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Christ Church Forest City: History


November 23, 1887

The first Episcopal service was held in Forest City by Rev. S. P. Kelly

August 12, 1888

The mission was organized and the name of the church settled upon was the Church of The Good Shepherd.

August 18, 1891

During the pastoral administration of Rev. A.D. Gring, the cornerstone of the church building was laid and the Vestry changed the name of the church to Christ Church. Because the front of the completed church was made of native quarried stone, it had been known through the years as “The Little Stone Church”.

1891 - 1943

A continuous ministry served the church community. But with decline in mining and timbering, the mission was not able to elevate into self-sustaining parish status.

1947 - 1956

A fire originating in the basement damages the church building. Visiting clergy and seminarians provide worship services on the 1st and 3rd Sunday’s of each month. Attendance dwindles and financial support was on the wane.


A dedicated layman of Trinity Church, Carbondale, Mr. Frank Gaydosh agreed to pay one-third of a full-time Vicar’s salary if the Diocese would pay one-third and the local congregation the remaining one-third. Rev. J. S. Falzone, (one of the visiting seminarians) was chosen by the Bishop. Regular attendance of worship services filled the church to capacity. A new building addition and a renovated undercroft was dedicated . The church chancel was renovated.


A down turn in the regional economy contributed to membership decline. The Diocese combined Christ Church and 4 other churches into the North Lackawanna Valley Parish and later, as the Lackawanna Episcopal Ministry (LEM) served by a rector and paid assistants.


LEM was disbanded. Christ Church and Trinity Church, Carbondale operated under a joint agreement as Christ & Trinity Parish. The merger was for the purposes of sharing clergy and administrative expenses. Each church maintained its own Vestry. The combined churches were served by full-time rectors for most of this period. Under the pastoral administration of Rev. S.J. Matylewicz, Christ Church became a parish in 1996, able to sustain itself without Diocesan financial assistance.


After more than 8 years of the pastoral care of Rev Donald Schaible, Christ Church has become a church of the community, serving others in the example of our Lord Jesus.  Not able to financially sustain a half-time Rector, Christ Church is seeking a part-time clergy dedicated to growing by spreading the Word.

2017- Present


Christ Church and Trinity Church dissolve their merger for sharing clergy and administrative expenses. Supply clergy celebrate the Holy Eucharist on Sundays, Easter and Christmas.  One of the supply clergy, Rev. William McGinty has accepted the Priest-in Charge position at one-third time.  Fr. Bill encourages and promotes our continued community service.  A lift is installed to eliminate stair climbing for our mobility challenged members and guests.