HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
The area covered by Lackawanna Presbytery was originally inhabited by the Lenape or Delawares tribes, along with the Susquehannocks, although most Native Americans were removed from their homeland by expanding European colonies during the last decades of the 18th century. The settlers in this region were primarily of English, German, Dutch, and Scotch-Irish descent.
The Presbytery of Lackawanna under its current name is one of the newer presbyteries in the Synod of the Trinity. It’s roots, however, date back much further.
On June 21, 1870, the Presbyteries of Susquehanna, Montrose, and Luzerne were merged to form the Presbytery of Lackawanna. Prior to that, in 1832, the Presbytery of Susquehanna was divided into two presbyteries, with the new Montrose Presbytery consisting of churches in Susquehanna and Wayne counties and Susquehanna comprised of congregations in Bradford and Luzerne counties. During a schism in the denomination a few years later, churches in Montrose followed the New School thinking while Susquehanna went with the Old School.
Twenty ministers and six elders gathered at the first meeting of the Presbytery of Lackawanna, at Spring Garden Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. This merger brought together the churches of northeastern Pennsylvania and the wealthiest congregations of the coal region, “making it one of the strongest presbyteries in the land.” However, it was stated that “with all this wealth and adaptation for work the question may well be asked whether the church is doing all that it should for the elevation of the human race.” It was noted that with a large population of southern European immigrants in its region speaking different languages that there is a need “to be educated in our customs and language and most of all they need religious instruction.
The Presbytery of Lackawanna serves churches in six Counties of Pennsylvania (Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne, Bradford, Susquehanna, and Wyoming) as well as one congregation in New York along the Pennsylvania border.