The Brethen in Christ Church | Messiah Village
Messiah Village Church is primarily focused on serving the spiritual needs of older adults.

The church enjoys traditional worship services that include the use of hymns, a choir and the organ. The Messiah Village Church is located in the chapel on the campus of Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village. Many attendees live on the campus of Messiah Village, while some regular attendees and members live in the broader community. Services are televised live throughout the Messiah Village campus on channel 78. All ages are welcome. Please note that childcare is not available.

About the Brethren in Christ

The Brethren in Christ Church began sometime between 1775 and 1788 in Lancaster County, PA. For the most part, our founding mothers and fathers had an Anabaptist background and were deeply affected by the revivals of the great awakening of the eighteenth century and the Pietistic movement, which was spread in America by the Moravians and German Baptists. These revivals emphasized a personal, heart-felt conversion experience.

Today, there are 300 congregations in the U.S. and 1,000 congregations internationally.

To learn more, visit A church doctrinal statement is also available in the church office.

Ten Core Values of the Brethren in Christ

Salvation in Jesus Christ

The Bible as the Authoritative Word

Heartfelt Worship 

Obedience to Jesus Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit

Relationships and Accountability

Witness for Christ

Serving others

Valuing all Human Life and practicing nonviolent resolution of conflict

Lifestyle-live simply, love boldly, give generously and serve joyfully

Dependence on God and Prayer

The story behind the stain glass window

To many residents, the most beautiful, single, inanimate object in any building on the Messiah Village Campus is the stained glass window in the chapel.

The chapel, however, did not exist when the main building was dedicated in July 1978. Prior to 1978, religious services were held in what is now Compass Pointe Place. The original plans called for a separate structure to be constructed west of the Bailey Street entrance. Because more office space was needed and because it was felt a chapel should be nearer the nursing neighborhoods, an extension was proposed for the north side of the building. The General Conference of the Brethren in Christ Church gave permission to solicit members of the Allegheny and Atlantic conferences.

Groundbreaking took place on March 13, 1983.

On April 13, 1984, the extension was dedicated debt-free. The new extension contained the sanctuary with closed circuit TV and sound system, office spaces, an arboretum and elevator. A Fellowship Hall, woodworking shop, Children’s Family Center, and small kitchen were added to the basement. Much credit is due Musser M. Martin, member of the board of trustees for over 20 years, who served untiringly even in failing health to see this project accomplished. As the chapel extension was being planned, President George Kibler felt the chapel window should be of stained glass. The architect had proposed a window with colored squares of glass. Meanwhile, the St. Paul’s United Church of Christ congregation at Duke and Orange Streets in Lancaster, Pennsylvania decided to demolish its old building. It featured more than 80 stained glass windows of various sizes. A news story on TV announced that the windows would be for sale. Residents Ruth Taylor Wingert and Sam Lady reported to President Kibler that this might be something worth investigating. He was able to purchase two large windows for $6,000. Two donors, Russell and Beatrice Potteiger of New Kingston, had pledged that amount.

One of the two large windows featured “The Ascension” and the other “The Sermon on the Mount.” The Ascension chosen for the Village measured 18 by 14 feet. The other was sold by the Village to the Assembly of God Church in Carlisle for $3,000. H.B. Hankinson, a stained glass artisan from Middlesex, had created them at the turn of the century, and they had been in the Lancaster church since 1902. The window is not a single sheet of glass, but in some cases, up to three thicknesses to obtain the deep, rich colors pressed into the glass while it was still hot. This picture was removed, altered, and installed in our Chapel by Ernest Saltzer, a stained glass specialist from Harrisburg. Later, drapes were hung that can cover the picture when the room is used for secular events. The central figure in the picture is Christ shown ascending to heaven while his eleven disciples are looking up at Him. All are shown in various stances and exhibit facial expressions of surprise and wonder. As sunlight filters through the window, the audience is intrigued, inspired, and uplifted spiritually. Perhaps some may be thinking of Christ’s last command, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel,” or of the angel’s words, “This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner.” Anyone deeply interested should go up to the window and feel the folds in the disciples’ garments. They don’t make windows like this anymore! At the time of purchase, the window was insured for $25,000, but Mr. Kibler says it is worth much, much more today. In his words, “Compared to art, this would be considered a Rembrandt. We are truly blessed to have it.”


Thu, Apr 30, 2020