On June 2nd, 1844, in the 68th year of American Independence, Church Articles were drawn up for a Union Church to be called St. Peter’s German Lutheran and Reformed Church. Long before that, beginning in 1773, people had gathered to educate their children and worship at “Da Barrick Schule”, on the same site in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County. It is interesting to note that these Articles gave the right to Mennonites, Moravians, and Schwenkfelters to bury their dead in the cemetery also on the property. A new Church Building on the southeast corner of the burial plot was dedicated on Christmas Day 1844.
At one time a horse shed for the benefit of the preachers stood a few feet west of that building. Attached to it was a small utility shed for storage. St. Peter’s first attempt at electrification, a Kohler plant, was housed there; as well as the coal supply for the church’s two pot-bellied stoves. It is believed the timbers and stones for this shed came from the old school house when it was razed after the “new church” was built.
Changes to the building have continued throughout the years. In 1969 an educational wing was added; in 1994 a major renovation was done to the church; and in 2005 a separate multipurpose building, St. Peter’s Place, was constructed as a meeting place and centerpiece of community outreach. Currently it is being used on the first Friday of each month to serve a free meal to those living in need in our neighborhood.
Throughout the church’s long history, there has always been good cooperation between the Lutheran and Reformed (U.C.C.) members. After living into it for years, in 2013, St. Peter’s Union Church legally became one congregation, with official ties to both faith traditions. As St. Peter’s looks to the future, its prayer is that the spirit of those members who established and maintained the “Little White Church on the Hill” long ago will inspire current members to find new ways to respond to God’s call. To learn more, visit our website: stpeterspa.org.