A union meeting of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Bible Society drew a capacity crowd to First Presbyterian Church, Sunbury Street, on Thursday, Oct. 29, 1891.
The Shamokin Herald of Friday, Oct. 30, called it “...one of the largest and most interesting meetings ever held in this city.”
The American Bible Society, founded in 1816, is a non-denominational organization which publishes, distributes and translates the Bible. In the 19th century, the society endeavored to provide the good book to people of all classes and conditions, placing the Bible in hotels and distributing pocket copies to soldiers.
“It fully illustrates that our churches are thoroughly awake and interested in the extension of Christianity and Bible truths among the people,” the Herald wrote. “Whatever may be said about church unity or the lack of it elsewhere, there is certainly no lack of it in Shamokin. The audience last night laid aside all denominational differences and turned out in mass and packed the audience room of the Presbyterian church to its utmost capacity and turning hundreds away for lack of room.”
The main speaker for the evening was the Rev. James Morrow, of Philadelphia, then secretary of the state Bible society. The newspaper said his address fit with the object of the local society, which was to “look after the needs of the community and see that the Bible is placed in every family.”
Many prominent members of the community served as officers and on the board of the local society. Those named in the article were: Dr. K. C. McWilliams, president; Elmer Heffelfinger, Henry Yordy and J.J.W. Schwarz, vice presidents; Frank Ammerman, secretary; L. S. Huber, treasurer, and T. H. Lippiatt, C. C. Leader, Mr. Jones, Mrs. J. D. Francis, Mrs. Frank Parry, Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. D. L. Sollenberger, Mrs. Shipe and Miss Agnes Washwood, managers.