St. Michael's Evangelical Lutheran Church History
Our congregation was formed around 1859 when Lutheran pastors Reverend Ferdinand Berkemeyer and Reverend Frederick Walz and German Reformed pastor Reverend Peter S. Fisher began leading services in an old schoolhouse on Walnut Street in Sellersville. The arrival of the North Pennsylvania Railroad in 1865 spurred the growth of the towns adjacent to the tracks, including Sellersville. Desiring a larger, more formal and permanent facility, in 1868 the two congregations purchased three acres of land from William Schlichter. The land was divided into two sections. One acre would be for a new Union Church building and the remaining two, where there was already a family cemetery, would be a cemetery (Sellersville Cemetery) whose lots could be sold to raise money for the building.
A committee consisting of an equal number of members from each congregation was established as the board of trustees. It was chartered and incorporated in 1869 as the Sellersville Church and Cemetery Corporation. The Lutheran congregation was granted a charter in 1869. The building cornerstone was laid in 1870 and the first story of the building was completed and dedicated in 1874. This remains as the main Sunday School and office structure.
In the summer of 1900 the Lutheran and Reformed congregations voted to separate. An auction was held to divide the resources, including the building. The Lutheran congregation outbid the Reformed congregation for the church property. As a result, the building became St. Michael's Lutheran Church. The Reformed congregation constructed a new facility about 2 blocks away. This is the existing St. Paul's United Church of Christ.
Ownership of Sellersville Cemetery was retained by the two congregations. The Sellersville Church and Cemetery Corporation was retained to govern and manage the cemetery, which it does to this day. The three original pastors, Berkemeyer, Walz and Fisher, as well as Mr. Schlichter, are buried in the cemetery.
The church building was enlarged with a new sanctuary on the second floor, which was dedicated in 1904. The new sanctuary featured a pipe organ donated by Andrew Carnegie and stained glass windows and altar artwork by renowned artist Nicola D'Ascenzo. In addition, a clock was installed in the steeple and electric lights were installed.
Since then the building has been enlarged further and modernized with a chapel and enlarged Sunday School area (1926) and a fellowship hall and kitchen (1956). The sanctuary being on the second floor, a chair lift was added in 1982 to make us handicap accessible.
Please join us in worship. We are located at the corner of Main and Church Streets in Sellersville, PA.