BROCKWAY — Brockway Church of God — a small country church at 85 Charnisky Drive — started in a former beauty shop with 15 folding chairs in 1985, said Pastor David Nagele Jr.
The church came to its Charnisky Drive location in Brockway in 1992, Nagele said.
BCOG began with Nagele and his wife, Ruth, their four children and a local woman and her daughter, he said, before it was moved to a downstairs apartment and then to an old laundromat. Members began looking for a place they wouldn’t have to rent, and he prayed about it, he recalled.
It just so happened a man was looking to sell the Charnisky Drive property at the time, Nagele said. Members cleaned and fixed up the building to make it sermon ready. The men of the church built the kitchen, a former furnace room, themselves.
BCOG added to its current location, which used to basically be just a small sanctuary room, in 2012, Nagele said. They are also clearing ground beside the church, and the plan is to eventually build an all-purpose facility for classrooms, sanctuary, offices and a nursery.
Nagele’s family moved to Brockway when he was 16 years old. He is originally from New York. He and Ruth met at Brockway Area High School and are high school sweethearts. They joined the church when he was 27 years old.
Nagele’s oldest son, David, also pastors a Church of God in Fairmount City, Pennsylvania. He started as BCOG’s youth pastor, Nagele said, then became associate pastor. The church’s current youth pastor is Andrea Kohlhepp.
Nagele has been a staff chaplain at Penn Highlands DuBois since 2008, where he makes rounds to comfort families during a hard time. He has always worked outside of the church, Nagele says, including at Brockway Pressed Metals for 25 years.
Nagele, also a member of the Brockway Ministerium, is the only pastor the church has ever had. He and BCOG “grew together” over the years.
A country churchNagele says the congregation calls BCOG a “church to come home to,” since it has a homey feel and is just a “simple country church.”
The number of people at a Sunday service will fluctuate from 70-100, averaging about 85, Nagele says. People from several areas, including Ridgway, Weedville, Reynoldsville, DuBois, Brookville and Brockport, attend.
“We preach and teach the word of God, and you get that home, family feeling here,” Nagele says.
BCOG sponsors the COG radio show on the local WDBA radio station each Sunday, Nagele said.
The church also started streaming Sunday morning sermons on Facebook live after members with health issues couldn’t make it in, Nagele says.
OutreachBCOG sponsors several missionaries in Africa, Costa Rica, the United States and the Middle East, Nagele said, as well as a COG ministry in Johnstown and Helping Hands Food Pantry of Brockway.
BCOG also collects Bibles and sends them to a missions group, which then distributes them around the world. The ladies of the church put together welcome bags for visitors, too.
The ladies of BCOG are involved in Aglow International, people from different churches and denominations coming together to do God’s work, Nagele says.
“We try to be involved with the community, and events with other churches,” Nagele adds.
BCOG has a “country band,” Nagele says. He plays the electric guitar, while there is also a bass, keyboard, and piano player.
The church hosts holiday means and events like a Trunk or Treat, which will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7 this year. Its Vacation Bible School was held in August this year.
BCOG’s Bible study group meets on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, Nagele said, and youth group also meets on Sunday evenings. Children’s church is held on Sundays in the fellowship hall.
BCOG services are held at 11 a.m. Sunday, with Sunday school beginning at 10 a.m.
For more information, call 814-265-8442 or visit the BCOG Facebook page.