In the early 1700's, William Penn invited the persecuted of every creed and religious opinion to come to Pennsylvania. Many Germans accepted this invitation. Their first homes were small, rough log buildings, usually erected near a stream. To such a small stream called Mohawskunk, which ran through the southwest part of what is now Silver Spring Township, came Michael Hawk, Henry Longsdorf, and some others about 1763. It was the custom of the Germans to quickly build a schoolhouse and church. The settlers built in 1765 a low, crude log house for this purpose on the farm of Henry Longsdorf. This was the beginning of St. Stephen Lutheran Church.
From 1765 in a corner of the property that is now Longsdorf Cemetery to the present time and location in the village, St. Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church has continuously served the New Kingstown neighborhood and surrounding areas. From the Reverend Jacob Goering to the current pastor, the Reverend Matthew Best, 40 ministers have shepherded this congregation through an ever changing community. The parish has provided worship services, social service support, foreign missionary work, educational and child care services, and community agency support for over 250 years.
For a quarter of a millennium, this congregation has ministered boldly as it spreads God’s Word of loving grace and forgiveness, offers aid to the poor and needy—in body and spirit—and fulfills the Great Commission of Christ to a world in need of salvation.
A more detailed account of St. Stephen’s history will be posted here soon.