The History of Westminster Presbyterian Church

Dr. John H. Galbreath, our founding pastor, was a Marine Corps chaplain in World War II who served, among other places, at the battle of Iwo Jima. In the summer of 1946 he began knocking on doors in the growing suburb of Upper St. Clair, and held Westminster's first worship service on September 22 with 118 people present.

Ground was broken in August 1948, and what is now the southern wing of the building was dedicated on October 2, 1949. From the beginning Westminster has been active in the community, sponsoring or hosting all sorts of service groups and helping to found local organizations such as South Hills Interfaith Ministries. Over time our mission outreach has extended throughout the South Hills and the City of Pittsburgh, and to several other countries, including Haiti, Malawi, and India.

The church grew rapidly in the 1950s, and the current sanctuary was dedicated on November 1, 1959. A new wing north of the sanctuary was completed in 1991, and the last phase of expansion witnessed the opening of the WROC (Westminster Recreation & Outreach Center) in 1995.

The story of our church is not primarily about the building or the pastors, however, but about what the Holy Spirit has been doing in and through the congregation. Today Westminster has about 1800 members and continues to serve the local community, the greater Pittsburgh area, and many ministries abroad, believing that all people are precious in the eyes of God.

Galbreath Bible Study Series

The Galbreath Bible Study Series was created using sermon notes from John Galbreath, founding pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church. The series allows for study of how faith applies in different times and yet how timeless many faith and life issues remain, and it provides an opportunity for non-traditional Bible study. This means that each entry is appropriate for individual study but can also be used by small groups.

Date Sermon Title Scripture
December 24, 1961 Unopened Presents Luke 2:1-12
Date Unknown The Trouble with Being a Lion I Corinthians 4:3
Date Unknown The Travels of Wormwood 1 Corinthians 4:3
August 10, 1969 The Shepherd's Psalm Psalm 23:1
November 27, 1977 Shimei, The Man Who Stoned His King 2 Samuel 16:5-14
December 10, 1961 Two Claws Has the Eagle Psalm 120
January 21 Understanding Our Mission
July 18, 1976 The Troublers 1 Corinthians 1:4-25
July 18, 1948 Should I Drink? John 2:1-11
Date Unknown Hill Church House and Lineage Luke 2
November 18, 1962 Today's Pilgrims Hebrews 11:15
Date Unknown On Trying Too Hard John 15:5
November 12, 1961 Ironic Curtain Luke 6:46
September 29, 1957 Shadow of Little Rock Genesis 32:15-32
April 14, 1963 Two Trees 1 Corinthians 15:12-22
April 19, 1957 Seven Last Words: Woman, Behold Thy Son. Son, Thy Mother Luke 23:32-37
June 20, 1966 Sing Along Psalm 96
August 16, 1981 A Place for Piety Psalm 119:129-136
November 4, 1973 Two Overworked Words 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
July 31, 1976 Today's Holy Wars Epheshians 4:25-32
December 21, 1969 The Treasure That Is Ours 2 Corinthians 4:1-7
December 16, 1956 The Sheperd of Tekoa Amos 7, 8
October 15, 1972 Two Burning Questions by a Burning Bush Exodus 3:1-14
February 4, 1979 Time Out! Mark 1:29-39
October 26, 1969 Is That All There Is Ecclesiastes 2
February 6, 1949 Setting the Stakes 1 Timothy 4:11-16
July 16, 1967 Shalom John 14:27
September 17, 1961 The Two Hands of God Ezekiel 20
April 30, 1961 Is Church Union God's Will? John 17:13
April 23, 1950 Invitation to the Protestatnt Faith Ephesians 2:8-22
June 12, 1960 Truth and Consequences
December 26, 1948 Two Seas Psalm 8
November 3, 1957 Twentieth Century Cloister Romans 12:2
July 29, 1956 The Traveler's Psalm Psalm 139
September 14, 1975 Is God Still Speaking to Us? Exodus 3:1-15
April 15, 1962 The Identity of Christ Matthew 21:10-11
February 13, 1949 Is Freedom Worth the Price? 1 Peter 2:9-17 John 8:32 2 Corinthians 3:17 Galatians 5:15
1947 Is the World Coming to an End? Matthew 24: 3-6, 36-44
February 7, 1960 The True Vine John 15:1-11
June 26, 1955 I Will Draw All Men John 12:23-32
December 31, 1946 In Silence, God Psalm 46
February 27, 1949 Is There an Unforgiveable Sin? Matthew 12:22-37
December 22, 1953 Shepherds in the Fields Luke 2:8
October 9, 1966 Investing Our Affections Mark 14:32-35
October 1960 September 1963 What Christ Means to Me
Date Unknown This Happy Home Colossians 3:12-21
June 26, 1966 Into Full Time Christian Service Romans 12:1-13
January 13, 1974 The Identity of Jesus Matthew 11:2-6
January 2, 1955 Is God Able to Deliver? Romans 8