THE SCHWENCKFELDHAUS BERTHELSDORF
In the 18th century, Schwenkfelders that remained in Europe lived around the Harpersdorf/Silesia area. In 1726 Schwenkfelders sought refuge on the estate of count Nicholaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf at Berthelsdorf. In 1732, they decided to migrate to Pennsylvania where in 1782 the Society of the Schwenkfelders was formed and in 1909 the Schwenkfelder church was organized. The only surviving church building of the 18th century Schwenkfelders is the Schwenkfelder Meeting House at Berthelsdorf.
The Schwenkfelder Meeting House in Berthelsdorf
The aim of the Schwenkfelder Meeting House as part of the Berthelsdorf Association is the preservation of the Schwenkfelder Meeting House. The building may be used as a small museum dedicated to the memory of the Schwenkfelders and as a center for small conferenecs and meetings. The association pursues its aims in partnership with the Mayor's office of Pielgrzymka and Twardocice near Zlotoryja in Poland, the Protestant Congregation of Luban, and the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage center in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania.
The Association became owners of the Gemeinde Haus in the summer of 2006. In the fall of 2007, the Association received a matching preservation grant from the German government, which enabled them to cover the entire Gemeinde Haus and protect the structure from the elements The Association is currently building it's membership and seeking European Union funds to continue the preservation efforts. In addition to replacing the roof and sealing the builidng, the Association will, upon receipt of additional funds, begin to stablilize and preserver the walls and building foundations. By partnering with the Polish community and congregations, the Association is building enduring relationships of cooperation and support, inspiring interest in a shared history and helping preserve and communicate the Schwenkfelder story to future generations.