Who We Are
We welcome you to Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Berlin. We are small by design! A small town church, one dynamic pastor, and a loving, caring congregation of believers…neighbors, friends, and family. Our roots in faith and in New Berlin run deep.
In 1793, George Long had barely finished conceptual plans for Longstown---his community which would later be known as New Berlin---when plots of land began to sell on the banks of Penns Creek. In that very same year, the town’s Lutheran Society joined ranks with the Reformed Society and, for a mere five shillings, acquired land for a church located where the United Church of Christ stands today. The pioneer settlers who had left their native Germany for religious freedom wasted no time in planning a church home in their own community.
By 1800, a simple log church had been built on this site which served both Lutheran and Reformed Societies. These early New Berlin followers of Martin Luther were first served by the Rev. Christian Espich who had been sent from Germany to preach to Lutherans in Sunbury, the Buffalo Valley, Aaronsburg, and beyond. Espich was an itinerant horseback circuit riding preacher.
By 1825, a brick church had been completed at this site, adorned with New Berlin’s famous Gabriel weathervane. In 1868, the Lutherans moved a few doors westward on Market Street. The congregation of Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church continues today to worship in this same location under their large white wooden steeple that marks where we began.
We gather under this steeple for worship each Sunday. We acknowledge and bless the tie that binds each of us to one another just as Jesus has adopted each of us and binds us as His family. During worship we gather to hear the Word and to give thanks and to share in the Meal of our Lord Jesus’ own body and blood. We sing and pray together. We are empowered and sent out to share the good news stories with our extended family during fellowship following worship and throughout the week. In the Biblical story, God sent people---ordinary people ---to care for each other. As we build relationships and extend our caring to each other, we build our relationship with Christ which in turn further builds our relationships with each other. This is what church family means to us, and we now warmly welcome you to be a part of our family, Messiah Lutheran's church family.
As members of the ELCA—Evangelical Lutheran Church in America--- we believe our faith tradition is based on a life-transforming story. The ELCA’s story is both ancient and timely. It’s a story of a powerful and patient God who has boundless love for all people of the world, who brings justice for the oppressed. It’s a story of Jesus Christ, changing lives. It’s a story that brings comfort and strength to people who today live in modern, often unsettling times. Learn more about our beliefs—and become a part of our story.
We would like to get to know you, too—come worship with us!