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Earliest Churches of Lancaster

From: "Churches and Cemeteries of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: a Complete Guide" by A. Hunter Rineer, Jr. ©1993, Lancaster County Historical Society

Dates listed in parenthesis are ones for which we have records.


Church Records begin in the 1950s, Names in Brackets are alternate [generally older] names.

Willow Street [Herr's or Brick], West Lampeter Twp., 1719
Hershey's, Lancaster Twp., c. 1730, disbanded 1791
Strasburg, Strasburg Twp., 1740
Weaverland, East Earl Twp., 1740
Byerland, Pequea Twp., c. 1747
Landisville, East Hempfield Twp., 1752
Groffdale, West Earl Twp., 1755
New Danville [Stone], Pequea Twp., 1755
Millersville, Millersville Borough, 1757
Habecker, Manor Twp., c. 1760
Masonville, Manor Twp., c. 1760
Risser's, Mount Joy Twp., 1760
Hernley's, Rapho Twp., 1766
New Providence [Black Horse], Providence Twp., 1766
Mellinger's, East Lampeter Twp., 1767
River Corner, Conestoga Twp., c. 1774
Stumptown Church, Upper Leacock Twp., 1781
Chestnut Hill, West Hempfield Twp., c. 1790
Bowmansville, Brecknock Twp., 1794
Erbs, Penn Twp., 1794


German Baptist Brethren
Conestoga Congregation, Bareville, Upper Leacock Twp., 1724 (1729 to 1891)
(These are adult baptisms, there is no date of birth or parent's names given)


Society of Friends
Records are held at the monthly meeting level.

Sadsbury Meeting, Sadsbury Twp., 1723, (1733-1903)
[Became a monthly meeting in 1737, prior to that it was part of New Garden Monthly Meeting Toughkenamon, Chester Co.].
Lampeter Meeting, East Lampeter Twp., 1728-1851, disbanded.
[records held by Sadsbury Monthly Meeting].
Columbia Meeting,
[formerly Wright's Ferry Meeting or Hempfield Meeting] 1728-1886 [records after 1799 held by Sadsbury Monthly Meeting, records prior to that date are lost.]
Little Britain [Penn Hill Meeting], (1775-1881)
[Became a monthly meeting in 1804, prior to that part of Nottingham Monthly Meeting, Maryland.]


Protestant Episcopal
St. John's [Pequea], Compass, Salisbury Twp., 1728 (1828 to 1944)
Bangor, Churchtown, Caernarvon Twp., 1733 (1848 to 1950)
St. James, Lancaster City, 1744 (1744 to 1950)
Christ Church, Leacock Twp, 1818-1937 disbanded (1828 to 1850)


Roman Catholic
St. Mary's Lancaster City, 1741 (1805 to 1880)
St. Peter's Elizabethtown, 1752 (1818 to 1899)
St. Anthony's, Lancaster City, 1850 (1871 to 1899)
St. Joseph's Lancaster City, 1850 (1850 to 1899)


Holy Trinity, Lancaster City, 1730 (1730 to 1921)
Muddy Creek, East Cocalico Twp,. 1730 (1730 to 1869)
Trinity, New Holland [Earltown], Earl Twp., 1730 (1730 to 1922)
St. Michael's [Beaver Creek, Old Dutch], Strasburg Borough., 1730 (1753 to 1859)
Emmanuel [Old Warwick], Brickerville, Elizabeth Twp., c. 1742 (1743 to 1790
Christ [Bischof's] Elizabethtown, c. 1744 (1790 to 1922)
St. James, Lititz, Warwick Twp., 1744 [became Moravian]
St. Paul's, Penryn, Penn Twp.,. 1752 (1771 to 1804)
Bergstrasse, Ephrata Twp., 1752 (1753 to 1915)
St. John's, Maytown, East Donegal Twp. 1767 (1767 to 1939)
Zion, Manheim Borough, 1769 (1771 to 1922)
Swamp, West Cocalico Twp., 1774 (1808 to 1935)
Salem, Columbia Borough, 1804-1880 [now United Church of Christ] (1862 to 1908)
Salem, Reamstown [Zoar], East Cocalico Twp., 1817 (1818 to 1886)
St. John's [Center], East Earl Twp., 1819 (1833 to 1886)
Salem, Kissel Hill, Warwick Twp., 1823 (1824 to 1888)
Zion, Lancaster City, 1823 (1827 to 1874)
Zion, Leola, Upper Leacock Twp., 1817 (1813 to 1821)


German Reformed
[Now United Church of Christ]
Salem [Heller's], Upper Leacock Twp., 1725 (1824 to 1876)
Peace Church [ Muddy Creek], East Cocalico Twp., 1731/2 (See Bethany, Ephrata Borough.)
Bethany [Cocalico], Ephrata Borough., 1730 (1766 to 1861)
First Reformed, Lancaster City, 1732 (1736 to 1931)
St. Stephen's [Zeltenreich's], New Holland, Earl Twp., 1732 (1746-1800, 1866-1906)
Zion [Reiher's or Reyer's), Brickerville, Elizabeth Twp., c. 1732-1848 disbanded (See Bethany, Ephrata Borough.)
Christ [Blaser's], Elizabethtown, 1743 (1750 to 1835)
Zion [Pequea, Black Horse], New Providence, Strasburg Twp., 1750 (1740 to 1800)
Rapho, Rapho Twp., c. 1747-1876, disbanded (1808 to 1835)
Swamp Church, West Cocalico Twp., 1749 (See Bethany, Ephrata Borough)
Jerusalem (White Oak), Penryn, Penn Twp., 1752 (1754 to 1789)
Maytown, East Donegal Twp., 1765 (1765 to 1811 and 1840 to 1873)
St. Paul's, Manheim Borough., 1769 (1771 to 1853)
Trinity (formerly Salem), Columbia Borough, 1804 (1808 to 1835)
Salem, Reamstown [Zoar], East Cocalico Twp., 1815 (1818 to 1882)
Zion, Marietta Borough., 1817 (1808 to 1835)
St. John's [Center], East Earl Twp., 1819
Salem, Kissel Hill, Warwick Twp., 1823-1910 disbanded


Lititz, Warwick Twp., 1742
Donegal, Milton Grove, Mount Joy Twp., 1743-1805 disbanded
Lancaster, Lancaster City, 1746 (1743 to 1875)


Methodist (now called United Methodist)
Boehm's, Pequea Twp., 1791 (1866 to 1911)
Soudersburg, East Lampeter Twp., 1802-1919 disbanded
First, Columbia Borough., 1803
First Lancaster City, 1807
Wesley, Strasburg Borough., 1807
Bethel African, Lancaster City, 1817


Seventh Day Baptists
(No Records)

Ephrata Cloister, Ephrata Twp., 1732-1814 (last member died in the 1920s)


(No Records)

Shaarai Shamoyin, Lancaster City, 1856 (date of church, congregation existed from the 1750s)


Chestnut Level, Drumore Twp., 1717
Donegal Church, East Donegal Twp., 1721 (minutes only)
Pequea, Salisbury Twp., 1724
Middle Octorara, Bart Twp., 1727 (baptisms 1846 to 1859)
Little Britain, Fulton Twp., 1732
Leacock, Leacock and Paradise Twps., 1740
Muddy Creek, Martic Twp., 1743-1909 disbanded
Octorara, Bart Twp., 1754-1941 disbanded
First [English], Lancaster City, 1763 (1821-1874)
Cedar Grove, East Earl Twp., 1775


In some cases records are stored by minister rather than by church, generally because the minister was an iterinent, below are some of the records we have.

Culbertson, John, Presbyterian, (Covenanter), 1751-1791, served a large area including Lancaster County.

Gerhard, Darius, Reformed, marriages only, 1866-1906, Seltenrich, St. Stevens

Gerhard, William, Reformed, marriages only, 1844-1886, Bucks, Northampton and Lancaster Counties.

Hertz, Daniel, Marriages only, Reformed Minister at New Holland, Muddy Creek, Bethany, Zion, Kissel Hill, Hellers, Seldenrich, and St. John's (Center), 1823-1868)

Shaffner, Henry B., Reformed Minister at Marietta (Zion) , Manheim Borough (St. Paul's) , Rapho, Elizabethtown (Christ or Blaser's), Columbia (Salem) , Black Horse (Zion), 1808 to 1835

Stover, John Casper, Lutheran Minister 1730 to 1799.

Strine, John Jacob, Lutheran Minister, 1815 to 1870, minister at Conestoga, Columbia (Salem), Trinity (East Hempfield Twp)

Waldschmidt, John, Reformed Minister at Cocalico, Moden Krick, Weissenichen Land and Seltenreich 1752-1786

Welder, Benjamin G., Lutheran Minister at Salem (Reamstown), St. Paul's (Bowmansville), St. John's (Center) and Bergstrasse (Ephrata), 1886-1921


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