Although 1991 marked the first year of worship in our present church building, our congregation has a rich history dating back more than 285 years, as one of the first Lutheran congregations in Pennsylvania.
In the early 1700’s, settlers from Germany sought to establish a Union church in the nearby settlement of “Old Goschenhoppen,” located in Woxall, Upper Salford Township.
These settlers formed two congregations, one Lutheran and the other Reformed. They purchased 38 acres from the sons of William Penn. By 1732, they erected a small log building where the two congregations held separate worship services.
The log building, known as the "Gemeinhaus," was outgrown and a new stone church was constructed in 1748. This building served both congregations for 110 years until it was razed to make way for yet a larger building seating 800 people.
As the community continued to grow, this third church building was remodeled and expanded an additional 18 feet. This building housed our congregation until July 1991. It continues to serve the Reformed congregation today, and the two congregations continue to share administration of the adjacent graveyard. The Gemeinhaus still stands behind the Reformed church; members of both churches, along with local historical organizations, are involved in maintaining and preserving it.
The union of the Lutheran and Reformed congregations, with shared ownership of the Old Goschenhoppen Church, lasted for 259 years – making it the oldest Union church in the United States at the time.
In 1988 our Lutheran congregation separated from the Reformed in response to a calling to serve newcomers in the rapidly growing Harleysville – Lederach community. A groundbreaking ceremony for construction of a new 6,900 square-foot building was held in October 1990. We celebrated our first worship service in the new location in July 1991, and celebrated our 30th anniversary in this location in July 2021.
The mission statement “Saved by Grace, Led by God, We Joyfully Follow Jesus,” inspired the people of Advent through the 1990’s. During this time, many young families and new faces appeared, adding vibrancy to our long-time members who had navigated the challenges of growth and change.
In October 2006, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for a $1.2 million expansion which added a 3,700 square foot wing with new classrooms, nursery and office space along with other improvements. The following September, a dedication service was held to celebrate the expanded facility, which would be used in offering the community greater opportunities for social functions and Christian education programs.
“Saved by God’s Grace, Renewed through Word and Sacrament, We are Sent as Disciples to Share the Gospel of Jesus” are the words that have guided our congregation since 2010.
For generations, the people of Advent have continuously served those in need in communities in this place, from this place. We are glad you’re with us, growing, and being a part of Advent. We look forward to adding to our rich history together.