The Old Clinton Church
When I was young, my family attended the Clinton Church of God. It was located in the small village of Clinton, Pennsylvania, southeast of Pittsburgh. Local people attended made up of farmers, factory workers, mechanics, housewives, and other blue collar workers. They were rural people who for the most part were warmhearted folks with strict moral values.
The building was of painted, white clapboard with a shingle roof, shaded by a large oak tree. The six concrete stairs were bordered by white wooden handrails. The steps led to a landing outside of the tall double wooden doors. Stepping inside, there were two lines of pews bordering a wide aisle to the front of the church, the communion table flanked by two oak chairs, and the pulpit.
The pews were handmade and straight backed as the congregation. The wooden pews were painted a pale brown and rested on a gray painted wooden floor. The floor popped and creaked when it was walked on. The walls had wainscoting up the sides to about three feet, capped with a plain chair rail. It was painted with a color of brown, slightly darker than the pews. Above that to the ceiling overhead was a cream painted, wooden walls. The ceiling was of wood painted white.
The lights marched in two rows, hanging down on chains, looking like frosted glass heads of cauliflower. The pulpit and the choir were on a raised dais surrounded by the corral of the altar. It was painted brown to match the pews. The choir sat on shorter pews to the right. Directly behind the pulpit were oak ornate chairs to match the podium and the communion table.
To the left and down off the platform were three pews that faced the pulpit and the preacher. This was the area for the youngsters Sunday school lessons. That side of the church had an outset area with windows that was the base for the bell tower. A hemp rope looped down with one hung on a nail and the other ran up, through a hole in the ceiling and was attached to the church bell, hanging in the open, steeple belfry. When church was about to start, one of the elders would pull on the rope, calling those still outside, the services were about to begin.
At the front of the building between the first row of pews and the table was a large metal grate about four feet square. It hovered over the coal furnace in the basement and allowed the heat to escape and warm the sanctuary. Alas, the church has been razed and is no longer there. A more modern brick edifice has taken its place, but its memories still stir my heart and