St. John's Towamensing Lutheran Church

Established 1798 – Palmerton, Pennsylvania

The history of St. John’s begins before 1798 with the German immigrants settling in this area, then known as Millport, which eventually became what we know as Palmerton.

This area was largely a farming community and remained so apart from Palmerton where industry eventually blossomed.  We still remain in the roots of a rural community.

There is tremendous history involved with St. John’s.  The church which organized in 1798 was a union congregation with both Lutheran and Reformed (now known as United Church of Christ) working together to build a log church.  In the cemetery we still have remains of soldiers involved in the war of 1812.

Originally this area was part of Northampton County but eventually became part of the new creation of Carbon County.  We were serviced by “circuit preachers” who would travel great distances on hoseback to lead worship and celebrate the sacraments.

In fact we were so deeply ingrained in our German or what we say now as “Pennsylvania dutch” background that worship in English did not appear until well into the 1800’s.

The current church building dates from 1862 and was built in the style of New England churches with a divider down the center to separate the sexes!

We continued as a union congregation until the late 70’s when the Lutheran side remained at this current site and the UCC congregation moved to a site on Columbia Ave.

A unique part of our history is that in 213 years only 10 pastors have shepherded this people of God.  The longest pastorate was under the Rev. M. Luther Wahrmann who served here and at Jerusalem Trachsville for 41 years.  Our current pastor is about to begin his 30th year at St. John’s.

On the next page, you will see a chronology of events at St. John’s.  It is interesting and wonderful to be a part of the rich history of this area and we are proud to be a vital part in the church that belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ and this community.

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