Church History
Church History

Middle Octorara Presbyterian Church was founded in 1727, and its members built and worshipped in a log structure located in what is now our Old Cemetery...

Madison McElwain (Faith and Works at Middle Octorara Since 1727) describes the settlers who came to "our little valley."

"By birth they were mostly Scotch or Scotch-Irish, with a sprinkling of other nationalities. In religion they were Scotch Covenanters, Calvinists, Hugenots, Presbyterians, men who kept the Sabbath with the utmost rigidity, men who believed in the inspiration of the Bible, the divinity of Christ, an educated and paid ministry, a representative form of government, and in education as the handmaid of religion."

The present church building was constructed in about 1800 with bell towers and narthex being added in 1914. In 1953, construction began on a new educational building to replace the chapel previously used for Sunday School classes. This new building was expanded and modified over the years with a complete renovation taking place in 1999-2000.

Middle Octorara's history is rich with a sense of community and with the wonderful people who have nurtured and guided the Church over the years, including several long pastorates. 

Notable in this regard:

  • Reverend Nathaniel W. Sample - 1781-1821
  • Reverend William G. Cairnes - 1877-1914
  • Reverend George H. Shea, D.D. - 1915-1965
  • Reverend Robert W. Tanguy, H.R., Pastor Emeritus - 1966-1994
  • Reverend Douglas M. Hileman - 1996 - 2018
  • Reverend John Barlow - August 2020 - Present


Copyright Middle Octorara Presbyterian Church
1199 Valley Road | Quarryville, PA 17566