St. Andrew's
United Church of Christ

1320 Spruce Street, Reading, PA  19602-2161
"More than a Century of Service to the City"

Church History

St. Andrew's Church was founded by members of St. Paul's Memorial Reformed Church under the leadership of their pastor Rev. Benjamin Bausman, who in the last two decades of the nineteenth century implemented a plan to provide a Reformed Church within easy walking distance of everyone living in the City of Reading. Beginning in 1885, they offered Sunday School classes in a public school building that stood at the corner of 13th & Cotton Streets--this was their feasibility study. A lot was purchased, and late in 1889 the cornerstone of the church was laid.

On the Feast of St. Andrew, November 30, 1890, the first worship service in the new church was held, but it took place in the basement, as the plaster was still drying in the church nave. Worship moved upstairs in January, 1891, and Stanley Krebs, a student from Lancaster Theological Seminary, was licensed to serve the church. The new congregation was organized on March 19, 1891, when St. Paul's Memorial Church relinquished control of the property. When Stanley Krebs graduated, he was ordained and became the first pastor of St. Andrew's Church. [Some years after he left St. Andrew's Church, Rev. Krebs married as his second wife the actress Marjorie Main, best known as "Ma Kettle" in a series of films produced by Universal Studios.]

By the turn of the century the congregation had grown sufficiently that expansion of the church building became necessary. The addition was constructed in 1903 and tripled the area of the church building. At this time the congregation also applied for matching funds from Andrew Carnegie's foundation in order to purchase a pipe organ. A major interior renovation of the original portion of the building was completed in the 1920's.

In recent years the congregation has completed a renovation of all stained glass windows--and there is stained glass in every window on the main level of the church building--and the replacement of the roof on the entire building.

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