Seeking peace and tranquility, German’s accepted William Penn’s invitation to settle in his woods. By 1735 some of these immigrants were gathering in a log church to give thanks to God for the new life they had discovered in the new world. The cabin church was built on land donated by George and Veronica Hain. Ten years before the Revolutionary War a more substantial stone house of worship was built. Walls of this 1766 church remain standing to this very day. The cemetery surrounding the church is the final resting place of 57 veterans of the Revolutionary War. “The cemetery surrounds the church to show that the place of worship is simultaneously the place of burial. The whole congregation is gathered here, the church militant and triumphant, those who are still being tested and those whose trials are over.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Over the centuries St. John’s (Hain’s) has been a continuing witness to God's presence and will in western Berks County. For more than 150 years the church reflected and transmitted Christian faith and practice in the German Language. Being a congregation of the German Reformed Church, the Heidelberg Catechism along with the Bible were the touchstones of the congregation’s teaching and preaching. As families prospered and grew Hain’s Church also grew.
In the 1870’s there was a need to expand the Sanctuary. With growing industrialization, more and more members moved off the farms and into the city and suburbs of Reading. However, they retained their membership at Hain’s. At the beginning of the 20th Century the pastor held Confirmation classes in the city of Reading. By the beginning of the 21st Century most of the open fields surrounding the church have been transformed into housing developments. The once German Reformed congregation is now a strong supportive congregation of the United Church of Christ. The small stone church has been transformed into a large facility.
Since the founding St. John’s (Hain’s) United Church of Christ its cemetery has been the final resting place for members and residents of the surrounding community. Its long history has made the burial grounds and its records a valuable resource for those seeking to discover family histories. Some of the very first European men and women who settled this region rest here. 57 veterans of the Revolutionary War rest in peace near the Church’s eastern wall.
“The congregation beautifies this place, because here the bodies of the saints wait” D. Bonhoeffer
St. John’s (Hain’s) claims its burial grounds as a ministry. The congregation has accepted the responsibility for their well being. Each year it elects representatives to a Cemetery Board that oversee the day-to-day operations. The Church employs part time caretakers and a part time clerk to maintain its grounds and its records.
The year 2010 marks the 275th year of Christian worship on this hill just north of Wernersville, PA.
St John's Hains Church Address: