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We are located in New Hanover Township.


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our history:1800-1899

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

Rev. John J. Kline: Served as Pastor from 1886 to 1945.As the congregation at New Hanover entered the 19th century and its second hundred years it was still connected to other congregations in the area through the sharing of a Pastor. Groups in Boyertown, Keelor, Sassman, and Hill all shared a common goal with New Hanover. This sharing of Pastors would continue in one form or another until 1886 when St. Johns, Boyertown would call their own Pastor, leaving New Hanover’s Pastor to tend only to that congregation.

The church at New Hanover consisted of the church building itself as well as numerous other structures including a working farm, the crops and animals of which were used to partially pay the Pastor. This arrangement also applied to the Schoolmaster who, in 1831, was allowed by unanimous vote the privilege of grazing his sheep in the cemetery (except on Sunday during service and the preceding Saturday). In 1833 he was also given a stonecutting shop which was located on the congregation's land.

1950 Exterior. There were different buildings used as a Parsonage during the 19th century, the last of which was sold along with 21 acres of farm land in 1870. A new Parsonage would be built in the 20th century. The schoolmaster also would have more than one residence. The last of these was built directly in front of the church in 1854. It was paid for by selling off some woodland and adjoining farmland. This building became a Sunday school and Sexton’s house. This building was dismantled in 1999.

Other buildings in use during the 19th century included barns and sheds, built by members, for the protection of horses and vehicles. This practice started in 1859 by vote of council, and in 1878 a barn was built for the Pastor.

Another part of the church's property that was modified during the 19th century is the cemetery, which dates back to the preceding century. The original "God's acre" saw some changes as the 1800's began. In 1802 a large gate was constructed with the Schoolmaster holding the key. It was not until 1886, however, that the congregation decided to expand and lay out lots leading to the current cemetery form. In 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.

In the 19th century the New Hanover congregation prospered and was served by eight pastors including the Rev. Jacob Miller (1809-1829), his brother, the Rev. Conrad Miller (1829-1852), and the Rev. Leonard Groh (1866-1886). The last Pastor of the century was the Rev. John J. Kline who began in 1886 and would continue until 1945. As was seen before most of these pastors would serve more than one congregation.

The schoolmasters of this time period were men who served various functions. They taught in the Church School (prior to Public schools), played the organ, led the singing, and held keys to church property. They were bi-lingual, by necessity, speaking both German and English.

1867-1903 InteriorOver the years the sanctuary has undergone many changes, many of which took place in the 19th century. During this time, a Dieffenbach organ was installed in 1800 and stoves were added in 1811. The interior was completely changed leaving only the roof and outer walls untouched. All the doors but one were removed and walled up. The galleries were changed. The altar, pulpit and organ were put in different locations. The steeple was erected and a bell was added. All of this took place between November 1867 and November 1868. In 1885 the woodwork was painted and the frescoes were added.

Another important change in the church was not a physical one, but rather a linguistic one. Little by little the original German was replaced by English. This was a slow process that started in 1853 when Pastor Jaeger was given permission to occasionally preach in English. In 1878 it was decided that every third service would be in English. This trend continued into the next century when German finally disappeared from all worship services.

During the 19th century the United States was involved in several wars and New Hanover sent men to most, including eight members who fought in the War of 1812 and thirteen who fought in the Civil War, two of whom came home to be buried in New Hanover's cemetery.

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

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