of the church records, as the committee also became the first trustees. The new building built on land that was part of the Biggert farm property, was dedicated, debt free, in 1901 and by 1923, there were 510 members. A manse for the pastor was built in 1921 at 51 Hawthorne Avenue, but sold in 2004. A fire damaged the church school in the 1970's, which was refurbished and the kitchen was also updated.
The sanctuary has changed very little over the last 119 years. The pipe organ, a Molar Opus #1288, built in 1911, underwent a complete renovation in the 1980's. Records from the Pittsburgh History & Landmark's Foundation state
JOIN US WHEN WE START OUR FALL CLASSES, BEGINNING ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2021 AT 11AM
MESSAGE FROM OUR CHILDREN’S SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER,
JESSICA (Miss Jessica) NIGRA
Subject: Brief Bio – Jessica Nigra
RE: Sunday school at Hawthorne Ave Presbyterian Church
First and foremost, I am a born-again Christian and a beloved child of God. After having earned a Master’s degree and completing over 3,000 hours of group and individual therapy, I became a Licensed Professional Counselor for the State of Pennsylvania in June of 2015. My career and volunteer experience includes counseling individuals diagnosed with mental health disorders. I specialize in working with children and adolescents and currently work as a school-based therapist for Glade Run Lutheran Services. Last march I published a book entitled “Recognizing the Face of Abuse” that addresses domestic violence. I desire to apply my skills and gifts to help the youth of our congregation and others advance toward spiritual growth and a saving relationship with Christ.
Something I continue to enjoy is my 17 plus years as a docent at The Frick Art & Historical Center. Most recently at “The Frick” I have helped develop programs for intellectually disabled adults.
In the course of raising our three daughters (Haley, Mollie, and Emily) with my husband, Pastor Paul, I founded “Joyful Twirlers” (May of 2000) a Christian-based baton twirling, 501 3 c non-profit organization. Since then, hundreds of youth have been active in the ministry, learning baton-twirling skills and participating in fellowship and public evangelism (www.joyfultwirlers.org).
I welcome the youth of our congregation here at Hawthorne Ave Presbyterian Church to participate and become a valued member of the Sunday School Program. Sunday school currently takes place in a designated area of Fellowship Hall and meets at 11:00 AM during the weekly church service.
Jessica Nigra (a.k.a. – Miss Jessica)
Clerk of Session - Carol Finlay
Treasurer/Choir - Dave McNamara
Secretary- Judy McNamara
Women's Association - Margaret Jordan
Choir - John Phillips & Joan Phillips
Sunday School - Jessica Nigra (Bio below)
The Hawthorne Avenue Presbyterian Church was organized on Thursday, January, 23rd, 1896, in the community of Crafton, which at the time, was known as Idlewood. It began with 57 charter members. On December 4, 1894, Pittsburgh Presbytery authorized the building committee, in response to a petition from 81 persons in the Idlewood area, requesting organization of a new church. This committee included Mr. F. C. Biggert, Sr., a local landowner who acted as secretary and kept the minutes. These minutes are still part
Pastor -Paul Nigra
and Mrs. Jessica Nigra
that the stained glass windowns are the earliest surviving windows of Henry Hunt (1867-1951), a glass artist from London, hired by the decorating firm of Leak & Greene of Boston; whose work can also be seen at Henry Clay Frick's home, "Clayton". Refurbishing of the windows was begun with the front window within the last 10 years.
Pastor Paul Nigra has presided over Hawthorne for the past 11 years.