Founded in 1727

About Us

Welcome to the website for Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church of Woxall, PA.

As pioneers moved out of Philadelphia in the early 1700’s, they established a settlement at a place they called Old Goshenhoppen. The origin of this name probably has its roots in the Indian chief called Shakahoppa who controlled much of the land along the Perkiomen Creek. The early settlers apparently Germanicized his name, and Shakahoppa’s region became the Goshenhoppen region. Our area, being closer to Philadelphia, was settled earlier, so it was called Old Goshenhoppen; the area around East Greenville was settled later and called New Goshenhoppen.

The settlers in our area came out of the established churches of Germany, the Lutheran and Reformed (Calvinist) churches. They established a Union church in which two congregations, one Lutheran and the other Reformed, shared one building in which they had their separate services. The first record of a Reformed worship service in this area was October 12, 1727. The two congregations purchased 38 acres from the sons of William Penn, and by 1732 they erected a log building which served as both a church and a schoolhouse. This building still stands behind our present (1858) church building. It has been restored as a monument to the faith of our spiritual forebearers.

In 1989, the Lutheran congregation separated and built a new church, Advent Lutheran Church, five miles away in the Harleysville/Lederach area. Our Reformed congregation remains in the original church. Our members come from not only Upper Salford Township but also from many surrounding communities. As we confess in the Apostle’s Creed, we are part of “the one, holy, catholic (i.e. universal) church. People from many different denominational and ethnic traditions have found a spiritual home at Old Goshenhoppen. Our life as a church family is centered in our faith in ‘the head of our household’, the Lord Jesus Christ.

In the 290+ years since it was first established, Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church has seen many changes, but for this church “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb.13:8) Set on it’s little side road, many people find it to be an island of peace in our fast-paced world. The basic teachings of the Christian faith, which have sustained believers for 2000 years, remain the foundation of our faith. The content of our faith is summed up in the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism, a Reformation Confession of Faith that was dear to the founders of our church, and is still dear to us.

Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own,1 but belong—body and soul, in life and in death2—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.3
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,4 and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.5 He also watches over me in such a way6 that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven;7 in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.8
Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life9 and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.10
1 1 Cor. 6:19-20
2 Rom. 14:7-9
3 1 Cor. 3:23; Titus 2:14
4 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:2
5 John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14-15; 1 John 3:1-11
6 John 6:39-40; 10:27-30; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:5
7 Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18
8 Rom. 8:28
9 Rom. 8:15-16; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14
10 Rom. 8:1-17

Although written back in 1563, its truth is timeless, and we at Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church invite you to join with us and find “your only comfort” in the same Lord Jesus Christ.

 

A little more about us:
Old Goshenhoppen Reformed is a Bible-centered Christian church located about an hour North of Philadelphia in Montgomery County, PA.

We are committed to helping people know Jesus Christ and making him known in today’s world.

Whoever you are, wherever you are in life, you are welcome here!

Join us for service on Sunday mornings, at 10:00 a.m.

From the beginning, the congregation of Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church has made the historic creeds of the Christian church an integral part of its worship, preaching and music. Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church is a Bible-centered church and congregation. Various opportunities abound for Christian fellowship and service.

Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church traces its roots to the Protestant Reformation in Switzerland and Germany in the 16th century. Originally a German Reformed Church, then an Evangelical and Reformed Church congregation; Old Goshenhoppen is affiliated with the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Churches. www.evangelicalassociation.org.

 

Historical Interest:

Special historic interest attaches to Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church because we still occupy the property first purchased by the founders of our church in 1732 from the sons of William Penn. The original log church still stands behind our present sanctuary. Our church and property is filled with historic artifacts, including an original “Schlater Bible.” We also still host an annual Oyster Picnic in September which we have been doing for 141 years.

 

Availability:

The church sanctuary and pavilion are available for weddings, funeral services, community meetings, and other events. Please contact the church offices for more information at  (610)287-9781

What are we like?

Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church is full of regular people just like you. You’ll see all generations and all walks of life gathered to connect more deeply with Jesus, with other people, and with God’s ongoing mission to bless this world.  We’re not perfect, by any means, but we’re living with a passion to follow Jesus more closely all the time and to help others do the same.

Old Goshenhoppen Reformed Church is full of regular people just like you. You’ll see all generations and all walks of life gathered to connect more deeply with Jesus, with other people, and with God’s ongoing mission to bless this world.  We’re not perfect, by any means, but we’re living with a passion to follow Jesus more closely all the time and to help others do the same.

Your first time at a church, any church, can bring up some questions.  Here are some of the common ones…

What time should I come?

Each Sunday, our our worship service begins at 10:00 a.m.  We would suggest that you get here a few minutes early to find a seat and collect your thoughts before we begin. You are welcome to sit wherever you would like.

What should I wear?

Most people dress casually here, but as with most things at Old Goshenhoppen, we’re diverse. You’ll see some folks in shorts and some in ties or dresses, so come as you feel most comfortable. Our Pastor wears a clerical robe to reflect his vocation of Minister of the Word. What we’ll make sure you see when you get here, though, are welcoming faces with smiles on them.

What should I expect in the service?

First of all, our worship services are held upstairs in the sanctuary. Our services are pretty traditional, but not stodgy. The service (called a liturgy) reflects our Protestant and Reformational roots. Our worship includes prayers, confession, readings, music, a sermon, communion once a month, and various ways for the congregation to participate. But don’t worry, everything you need to know is printed in a bulletin you’ll receive when you come. You can follow along or just observe. You’ll notice that our service is centered on God and looks to the Bible for guidance and inspiration.

Is there an offering in the service?

Our offerings are for those who consider Old Goshenhoppen their home and who are part of the mission here. Instead of wanting you to give something, we want you to get something! Of course, if you insist to give something we will not mind.

What is available for my kids?

We’re a church that loves to have the whole family in worship so everyone can be together and grow together spiritually. We have a clean, safe nursery and Sunday school programs staffed by great volunteers.

How do I get there and where should I park?

We have a large parking lot across from the church. There is also handicap parking right next to the church. We have a handicap ramp and chair lift available for those with special needs.

Where can I meet other people?

For a smaller church, we actually have a lot of opportunities for you to meet people. We have coffee fellowship after service each and every sunday. We also have a family fellowship, men’s fellowship, and women’s fellowship events. In addition, each September we host the Oyster Picnic, one of our region’s largest church picnics. This brings thousands of people together or a great day of food, music, and gathering together as a community. These are all great places to get to know others.

What does the “Reformed” mean in your name?

We’re part of a group of churches that connects way back to the 1500s when there was a great renewal in the churches in Europe.  That period was called the Reformation – a time when a lot of Christians reformed their spiritual lives in order to get reconnected with God through the scriptures. So our name reflects that heritage.

What’s with the name Old Goshenhoppen?

As pioneers moved out of Philadelphia in the early 1700’s, they established a settlement at a place they called Old Goshenhoppen. The origin if of debate. It could be a biblical reference to the land of Goshen that the Israelites lived in before the Exodus out of Egypt, and the word Hoppen could be a take on the German word for haven. The other theory (this is the hazard of having an over 290 year old history) is that the name has its roots in an Indian chief called Shakahoppa who controlled much of the land along the Perkiomen Creek. The early settlers may have Germanicized his name, and Shakahoppa’s region became the Goshenhoppen region. Our area, being closer to Philadelphia, was settled earlier, so it was called Old Goshenhoppen; the area around East Greenville was settled later and called New Goshenhoppen.