Pittsburgh has always had a large German population, and for centuries the German Evangelical Protestant Church, now known as the Smithfield United Church of Christ, was the pride of the community.
The church featured opulent stained-glass windows and a steeple which at one point, could be seen from any part of the city. Pittsburgh’s oldest organized church is now hidden between towering skyscrapers, a reminder of the city’s past. Historian Donn Neal joined us to look back at an especially trying time in the church’s history: World War I, which began in earnest 100 years ago this week.
The church was important, Neal says, because it was the center of German community.