An American Family History


The Moravian Church


York County is in south central Pennsylvania and was created on August 19, 1749 from part of Lancaster County.

History of York County, Pennsylvania. John Gibson, Historical Editor. Chicago: F. A. Battey Publishing Co., 1886, Page 536

Among the first Germans who purchased lots in 1741, at the laying out of the town of York, were a number of Moravians. Services were held in this county by Moravian missionaries as early as 1744. Many years earlier than this, missionaries of this denomination conducted services among the Indians and the first settlers. Before there were any permanent settlements there was a trail or route, for the devoted missionaries of this church, from their famous settlement at Bethlehem across York County to their settlements in Maryland.

Rev. Jacob Lischy who, in 1744, was the first pastor of the German Reformed Church in York, was originally a Moravian. His first membership was composed of German Reformed and Moravian people. In 1751 Rev. John Philip Meurer was the first regular pastor, and during that year organized a congregation. The same year a clergyman of this faith, whose name cannot now be given, organized a congregation in Codorus Township, which existed for a time.

The York congregation worshipped in private houses, until 1755, when a stone house was built on what was then the outskirts of the town, but now located on the corner of Princess and Water Streets.

In the adjoining burying-ground are interred the remains of a great many of the early residents of York and vicinity. These graves are carefully arranged in rows, and numbered according to the original rules of the denomination. The tombstones are all of the same height, and of the same quality of stone. The stone building, erected in 1755, and dedicated on December 21, of the same year, was used as a dwelling house for the minister, and in a large hall in it, the religious services were held. A church was built in 1828.

The names of the pastors in order of succession since 1751 are Revs. Meuer, Engel, Neisser, Soelle, Schlegel, Schmidt, Herr, Lindemeyer, Krogstrup, Schweishaupt, Roth, Reineke, Huebner, Bochler, Molther, Beck, Rondthaler, Miller, Loeffler, Kluge, Dober, and Van Vleck....

The Moravian Church is a Protestant denomination that was started in the early 15th century in the Czech Republic.

Pennsylvania is one of the 13 original states and was originally founded in 1681 as a result of a royal land grant to William Penn, the son of the state's namesake.



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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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