Old Saint James Church, built in 1744 by the Lutheran, Reformed and Mennonite settlers of Warwick Township near the corner of West Center and Broad Streets, was the first public meeting place here fourteen years before Lititz was settled.
It was the first attempt to unite the many sects into one Protestant Church, but with each sect preserving its distinctive character. This was the outgrowth of Count Zinzendorf’s preaching when he stopped at Jacob Huber’s Tavern just north of Lititz.
This old log church had for its first minister the Rev. Lawrence Nyberg from the Lancaster Lutheran Church, but ministers of all faiths were invited to preach. That this first attempt to unite all churches was not a success does not detract from its historical worth. By 1748 most of this congregation had become part of the newly formed Moravian Church and School that was built along the creek just east of Locust Street. This was the beginning of Linden Hall Seminary, having a student enrollment of four boys and three girls, one of the first schools in Pennsylvania.
Undoubtedly the most historic spot and the least known is the Saint James cemetery. Fortunately this tiny plot at the corner of West Center Street and Pine Alley has been preserved and properly identified. The stones lie under the sod and are protected by a substantial enclosure that was a memorial to Eugene Kreider who cared for this plot for many years.
In this wooded graveyard are buried 182 settlers of Warwick Township, sixty of them being infants. Here lie the remains of the tire magnate Charles Goodyears’s great-grandfather. Other family names familiar to us today are Bender, Bechtel, Frey, Grosh, Huber, Johnson, Kling, Koch, Diehm, Evans, Palmer, Schmidt, Tshudy, Weidman, Warner, and Williams.
Every foot of ground in Warwick Township, which then included Penn and Elizabeth, is a nucleus for historic interest. The Lititz Historical Foundation is leaving no stone unturned in its search for everything worth recording, and will place all that is found in its archives