1975 to Present and into God's future
Family of God was officially organized on March 2, 1975. Our first pastor was The Rev. Roger Goodling. Our first location was the same as the pastor’s parsonage address on Burnt House Hill Road. Considering the difficulty in finding this location, we relocated to a basement meeting room of the Best Western Inn on Route 202 in New Hope for the first formal services. When we outgrew this location we moved to the Buckingham Friends School gymnasium.
In March of 1977, The Rev. Kenneth E. Auer became our second pastor and we moved to the Hughesian building in the heart of Buckingham. This became our home from July 1977 through March 1989, despite the poor insulation and the mouse population. For a short time in 1983 we had an interim pastor, The Rev. George Scheitlin, from the LCA. In March of 1983 we were afforded the pleasure of calling The Rev. Eric R. Royer to be our new pastor. As we continued to grow, we requested help from the ELCA to build our own church. While in the process of designing plans we had to move out of the Hughesian building in March 1989. We met temporarily in the basement of the old township building (now Center Club) until we moved again in October 1989 to the basement of the new township building. A few months later we had to move upstairs to the main commissioners’ meeting room.
On Easter Sunday, April 8, 1990 we finally moved into our new, and current church building. With our church building as a visible presence in Buckingham, we continued to grow in membership and ministry programs. In October 1995, we hired The Rev. Jackie Heitmann as Ministry Assistant. In 1999, we called Pastor Heitmann to be our first Associate Pastor. She left in October 2000,and, in October 2001, the Rev. Susan Sinclair became our full time Associate Pastor. On September 9, 2002 we dedicated a new 3,200 square foot addition that included classrooms, a music room, a youth lounge, additional restrooms and storage areas. In December 2004, Pastor Sinclair returned to the Midwest as a chaplain. In early 2005 we added Seminarian Kathy Harkness to staff as Director of Christian Education and Family Ministry. She served until August 2006. Pastor Jackie Heitmann had begun a contemporary Christian music group called Spirit Free, which eventually was offered every Sunday while it existed. At that time, The Rev. Bruce Thorsen, then a member of the congregation, was Director of Spirit Free and of Contemporary Worship. In April 2006 we sadly said good bye to Pastor Royer when he left to become Pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in Washington Crossing, PA. With the departure of Pastor Royer, we had The Revs. Vicki Hall and William Braun as co-interim Pastors. They were followed by The Rev. Kerr. Pastor Schafer was our Interim until early December, 2007 at which time (December 2) The Rev. Bernard Kelly was given a call by our church. In September 2008, we had our first Intern, Mr. Don Gleiter, who helped us implement our first lay home communion ministry which we continue today. At the end of 2008 we lost our long term organist Nancy Hillegas. In 2009 we were fortunate to have Father Glenn Matis join us as our organist. In mid 2011, we parted ways with Pastor Kelly.
In July 2011 we welcomed the Rev. Jackson Haas as our first Bridge Pastor with the option of giving him a permanent call after six to 12 months. On April 16, 2012 a recommendation was made and approved to give Pastor Haas a permanent call. In 2013 Pastor Haas and Council ran a very successful 3 yr Capital Campaign. In late 2013 we all said good bye to our long term Director of Music, Michael Hillegas. We were without a Music Director until Amy Peck joined us in November, 2014. Unfortunately she had to leave us in Sept, 2015. On December 31, 2015 we also said farewell to Pastor Haas and wished him much happiness in his retirement for we knew how much he cared for his family, particularly his young grandchildren states away.
On January 29th, 2017 Pastor Lydia Posselt began her call here at Family of God.