The Chapel congregation was organized in 1858 as a result of several weeks of special revival meetings conducted by Rev. J.S. Wentz and Rev. Jeremiah Jones, on the George Musser farm. Fifty-five of the eighty converts from the meetings began the first congregation, known as the 'Musser Class'. During the following year, Mr. Musser built a large springhouse with a second-floor room which was then used by the class as a regular place of worship. The farm was located on Ruppert Road just a few miles northeast of the present church property. In 2008, the present congregation was able to salvage the original barn doors, some windows with original glass, and much of the brick from the chimney.
In 1880, Mr. John Stabley donated land at the present church site along route 24 in York Township, two miles north of Red Lion Borough. A small church was built and shared by the Musser Class (United Brethren in Christ) with a class of the Evangelical Association and was known as 'Union Chapel'. After another decade, the United Brethern purchased the shares owned by the Evangelical Association. At that time, the name "St. Paul's United Brethern in Christ of York County" was adopted. The name 'Chapel Church' has continued to be used through two subsequent denominational mergers.
Early in the 1900's, additional land was acquired and a frame building was erected in 1919. Heiland View Cemetery which is adjacent to the church property was incorporated in 1935. In 1936, construction of the present brick structure began; the parish hall was constructed in 1950, the parsonage in 1958. Ground breaking and construction of the educational unit occurred in 1982 with dedication on April 17, 1983. A steeple was set in place in 1983. Chapel Christian DayCare opened in the fall of 1983 and continues to provide care for community children.
Leadership Through the Years
During 1800's, 'circut rider' preachers served local congregations when in the area. Class-leaders conducted church schools and services when no preacher was available. In 1917, Rev. Martin Heiland became the first 'stationed' pastor, serving the Chapel congregation until 1940, when Rev. Elwood E. Needy was appointed as the first full-time pastor and served until 1962. Rev. Clarence Chubb served from 1962-1968; Rev. C. Wesley Willson, Sr. - 1968-1982; Rev. Owen Walter - 1982-1994; Rev. Thomas Young - 1994-2000; Rev. Jonathan L. Bausman - 2000-2006; Rev. Gary Weaver - 2006-2009; Rev. Robert Vizthum - 2009-2015. The current pastor is Rev. Brendan Hock (2015 - present).
Thru the years, local churches converged and occasionally held joint campmeetings and revival, or shared church facilities. Language was often a determining factor in church affiliation. Established denominations, such as Methodist, Evangelical, and United Brethern, have evolved thru several mergers spanning more than two hundred years. In 1968, the United Methodist Church was formed and continues as Chapel's affiliation. As we celebrate more than 150 years in ministry, the Chapel congregation continues to share the love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, by local and world-wide missions and service. Opportunities for worship and study are offered each week; children and youth actively participate in all areas of church life. Prayer and scripture are the foundation of all small groups and ministry areas.