Our History

Zwingli United Church of Christ was founded in 1887 as a preaching station of the Indian Creek Reformed Church in nearby Telford. The borough of Souderton had grown in population after the completion of the North Pennsylvania Railroad twenty years earlier.

Our first church building, made of brick, was constructed at Main and Church Streets. Our congregation was organized in 1893, at which time we called our first pastor. A stone Sunday School building was added next door in 1909 to provide for a growing congregation. The Sunday School building was later renovated and became the new church building.

Pastor Alfred Rahn began his 39-year ministry in 1918. Zwingli Reformed Church became part of the Evangelical and Reformed Church of America as a result of the merger between the Reformed and Evangelical Churches in 1934. In 1957, the Evangelical and Reformed Churches merged with the Congregational Christian Churches to form the United Church of Christ. That same year Zwingli called its second full-time pastor, William Rupp. In 1962 the congregation moved to its facility on Wile Avenue in Souderton.

Reverend Willard Wetzel became Zwingli’s next pastor in 1967 followed by Reverend Alfred Schwerdt in 1972. New classrooms, a kitchen, offices and a library were added in 1976. Reverend Nancy Light Gottshall was installed as Zwingli’s first Associate Pastor in 1985. In 1990, Reverend Wendell Taylor succeeded Pastor Schwerdt as Zwingli’s Senior Pastor. In 1996, Reverend Gottshall became our Senior Pastor. Reverend Butch Kuykendall became our Associate Pastor in 1998, and then our Senior Pastor in 2007.

In June, 2008, our Wile Avenue building suffered a fire which destroyed the education wing and office areas and damaged the sanctuary. We met for worship in the Indian Valley Boys & Girls Club for three years as we rebuilt. During that time, in October 2009, we called Reverend Nicole Melara as our Associate Pastor and we moved back to Wile Avenue in August, 2011. We welcomed Elaine Ely on board in May, 2017, as Interim Associate Pastor.

After a four year search and call process, and after a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we found our permanent Associate Pastor, Alan Miles. Pastor Alan was called as our Associate Pastor in January 2021, and joined us in person in March 2021.

In the fall of 2021, after working on an Open and Affirming (ONA) Covenant for five years, the church affirmed the ONA Covenant and Zwingli officially became an officially recognized ONA Church.

Wondering about our name? Learn about Ulrich Zwingli.