Kingston church tour to highlight history with architectural features

By Mary Therese Biebel - [email protected]
The bell tower on Wyoming Seminary’s campus was once attached to the school’s chapel. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Isabel Pisaneschi, vice president of the Kingston Historical Society, and tour leader Jan Lokuta are preparing for a June 24 tour of Kingston churches that will include Wyoming Seminary’s historic bell tower. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
A stained glass window at the Wyoming Valley Montessori School in Kingston is a reminder that the building was once a house of worship. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
The Wyoming Valley Montessori School used to be a Presbyterian church and will be included on a tour of Kingston churches on June 24. Isabel Pisaneschi, vice president of the Kingston Historical Society, and tour leader Jan Lokuta paid a preliminary visit to the site last week. - - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

KINGSTON — A few weeks ago, Isabel Pisaneschi said, she and other members of the Kingston Historical Society borrowed some space at the Westmoor Church of Christ to assemble a history exhibit.

“They have magnificent woodwork in that church, and a magnificent window,” she said, noting she was grateful for the chance to admire those features.

But unless you’re helping with some sort of project, as Pisaneschi was, or maybe attending a wedding or funeral, how many houses of worship do you expect to see on the inside?

“I’ve lived here most of my life, but I’ve never been inside most of the churches,” Pisaneschi admitted. “It’s fascinating.”

Pisaneschi was happy to take part last year in a tour of several houses of worship in Kingston, which was led by local historian and attorney Jan Lokuta.

She’s glad he’s continuing the effort this year with four additional sites that each have a history as a worship space. The event also marks the 13th year Lokuta has led a tour of area churches.

Anyone interested in taking part should meet at 1 p.m. June 24 at the Wyoming Seminary Stettler Learning Resource Center, Sprague Avenue, Kingston, from which point the group will proceed to the tall, stone bell tower on campus. The tower is a remnant of a school chapel that dates back to 1887.

“It’s made from Pennsylvania sandstone, also known as Pocono sandstone,” Lokuta said last week, as he and Pisaneschi took a preview tour.

The tower once had been attached to a structure where chapel services and music lessons were given for more than 80 years, according to a plaque.

From Wyoming Seminary’s campus, the tour will progress just a block away to Market Street, where participants will see the Church of Christ Uniting, designed in a simple, New England style, as well as a former Presbyterian church that was designed in a medieval half-timbered style often associated with 16th-century England.

Dennis Puhalla, head teacher at the Wyoming Valley Montessori School, said he sees daily reminders that the building once housed a Presbyterian congregation, from the organ pipes in the great room to a baptismal font in a room where music lessons are given.

After the flood of 1972, Kingston’s Presbyterian church and Methodist church joined to form the Church of Christ Uniting in the Market Street building that had been the Methodist church. A Tiffany window that depicts Jesus healing a blind person was removed from the Presbyterian church and later installed in the Church of Christ Uniting.

Lokuta expects tour participants will walk to the buildings on Market Street, then use their cars to travel to the Westmoor Church of Christ on Goodwin Street and the Dorranceton United Methodist Church on Wyoming Avenue.

The Kingston Historical Society is sponsoring the tour.

The bell tower on Wyoming Seminary’s campus was once attached to the school’s chapel.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL061218church-tour1.jpgThe bell tower on Wyoming Seminary’s campus was once attached to the school’s chapel. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Isabel Pisaneschi, vice president of the Kingston Historical Society, and tour leader Jan Lokuta are preparing for a June 24 tour of Kingston churches that will include Wyoming Seminary’s historic bell tower.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL061218church-tour2.jpgIsabel Pisaneschi, vice president of the Kingston Historical Society, and tour leader Jan Lokuta are preparing for a June 24 tour of Kingston churches that will include Wyoming Seminary’s historic bell tower. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

A stained glass window at the Wyoming Valley Montessori School in Kingston is a reminder that the building was once a house of worship.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL061218church-tour4.jpgA stained glass window at the Wyoming Valley Montessori School in Kingston is a reminder that the building was once a house of worship. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

The Wyoming Valley Montessori School used to be a Presbyterian church and will be included on a tour of Kingston churches on June 24. Isabel Pisaneschi, vice president of the Kingston Historical Society, and tour leader Jan Lokuta paid a preliminary visit to the site last week.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_TTL061218church-tour3.jpgThe Wyoming Valley Montessori School used to be a Presbyterian church and will be included on a tour of Kingston churches on June 24. Isabel Pisaneschi, vice president of the Kingston Historical Society, and tour leader Jan Lokuta paid a preliminary visit to the site last week. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Architectural features tell stories in local houses of worship

By Mary Therese Biebel

[email protected]

IF YOU GO

What: 13th annual tour of historic churches

Who: sponsored by Kingston Historical Society and led by Attorney Jan Lokuta.

When: Meet at 1 p.m. June 24

Where: Wyoming Seminary’s Stettler Learning Resource Center, Sprague Avenue, Kingston

Admission: free, and registration is not required.

More info: 570-296-6471 or 570-296-2181

Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT.

Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT.