John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Lebanon County - Churches

The following is reproduced from the 1875 Atlas of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania

The First Reformed Church of Lebanon

Is connected with the Eastern Synod of the Reformed Church of the United States. It is one of the oldest church edifice, in Lebanon, and the congregation worshipping there probably the largest in the county; and has been served by the present pastor, Rev. Franklin W. Kremer, D.D., for twenty-five years, whose faithful labor with this people has resulted in much good. A large and flourishing Sunday-school of about 400 is maintained, and the influence and importance of this congregation is readily acknowledged in the community, and especially in the church of its kind throughout the country. This congregation was organized about the A.D., 1750, and was ministered to by the following pastors: Rev. Conrad Templeman, and Rev. Wm Stoy, M.D., during the interval until 1768, when Rev. John Conrad Bucher was elected, who served from Nov. 24th, 1768, to July 7th, 1780, and died while solemnizing a marriage ceremony at Annville (then Millerstown). On Nov. 26th, 1780, Rev. John William Runkel was elected, and served until Nov. 14th; and from the latter date until Dec. 6, 1786, the congregation was served by missionary pastors from the Tulpehocken and other charges, when Rev. Ludwig Lupp was elected, who served until June 10th, 1798. Rev. Win. Hiester was elected on Sept. 22, 1799, and served until Nov. 22, 1827. On June 5, 1828, Rev. Henry Kroh took charge of the congregation, and labored until Dec. 29, 1833. Rev. Henry Wagner tool charge June 7th, 1835, and continued until April 1st ,1851. The present pastor, Rev. F. W. Kremer, D.D., commenced his pastorate in April, 1851.

St. John's Reformed Church, Lebanon, Pa

This church is an offshoot of the First Reformed Church of Lebanon. Application having been made in regular form to the Lebanon Classis, its organization was granted by a unanimous vote. It was subsequently perfected, a charter obtained, and the present site purchased. The corner-stone was laid May 21st, 1859. The edifice was erected and completed by Oct. 18th, 1860, at which time it was solemnly dedicated to the worship of the triune God-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Rev. Dr. Henry Harbaugh delivered the sermon, and Rev. Dr. F. W. Kremer performed the act of consecration.

Rev. Dr. Henry Harbaugh was installed pastor by the Lebanon Classis, Oct. 18th, 1860. He resigned Jan. 1, 1864, to accept the position of Professor of Theology in the seminary at Mercersburg. He died Dec. 28th. 1868.

Rev. Dr. T. S. Johnston was duly elected and installed pastor by the Lebanon Classis, March 0th, 1864.

The building is in the Byrantine style, built of dressed sandstone, which was presented by R. W. Coleman, Esq. It is 60x90 feet in size, and the audience chamber, 51x67 1/2. The interiro is chastely finished and furnished. The whole is surmounted with a graceful spire, 180 feet in height, which is crowned with a large Roman cross.

The congregation has steadily increased from its organization in numbers, benevolence and piety.


Pastor: Rev. T.S. Johnston, D.D
Elders: John Meily, W.M. Guildord, M.D., David S. Raber, Cyrus Boger
Deacons: Jacob K. Funk, P.S. Greenawalt, C. Penrose Sherk, C.n. Seidel
Trustees: Philip Fisher, Hon. J.W. Killinger, John H. Bressler, Henry Raber, John W. Mish

The Evangelical Church

The Evangelical Church was built in the year of our Lord, 1830, which was destroyed by fire in 1831, and in the same year replaced by building the present brick church on the same lot on which the first building the present brick church on the same lot on which the first church stood. Joseph Specht, the present pastor.

Salem's Evangelical Lutheran Church.

This church was built in the year 1798, in place of a log building erected in 1765, in which the congregation first worshipped. The present edifice-remodelled in 1848, and renovated in 1866-is a very substantial structure of stone, with a steeple, furnished with a large, deep, and rich-toned bell, (the largest in Lebanon) together with a smaller one, which has its mate in the steeple of Trinity Lutheran church, Lancaster, Pa., and bears the inscription: " Park & Chapman, Fecit-1770. For the Lutheran Congregation of Lebanon, Lancaster county, in the Province of Pennsylvania. " A Communion Service, belonging to the congregation, and still to use, bears the inscription: "Presented by Henry Antonius Doewler-1769; " and a Communion cloth of the finest texture, is marked with the date, 1775.

The following is a list of the predecessors of the present pastor of the church, Rev. B. W. Schmauk: Revs. J. C. Stoever, F. A. Muhlenberg, E. Schulze, W. Kurz, M. G. Lochman, D.D., J. Ruthrauff, W. G. Ernst, D.D., U. F. Krotel, D.D., J. N. Hoffman, and H. S. Miller.

St. Mary's Church.

This Catholic Mission in Lebanon county is one of the oldest in the State of Pennsylvania. The few scattered Catholics were visited by zealous missionaries as early as the beginning of the latter half of the last century, although the first baptism on record is found only in the year 1795. The small congregation at that early period was composed mostly of thrifty farmers, who, at this date, 1875, form the greater portion of the congregation in their third and fourth generation. The ground on which the present church structure stands in, this Borough of Lebanon, was donated in the beginning of the century. In the year 1812, the present church was erected, and dedicated in 1814. Rev. J. W. Beschter presiding as pastor. In the year 1848, it was found necessary to enlarge the church, which was done under the guidance of the Rev. Father Baumgardner. The Parochial Schools owe their origin to the zealous care of the Rev. Antoninus Grundner, O.S.B., V.M. Six Sisters of the Society of St. Joseph occupy the large and commodious Convent attached to the church, who efficiently instruct the children, both in English and German, in all the necessary branches of an ordinary school education. The average attendance of pupils is 200. The congregation now numbering over a thousand souls, contemplate the erection of a new and much larger church, with good parochial accommodations. A considerable sum for this purpose has been subscribed.