At the November meeting of the Goschenhoppen Historians, local historian and retired Mennonite Pastor Bob Gerhart will portray his ancestor’s return to the area after 270 years. The original Indian Valley Reformed Church was dedicated in 1746. The reverend Michael Schlatter, the first official Reformed Minister in America, presented the dedicatory sermon. Peter Gerhart, Bob’s earliest ancestor to immigrate to America, was a Deacon of the Church and present at the dedication service. This year also marks the 300th anniversary of his birth, an auspicious time to revisit the land he helped to establish.
A clear copy of Rev. Schlatter’s sermon has been preserved and pastor Gerhart will present, in a somewhat abbreviated format, at the Church’s anniversary celebration in the person of his ancestor. While still visiting in the area from the mid-eighteenth century, Deacon Gerhart has graciously agreed to attend a meeting of the Goschenhoppen Historians and report on his experiences and life in the region during the early days of Germanic settlement in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Bob Gerhart is well known for his first-person portrayals of local 18th and 19th century leaders and seminal events. Always remaining in character he is able to bring people, places, and events to life in an entertaining and informative way. The meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.. at Red Men’s Hall, the Historian’s headquarters located at 116 Gravel Pike (Route 29) in Green Lane. The public is welcome and urged to attend. There is no fee and refreshments will be served during an informal get-together at the close of the meeting. For more information, call 215-234-4119.