October 7, 2015


Friedens Church has been serving the community of Shartlesville and surrounding area for over 145 years. On January 29, 1870, the cornerstone was laid for what was then known as Friedens (Peace) Union Church, a partnership between the Evangelical Lutheran and High-German-Reformed denominations. Such Union churches were commonplace in Pennsylvania Dutch country. All of the bricks used to construct the church building were produced locally at a nearby farm, and the basement was completed and dedicated on July 29, 1871.

Approximately 4,000 people from all around the area attended the two-day long dedication ceremonies.

Regular church services were held in the basement until the church sanctuary was completed in the spring and summer of 1889. Numerous renovations have followed throughout the years, including the installation of electric lights, a heating system, and stained glass windows. In 1891, Thomas Dieffenbach installed an organ, which still functions today and is now one of only six remaining Dieffenbach organs.

Throughout the years, the congregation was served by both Lutheran and Reformed pastors. The Sunday School, Ladies Aid Society, and Youth Fellowship played a major role in the vitality of the congregation. In 2001, after a period of study, the Union church was dissolved and the congregation became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. A major dream came true in 2007 as a Christian education building was added to the facility, and the outdoor chapel was dedicated in 2009.

The members of the Friedens Church have enjoyed a long history of service to God and their fellow citizens. Their faith, determination, generosity, and stewardship have enabled the church to become a vital and inspiring presence in the community of Shartlesville.

For more information on our history, including confirmation class listings or printed materials, please contact the office.