The city was Chambersburg, Pennsylvania — at the time a small town located at an intersection of thriving agriculture, commerce and local-made goods, a junction for travel to the busy cities of the north or south. A stop-over point perhaps, as travelers sought rest while on their way further west over
the mountains of the rugged and ever-expanding “western
Frontier” of a new nation.
Originally founded in 1764 as a fort, the town was settled by Colonel Benjamin Chambers, just 15 miles north of the line later officially surveyed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon.
Quickly after its founding, the town grew with an influx
of German immigrants. They migrated from the Palatinate area of Germany to the Cumberland Valley, an area that so closely resembled their homeland. Their German Reformed faith came with them.
Without a building, they gathered first in the Inn (and tavern) of Nicholas Snider – in the northwest corner of the town Square – and with help from a Rev. Faber of Hagerstown,
Maryland, formed a congregation in 1778.
To encourage the local settlers, Col. Chambers deeded land for a church and graveyard in 1780, at the intersection of South Main Street and what was then German (now Liberty) Street. The first building was a log schoolhouse. In 1811, the construction of the present structure was begun – with most work completed by 1813.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Zion Reformed Church today continues to serve as a house of praise to God.
Zion is historically unique, in that it is one of three local 'Rose Rent Churches.' In its deed is the stipulation that each June, the congregation pay the annual rent of one rose from the church grounds to a descendant of the Chambers family, “in perpetuity.”
|Church School||9:30 AM|
|Regular Worship||10:45 AM|
|Summer Worship||9:00 AM|
* Summer worship begins the First Sunday in July and ends with Labor Day Weekend
All ends well as Zion pays its annual 'rose rent' for another year!
The unique tradition of paying rent for the grounds and building with a single-stem rose taken from the Church's grounds dates back to 1780
Pastor Bob Mcfarlane and Joan Pogue at left, select and cut the rose as called
out in the original deed, for the Church's annual 'Rose Rent' for 2020
Don't forget to help support the many missions of Zion while we are apart! Our assistance to those less fortunate continues during our pandemic, as well as our financial needs for the ongoing upkeep of our church. Continue your gift-giving by sending your check to: Treasurer, Zion Reformed Church, 259 S. Main Street, Chambersburg, PA 17201.
Pastor Bob has 'brought to life" General Chamberlain for 15 years across the country through his first person accounts
Pastor Bob Mcfarlane and Joan present the rental rose to ninth generation family member young Maggie, with an assist from Katie Gartenberger, seventh generation family member of town founder, Col. Benjamin Chambers and his wife Jane
Now With Off-Street Parking for our Worshipers and Visitors
* Our website is also enabled for use by those with disabilities – simply click the round blue icon at the lower left for a menu!
On Sunday July 12, local historian and author Mike Marotte III welcomed Union General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain – the hero of Gettysburg's Battle of Little Round Top – to Zion Reformed Church. His address centered on the importance of strong and caring Mothers throughout history
Click on the flyer at the left to download, read and printout our new Zion Reformed UCC church brochure. This piece is now available at our local visitor centers and Chamber,
to help us spread the news of our history, heritage and family activities here at Zion!
Click here to visit Zion Reformed Church UCC's YouTube Channel of all of our videos!
Our Sanctuary and Social Rooms are Handicap Accessible