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We are located in New Hanover Township.

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our history:1700-1799


See Also: Overview | 1700-1799 | 1800-1899 | 1900-2017 | Timeline of our Pastors

Henry Melchoir Muhlengerg: Patriach of American Lutheranism, Pastor of New Hanover Lutheran Church 1742 - 1761The foundation of the New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church is deeply rooted in the Germany of Martin Luther, transported to the new land on the evangelical wings of Daniel Falckner, and nourished by the ecclesiastical energy of Henry Muhlenberg. Falckner, a German theological student, came to America as an agent for the Frankfort Land Company. Ordained as a minister on a return visit to Germany just before 1700, Falckner then ministered among the scattered Lutherans in southeastern Pennsylvania, between the Schuylkill River and the present Pennsburg, organizing them into a congregation.

Following in Falckner's footsteps was a procession of ministers, mostly "circuit" pastors, who served several congregations at the same time. One of these was Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, who answered a call to America from his native Germany in 1742. He preached his first sermon in Pennsylvania at New Hanover on November 28 of that year. His call included New Hanover, Providence (Trappe), and Philadelphia (St. Michael's). Under Muhlenberg's guidance New Hanover grew and prospered.

At one point, New Hanover Lutheran Church was constructed out of logsIn 1768, after having worshipped in three log structures for the first three-quarters of a century that it existed, the congregation at New Hanover dedicated its new stone edifice, the building which continues to serve to this day.

During the War for American Independence, the new church building served in a way its builders did not anticipate. In the autumn of 1777 the Continental Army, led by General George Washington, retreated before the oncoming British. They carried with them their wounded from Brandywine and Paoli. As the army moved north of the Schuylkill River, encampments were established from Pottsgrove to Towamencin, and the church at New Hanover became a temporary hospital.

A sketch of New Hanover Lutheran Church in 1768In 1777-1778, the Reverend Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, son of Henry, served the New Hanover congregation. He later entered civil life and served both in the Continental Congress and the first Congress of the United States, where he became the first Speaker of the House of Representatives.

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See Also: Overview | 1700-1799 | 1800-1899 | 1900-2017 | Timeline of our Pastors

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