History of Norwin Christian Missionary Alliance Church

In the early 1930’s, a handful of people with a variety of religious backgrounds began meeting in the North Irwin School for worship, prayer and Bible study. Having affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance International, the little group moved from school to house to portable chapel and, finally in 1938, to a storeroom on Main Street in Irwin.

Mr. William Williams, a retired railroad engineer and lay preacher, became the first pastor of the congregation, numbering only about ten. He continued until 1947, when the Reverend Daniel Andersen was appointed. A building lot was acquired at the corner of Webster Avenue and Second Street in North Irwin and soon, with the help of many volunteers, construction began on the foundation of what was to become the local Christian and Missionary Alliance Church.

Another pastoral change brought the Reverend Jack Strimel to the pulpit in May 1951, and he was succeeded by the Reverend C.J. Hay in 1956.

Many new faces were added to the growing congregation necessitating the erection of a church building on the existing foundation. Its dedication in February 1958 was a milestone in the history of this developing church.

Subsequent pastors included the Reverends William McCart, 1960-62; Donald McGarvey 1962-68; Wayne Plyler 1968-73; L.R. VanHorn 1973-75; and Harold Duncan 1975-78.

The church fell on difficult times and, in August 1978, voted to be placed on redevelopment status with the denomination. A strategy was adopted which included relocation and new leadership. With denominational help, new property was purchased; an interim pastor, the Reverend Charles Gifford, was appointed for four months; several local Christian and Missionary Alliance families who had been attending nearby Alliance churches joined; and on January 1, 1979, Dr. Dan Wolf assumed the responsibility of Extension/Redevelopment pastor. Almost immediately, construction began on a new facility. Rapid growth occurred and, in November 1980, the thriving congregation, now known as the Norwin Alliance Church, moved into its new facility at 10585 Farview Drive, North Huntingdon. By 1983, the building was expanded and the congregation continued to grow.

In June, 1984, Reverend Wolf relocated to Winter Springs, Florida to open another Alliance Church and in September of that year, the Reverend William Wood, former Director of Extension and Redevelopment for the Western Pennsylvania District of The Christian & Missionary Alliance accepted a call to become Senior Pastor of Norwin Alliance Church.

The pastoral staff soon expanded to include both an assistant, The Reverend Jeffery Norris, and a part-time Minister of Visitation, Mrs. Mildred Eicher. Subsequent pastoral staff included The Reverends Marvin Hutchison, James Ammerman, Bryan Cinelli, and Doug Coleman. Mrs. Carole Sarber joined the staff as part-time Director of Christian Education in September 2000.

Through the dedication of these servants of God and by Divine grace the congregation continued to flourish and in 1993, ground was broken for the construction of a 10,000 square foot addition that included a 350-seat sanctuary, a two-story educational unit, and an office complex. The former sanctuary was converted into a fellowship hall. Dedication occurred on October 16, 1994.

The congregation grew to about 300, with Sunday morning worship attendance normally exceeding 220.

After nearly 15 years as Senior Pastor, Reverend Wood retired on January 31, 1999. Ironically, he was succeeded by The Reverend Doctor Jeffery Norris, his first Assistant Pastor. On October 1, 2000, Reverend Wood was called out of retirement to become the part-time Minister of Visitation. Rev. Wood held this post until January 1, 2005.

As of January 2004, after nearly 4 years as Senior Pastor, Reverend Doctor Jeffery Norris became the new District Superintendant for Western Pennsylvania. Norwin Alliance Church started to seek a new senior pastor.

Our search for a new Senior Pastor took about 16 months. Rev. Bob Daniels accepted the call and he started his ministry with us on June 26, 2005.

Our church staff grew. In 2009 Vicki Booher accepted a call to be our Minister of Music. In 2010 Bob Pazehoski was appointed as Youth Director. Shelli Prindle replaced Bob as Youth and Young Adult Director in August 2011. Shelli accepted a call to be a high school principal in September 2018.

In February 2021 Joe Cox accepted the call to be our Assistant Pastor. Rev. Bob Daniels retired at the end of February 2023 and a search for a replacement has begun.

Recently our church has pursued various evangelical initiatives including the Men's Game Dinner, an Easter Ham Giveaway, the Great Garage Sale Giveaway, Neighbor Sunday, and a Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway. Similar initiatives continue to occur and are now a permanent part of our ministry.

The guiding principle for the overall ministry of the Norwin Alliance Church is summarized in its’ purpose statement as follows: “Norwin Alliance Church exists to produce Spirit-Filled disciples of Jesus Christ who are totally committed to loving God, loving one another and making disciples in our local communities as well as to the ends of the earth.”

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