The First Reformed Church - Easton, Pennsylvania.
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 40° 41.529 W 075° 12.543
18T E 482337 N 4504604
Quick Description: Steeped deep with German roots, this church has churned on through the years, witness & influential to important American history. Once it served Lutheran interests but now it serves the First United Church of Christ. This book tells that story.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 4/9/2013 7:45:53 PM
Waymark Code: WMGTVA
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member Bryan
Views: 2

Long Description:

The FIRST REFORMED CHURCH, 31 N. 3rd St., was erected in 1776 for a congregation organized some 30 years earlier. Originally of Georgian Colonial design, its chief architectural feature is a high,square belfry tower surmounted with a slender steeple. The church remodeled in 1832, 1885, and 1934 was used as a hospital during the Revolutionary War; in 1777 a series of treaties with the Indians was negotiated here. There are a number of historic relics in the building. --- Pennsylvania: A Guide to the Keystone State, 1940, p. 211-212

First United Church of Christ of Easton (aka:First U.C.C. or First Church) was established in 1745. The church was a sanctuary for scattered German worshippers who recently came to America. In 1746, Rev. Michael Schlatter was sent to America by the Synod of Holland to gather together the scattered bands of German Reformed congregations. SOURCE It was this congregation that built the present day church.

This church is also a contributing structure to the Easton Historic District. There is one of those official Keystone markers which reads: Congregation organized 1745. This building, enlarged and restored, was erected, 1776. Scene of Indian Treaty, 1777. During the Revolutionary War, it was used as a military hospital. Three separate web sites confirmed this as a contributing structure despite the fact I still cannot find the narrative for the historic district. Some sites which confirm this (it is quite obvious) are Wikipedia and Living Places to name a few.

On June 8, 1775, the cornerstone of the present sanctuary was laid. Construction began immediately, and the Church was consecrated on November 17, 1776. Only the four stone walls remain of the original Church. First Church played a prominent role in the turbulent years of the American Revolution. Since the Church and the courthouse were the largest buildings in Easton, both were used as hospitals for wounded and infirm soldiers after the battles of Trenton, Brandywine, and Germantown. It is believed Gen. George Washington visited these soldiers in the Church during one of his visits to Easton. In 1777, meetings were held at the Church between the peace commissioners appointed by Congress and representatives of various Indian nations. Thomas Paine, the famous Revolutionary pamphleteer and author of “Common Sense”, served as secretary to the commissioners at these meetings.

The Reformed and Lutheran congregations continued to worship in the Church until 1831, when the Lutherans sold their interest in the building to the Reformed. That brings us to the present day congregation. In 1832, a year after the turn over, the steeple and vestibule were added to First Church. Services at the Church were conducted in the German language until 1831, when English services were added. Both languages were used until 1871, when the German language was dropped entirely.

ISBN Number: B004V5N82C

Author(s): George A. Creitz

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