Prior to 1840, our small band of believers met in a building approximately between the present Andrew Waggoner home on Hardins Run and the Carlos Beagle home. Going toward the latter home, the site would be just beyond the bridge and on the left. The property belonged to Alex Flowers, and the congregations met in an old mill.
In 1839 John P. Cuppy, grandfather to Leslie and Helen, owned property between Hardins Run and Deep Gut (intersection of Rte. 8 and Rte. 2 today) on the bottom land next to the river. He decided to map out a town, and it was John Chapman (Leslie’s wife’s great-grandfather) who built one of the first homes. This home still stands (the Fred Mack residence), and it was the first meeting place of our congregation in the town limits. Soon a church building, called “the Little Brick Church,” was constructed, and our congregation met here for 34 years. The church’s location was two lots north on the left as you pass the dump bridge (property now owned by Glen Skinner.)
Although this was to be the first church located in New Cumberland, there were other churches in the area older – The Three Springs Presbyterian Church on Weirton Heights – 1790; The Fairview Presbyterian Church (the Flats Church) – 1794; The Brush Run Meeting House new West Middletown – 1811; Wellsburg Christian – 1815; and Christian Church, Holiday’s Cove – 1830. Thomas and Alexander Campbell were instrumental in establishing the latter three churches and spoke in New Cumberland.
The little town of New Cumberland grew. We could have been called “Vernon” (Cuppy’s preference) or Cuppy Town, but the families who settled here decided upon “New Cumberland.” The abundance of clay in the area created jobs, and many came seeking employment. The high tariffs of 1843 favored manufacturers of fire brick produced in the area, and new markets opened, especially in the south where access was easy by the Ohio River. Other industries and work opportunities came into existence such as clay, pipe, pottery, coal, oil, glass, river traffic, general merchandise, and farming. These were the jobs our early Christian brothers held as the church grew in New Cumberland.