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​From the beginning, Northampton County’s religious tolerance, acceptance of diversity, and multiple traditions have enriched the community. Numerous houses of worship represent this melting pot of traditions, and stand as a testimony to our rich spiritual heritage.

Religious Influences in Northampton County

Thanks to a land grant that settled a large debt owed his late father, Admiral Penn, William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, was able to provide a New World haven for his persecuted associates and friends in the religious group known as the Society of Friends, or Quakers; a western European (primarily English) religious organization that attracted rather hostile attention in the later part of the 17th century because of its rejections of rituals and oaths, its ­opposition to war, and its simplicity of speech and dress.


Moravian Steeple

When Penn arrived in Philadelphia in 0ctober 1682, he summoned a General Assembly on December 4. This first Assembly united the Delaware counties with Pennsylvania, adopted a Naturalization Act and, on December 7, adopted the “Great Law,” Penn’s humanitarian code which became the fundamental basis of Pennsylvania law.

From that date forward, settlers began their inevitable westward and northwestward migration into the wilderness of Penn’s Woods.

 

 

 

European Settlements

English Quakers were among the earliest settlers of the upper parts of Bucks County, from which Northampton County was separated in 1752. Thousands of Germans were also attracted to this new territory along the Delaware and Lehigh rivers, arriving in what became Easton in 1735. As the Pennsylvania Germans settled in Northampton County, their skill and industry transformed this region into a rich farming country, contributing greatly to the expanding prosperity of the province. Scotch-Irish settlers also came into the county in great numbers. Although the Quakers were primarily English, many of the Quakers who settled in Northampton County were Irish and Welsh. Additionally, French Huguenot and Jewish settlers, as well as many settlers from Holland, Sweden, and a mixture of other nationalities, contributed to the growing population. This mixture of various nationalities, almost all from western Europe, in what had been originally intended to be a Quaker province in the New World, helped to create the “melting pot” that eventually became one of the key foundations upon which this nation was founded.

Although the Quakers were the dominant religious group in the new Pennsylvania colony, especially in the southeastern counties, the Quakers gradually declined in influence as other nationalities, with their own specific religions, came into the county. The Pennsylvania Germans that settled here in large numbers belonged largely to the Lutheran and Reformed churches, but there were also several smaller sects: Mennonites, Amish, German Baptist Brethren or "Dunkers," Schwenkfelders, and Moravians. The Lutheran Church eventually became the largest of the Protestant denominations in Pennsylvania. Other religions of significance included the Church of England, various Roman Catholic congregations, Presbyterians, Methodists, and various Jewish faiths.

Of special interest in the religious history of Northampton County is the Moravian Church, also known as Unitas Fratrum, an evangelical Protestant denomination organized in Herrnhut, Saxony in 1727 as a reconstitution of the 15th-century Bohemian Brethren. The first Moravians in America settled in Savannah, Georgia, in 1734, and moved to Nazareth in 1740. On April 2, 1741, a splinter group of seventeen members of that Nazareth community received a deed for 500 acres at the junction of the Monocacy Creek and Lehigh River, an ideal setting for their new community. On Christmas Eve, 1741, Count Zinzendorf and the other Moravians decided to call their new home Bethlehem. By 1761, more than 2,000 acres of land in the immediate Bethlehem-Nazareth area had been cleared. The settlement included 50 buildings. More than 50 business/industries were producing an impressive variety of goods that were much needed in a community on the very edge of the frontier.

Thanks to the strong foundations that were laid in this county more than 250 years ago by the earliest settlers who came into this wilderness seeking a place to live and practice their preferred religions, Northampton’s communities today are filled with houses of worship – of almost every denomination and creed. The influences of time and history are evident throughout the community, and very much so in its houses of worship.

Houses of Worship

 

Advent Moravian Church
3730 Jacksonville Road
Bethlehem, PA   18017
610-866-1402

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
2174 Lincoln Avenue
Northampton, PA   18067
610-262-7343

Assumption of the Virgin Mary
1301 Newport Avenue
Northampton, PA   18067
610-266-4105

Cathedral Church of the Nativity
321 Wyandotte Street
Bethlehem, PA   18015
610-865-0727

Central Moravian Church
73 West Church Street
Bethlehem, PA   18018
610-866-5661

Christ Church United Church
of Christ

75 East Market Street
Bethlehem, PA   18018
610-865-6565

Church of the Manger United Church of Christ
1401 Greenview Drive
Bethlehem, PA   18018
610-866-8223

College Hill Moravian Church
72 W. Laurel Street
Bethlehem, PA   18018
610-867-8291

Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church
411 March Street
Easton, PA   18042
610-252-8823 - FAX 610-252-7694

East Hills Moravian Church
1830 Butztown Road
Bethlehem, PA   18017
610-868-6481

Edgeboro Moravian Church
645 Hamilton Avenue
Bethlehem, PA   18017
610-866-8793

Emmanuel's Lutheran Church
3175 Valley View Drive
Bath, PA   18014
610-837-1741

Epworth United Methodist Church
3245 Oakland Road, PO Box 3107
Bethlehem Township, PA  18017
610-868-5354

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity
1229 Main Street
Northampton, PA   18067
610-262-2668

Faith Lutheran Church
2012 Sullivan Trail
Easton, PA   18040
610-253-1625

First Baptist Church
3235 Linden Street
Bethlehem, PA   18017
610-856-4600

First Moravian Church of Easton
225 N 10th Street
Easton, PA   18042-3370
610-258-6317
www.firstmoravianeaston.org

First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem
2344 Center Street
Bethlehem, PA   18017
610-867-5865

Forks Community Church
Worship:
Llantrisant Retreat & Wellness Center
336 Bushkill Street
Tatamy, PA  18085
Office:
308b Old Mill Road
Easton, PA  18040
484-548-0251
www.forkscommunitychurch.org

Grace United Church of Christ
9th Street and Lincoln Avenue
Northampton, PA   18067
610-262-7186

Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church
2700 Jacksonville Road
Bethlehem, PA   18017
610-867-6231

Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley
424 Center Street
Bethlehem, PA   18018
610-954-7775

Northampton God's Missionary Church
4965 Nor-Bath Blvd.
Northampton, PA   18067       
610-262-4412

Our Lady of Hungary Catholic Church
1324 Newport Avenue
Northampton, PA   18067
610-262-2227

Our Lord's Ascension Polish National Catholic Church
2105 Jennings Street
Bethlehem, PA   18017
610-694-0164

St. John the Baptist Ukranian
1343 Newport Avenue
Northampton, PA 18067
610-262-4104

St. John's Windish Evangelical Lutheran Church
617 East Fourth Street
Bethlehem, PA   18015
610-868-3282

St. Michael's Catholic Church
829 Main Street
Northampton, PA   18067
610-262-2472

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
1607 W. Union Boulevard
Bethlehem, PA   18018
610-867-1327

St. Paul's United Church of Christ
19th Street and Lincoln Avenue
Northampton, PA   18067
610-262-5991

St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church
474 Vine Street
Bethlehem, PA   18015
610-867-0519

Trinity Episcopal Church
44 E. Market Street
Bethlehem, PA   18018
610-867-4741

Trinity Episcopal Church
234 Spring Garden Street
Easton, PA 18042
610-253-0792

Wesley United Methodist Church
2540 Center Street
Bethlehem, PA   18017
610-865-5715

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
19th and Main Streets
Northampton, PA   18067
610-262-6636

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