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Dolby Churches

Center Church
"St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church (Center / Centre Church) was established with its first building in 1818 or 1819 (differs by source), but there was a congregation before that. The earliest known stone in the adjacent cemetery marks the grave of Elizabeth Schneder who died in 1777. Sources believe that use of the graveyard predates this known marker.

"As a "union" church, Centre Church served both Lutheran and Reformed congregations, which was common in southeastern Pennsylvania during this time period, and still happens, less frequently, today. In 1819, the church served a wide area, including people from New Holland and Muddy Creek in Lancaster County, and Allegheny and Robeson churches in Berks County. Pastors at that time often travelled between churches, even between counties, so it's important to remember that when you find records of your ancestors turning up in an unexpected location. They were going where the pastor was...or the pastor was travelling with his own records.

"The current church building was erected in 1872 by the datestone, and it remains a small church building. However, it has an active congregation as well as a group that maintains the cemetery. In 1872, the Lutheran pastor was Rev. R.S. Wagner, and the Reformed pastor was Stephan Schweitzer."

Contributed by Jodi Reifsnyder Adrian