Traditional Worship Meeting Contemporary Needs
The Rosedale story began in 1909 in the Rosedale Union Sunday School Chapel, located in the 1100 block of Elizabeth Avenue in Laureldale, Pennsylvania and was started by the leaders of the German Reformed Church. On June 30, 1921 a new congregation with 118 members was formed, and the first pastor called was Reverend F. Wentzel. In the early 1920’s, this young congregation began to meet in a small prefabricated chapel, erected on newly-purchased lots at the corner of Ridgeway Street and Bellevue Avenue in Laureldale. Reverend Wentzel eventually left to work for the denomination, and in 1927 Reverend S. Givler became the church’s second spiritual leader.
As Laureldale grew, so did Rosedale, and this community of God’s people was now ready for a permanent house of worship. In 1928 the people voted to erect a building which would stand as a symbol of God’s glory for generations. In 1928 this proud people moved into their edifice, which has served generations since and will serve generations to come. Our church building, modeled on English Parish Gothic, was dedicated in June of the that year.
With the exception of time spent serving the denomination and then the country during World War II, Reverend Givler remained at Rosedale until 1956. Early in the year 1957, the Reverend M. E. Gockley became the next guardian of Rosedale’s pulpit and during his tenure the building was extensively remodeled. The Reverend D. Groff served with great dedication from 1965 until late 1988, a period of over 23 years.
Following Pastor Groff, the Reverend Richard A. Leiby served Rosedale for 24 years. Many updates were done at Rosedale under Pastor Leiby. We repaired and covered our stained-glass windows and installed a dishwasher in the kitchen. We painted the sanctuary, installed new carpet, added air conditioning and refurbished the pipe organ. Pastor Leiby was also instrumental in starting the Muhlenberg Churches Food Pantry in our community.
The Reverend Selina Hamilton currently serves Rosedale U.C.C. and the initial number of 118 members has grown to 305 members. We continue to worship in a traditional manner while striving to meet contemporary needs.