The seeds for the beginning of the Chambersburg Bible Church were planted in the hearts of a small group of men led by Charles Herr. These men met for prayer during their coffee break at Letterkenny Army Depot. The Chambersburg Bible Church was organized in October of 1952 by this group of believers and their families who withdrew from a local church due to the increasing domination of modernistic doctrine.
They met in the I.O.O.F. Lodge Hall in Chambersburg until 1956. In 1956 they moved to the Knights of Pythias Hall at 160 East Liberty Street. Pastor Richard Meyers of Saltillo, PA served as part-time Pastor from 1954 to 1958, conducting the weekly mid-week service.
Brother Charles Herr continued to search for a full-time pastor. He got a contact through the Calvary Baptist Church in Altoona, PA for a Pastor John R. Springer, who had been ordained in that church in 1953. Pastor Springer was a graduate of Bryan College, Dayton, TN and also graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX with a master’s degree in theology. Pastor Springer was serving two small churches in rural western Pennsylvania.
Pastor John Springer
In August of 1958 Charles Herr drafted a letter to Pastor John R. Springer. The letter went something like this: “We don’t have a church building; we don’t have a parsonage; we don’t know what we can pay you; but we do need a pastor; are you interested”? The Springer’s prayed about it and felt the Lord’s leading to come speak. Shortly thereafter a call was extended to Pastor Springer and he accepted the call to become the first full-time pastor of the Chambersburg Bible Church.
Pastor Springer arrived on October 8, 1958 (along with his wife Mary Jane and son Darald) to undertake the leadership and guidance of the congregation. The church became an organized independent Bible Church in 1960. A constitution and statement of faith were adopted and charter members were received.
As the congregation continued to grow, so did the need for a church building. The church bought a lot deeded off the Irvin & Helen Frey farm at the edge of Chambersburg. In 1962, the congregation moved into their newly built church at 2011 Scotland Avenue. Increasing attendance required the building of an annex in 1970 which doubled the size of the auditorium and the Sunday school facilities. The annex was dedicated on January 24, 1971.
Chambersburg Bible Church
The church continued to grow but there was no more room for expansion and the congregation voted to relocate. In 1978, after much prayer, a site was located at the intersection of Orchard Drive and Stanley Avenue to build a new and larger facility. After paying for the tract of land, the new church was started in September of 1986 and completed in May of 1987. The present church at 810 Orchard Drive was dedicated on June 7, 1987.
Pastor John Springer, the first full-time pastor, retired in December of 1998 having served over 40 years of ministry with the Chambersburg Bible Church, and upon his retirement was given the title of Pastor Emeritus. In June of 2009 Pastor Springer was presented an honorary doctorate degree from Antietam Bible College in Hagerstown, MD where he had taught classes for many years.
The current Sr. Pastor of the Chambersburg Bible Church is Rev. Gary Yoder. He received a bachelor’s degree in Bible and a master’s degree in pastoral theology from Bob Jones University,
Greenville, SC. He is presently pursuing a doctor of ministry degree through that university.
He served as a missionary in Cape Town, South Africa, for 13 years with his wife Denise, before being called to the church in February of 2007.