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SCHRECKENGOST v. GOSPEL TABERNACLE ET AL. APPELLANTS. (03/18/59)

March 18, 1959

SCHRECKENGOST
v.
GOSPEL TABERNACLE ET AL. APPELLANTS.



Appeal, No. 264, April T., 1958, from judgment of Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, Jan. T., 1958, No. 380, in case of Ruth Schreckengost v. The Gospel Tabernacle et al. Judgment affirmed.

COUNSEL

John F. Will, Jr., with him Neely & Will, for appellants.

Donald Laird Hankey, for appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Hirt, Gunther, Wright, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (woodside, J., absent).

Author: Gunther

[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 653]

OPINION BY GUNTHER, J.

In this workmen's compensation case, the appellants, The Gospel Tabernacle and United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company, insurance carrier, appeal from the judgment of the court below in affirming the award of the Workmen's Compensation Board.

The claimant is the widow of Merle L. Schreckengost who was fatally injured on December 5, 1955 in a fall from the roof of a church under construction by The Gospel Tabernacle in Westmoreland County. From such injuries, death resulted the following day. At the time of his death, Merle L. Schreckengost was 21 years of age and left to survive him his widow, Ruth Schreckengost, and two minor children. Prior to commencing construction of this church, a policy of Workmen's Compensation was issued by the United States Fidelity

[ 188 Pa. Super. Page 654]

    and Guaranty Company, effective May 26, 1955, and in full force and effect at the time of the accident.

Decedent, Merle L. Schreckengost, was a member of the Gospel Tabernacle and was a tither, that is, he gave ten percent of his earnings to the church. When construction for the new church was commenced, the minister asked for volunteers to aid in the carpentry labor and thereby reduce the cost of construction. He announced that such volunteer labor could be applied toward the payment of tithes. By such volunteer work the church was able to save approximately $30,000.00. The evidence disclosed that decedent offered his services almost daily and worked between two to four hours per day during his free time for approximately six months prior to the accident.

The minister stated that he acted as general contractor and that he had the right to direct the efforts of the volunteer labor force and the right to discharge anyone as he saw fit.

Before the policy of Workmen's Compensation Insurance was taken out, the insurance carrier was notified by the minister that the main purpose of taking out the ...


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