Emmanuel Church to hold Fall Hymn Sing
MUNCY – Pastor JR Heddings, of the Hughesville Friends Church, has chosen the theme “True Light cannot be contained in Brick Baskets” for the Annual Fall Hymn Sing to be held at Old Immanuel Lutheran Church on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, at 2:30 p.m.
The church, located on Lime Bluff Road between Hughesville and Muncy, is recognized as the first Lutheran church in Lycoming County.
Some historians offer that it is actually the oldest church of any denomination within the county limits. Built on a thirteen-acre parcel of land donated by Henry and Barbara Shoemaker, the first church was constructed on logs in 1791.
It seated 600 people and featured high-backed pews, a gallery on three sides of the building, and a stem-glass pulpit with a sounding board above it. Other denominations used the church building itself for worship, but the Old Immanuel congregation was entirely Lutheran.
The second church, built of brick, was constructed at the rear of the first church so that the log church could be used while the second one was being built. The stem-glass pulpit was transported to another church, and the cornerstone was laid on April 5, 1832. The building began exhibiting structural problems, and the third and present church was dedicated on May1, 1870. The cornerstones of the second and third buildings are preserved in the current structure, the older one in German.
Old Immanuel closed its doors for regular services in 1920, after giving rise to 19 other Lutheran congregations. Some of these have also closed their doors, such as Moreland Lutheran, Trinity (Huntersville), St. Paul’s (Millville), Germany Church, Katy’s Church, St, Mark’s (Lairdsville), Christ Lutheran (Montgomery), Messiah (Alvira), the Stone Church in Elimsport, and Zion’s, also in Elimsport. Some of these churches have taken on new identities as they have become home to other congregations.
Pastor Heddings, who serves on the Board of Directors at Old Immanuel, invites everyone to the Hymn Sing and to tour the historic church, which will be decorated for fall. There is plenty of free parking available, and light refreshments will be served after the service.