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Professor returns to Portersville church roots

October 14, 2021 Digital Media Exclusive

Dr. C. Scott Shidemantle, left, will return to his childhood church this Sunday to give a special speech at the invitation of the Presbyterian Church of Portersville's pastor, the Rev. Dana Opp, right.

PORTERSVILLE — It will be a homecoming for the special speaker at Sunday's Presbyterian Church of Portersville's worship service.

Dr. C. Scott Shidemantle, professor of biblical studies and coordinator of the Bible Core at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, grew up in Portersville, attended the church as a child and credits the church's teachings and its leadership for setting him on the path that led to his present position.

“I grew up in Portersville,” said Shidemantle, the son of Jim and Donna Shidemantle. “My parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were all from Portersville. They came over in the 1840s from Germany.”

“I was baptized at Mountville Presbyterian Church, but I started here when I was 4 years old. This was my dad's family church,” he said.

“I grew up in this church in the youth ministry here. Ralph Phillips, the youth minister, had a big impact on my life,” Shidemantle said.

He went to Slippery Rock University, where he served as a youth director before attending the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, where he earned his master of divinity degree.

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Eric Freehling

Eric Freehling

Eric was born in Butler and grew up in Winfield Township. He graduated from Knoch High School and later Indiana University of Pa. with a degree in Journalism. After working as a reporter and editor with the Kittanning Leader-Times, he moved to Bloomington, Illinois, where he worked at The Pantagraph newspaper as a copy editor, page designer, reporter and business editor. Freehling later worked at the Houston Chronicle as senior copy editor and the Chicago Tribune as a copy editor on the business desk. He moved back to Pennsylvania in 2010 and joined the Butler Eagle as Community Editor in January 2011.