In 1808, Jacob Albright, founder of the Evangelical Movement, sent Jacob Frey to explore the area “West of the Susquehanna River.” This early movement extended into the community of New Paradise – now called JACOBUS – where prayer and praise meetings were held in the homes of these believers. These early “churches” were served by circuit pastors.
In 1862, at the encouragement of their brothers and sisters at Potosi (Mount Zion) Church, the Christ Evangelical Association Congregation set upon the building of a house of worship. A sketch of this first church is shown above. H.R. Price and C.W. Davis of the Loganville/Shrewsbury Circuit served our first congregation. Full membership of the Loganville Circuit in 1878 was 195. In 1883, membership increased to 266.
This increase in membership made it necessary for expansion, and in 1896 a second church was constructed on the same site. Through the next fifty years, several renovations were made to this church to accommodate the growing congregation, including a small addition in the rear of the building for the children; a portion of the basement was excavated for additional space.
In 1950, under the theme, “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” funds were raised for the third and present structure. With much planning and foresight, our forefathers determined that a larger building on the original site would best serve the community. On February 28, 1954 the congregation held its last service in the old church, and the social hall at Lakeview Park became our house of worship. On March 7, 1954, ground was broken at special services, and on the following day, razing of the old church began. On June 13, 1954, the cornerstone was laid. The following March, in special services from March 13-26, 1955, the new and current house of worship was dedicated to the glory of God.
In 1990, a Sunday School facility was added to the west side of the current structure. Children’s classrooms were added on the lower, excavated level, with adult rooms above. An elevator and a handicapped ramp were installed at this time. Our Hebrews Café is currently a part of this addition. In 2007, as part of a major capital campaign to renovate the Lakeview Park facility, air conditioning was added throughout our house of worship.