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.

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