West Point, PA
 Grace United Church of Christ

The following is a brief history of the first 50 years of Grace Church .
It was written in 1957 by Bessie T. Mattern, who was an original signer of the appeal for a congregation in 1907.





       Early in the year 1907, the teachers and workers of the West Point Union
Sunday School, feeling the need of a church organization to further their re-
ligious work, held an informal meeting one evening at the home of Mr. and Mrs.
Harry M. Nase. With them met pastors of three nearby churches - Rev. D. K.
Laudenslager of Went's Reformed Church, Rev. T. R. Taggart of Lower Providence
Presbyterian Church, and Rev. Reiter of St. Luke's Reformed Church, North
Wales, who discussed with them plans for such an organization. It was decided
to hold an open meeting for this purpose on February 7th in the Chapel.

       On February 7, 1907, a special meeting was held in the West Point Union
Sunday School Chapel. A temporary church orginization to be named Grace Re-
formed Church was started with Rev. D. K. Laudenslager as temporary president
and Edgar S. Kriebel as secretary. At this meeting, temporary By-laws were
adopted to be in use until the church would be incorporated by the Goshenhoppen
Classis of the Reformed Church of the United States. The following officers
were elected at this meeting: H. M. Nase, president; P. B. Miller, V presi-
dent; Bessie T. Mattern, secretary and J. F. Fenstermacher, treasurer. Rev.
D. K. Laudenslager was nominated and elected temporary pastor. Three services;
two evening and one afternoon - were to be held each month in the chapel.
Myrtle A. Mattern was elected organist and George B. Seipt, choir director for
these services.

       On June 3, 1907, there was a meeting of the congregation of Grace Reformed
Church for the purpose of organizing the church permanently. The following
officers were elected;
     ELDERS - H. M. Nase, J. F. Fenstermacher
     DEACONS - James Stroh, Edgar Kriebel, P.B. Miller, I. W. rosenberger

       At this meeting, Rev. Laudenslager read the constitution as prepared by
the Committee on Organization as appointed by the Classis. The congregation
voted to adopt this constitution.

    On June 4, 1907, the church was formally organized by this committee -
Rev. Evans, Rev. Rousch, and Rev. Laudenslager as appointed by the Goshenhoppen
Classis. This committee ordained and installed the officers who were elected
at the June 3rd meeting.

       Regular worship services and annual congregational meetings were held in
the Chapel from June, 1907 until the building of the new church in 1957. Five
pastors have served the congregation during that time -
               Rev. D. K. Laudenslager from 1907 to 1910
               Rev. D. D. Brendle from 1910 to 1927
               Rev. George W. Hartman from 1927 to 1948
               Rev. Ralph Folk from 1948 to 1955
               Rev. Raymond H. Ahrens, Jr. from 1955

       The Ladies Aid Society of Grace Church was organized in April of 1907 at
a meeting held in the home of Mrs. P. B. Miller. It remained active in sewing,
quilting and financially helping the church until 1956 when it disbanded with
Mrs. Irving Quinn then its president. With its remaining treasury it purchased
the cross, the candlesticks and the flower vases now used on the church altar.



       The Women's Guild was organized by Mrs. Ralph Folk in 1948. It holds
regular monthly meetings and is active in various projects for church help.

       Grace Church became an incorporated organization with a new Constitution
and by-laws in 1955.

       The first real thrust toward building a new church came in 1951 when Mr.
Clayton Stauffer challenged the church to raise 10,000 dollars in one year.
When the church succeeded in this effect, Mr. Stauffer added 10,000 additional
dollars to the building fund. Another major step in recent history toward
the building of a new church was the financial canvass held in April and May
of 1957.

       In May 1955, a lot at the corner of Main St. and Park Road, West Point
was purchased from Mrs. Ruby Heebner for the purpose of the erection of a new
church building. $6500 was paid for the lot.

       In January 1956, the Trustees of the West Point Union Sunday School turned
over all its property and money to Grace Church. The dollar payment to the
Sunday School was accepted and a church school was officially part of Grace

       On August 4, 1957, ground was broken for the erection of a new church
building on the site at Main St. and Park Road. A special ceremony was held
at that time with Rev. Ahrens in charge.

       In November 1957, the chapel was sold to Mr. Otto Weber.

       The conerstone of Grace United Church of Christ was laid in a ceremony
on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1957 at 10:00 AM.

       The tentative date for dedication of the new church building is December
15, 1957.

       This historical sketch was prepared from the church records by Mrs. Thomas
Davis who in 1907 as Bessie T. Mattern was one of the original signers of the
appeal for a congregation.







  1.   Elmer E. Buckwalter
  2.   J. F. Fenstermacher
  3.   Mrs. J. F. Fenstermacher
  4.   Ethel C. Garretson
  5.   R. K. Hunsberger
  6.   Edgar S. Kriebel
  7.   Irvin Keller
  8.   Isaac Leister
  9.   Mrs. Issac Leister
10.   Mrs. Lesher W. Mattern
11.   Bessie T. Mattern
12.   Myrtle A. Mattern
13.   P. B. Miller
14.   Mrs. P. B. Miller
15.   Harry M. Nase
16.   Mrs Harry M. Nase
17.   Mrs Frank Nolan
18.   Mrs. Emma C. Quinn
19.   Mrs. Irvin Quinn
20.   Isaac W. Rosenberger
21.   Mrs. Isaac W. Rosenberger
22.   James R. Stroh
23.   Mrs. James R. Stroh
24.   Mrs. Edward Vaughan
25.   David E. Walker
26.   Mrs. David E. Walker
27.   Clarence S Walker
28.   E. H. Wasser
29.   Mrs. E. H. Wasser
30    Grover Zern
31.   Norman Kriebel
32.   Charles H. Trout



     Wesley Beam
     J. U. Brunner
     Lesher W. Mattern
     Lukens Thomas





Thanks to Mrs. J. Fred Hepler for submitting this document.