Third Sunday in May
The third Sunday each May is “Bellefonte Sunday” when the congregations of Rocky River
and Bellefonte Presbyterian Churches worship together. In even-numbered years, like 2016, the congregation at Bellefonte is invited to worship at Rocky River. In odd-numbered years, like 2017, our congregation is invited to worship at Bellefonte. This annual joint worship service is also an exchange of pastors since the minister of the visiting church preaches and the visiting choir sings. This year, Bellefonte Sunday will be May 15th when Rev. Dr. Greg Davis will preach and the Bellefonte choir will sing.
During the ministry of Rev. James Murray, the session invited Dr. Davis to preach at September Meeting. He replied that this would leave his congregation without a minister that day. The session responded by inviting the Bellefonte congregation to come to September Meeting. There were also joint officer training classes with Rocky River, Bellefonte and Harrisburg churches during Mr. Murray’s pastorate.
After Rev. Dr. Corey Ingold became our minister, he and Dr. Greg Davis, pastor at Bellefonte, discussed worshipping together. The Bellefonte session invited us to worship with their congregation. On April 18, 1999, at a called meeting of the Rocky River session a motion was passed to accept the invitation to worship together at Bellefonte Presbyterian Church on May 23, 1999. It was purposefully set as a worship service without any extras no refreshments, no meal, no communion served. This way each congregation could look forward to the fellowship of worshipping together without the stress of other activities.
During Rev. Dr. Kyle Hite’s ministry, these annual services continued. At some point, the
two ministers decided to have two joint special services together each year. The two congregations have the Ash Wednesday service at Rocky River and the Maundy Thursday service at Bellefonte.
Bellefonte Presbyterian Church was organized in 1867 by Rev. Dorland of what was
referred to as the “Northern Presbyterian Church.” The black members of Rocky River Presbyterian Church were now free and ready to organize their own congregation. In 2017, Bellefonte Presbyterian Church will celebrates its 150th anniversary. They are planning a special service for the third Sunday in May, 2017 to which Rev. Murray, Dr. Ingold, Dr. Hite, and Dr.
Carter will be invited to take part.
Make plans now to be at worship on May 15th and enjoy fellowship with our sister church.
Tip: The members of Bellefonte pronounce the name of their church this way---
Bell – like ringing a bell
Font – like the various scripts available when printing