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Centre County Church Records & Religion
Church records rank among the very best, yet most under-used, genealogical records available. One of the reasons church records are under-used is the proliferation of denominations, and then transformation of some denominations into identification with older smaller sects, or with newer "modern" churches which have attempted to put under one umbrella an identication with a certain set of beliefs. Another reason has to do with the very real difficulty of locating a specific church's records, and then, obtaining access to them.
Published records from several Centre County churches are on the shelves at the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library and Historical Museum in Bellefonte. Search the Centre County Libraries' Catalog.
These represent the strands of religious practice in Centre County as it has been known throughout the years:
An interesting event of some religious consequence to Centre County occurred in 1949 when folks from Penns Valley took it upon themselves to celebrate the simple acts of Aaronsburg's town founder Aaron Levy, a Jew, giving the town's German Protestant settlers a pewter Communion set, and land for a church and, therby, establishing an ideal of religious tolerance and understanding that was celebrated in the Aaronsburg Story. Surprising to most contemporaries was that 30,000 people showed up, the largest crowd ever assembled in Centre County, long before Penn State football began to do so many years later. A 50th anniversary commemoration of that event took place in October 1999.
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