About Us.


For nearly three centuries, New Goshenhoppen Reformed United Church of Christ has been an open and welcoming church, continually renewed by its youth and forever enriched by its generations.

 

New Disciples

Looking to join our community of faith? New Disciples' classes meet regularly. more

 

 

Our Mission.


New Goshenhoppen lives as a firm foundation for the Christian faith and shall continue to serve God by sharing the light, faith, and love of Jesus Christ with all people guided by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

New Disciples

Looking to join our community of faith? New Disciples' classes meet regularly. more

Our Vision.


We will endeavor to nurture positive spiritual development through teaching, fellowship, worship, mission, and leadership.

 

New Disciples

Looking to join our community of faith? New Disciples' classes meet regularly. more

Come Join Us!


Come discuss your part in our Christian community ...

 

New Disciples

New Disciples' classes meet regularly.  We invite you to visit us and make New Gosh your home more

 

Forward

The History of New Goshenhoppen dates back to 1727 when the first recorded communion was held. Over the years, thousands of people have worshiped God in our Church. They worked hard to provide a strong faith community in this area. During this time services have changed from German to English.
 

 

Pastors
New Gosh has a long history of leadership, including father & son pastorates. more
Our Church Buildings
Three buildings have been built by the congregation.  The present church in 1857.
Cemetery

Our cemetery dates back to the 1700s.  Trace back an ancestors resting place... more

The countryside has changed where trees and woods have slowly given way to farm fields, housing and industry. Our ways of living and transportation has also changed. Still, one constant has remained-the selfless giving and hard work of our church's members, doing what it takes to provide a strong household of faith.

 

Founding

 

All people are proud of their heritage of the past. The citizens of the Goshenhoppen Region, which embraces the entire upper half of the Perkiomen Valley, owe much to its location, its climate, its soil and the spirit and hopes of the various national and racial representatives whose decedents comprise the present population.  In 1682 William Penn, possessing a charter from King Charles II of England for certain land in the new world, landed in Philadelphia which was then inhabited by the Lenape Indian Nation. A treaty was made between Mr. Penn and Tamanend or Tammany, King of the Lenape Nation, covering the province of Pennsylvania.  In 1684 Mr. Penn purchased other land from the Indians. One transaction in particular is significant here, and a copy of the treaty follows:

 

"Upon my own Desire and free Offer, I, Maughoughsin in consideration of Two Matchcoats, four pair of Stockings, and four Bottles of sider do hereby graunt and make over all my Land upon Pankehom (Perkiomen) to William Penn Prop'r and Govern'r of Pennsylvania and Territories his heirs and Assignes forever with which I own myself satisfied and promise never to molest any Christians so call'd y't shall seat thereon by his ord'rs witness my hand and seal of Philadelphia y'e third Day of y'e fourth month

1684. THE MARK OF MAUGHOUGHSIN Signed, Sealed and delivered in presence of us: Philip Th Lehnman Thos. Holme Jn Davers George Emlin”.

 

Twenty-five years after Chief Maughoughsin had deeded the Perkiomen Valley to Penn, the Indians had left it forever and had moved westward to the Susquehanna. This movement was due largely to the great number of white families who had moved into the Perkiomen region.

 

The majority of the early settlers in the Goshenhoppen region came from Germany and were members of either of the two state-protected Protestant Churches — The Lutheran or the German Reformed.

There were two German Reformed Churches established in the Goshenhoppen region — The Old Goshenhoppen German Reformed Church in Woxall and the New Goshenhoppen German Reformed Church in Upper Hanover Township. Goshenhoppen is probably a name that the first German settlers adopted from the Indians. The original Indian word is said to have meant "wonderful tubers". The prefixes Old and New were used to establish their proximity to Philadelphia — Old referring to the closer and New referring to the more remote location.

 

The site on which New Goshenhoppen Church is located was donated at an early date to the Lutherans, Mennonites and Calvinists by John Henry Sproegel. It was a tract of 50 acres and 26 parches. Each congregation was given a plot on which to construct a church. Both the Lutheran and Mennonites sold or relinquished their rights to their share in the Sproegel tract and the 50 acres became the absolute property of the Calvinists or Reformed.

 

Our story covers the New Goshenhoppen German Reformed Church congregation, which, since 1957, has been affiliated with the United Church of Christ. On a marble slab in the outside wall of the present church building, immediately above the arch of the front door, there is an inscription in German, which translated reads:

 

New Goshenhoppen Reformed Church Founded between the years 1680 and 1700 The second church was built in the year 1769 the third church was built in the year 1857 Building committee of the third church Charles Hillegass Peter Hillegass Wilhelm Rieth Jacob Hersch George Deischer

In an early history of Upper Hanover Township we read, "Tradition established the German Reformed Church at New Goshenhoppen as early as 1716."

In a letter to the Classis of Amsterdam, November 1730, the Rev. John Philip Boehm wrote as follows: "He (Mr. Weiss) preached at a branch place called Goshenhoppen about ten miles from Falckner Schwam; the last time on October 12, 1727, he celebrated the Lord's Supper." Rev. George Michael Weiss, the eminent Reformed pioneer clergyman and the first pastor of the New Goshenhoppen Reformed Church, has been called the first mission superintendent of the Reformed Church in America. 

 

Our Church Buildings
 

Three buildings have been utilized by this congregation throughout its long history of service to the people of this area.

It is definitely known that a building existed in 1739 when John Goetschy was pastor. John Philip Boehm mentioned that in a letter in that year to the South and North Synods of Holland in which he says, "They have built a pretty large church at that place, which will be sufficient for them for some time, but it is poorly made of wood."

 

The outstanding event of the pastorate of Rev. John Theobald Faber, Sr. was the building of a stone church, for which the cornerstone was laid in 1769. The church was completed in 1770. It is regrettable that this church had to be razed. However, there are a number of items which were a part of the second church that may be seen in the third church — our present edifice. During the pastorate of Rev. Daniel Weiser, the present church was constructed. The cornerstone bears the year 1857. It was wisely planned and so built at a cost slightly over $18,000, that it has served our congregation for many years. In order to erect a steeple, nine members each contributed $100 while others gave liberally toward the purchase of the bell.

 

The church was described in the Bauern Freund of August 1858. "The new church is one of the largest and most beautiful in the rural area, built of brick, according to the modern style, surmounted by a high steeple with a heavy bell therein. The glass of the high windows in completely stippled with paint so that the beams of sunlight will not blind the eyes of the audience. The chancel is decorated to represent variegated marble, is placed rather high, with steps unprotected by a railing; the altar is simple and plain. The ceiling and walls of the interior are painted in fresco and make an elegant appearance." The balcony on three sides of the sanctuary along with the organ (on the balcony) in the rear of the church are both examples of typical German architecture.

 

During the year 1894, an annex to the church was built at the pulpit end, and the inside of the edifice was renovated. This present

church contains some very revered and highly valued mementos of the first and second churches. There are a number of the timbers hewn for the second church which serve as the rafters of the present building. Above the balcony doorways and bordering the cabinet of the present organ are the collars of the Tannenberg organ which had been in service in the 1769 church. Some of the gilded pipes in the casework were a part of that organ.

 

The one remnant of the first church is a wooden memorial tablet which had been placed over the grave of Rev. George Michael Weiss, our first pastor, who was buried under the pulpit. This memorial is now located at the top of the stairs on the left as you enter the front door.

 

There are also two memorial tablets of the Fabers, father and son, who originally were buried under the chancel of the 1769 church. These tablets are now located on the wall facing you as you enter through the main door. Directly to the left is the marker of John Theobald Faber, Sr., and to the right is the marker of John Theobald Faber, Jr.

 

 

 

 

Three inscribed stones which had been in the wall over the entrance to the 1769 church have been placed in the present building. The two stones containing Psalm 27:4 in German are embedded in the inside walls on either side of the main entrance. The third stone, containing Psalm 100:4 in German is located at the top of the stairs on the right as you enter the front door.

 

On the church grounds is found the arch stone of the 1769 church, located in the stone wall surrounding the second cemetery directly west of the present church. At the south corner of the low wall surrounding the church are part of a stone pillar and the cornerstone of the second church. A stone step from the 1769 church is now a part of the southwest pavement. 

 

Cemetery

 

The oldest part of the cemetery is located opposite the front of the present church building. This burial ground is the oldest in the upper portion of Montgomery county. According to tradition, this burying site may have been selected as early as 1708, for around that time, John Henry Sproegel, an extensive landowner, donated six acres to the settlers for such a purpose.

 

Many of the early German settlers that came to America are buried here, one of which is David Schultz, a famous colonial scrivener. Also, the founders of New Goshenhoppen Church and many prominent citizens of the surrounding community rest here. Names such as Hillegass, Welker, Graber, Reed and Huber are found, whose descendants are members of New Goshenhoppen today. Many of the stones are unmarked and show the ravages of time.

 

American flags and brass markers identify the graves of 36 Revolutionary War soldiers who served in the War of Independence.

The grave of Rev. George Michael Weiss (d. 1761), the first ordained Reformed minister to come to America, is found in front of the present church along with that of Rev. John Theobald Faber, Sr. (d. 1788), who was stricken while preaching in the pulpit. There are seven former pastors of the church buried in the cemetery grounds.

A record of the family names that are decipherable from the gravestones can be found in church records. 

 

Chronology of the Church

 

1727 -- October 12 is first recorded date in history of our congregation when Rev. George Michael Weiss celebrated the Lord's Supper.
1730-1793 -- Church of Holland gave financial aid to Reformed churches in Pennsylvania.
1731 -- Oldest congregational record book of Reformed Church in United States begun.
1739 -- First church (of logs) built by this year.
1750 -- Parsonage built on land at Montgomery Avenue, Eleventh Street, Red Hill.
1769 -- Second church (two story, of stone) built.
1769-- David Tannenberg built and installed organ.
1808 -- Stone parsonage built on land at Montgomery Avenue, Eleventh Street, Red Hill. This building is used for offices by Upper Perkiomen School district.
1840 -- Dr. Daniel Weiser began Sunday School.
1857 -- Present church built at cost of $18,158.09.
1867 -- Parsonage sold.
1867 -- English language services introduced, but German services continued.
1869 -- Edwin Krauss rebuilt organ and built walnut cabinet.
1878 -- Dr. Clement Weiser headed Peace Commission to create unity and harmony in the Reformed Church.
1879 -- Church farm house built (now sexton's home).
1893 -- St. John's Chapel built in East Greenville.
1894 -- Apse added to church in chancel area. -- church renovated.
1900 -- New bell installed in church steeple.
1905 -- New Goshenhoppen Church Park created.
1907 -- First annual Service in Memory of the Dead held on our cemetery and in our church.
1913 -- Christian Endeavor Society organized.
1915 -- Electric lights replaced oil-burning chandelier.
1916 -- Women members given right to vote in church elections.
1923 -- Bandshell and pavilion erected in Park.
1927 -- Church renovated for Church's Bicentennial
1927 -- Governor John S. Fisher of Pennsylvania spoke at 200th anniversary.
1935 -- All regular German language services discontinued.
1950 -- New Moeller Pipe Organ installed.
1953 -- Dr. Calvin M. DeLong retired after fifty years of service to New Goshenhoppen.
1959 -- Christian Education Building constructed.
1962 -- Rev. Nevin E. Schellenberger elected as first moderator of Penn Southeast Conference.
1975 -- Confirmed membership reached 1500 with Rev. Albert E. Teske as pastor.
1977 -- 250th Anniversary Celebration.
1978 -- New Parsonage erected for Senior Pastor.
1979 -- St. John's Chapel destroyed by fire.
1981 -- St. John's Chapel property sold.
1982 -- 125th Anniversary and renovation of the present brick church.
1984 -- Purchase of 72 acres of land adjacent to church.
1985 -- Membership exceeds 1700.
1986 -- 260th Anniversary Celebration; Dedication of the chapel bell garden; Revised constitution and by-laws.
1990-- 150th Sunday School Anniversary.
1993 -- Moeller Pipe Organ rebuilt, project fund raised $115,000.00
1994 -- Band shell in park renovated.
1994 -- Rev. Dr. Albert E. Teske retired after 29 years at New Goshenhoppen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Services

  8:00 AM   Early Service

 

  9:15 AM   Sunday School 

 

10:30 AM   Late Service

Contact Information

1070 Church Road
East Greenville, PA 18041
Phone: 1(215) 679 2041
Fax: 1(215) 679 6684
E-mail: office@newgoshucc.org