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Annual hymn sing set for September 13 at Old Immanuel Church

By Staff | Sep 2, 2015

MUNCY – The Rev. James H. Fladland, STS, pastor of First Lutheran Church in Watsontown, will be the officiant at the Annual Fall Hymn Sing at Old Immanuel Lutheran Church, Lime Bluff Road, Muncy, on September 13, 2015, at 2 p.m. Pastor Fladland has chosen the topic “The Cross of Christ” and the all the hymns will center around this theme. Mrs. Connie Fladland will provide music for the service on the church’s antique pump organ, and the choir of First Lutheran Church will also be present to assist with the singing.

Some of the hymns chosen are “In the Cross of Christ I Glory,” “Jesus, Refuge of the Weary,” “Come to Calvary’s Holy Mountain,” “O Sacred Head Now Wounded,” “My Faith Looks Up to Thee,” “By Thy Cross, O Christ, and Passion,” “Beneath the Cross of Jesus,” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” The choir of First Lutheran Church will offer “Bless Us with Your Love” by Mozart. The church will be decorated for the fall and harvest seasons and offers a wonderful look “back in time” to worship in the late 1800s.

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 of 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.

The public is invited to attend this service as well as to tour the historic church. Light refreshments will be served after the service.