St. Peter's Union Church

7863 St. Peters Rd, Macungie, PA  18062
"Inviting all to grow and live joyfully centered in Christ"

Church History

On March 6, 1773, George Adam Bortz agreed to sell to Messrs. Druckenmiller, Wetzel, Berger, and Gerber one acre of land to be used as a burial ground for the Lutheran and Reformed people who attended services at the Barrich Schule in Macungie Township. A down payment of 15 shillings was made with the remaining price of 15 pounds 5 shillings due when the trustees received the deed. Final settlement was made, some 55 years later, on November 8, 1828.

A formal document creating St. Peter's German Lutheran and Reformed Church was drawn up on June 2, 1844 and the building of a new church structure began, on the southeast corner of the burial site. This new building was dedicated on Christmas Day 1844.

As the 20"' Century dawned, St. Peter's continued to grow. John Wetzel built the chancel and pulpit. New larger balconies were installed and the old bench style seats were replaced. A hand-pumped manual organ was placed on the section of the balcony between the rear stairways. Choir seating was also established.

Although the German heritage of the congregation is evident, in 1930 German language services were discontinued, thus opening the services to more of St. Peter's neighbors. The cornerstone of the Christian Education building was laid in 1969, enhancing the ability of St. Peter's to teach its children about the Christian faith.

Throughout its history St. Peter's has shared its two denominational pastors with other local congregations. With the support from both the Lutheran Synod and UCC Conference this changed in 1986, when the Rev. Richard Crusius was called to serve as the full time pastor of both congregations. This commitment to Shared Ministry continues to this day, with the Rev. Jerel Gade now serving as St. Peter's pastor. Under his leadership, expanding outreach has been a priority. This outreach has even reached as far as Honduras, with the sending of a group of volunteers from St. Peter's to help with the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Mitch.

Most recently, in 2005 a year-round replacement for the old picnic pavilion was built, thanks to the generosity and labors of members. "St. Peter's Place" now serves as a meeting place for community groups, and is the centerpiece of the congregation's continuing outreach to its surrounding neighborhood.

This, the second oldest shared ministry congregation is now the longest continuously operating shared ministry. As St. Peter's moves into the future, it continues to grow and serve God as a single congregation of believers celebrating the combined heritage of both her Lutheran and Reformed founders. Join us, and become a part of St. Peter's continuing history

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