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Our History


West Side Moravian began as a Sunday School organized on May 6, 1860, by Joseph Romig, a student at Moravian Theological Seminary. It was the first Sunday School west of the Monocacy creek and was an outgrowth of work by the Seminary students and the Moravian Congregation among the canal boatmen and their families. The first class of 30 pupils met in the Vineyard Street Schoolhouse. Within a year attendance grew to over 100 students.


In 1865 the Sunday School moved to a newly built school house on Spring Street. The Sunday School continued to grow and by 1883 there were 220 pupils. Motivated by the Sunday School superintendent, the seminary class of 1884 raised most of the money necessary to build a 34 x 60 brick building with a small steeple at the corner of Allentown Road, now Prospect Avenue, and Third Avenue. The Chapel was dedicated on January 27, 1884.


Growth was rapid and by 1890 additional space was required and an annex, larger than the original building, was built. There were no regular church services. Seminary students were the primary teachers and workers until the first pastor, The Rev. F. W. Stengel, was called in September 1901.


In 1918 the name of the Chapel was changed to West Side Moravian and in 1943 the three churches of the Bethlehem Congregation, Central, College Hill and West Side, were given the responsibility of their own work within the congregational framework.


Today, West Side Moravian Church is an open and affirming and welcomes all people. If you are looking for a spiritual home, please come and worship with us and then stay and enjoy the food and fellowship that follows our Sunday morning worship service.

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