290th Anniversary–Old First History Timeline

290th Anniversary–Old First History Timeline

1727 – September 21 Rev. Michael Weiss and 109 men and their families from the Palatinate region of Germany land in Philadelphia.  (1st group to sign oath of allegiance to Crown)   Share worship space with Lutherans in a falling-down butcher shop near 5th & Arch.

1741 – Franklin Square land for burial ground deeded to church by Proprietors Thomas, Richard and John Penn

1745 – Parochial school built facing Cherry St.

1747 – Hexagonal church built on 4th below Race; coetus forms the German Reformed Church

1762 – Rev. Rothenbuehler resigns and splinter group builds St. George’s

1765 – Charter of Incorporation granted by Proprietors Thomas and Richard Penn

1772 – Large church replaces hexagonal building

1777 – British use church as hospital during occupation of city; Rev. Weyberg preaches to the Hessians and is briefly imprisoned

1793 – Yellow fever epidemic; Rev. Winkhaus dies

1796 – New school building behind church replaces first building

1798 – Chain law enacted

1798 – Yellow fever epidemic; Rev. Hendel dies

1806 – Sunday school established in schoolhouse

1806 – Language schism: English speakers leave to establish Crown St. Dutch Reformed Church

1828 – Charles Grandison Finney & Second Great Awakening

1830 – Language schism: German speakers leave

1831 – Chain law repealed

1836 – PA Supreme Court decision returns Franklin Square burial ground to city

1837 – Modern building replaces 1772 church; dedicated Easter Sunday, March 4

1844 – Rev. Joseph F. Berg, virulent anti-Catholic, fuels the Philadelphia Nativist Riots

1845 – Mercersburg Controversy

1882 – Sale of 4th & Race St. property to John Lucas

1884 – 10th & Wallace dedicated

1917 – Congregation decides to build a new building at 50th & Locust

1923 – The Gleaner – 1st church publication

1925 – 50th & Locust church dedicated

1926 – General Synod of the Reformed Church in America held at 50th & Locust

1934 – OFC becomes a congregation of the Evangelical and Reformed Church

1957 – OFC becomes a congregation of the United Church of Christ

1966 – Congregation accepts offer from the Redevelopment Authority to buy back 4th & Race

1967 – October 1, first service back at 4th & Race

1971 – First live animal Christmas Crèche

1976 – Ground breaking for Christian Ed (parish house) building

1981 – Congregation calls a woman pastor, Rev. Geneva Butz

1996 – Congregation resolves to be “Open and Affirming”

2009 – First E-pistle