Before 1879

Before a formal church was built in 1879, Pine Hall Lutheran held services in other churches and then in a log structure which it built, shared and finally sold to a German Reform congregation.  That first church was a frame structure.  It burned and was rebuilt in brick in 1903.  Though it has lost its pointed steeple along the way, it is the basic structure in which we now worship.  


In 1844 when the Pine Hall Lutheran Church congregation sang its first hymn, what is now route 26 was a wandering farm lane.  By the late 1990s, when the church was looking to expand, route 26 had become a busy highway from State College to Pine Grove Mills and west. Because of the highway’s wider right-of-way, the church was too close to the roadway to gain approval for an addition.  After nixing the idea of moving to a new location, the church determined to save its historic building while adding to it. A scheme was hatched to move the building away from the highway to get the needed approval.  Under the direction of local architects and engineers, the massive building was lifted and towed to a new foundation. A local resident whose company moved the building kept coins flattened as the structure moved across rails laid to the new spot.


By 2000, the church had been moved and an addition completed with flexible space and a commercial kitchen.  Today it serves as a meeting place for community support groups, while its kitchen is busy cooking soup for the Wesley Center Soup Kitchen, potlucks that include sheltered youth from local residences and its famous chocolate covered Easter eggs, sales of which fund cash donations to groups like Centre Safe, Camp Sequanota and Interfaith Human Services


As with many rural churches throughout the nation in the 19Th and early 20th centuries, travelling ministers often conducted services.  The Pine Hall Lutheran Church was able to welcome its first minister, Dan Moser, in 1844.  He served the congregation for 20 years.  More recently Pastor Robert Heydenreich, for whom Heydenreich Hall is named, served from 1966 until his retirement in 2003. Pastor Greg Harbaugh took over the ministry until 2010.  Pastor Susan Williamson now serves a joined ministry of the Pine Hall and Gatesburg Lutheran Churches, formed as the Ferguson Township Lutheran Ministry.