Westmoreland County, PA
Old Zion Lutheran Cemetery
a.k.a. - Mt. Zion Cemetery
a.k.a. - Swopes Cemetery
East Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, PA
A Project of Westmoreland County PAGenWeb Archives
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this page was last updated 04 Nov 2011
(contributed by Ellis Michaels)
(contributed by Nancy Garsteck
Taken from History of the County of Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, edited by George Dallas Albert, L.H. Everts & Co., 1882
LUTHERAN AND (ZION'S) REFORMED CHURCH (UNION).
This congregation was formerly known by the name of " Schwabs,"
afterwards changed to Swopes. The name was taken from that of a family in
the neighborhood. The name of the family was doubtless derived from the country
in Germany from which they came,—Das Schwaben Land. The congregation is
now called " Zion's." The church is located four miles southwest of Mount
Pleasant, about two hundred yards to the right of Ragentown road, and
nearly four miles northwest of Scottdale. It was organized about 1789, but no records are accessible prior
to 1822. A log church which stood in the graveyard
on the right of the road was used for many years as
a place of worship. A brick church was built on the
opposite side of the road, on land donated by Jacob
Leighty, about 1862. It is a neat, comfortable, and
substantial edifice. In the summer of 1872 the in
side received a coat of paint, the chancel was completed and carpeted, and other improvements added.
It was organized by Rev. John William Weber, and
afterwards served by Revs. William Weinel, H. E. F.
Voight, L. H. Keafauver, F. K. Levan, C.C. Russell,
J. A. Peters, A. J. Heller, and D. B. Lady. Mr. Weinel took charge in 1817, and continued as pastor
until 1825, the last year in which record of his communions are found. At the communion held July
15, 1825, Rev. Nicholas P. Hacke, D.D., officiated,
and at those of April 19 and Nov. 22, 1829, Rev. C.
Zwidler officiated. These are the only communions
held, or at least the only ones recorded, between 1824,
when Rev. Weinel held his last, and 1835, when Rev.
Voight held his first one. It is probable that there
was no stated preaching between 1825 and 1835. Mr.
Voight preached here until 1864. From 1858 to 1860,
Rev. L. H. Keafauver was English supply, holding a
service in this language once every two months. In
1860 Rev. C. C. Russell succeeded him, who was followed in 1861 by Rev. F. K. Levan, who continued
in the office of English supply or assistant pastor
until 1864, when, Father Voight being disabled, the
congregation became part of the newly-formed Mount Pleasant charge, and was placed under the sole pastoral care of Rev. J. A. Peters. Under the ministry
of Rev. William Weinel, especially from 1822 to 1825, the congregation seems to have enjoyed a season of
great prosperity. In 1822 twenty-three persons were confirmed. Two years afterwards there were twenty-five more. In 1835 forty-five communed at one time.
During the interregnum from 1825 to 1835 the congregation became necessarily
much scattered. At the communion held by Rev. C. Zwidler in 1829 twenty-eight persons communed, including nine who
were confirmed on the occasion. The communicants during Rev. H. E. F. Voight's ministry ranged from
ten to thirty-two, when the congregation numbered from forty to fifty. English
services were first introduced into the congregation by Rev. Kefauver in 1858.
The following year a class of fifteen were confirmed, and the congregation took a new lease of life.
In December, 1865, under the pastorate of Rev. Peters, eight were confirmed, and in May of same year forty-one communed.
(contributed by Nancy Garsteck
Taken from the Westmoreland County Historical Society Cemetery Index:
As early as the mid 1770's a church which consisted of both Lutherans and Reformed members were worshiping in the area. By 1792, when the first church records are available it is likely that a log school house was also used for worship. A cemetery was developed next to it. Since earliest times the church was known by the name Schwabs/Swopes. Eventually a new church was built across the road. Still later, the two church groups went their separate ways. While the congregations [as] originally formed have ceased operations, the property is in the possession of "Swopes Zion Church, a Pa. non-profit corporation."
DIRECTIONS TO CHURCH: From Reagantown, take 981 North. Make left onto Zion Church Road. Cemetery is about 200 yards on right.
Cemetery is currently administered by:
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