History of Heidelberg

History of Heidelberg
History
Heidelberg United Church of Christ traces its roots back to the 18th century when German immigrants brought their religious traditions to the Perkiomen Valley. In 1762 a building for educational and religious purposes was constructed on Valentine Keely’s ground just outside Schwenksville on the road to Limerick. This original building was shared by Reformed, Lutheran, and Mennonite congregations. In September 1777, the church was used as a hospital for American Revolutionary Army soldiers under the command of General George Washington during the army's encampment at Pennypacker Mills. Some of those soldiers were laid to rest in the church’s burying ground, which today is still in use under the name of Schwenksville Cemetery.

The Mennonites built their own stone meetinghouse on Mine Hill in 1818.  Keely’s church-school was used by the Lutheran and Reformed congregations until 1834 when it was razed and replaced with a two-story stone building with a gallery on three sides of the auditorium. When this church became too small, the Lutherans withdrew in 1889 and built Jerusalem Lutheran Church down the road right here in Schwenksville.

The present stone structure at 251 Perkiomen Avenue, was constructed in 1892 by the Reformed (now UCC) congregation. The Parsonage, built in 1910 as a memorial to Albert and Catherine Bromer, is listed as a Pennsylvania historically significant building. Subsequent alterations to the church structure include renovation of the basement for use as a social room and construction of a wing for Christian Education in 1965.

In the 1950’s and again in the 1960’s, Heidelberg Church provided classroom space for students while public schools were under construction.

In 1970 the sanctuary was destroyed by fire and rebuilt the following year. In 2005 a second fire destroyed the education wing and social hall. When reconstruction was completed, we celebrated!  

Our newest construction efforts include the hopeful installing of an elevator to connect the floors of our building from within.  Although our building is fully accessible from the outside, the elevator would allow all people have easy access from within the building.