Solomon's Reformed Church, 1930, Historical Sketch

The movement, which lead to the organization of Solomon's Congregation was started in 1840, and in 1841 a union between the Reformed and Lutheran people was effected, known as Solomon's Union Church. The original church-building, the wall of which is still standing and in use, was erected in 1841, upon an acre of ground donated by Solomon Wescoe, whose name was given to the Church. The Reformed Congregation was organized under the authority of Goshenhoppen Classis, and was a part of this judicatory until 1871, when it was transferred to East Pennsylvania Classis. Later when Lehigh Classis was formed the Congregation became a member of Lehigh Classis, under whose jurisdiction she is at present.

The first regular pastor was Rev. Samuel Hess, who took charge of the Congregation in 1843. He was the pastor of six churches and resided at Hellertown, which proved very inconvenient because of the distance and possibly was the cause of the short pastorate.

In 1845 Rev. Henry Bassler became pastor and took up his residence in the village. He had four congregations in the charge and we can glean some information as to the size of the charge by his first year's parochial report: Baptized 52; confirmed 51; communed 225; deaths 11. Rev. Bassler was pastor for two years and was succeeded by Rev. Christian R. Kessler who served the congregation from 1848-1850. He resided in Allentown. After a brief pastorate he was followed by Rev. Perner, who was pastor from 1850-1852. He at first resided in Macungie, but moved in his second year to Emaus. In 1853 Solomon's Congregation was placed under the pastorate of Rev. Daniel Zeller, when it became a part of the West Salisbury Charge. In 1856, a young man, Rev. A. J. G. Dubbs became the pastor of this charge and served faithfully for nineteen years. The edifice was remodelled in 1870. In 1871 Rev. Dubbs found his work becoming too burdensome and accordingly at his request, Trexlertown, West Salisbury and Macungie were severed from the Charge and formed a new charge under the jurisdiction of East Pennsylvania Classis. In 1876 Rev. Dubbs resigned his work here to take up the pastorate of Salem's, Allentown. His successor Rev. Thomas N. Reber had almost as long a pastorate as Rev. Dubbs. His service for sixteen years, making his home at Macungie and later in Allentown. He was a very fine pulpit orator and sociable man. During his pastorate the Missionary Society was founded in 1881, which society is still in existence and prospering. On June 19, 1892, Rev. Charles E. Schaeffer was ordained in Solomon's Church and began his pastorate. He at once as a young man direct from Seminary began his work with his characteristic vigor and tact and served four years, accomplishing much lasting good.

In 1893 the Lutheran and Reformed Congregations decided to separate. The Reformed Congregation purchased the old building for $1,000.00 and at once rebuilt the church to its present size. The greater part of the debt was soon paid and the membership increased rapidly. On November 27, 1893, the Court of Lehigh County granted a charter to Solomon's Reformed Church. The persons who signed the petitions of incorporation were Samuel Moyer, Charles Moll, William Kerchner, A aron Greisemer, Charles Mohr, Charles Lichtenwalner, Howard L. Hertzog, Frank J. Wieder, J. W. Gerhard, H. M. Schell and Oliver Jarrett. It was during the pastorate of the Rev. Schaffer that the Pastor's Heloer began its long and interesting history. In 1896 Rev. Schaffer accepted the call to the Church of the Ascension in Norristown. During the Winter and Spring of 1896-97 the pulpit was filled by Student Thomas Dickert. He was, later ordained and installed as pastor at Macungie in June 12, 1897, and served until October 5, 1902. Two achievements stand out in this pastorate: First, the frescoing of the church in 1900, the second was the building of the beautiful parsonage in 1902, which was not yet finished when Rev. Dickert accepted thejcall to St. Stephen's Church, Reading, Pa. A gain" in need of a pastor the congregation turned to the Seminary for help and secured the services of Student Simon Sipple during the winter and upon his graduation from seminary he was ordained and installed at Macungie on May 30, 1903, and resigned on May 30, 1908. During his five years of service he baptized 115 persons and confirmed 75. He officiated at 32 weddings and 62 funerals. During his pastorate the Christian Endeavor was organized and has become a strong factor in the devotional life of the church. In the Spring of 1908 Salem Church of Doylestown extended him a call and he accepted. Solomon's Church was without a pastor until the fall of that year, when Rev. J. J. Schaeffer, of Walkerville, Md., was elected. He entered upon his work November 15, 1908. During this pastorate the debt on the parsonage was liquidated, eletcric lights were installed in the church and the congregation flourished. In the Fall of 1912, Trinity Church, Allentown, called him from the pastorate here and he accepted, preaching his last sermon on December 8, 1912. Again Solomon's turned to the Senior Class of the Eastern Seminary and Student E. Wilbur Kriebel supplied the pulpit every two weeks until the following summer, when on June 8, 1913, he was ordained and installed as pastor of this congregation. The most important features of his pastorate are first, the organization of the Junior congregation, on September 6, 1913. Second, was the introduction of the duplex envelope system of finance. This was begun on January, 1915. The concrete pavement, the installation of electric organ blower, the wiring of the parsonage for electric lights and the purchase of the piano for the Sunday School were among some of the physical improvements during his pastorate. Rev. Krie-bel remained as pastor but for a brief time, being called to become the pastor of Zion Church, Straudsburg, Pa., on September 3, 1916. Rev. E. H. Laubach assumed the pastorate on December 15, 1916, and stayed but a short time, relinquishing his duties on June, 3, 1918. This period in the history of our country was a trying one, being in the midst of the Great World War, the Kingdom work was naturally very much at a stand still. However, during this brief pastorate a new steam furnace was installed in the church. On September 1, 1918, Rev. Harry J. Donal became the pastor and continued his service until November, 1926, when he answered the call to become pastor of the Spinnerstown Charge. During this pastorate the Church property was improved inside and outside by the application of a coat of paint. The new Church Hymnals were installed for use, which greatly added to the beauty of the worship. There was a vacancy in the pulpit for a little over a year after Rev. Donal resigned, but during this time the pulpit was very effectively filled and the charge was efficiently served by supply-pastor Rev. J. R. Rothermel. During this year the largest offering for the Foreign Mission cause was given, amounting to $227.82. The newly elected pastor Rev. L. G. Beers, began his work on January 22, 1929 and was installed on February 12. Some of the outstanding accomplishments of the first year of this pastorate were the purchase of a Dick Mimeograph at a cost of $110, whereby a weekly church calendar and other church matter can be printed. The paying of the Classical Apportionment in full, the placing of a full set of altar clothes by the Catechetical Class of 1928 and Dr. H. M. Schell, in memory to his wife, the gift of a set of silver offering plates by Mr. John Schaffer. The organization of a Daily Vacation Bible School conducted for two weeks during the Summer. First enrollment 80 pupils. The renovating of the Church School rooms at a cost of $1800, the stuccoing of the exterior of the church property and the painting of the wood work at a cost of $2355.00, the erection of a new garage on the parsonage lot at a cost of $225.00, and the conducting of special weeks of services during the Spring and Fall months of the year.

In the Spring of 1929 a Junior Congregation was organized, which worships each Sunday morning after the Church School session. This same year the first annual Church Directory was published, a Lenten Devotional Booklet, and, also, a weekly Church Calendar. A long felt need for an organization to care for Young People's activities of the community was met in the Fall of 1929, when a Young People's Council was organized. This organization meets monthly with an average of 50 in attendance. The Congregation was the recipient of two beautiful and useful gifts during the year 1930; namely, a piano costing $300 for the Church Sanctuary from the Ladies' Auxiliary, and an electric bulletin board which adorns the north lawn of the church, costing $63, from the Confirmation Classes of 1929-1930. Loyalty Sunday, February 23, 1930, was an outstanding event of the year. Reverends George W. Richards, D.D., C. E. Schaeffer, D.D., and William Wofford were the guest preachers and the Bethany Orphans' Home Glee Club and the Orpheus Choral Society of Allentown were the guest musical organizations with us on this day. The indebtedness of the Congregation was entirely liquidated with the day's offering, which amounted to $613.00.

1. "Historical Sketch", 1930 Directory, Solomon's Reformed Church, pages 7, 9, 11.
See Also
Solomon's Reformed Church 1930 Directory
Solomon's Reformed Church 1932 Directory

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