St. Michael Lutheran Church

118 State Street Harrisburg PA 17101-1024


Our History


The congregation came into being because some members of Zion Lutheran Church, Harrisburg's original Lutheran congregation, wanted to continue to worship in German, their native tongue. In 1843, a new congregation named St. Michael was started, and a building was dedicated on South Second Street a year later.


During the years that followed, the congregation flourished and fostered two more congregations, one in Harrisburg's current mid-town district and another in Steelton.


In 1905, the Pennsylvania Railroad purchased the old church building, and the present building was dedicated on July 22, 1906, the same year as the Pennsylvania Capitol at the other end of historic State Street.


In spite of the congregation's vow that services would be conducted in German "as long as grass grows green", its use was discontinued in 1940.


For centuries, stained glass windows have taught Christians about the life of Christ, and St. Michael's are no exception. Imported for the church from Munich, the nave windows portray the life of Christ from Nativity to Ascension. The Great Window overlooking State Street declares in German, "A mighty fortress is our God," while a spectacular window from the previous church building depicts the drama and glory of Christ's Resurrection.


In 1927, a new marble chancel was installed, including a carving of DaVinci's "Last Supper" over the altar. The pulpit shows the "Sermon on the Mount," while the lectern portrays the Angel of God holding The Ten Commandments. St. John the Baptist presides over the baptismal font.


Among the congregation's treasures are a German Bible presented by Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany (1906); a German Bible autographed and presented by Field Marshall von Hindenberg (1925); and a Nativity wood carving by Nicolo Rossi (1927).


Today, St. Michael Lutheran Church -- a welcoming and affirming congregation made up of a diverse group of devoted members -- is a  congregation of the Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.


St. Michael Church has a rich heritage. Perhaps you will be part of it, too!


Some photos of our lovely church: