The Early Years The Common Place Church is not necessarily a “new” church as of 2009. The Common Place is a continuation and new expression of a church that has been in Lock Haven since 1938; it actually began life as the Fairview Community Alliance Church. In 1938, The Williamsport Gospel Crusaders held revival meetings in the area and the guest speaker was the District Super Intendent for the Christian & Missionary Alliance Church, headquartered, at the time, in Williamsport, PA. After successful meetings in Lock Haven, there was a desire to plant a church and the District Super Intendent appointed his brother, Rev. Paul Conley to head up the charge. In 1939, the church was formed and began to meet in the Pastor’s home in Lockport for a time and then moved to a storefront in Mill Hall.
A Growing Era A few years later, the church purchased a lot in Lock Haven at the corner of Peach St. and S. Fairview St. and then relocated an army barracks onto the property and held services there for the next 20 years. In 1964, the church was finally able to build a permanent church building and over the following 23 years, experienced fruit both in their adult and children’s ministries.
A Church In Decline During the late 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s, the church struggled with both attendance and relevance within the community, and as a result, dwindled in size. The Alliance tried to revitalize the declining church, but ultimately, it wasn’t enough.
A New Chapter It was during this time that the decision was made to shut down the original church and re-launch the historic Alliance church with a new vision and under new leadership. A core group of former members along with new members, began to develop the strategic plan to start a church in a coffee shop. As this group dreamed and planned, they gathered weekly in Aungst Family Restaurant preparing for a new vision and a new initiative as the church. In that year, the groundwork was laid. In 2009, all of this planning came to fruition with the birth of The Common Place Church and Avenue 209 Coffee House.