"The land of my father is dear unto me, the land of the poets, the land of the free. Her patriots, her warriors so brave, for freedom, their life's blood they gave."
--Welsh National Anthem
History of South Ebensburg Church
In 1797, a number of pioneer Welsh families left their homeland and trudged west to an area that most resembled their home, Ty Cymreig Tramar. Soon, more of the Welsh arrived and settled North and South of the town of Ebensburg and named it Cambria after the hills of Wales.
The early period of Cambria saw farmers and sawyers settling in the South Ebensburg area known as the Welsh Settlement. Their first years in this new land were harsh, arriving in the beginning of an unforgiving winter in the Alleghenies.
Rev. Robert Roberts, an early pastor, wrote "We had a small cabin of poles not larger than my thigh built, in which we lived pretty contented for two years, sometimes with a bit of bread in the house."
Their first concern was a house of worship and for a number of years, they traveled several miles into town to worship at the 1st Congregational Church. At the close of the Civil War, Southern Brethren approached the Ebensburg congregation and asked to seek leave of the town church to have a cwrd cymmyndeb "Communion meeting" in the South.
Having their request granted, they purchased a parcel of land from Humphrey Frances in the amount of $5.00 and proceeded to build their church.
On the Second Sunday in June 1867, the South Ebensburg Congregational Church (Bethany) was dedicated.
The congregation celebrated their 150th anniversary in 2017 (1867-2017).