Our History

From the Beginning

History of Ebenezer UCC

Ebenezer United Church of Christ in New Tripoli, PA has a long and detailed recorded history thanks to people like Richard Miller and Glenn Koch. The book “Stones of Help” is a 250-year history of Ebenezer Union Church, 1740-1990. This book is an all-encompassing piece of work covering the history of the church and can be found in .pdf format in its entirety below.

The following was written by Richard K. Miller as a special introduction of the book:

During the peak years (1725-1775) of German immigrants arriving in colonial Pennsylvania, it was very common for Protestant settlers, predominantly Lutherans and Reformed, to share the same house of worship for numerous reasons, particularly economic at that time. Those shared houses of worship became commonly known as union churches. For approximately 250 years they provided worship services for their faithful parishioners. Ebenezer Union Church of New Tripoli was one of those churches.

As a nation we have come a long way in the past 250 years. Ethnically speaking, we have undergone a tremendous acculturation process and have become a true melting pot society. Not only have we endured tremendous upheavals and strides socially, but also the same holds true for our economic and technological skills. Indeed “We, the People” are constantly being challenged to “meet the signs of the time.”

This is also true for practically all our influential institutions, including union churches. For the past 40 years, there has been a trend to bring union churches in to sync with “the signs of the time.” The usual first order of business in “updating” the church is for both faiths to draw up an agreement for dissolution of the union and each one then provides their own house of worship.

In 1987, the joint union council at Ebenezer Union Church agreed to dissolve the union. The dissolution was completed until 1989. Upon the dissolution agreement, the union council requested that Glenn Kock and I, Richard Miller, create a 250-year record of the activities at Ebenezer Union Church. The “Stones of Help” provides a history to present our readers the thoughts, plans, and accomplishments of our predecessors at Ebenezer Union Church from 1740 to 1990.

In conclusion, I would like to quote a few remarks made by Historian Scholar Dr. Mahlon Hellerich, who published a book review of our publication July 1, 1994:

“The volume contains biographical sketches of various congregational auxiliaries. Genealogists will appreciate the lists of all baptisms, marriages, confirmations, and funerals noted in church records which form a lengthy appendix to the narrative. The illustrations, largely photographs, are tasteful and appropriate. The printers have produced an attractive book. The authors have made excellent use of their resource materials and have written in simple, warm, almost colloquial style. This is a superior congregational history which should be of interest to all students of the union church.”

Richard K. Miller
Co-Author, “Stones of Help
May 28, 2010