Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church

By the 1940’s, the Lutheran congregation in the Linglestown area had grown to the point that consideration was given to having a church of their own. At a meeting of the congregation of Wenrich's church in August, 1946 a ways and means committee was selected to plan for relocation and construction of their building. 

A building fund was started at a church picnic, Rev. Kleinfelter donated the first $5. Mr & Mrs H.S. Koons offered a tract of land along Mountain Road, formerly known as the Crums Farm. Their generous offer was accepted at a meeting on November 13, 1949. The name, Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, was decided upon at the same meeting. 

Ground breaking ceremonies for the main building, which included a basement and kitchen, took place June 17, 1951.

Construction of the church took place during the Korean War, which meant metal for casting a bell was unavailable.  The problem was solved with help from the American Legion Post of Linglestown.  

The Robert H Hoke American Legion Post 272 acquired and remodeled the Union Chapel, removing the steeple and stowing the bell away in the attic. By the end of World War II,  the Legion's chapel was no longer used for religious services.

When the Post Commander heard of the church's bell problem, the post members offered the bell as a memorial to veterans of all wars. They stipulated that each Memorial Day, when the flag is lowered from the flagpole, the bell should be tolled once for each year the American Legion has existed beginning with 1919. That was done for years until the bell was replaced with an electronic version.

Services were held in the basement of the main building for the first three years. The sanctuary was completed and dedication services were held July 24, 1955.

A second section consisting of educational rooms, church offices, library and youth rooms were completed in 1957.  And a third section was started May 28, 1967, creating a courtyard surrounded on three sides by buildings that house Sunday school classes on two levels.  The completed buildings were dedicated on Nov. 11, 1967

For years after, the original churches of Linglestown got together for a Sunday School Union Picnic. Here is the list of contests and prizes for the one held at HersheyPark in 1950.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Story of Linglestown Life United Methodist Church

Some time in the year 1843, work was started on the Church of the United Brethren in Christ in Linglestown at the top of North Mountain Road, overlooking the square.  The church was a frame building, about 30 feet by 49 feet, with two front entrances, one for men and one for women. This first building stood until it was destroyed by a fire in 1903.

In 1905, the second church was built with various renovations and improvements that allowed the congregation to use the building until 1949. The 100th Anniversary of the church was held here June 6-13, 1943.

On November 16, 1946, the Evangelical Church and United Brethren Church united internationally to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church.

The second church was enclosed in brick and an addition was added. This building is the current church and was dedicated on December 18, 1949. 

The picture below shows you the church and the house at the top of the hill where the minister and his family lived. It is no longer located there. If you go to the top of the hill and look to your right, you will see where that house was moved to and remains today.

Across the street from the church was the Union Chapel, built in 1891 as a place of worship for people of all denominations. The chapel was in use until 1931 when it was disbanded and became the first home for the Linglestown American Legion.

In 1958 the American Legion Post 272 transferred the chapel building  to the Evangelical United Brethren Church for the sum of $1. It was used as a chapel and housed the Junior Department of the Children’s Sunday School until the present education building was built. 

On June 10, 1962 a ground-breaking service was held and construction began on a three floor Christian Education Building, which replaced the Union Chapel, and reconstruction of the interior of the sanctuary was started.

The Union Chapel building no longer stands.

The Linglestown United Methodist Church celebrated its 150th anniversary, September 1993.

Today the church is known as Linglestown Life UMC

The cover of the Sunday Bulletin, July 13, 1997

All early churches had graveyards, theirs was on the south side of the church. There are only two graves there now, Peter Kramer, a veteran of the War of 1812, and the other grave contains remains of all the earlier burials, a decision approved by a court order.