Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of East Petersburg

In Celebration of Our History

For our 175th anniversary, we have assembled a chronicle of Zion from the past 175 years. We invite you to view and download this beautiful history. The booklet has been assembled as a PDF in single sheets and as magazine-styled page spreads.

The Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church 175th Anniversary featured the following special events for the celebration:

Sunday, September 11 : We had our kick-off Sunday with a potluck picnic after the church service in the fellowship hall. There were games and activities.

Sunday, September 11 : We shared the history and symbolism of our stained glass windows. This was done during announcements. We learned about the two windows behind the altar (September 11). Others windows were shared on the remaining Sundays in September and some in October.

Saturday, September 17 : Zion EP participated in the East Pete Day Parade with a truck.

Sunday, October 2 : Vocal Harmonix performed a concert at 3:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary.

Sunday, October 9 : Pastor Chris Rankin from Trinity UCC was preaching minister.

Sunday, October 16 : Pastor Beth Martini—Assistant to the Bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod was preaching minister.

Sunday, October 23 : This was a Special Church Service with communion and specific readings for an anniversary celebration. Former Zion EP pastors were invited to participate in the service. A catered event was held at Bent Creek Country Club after the church service. It was a luncheon buffet and brief program.

As an ongoing part of the 175th celebration, the history of our church and event pictures were on display via slideshows on the TV, bulletin board and a mini museum in the church library.

Our Special 175th Anniversary Service

October 23, 2022

Sunday, October 16, 2022
Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Reverend Beth Martini
Preaching Minister

Sunday, October 9, 2022
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Reverend Doctor Christopher Rankin
Preaching Minister

Sunday, October 23, 2022

The Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church 175th Anniversary Special Service

Pastor Angela Hammer
Opening Liturgist

Pastor Kent J. Krause
Pastor Mary Margaret Ruth


Pastor John Smaligo
Preaching Minister

Pastor Pamela Carnes
Presiding Minister

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, East Petersburg

(From center [bottom] left to right) Pastor Mary Margaret Ruth, Pastor Angela Hammer, Pastor Kent J. Krause, Pastor Pamela Carnes, Pastor John Smaligo

Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church welcomed all pastors and congregants who joined us for our 175th Zion Anniversary.

The preaching pastor for this event, former Zion Pastor John Smaligo, served local churches and also served as the Lancaster County Council of Churches Executive Director before accepting the January 2002 call at Zion Lutheran. He was pastor until October 12, 2008.

Pastor Smaligo spearheaded multiple programs to bolster the well-being of the community and to help those who were in need—meal programs, foreign outreach, youth programs, etc.

A Jubilee Hymn

For the 175th Anniversary
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
East Petersburg, PA

By James Riggs & Saralee Riggs

In anthems, hymns, and spirit songs we raise a jubilee.
Let all creation join with us in brilliant harmony.
Praise our Creator with one voice; may all our songs agree.
For who is like the One True God who reigns eternally?

Let mercy roll across the land, and peace rule at its side.
Let justice roar where tyrants stand, and freedom is denied.
May discord and oppression cease, may God be glorified.
For who is like the One True God, our Savior and our Guide?

So let the jubilee begin, and seeds of joy be sown.
Let earth rejoice, let heaven ring with music ‘round the throne.
May three times “Holy” be the song forever heaven’s own,
For who is like the One True God? No one but God alone!

© 2022

Blaine Shahan | LNP Staff Photographer

175 Faithful Years


Zion Evangelical Lutheran marks milestone with music, fellowship

Original LNP September 10, 2022 story was edited.

“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is a beloved Christian hymn with lyrics celebrating God’s steadfast love. That’s why Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church chose its title for the theme of its 175th anniversary celebration.

“We started thinking about God’s faithfulness to us as a congregation,” says Mary Chesters, anniversary committee chair and 18-year church member.

The East Petersburg church has a slew of anniversary celebrations scheduled. They kick off Sunday and continue on Oct. 2, 9, 16 and 23. A variety of events will take place each Sunday to honor the church’s long-standing history at its original location, 1905 Broad St., East Petersburg.

Church History

Founded in 1847, the church had just 16 members at the time of its inception. By 1960, membership grew to 425. Today, there are 208 members.

“The building underwent several remodeling projects over the years, from its first electric lights to the addition of a choir room in the 2000s.

Today, the three-floor brick building includes the sanctuary, office, classrooms, library, choir room and fellowship hall. A cemetery and memorial garden are located behind the church.

Church historian and 31-year church member Kim Gable did extensive research about the church.

“She created a wonderful historical museum in our library with photos and pictures to chronicle the past 175 years,” Chesters says.

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