The Buildings of St. Gabriel's
In the beginning...
St. Gabriel’s church, founded in the year 1720 by the Swedish Lutherans, is the oldest congregation in Berks County. Located in Douglassville, Pennsylvania, formerly known as Morlatton, services were first held in 1708.
The ancient Swedish church, which stood near the east center of the cemetery, was built in 1736 from logs hewn from the neighboring woods. In the winter of 1831-1832 it was destroyed by fire.
1801 and 1884 Buildings
The 1801 Chapel was constructed with a severely plain style, which prevailed in the rural church architecture of the period. In 1960, work was started to restore the 1801 Chapel to its original state, and this work was completed in the early 1970s. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Construction of the 1884 building was started when the cornerstone was laid on October 19, 1881. The church was first occupied for worship in January 1884. It was consecrated to the service of God by the First Bishop of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, the Rev. M. A. DeWolfe, D.D., on December 8, 1887.
Additions to the 1884 Building
The addition of a new Parish House was completed in September 1959. This new facility was provided to meet the revitalized growth of the Church and the expanding development in the area. The building was added to the east side of the 1884 Church.
The 1884 Church was remodeled in 2003 and the Parish Life Center building addition and renovation was completed in 2006.
Parish Life Building