PENNSYLVANIA SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE
OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
Grace (Alsace)
United Church of Christ

2151 Kutztown Road, Reading, PA  19605
"A Welcoming Community in God’s Service since 1732"
EXPLORE


Church History


Grace (Alsace) United Church of Christ dates our history back to 1732 when we were organized along with our sister congregation, Alsace Lutheran, as Alsace Union Church. Three settlers from the Alsace- Lorraine region of Germany donated a corner of their land for the church. These settlers were Johannes Haberacker, Jacob Spangler, and Dewalt Baum. The tombstone of Johann Theobalt Baum on whose land is located the oldest part of our cemetery can still be seen today.

The first church building, a single room log cabin, was built in 1740. It was located somewhere around the area of the current office for Alsace Cemetery. At the time this area was in Alsace Township. A total of four union church buildings were built on this hill, each increasing in size as both congregations grew. Finally, in 1907, the two congregations split, and in a unique decision built twin structures, side by side on this hill. Since then, both structures have undergone restorations so that they are not exactly identical today.

While there is no record of the very early pastors, it is probable that some of the prominent church fathers, such as Rev. Boehm and Schlatter, preached at Alsace. In 1752, Michael Schlatter went to Europe to secure pastors, bringing six ministers back with him from Germany. According to references made by Schlatter in his second volume, “The Fathers of the Reformed Church”, it is likely that Rev. William Stoy, Rev. Waldschmidt, Rev. Frankenfield, and Rev. Conrad Bucher, preached at the “reformed church just outside of Reading”. Also John Westley, Gilbert Neveling, and possibly the Rev. Phillip Jacob Michael, who is credited with founding a number of churches in the Lehigh and Berks County area.
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