The year was 1825. America had seen tremendous religious growth as a result of The Second Great Awakening and John Winebrenner felt called by God to begin holding religious revivals and camp meetings across the young nation. When the Rev. Winebrenner carried his message to the people of Central Pennsylvania, a local movement began. Winebrenner himself recalled, “About this time more extensive and glorious revivals of religion commenced in different towns and neighborhoods,” including our town of Mount Joy. Thus, the Churches of God General Conference had begun, and it was into this setting that the Mount Joy Church of God was born.
When the winter of 1830-31 arrived Rev. Winebrenner held a great revival in Mount Joy and many residents were converted under his preaching. Officially formed on the evening of March 15, 1831, John Winebrenner organized the Mount Joy Church of God with 35 members. It was Winebrenner’s belief that, “The name or title, Church of God, is undeniably the true and proper appellation by which the New Testament church ought to be designated. This is her scriptural and appropriate name.” The church originally met in a log schoolhouse along Chiques Creek on the east end of town. In 1873, after many different meeting locations, the members of the church agreed it would be advantageous for ministry if they could secure a location in the center of the town. On January 17, 1875, the doors opened to the Mount Joy Church of God at our current location of 30 East Main Street, where we have been ministering to the Mount Joy Community for the last 140 years.
The history of the Mount Joy Church of God is a rich story of a church immersed in its’ community. We echo the sentiments of John Winebrenner who stated that the Bible is, “the only authoritative rule of faith and practice.” It is through our study of God’s Word that we have developed our desire to proclaim the Gospel, seek the lost, and build up the believer in everything that we do for the glory of God, and the advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.