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1834 - 1955

History of Emmanuel Lutheran Church



About two years later, April 23rd 1893 the new edifice was completed. It was dedicated to Almighty God by the Rev. Dr. Issac P. Neff, the first pastor. The total cost of the building was $10,362.60. Rededication was held in 1911 and the building was appraised at $20,000.00, twice the original cost of construction. In the year 1903 the present parsonage was built costing $3,500.00.


Five years later, September 16th 1916 the first pipe organ was installed by the Felgemacher Co., of Erie, Pa. A tubular pneumatic organ costing $2,264.82 which later on caused many mechanical irregularities, so in 1928 it was replaced by another. This was manufactured by the M. P. Moller Co. of Hagerstown, Md. It was a two manual electromatic organ (not electronic) which served our purpose well. The electromatic change over cost $1,947.00.


The year 1934 marked the 10th Anniversary of this church under the pastorate of the Rev. Melvin C. Drumm and dedicated in honor of George M. Shindle, a faithful and beneficent member of this congregation. Other faithful members feted for their dedicated service and included in the Memorial Book were Dr. G. Edgar Hassinger, John R. Kreeger, Arthur S. Beaver, P. Scott Ritter, Edwin Charles and many others.


AND NOW, on December 28th 1952 the fateful and never to be forgotten calamity in a fire of unknown origin completely destroyed our lovely Emmanuel Lutheran Church. During the height of the conflagration, John Charles and Evan Hassinger, both members of the church council were witnessing the gruesome sight from an adjacent field while the red fire and black smoke engulfed the highest part of the roof. Promptly John spoke up, “Now we have a big work cut out for us to do. You should have brought your camera to take a picture!” To which Evan replied, “Who the heck would want a picture of something like this?”


Fire Insurance on the building and contents amounted to $64,000. In May 1953 the congregation voted to rebuild following many visits to churches in central Pennsylvania by a large committee of volunteers to learn and make reports of certain improvements for the new church.


The architectural firm of J. Alfred Hamme of York, Pa., was selected to draw plans and specifications with the estimated cost of $158,000.00 for construction, plumbing and electrical work. By this time many council meetings were held in neighborhood churches and in the open air basement of the newly started church building. Already the sum of $48,000 had been raised in cash. Three months later, September 19th 1954 the laying of the cornerstone was observed with proper official ceremony by Pastor James Shannon, whose untold and valuable assistance completed the service.


With few drawbacks, the great magnificent edifice was finally completed and first used June 4th 1955. At this time through the kindness of Harold E. Hassinger, our local mortician, an electronic organ was temporarily installed until the new pipe organ arrived.

One hundred eighty years ago (1834) the official record shows that a joint congregation, members of Emmanuel’s Church, later known as Evangelical Reformed and Evangelical Lutheran Church erected a church building on 1/9th acre of land on East Market Street, Middleburg, Pa. This land cost $40,000.


Due to crowding and other reasons common the two different parishes the Lutherans took upon themselves to erect another church. This new location was on South Main Street, on ground commonly known as “French Flats”. Ground was broken April 28th 1891. On May 23rd 1891 the first foundation stone was laid and on July 12th 1891 the corner stone was put in place, and eight days later the first bricks were laid.

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