St. Bartholomew's Church has a long and rich history that has helped it to become what it is today. On May 18, 1844, Frederick and Elizabeth Bachman deeded one acre and two rods of land to the Lutheranand German Reformed congregations that formed St. Bartholomew's Church. Located near the Maryland line, now West Manheim Township, York County, Pennsylvania, the first church building on the land was dedicated in August 1844.
In 1860, a group of members of St Bartholomew's split from the congregation and built little Mt. Zion Church, which is now known as the Wentz Meeting House. This historic site is located near the current St Bartholomew Church. Today, the meeting house is no longer in use but each year members of St. Bartholomew clean the old Wentz Meeting House and a service is held.
The original St. Bartholomew’s churchstructure was destroyed by fire in 1878 after a fire spread during an oats harvest. The church was rebuiltin 1879 as a two story brick building.
Then in 1890a bell tower was added. The church was growing and two acres of land for a new cemetery were donated to the church.
In 1936 a new church building was dedicated.The old churchwhich stood very near to the new church was torn down and the land was used as a parking lot for parishioners. As the church has grown over time, St. Bartholomew's Church has remodeled, renovated, and expanded with several additions and land purchases.
From 1844 to 2000, St. Bartholomew's continued as a union church with both United Church of Christ and Lutheran congregations running in one building that shared property rights and responsibilities in the church. On September 17, 2000, St. Bartholomew's signed a new charter to create one united church known officially as St. Bartholomew's United Church (ELCA).
St. Bartholomew’s church has continuously been involved in community service activities locally and abroad. The congregation actively supports Hoffman Homes for Youth, Homewood Retirement Home, and the Provide-A-Lunch Program (PAL) through the Hanover Area Council of Churches with monetary gifts and dedicated labors. The church also supports trips to Biloxi, Mississippi for Katrina Relief and provides financial support for Lutheran World Relief and several missionaries around the world.
St. Bartholomew’s churchhas been blessed with many talented people who have helped, with their love and devotion, to make St. Bartholomew's what it is today. St. Bartholomew's has a rich heritage of music including a Hand Bell Choir, Youth & Adult Choirs and one of the few Sunday School orchestras still active every Sunday. With exceptional music groups of many varieties and Sunday School classes for all age levels, St. Bartholomew's United Church provides a special worshiping experience that allows all members to thrive and grow on their spiritual journey.
In a constantly changing world, the members of St. Bartholomew's will continue to remember their past as they look to the future.