Advent Church

The Advent Church is a historic church in Boggs Township maintained by the local Advent Historical Society.

The church, originally known as the Advent Chapel at Marsh Creek, was built in 1849 by followers of William Miller, a New York farmer, who predicted the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus Christ in the 1840s. “Millerites” became an organized movement that eventually grew into several Second Advent denominations.

J.D. Boyer, who moved to Pleasant Gap to help found the congregation, wrote in 1848, “I never saw such an interest since I have been in Centre county, as there is now in Bogs [sic] township. Over one hundred firm believers in the second coming of Christ live there, who have formed themselves into a body, and are willing to support the cause.”

The Advent Historical Society hosts regular events at the church, including the annual Memorial Day celebration. (Advent Historical Society)

The Classic Revival meeting house was constructed of hand-cut chestnut logs covered with white clapboard. The church and cemetery were built on land donated by Andrew Gregg and James Irvin, owners of the nearby Harmony Forge along Spring Creek between Milesburg and Bellefonte. It was the first of eight Advent churches that were built in Centre County over the next 50 years.

The congregation was affiliated with the Evangelical Adventists until it disbanded in the early 1900s. They later affiliated with God’s Missionary Church. When the congregation later moved to a new building, the church was slated to be demolished.

The Advent Historical Society was founded in 1985 to save the church. The society raised more than $40,000 and local volunteers donated more than 2,000 hours to restore the building. Later, additions to the building were removed. The clapboard exterior was replaced. The original doors, windows, wainscotting, and plank floor which had survived were restored.

The church building and adjacent cemetery document the community of farmers and iron workers who settled in Marsh Creek in the early 1800s. An outbuilding that has been used for storage was converted into a museum that contains family histories, photographs, and memorabilia from the area.

The church is no longer used for regular services, but the society hosts events including a Memorial Day celebration and the “Music at the Advent” series.

Ford Risley


Sources:

Advent Historical Society, adventhistoricalsociety.org (Accessed December 29, 2022).

Franco, Barbara. “Millerites in Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies 89 (Winter 2022): 36-73.

Linn, John Blair. History of Centre and Clinton County, Pennsylvania, 1883.


First Published: December 31, 2022

Last Modified: January 27, 2023