The Lutheran Church in McEwensville

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, June 18, 1911: Went to Sunday school this morning. Was over Stout’s this afternoon, and went up to the Lutheran church to witness their children’s day services this evening. Ma was my chaperone.

This used to be the Lutheran Church in McEwensville.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

There is no longer a Lutheran church in McEwensville. Messiah Lutheran merged with the other church in the parish—St. James Lutheran (Turbotivlle) a few years ago. The combined congregation is now called Holy Spirit Lutheran. Holy Spirit built a building in out in the county half way between McEwensville and Turbotville.

The building is now used for antique storage.
An aside: I can remember eating snacks on this porch when I attended Vacation Bible School there as a child. (I wonder why minor random events sometimes pop into my memory.)


12 thoughts on “The Lutheran Church in McEwensville

  1. Just correcting a few details. For my entire life of 64 years, Messiah was part of the charge that served St.James Lutheran Church in Turbotville. Virginia Swope Bower

    1. You are absolutely right. It should have said St. James (and not St. John’s). I corrected it in the post. Thank you for letting me know. I must have been typing too fast when I did this post. I went to Messiah Lutheran when I was I child–and should have known the correct name of the other church in the parish.

  2. It’s very weird that you would post that. I’m only 13, years of age, and I live in McEwensville near that old church. I was actually baptized in there by the Rev. Charla Grives and I remember going to church there. I also remember the church my congregation owned out in turbotville( St. James) the new building is in the process of being finished, and we have grown so much I the years I’ve been alive with Holy Spirit evangelical Lutheran Church.
    Thanks for posting,
    Jonathan W. Moser

    1. I also was baptized at that church–though many years before you. 🙂

      There have been a lot of changes over the years, and it’s really good that they were able to build the new Holy Spirit Church.

  3. My grandmother, Stella Bortz, played the organ and directed the choir for many years at the Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church.

  4. I discovered today on that my 3rd great-grandfather, Henry Haldeman was buried from Messiah Lutheran in Oct 1846. I was never able to locate his burial place near E. Chillisquaque where he lived on what is now Creek Road. Henry’s son, also named Henry, married Sarah Machemer, daughter of William Machemer of McEwensville. The Machemer family eventually moved to Constantine, St. Joseph County, Michigan. I wonder if the cemetery still exists in the vicinity of the church.

    Thank you for the lovely photo of the church.


    1. There is no cemetery right by the Messiah Lutheran Church. The closest cemetery, the McEwensville Cemetery, is several blocks away. It is sometimes referred to as the Presbyterian Cemetery–though Lutherans have been buried in it for many years. There is also another older cemetery about a half mile out of town that is sometimes called the Stitzel Cemetery.

  5. Thank you so much for posting these photos of the church. My 2x great grandparents (Mary Elizabeth Tarman and Arthur T. Sarba) were married there in 1873. She was from Loch Haven and he from Milton. I’ve never understood how they ended up marrying in McEwensville.

    1. It’s very interesting that they happened to marry in McEwensville. It’s such a small town, both then and now. There’s probably a fascinating story about why they married there that has been lost to time.

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