“Celebrating More Than 225 Years of Service to God and Community”

The city was Chambersburg, Pennsylvania — at the time a small town located at an intersection of thriving agriculture, commerce and local-made goods, a junction for travel to the busy cities of the north or south. Or a stop-over point perhaps, on the way westward towards the rugged and ever-expanding “New Frontier” of a new nation.

Originally founded in 1764 as a fort, the town was settled by Colonel Benjamin Chambers just 25 miles north of the line later formally surveyed by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon.

Quickly after its founding, the town grew with an influx of German immigrants. They migrated from the Palatinate area of Germany to the Cumberland Valley that so closely resembled their homeland. And their Reformed faith came with them.

Without a church building, they gathered first in the inn of Nicholas Snider located near the town square, and with the help of a Rev. Faber of Hagerstown, MD, formed a congregation in 1778.

  Reverend Jeffrey Diller selects a rose for payment of the 2003 annual Church “Rose Rent” assisted by the younger generation of the church. The tradition dates back to 1780 and is among the state’s oldest religious traditions.  

To encourage the local settlers, Col. Chambers deeded land for a church and graveyard in 1780, at the intersection of South Main Street and what was then German (now Liberty) Street. The first building was a log schoolhouse. In 1811, the construction of the present structure was begun.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Zion Reformed today continues to serve as a house of praise to God.

In its deed is the stipulation that each June, the congregation pay the annual rent of one rose from the church grounds to a descendent of the Chambers family “in perpetuity.”

Consequently, each year, the congregation of Zion marks its unique Rose Rent Sunday observance.

Schedule of Regular Services

Church School 9:30 AM
Regular Worship 10:45 AM
Summer Worship 9:00 AM
* Summer worship begins the First Sunday in July and ends with Labor Day Weekend


Zion Reformed Church, UCC • 259 South Main Street • Chambersburg, PA 17201
(717) 264-2854