertise and labor the old fellowship hall was converted into an Adult Education Center with six classrooms and a kitchenette. At this same time the old sanctuary was converted into the now “Office Complex” with four private offices, two cubical offices, a meeting room, a general office, a choir room/music office and a library. All this was completed in early 2002.


In July 2011, under the leadership of Pastor John Jefferis, the church purchased the Cumberland property. Years prior Margaret Cumberland had agreed that the church would have first option to buy the property, and the church is grateful to God, Margaret, her family and representative Jane Walker for this blessing. This piece of land is on the southwest side of the church’s parking lot. Sitting on the land was a barn which was razed and a doublewide trailer, currently in use.


In 2023, our church family left the United Methodist Church and became a congregation of the Global Methodist Church in order to follow the Bible more carefully and to own our buildings and land for the first time.


Today, as we look to greatly expand God’s Kingdom, it is good to look back over our long history and see the certain hand of God being faithful at every turn.