Church of the Brethren

Elder Samuel G Meyer

Elder Samuel G. Meyer-circa 1915

The Brethren are a very old sect that settled in the area as early as 1745.  By 1770 more than 45 active congregations existed in the area serving members needs.  The Church of the Brethren or “Dunker” meeting house in Fredericksburg was erected in 1908.  The building committee responsible was Joseph Gibble, John H. Lentz, and Solomon Moyer.  The building was located as the west end of town and was accessible from two streets.  Church members could enter the property from Jonestown Road from the south or from west Main Street from the north.    The land that the church was built on was acquired from Anna Cook and earlier was part of a larger tract of land that was part of the Jacob Schnotterly Estate from 1876 before any of the land in the area was divided or built upon. The price for the land was $300.00 for the Trustees of the church in the original purchase in 1908.

Church of the Brethren-circa 1915

Church of the Brethren-circa 1915

In the fall of 1908 the church building was finished and dedicated.  On October 11th Bishop John Herr from Myerstown, PA and Bishop Hiram Gibble of Manheim both officiated at the services.  The brick structure as tradition merits with the Church of the Brethren was plain in design.  The ministerial group of Elders in charge since 1908 included: Elder Howard W. Bernard, Elder Samuel G. Meyer, Elder Irwin W. Heisey, Elder Ammon L. Merkey, Elder Ammon B. Meyer, Elder Ira C. Meyer, Elder Carl W. Ziegler Sr., and Elder Mark W. Wampler.

In 1955 the church underwent some renovations and added an annex on the north side of the edifice and on June 5, 1955 it was dedicated.  The annex measured 40 X 60 feet and included a basement where Bible School rooms were built for the use of the members.  The congregation boundaries took in what was formally the western half of the Little Swatara church area where before this church was built in 1908 for members to meet for worship services.  Some of the men who served the church as Elders in charge included; Elder Edward M. Wenger Sr., Elder Jacob Pfautz, Elder Jacob W. Meyer Jr. , Elder Elias W. Edris, Elder Ira D. Gibbel, Elder Henry Ziegler, Elder Jacob P. Merkey,. and Elder Samuel G. Meyer.

Photographs of Elder Samuel G. Meyer and Fredericksburg Church of the Brethren courtesy of Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA