Wiltsie Community Church

1-814-757-8206

2981 Swede Hill Road
Russell, PA 16345


The Wiltsie Community Church was named in honor of:
William Wiltsie (February 12, 1812 - Feb. 12, 1881)

In 1849 Langford Venman establish his family’s homestead on State Line Road and encouraged other Swedish people to come to this part of the county to work in the sawmills and to help clear the land.  By 1890 some of the men who had families began to purchase property for themselves.  A few of these families came to a place later known as Swede Hill.  These new settlers wanted a school and church.  So in 1893, Charles Wiltsie gave the land for a building to be erected and used as a school and a church. A circuit-riding pastor helped to feed the spiritual needs of the nearby residents.

For 35 years from 1893 until 1928, the building served as The Wiltsie School. It closed because of the opening of the Russell School. Since that time it has been used as a Church being known as The Wiltsie Community Church. (If you happen to attend one of our services you can always ask Gertie Schott about the circuit preachers coming in on horseback on Sunday afternoons. Gertie attended school here until the Fifth-grade when the school closed, and she has been a member of Wiltsie Community Church since she was 5 years old).

From 1900 until around 1950 several local Churches help insure that services were provided to the faithful. Sermons, some two hours long, were first given in Swedish by pastors from the Swedish Mission Church in Chandlers Valley. Preachers from the Methodist Church in Russell, as well as other pastors from Russell would take their turn preaching on Sundays. Preachers from the Zion Mission in Jamestown, NY also came down to fill the need.

On Feb. 22, 1953, Pastor Eugene Donelson of the Cable Hollow-Stillwater United Brethren Churches helped to organize the group into the Wiltsie Community Church.  It was at this time the land, which had been deeded by Charles Wiltsie for a “school”, was deeded to the newly formed Wiltsie Community Church by the current owner Virgil Williams.

Church Additions and Improvements:

  • The building was redecorated in 1955

  • An addition with a new entry was built in 1971

  • Five Sunday school rooms and a kitchen were added in 1988-89.

  • Ground breaking for the new Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall, took place on August 19, 2007.


Today, the church operates as a member of the Conservative Christian Congregational Conference.

The Wiltsie Community Church History