Parish History

of Hope Episcopal Church

In the beginning...

Harriet Amelia Buckley Grubb, widow of Henry Bates Grubb, founded an Episcopal Church on the Mount Hope Estate and named it Hope Church. Erected “for the moral and spiritual uplift of the tenants on her estate and for the employees of Mt. Hope Furnace.”

The church was consecrated October 9, 1849 by the Rt. Reverend Alonzo Potter.

A gift to the diocese...

Clement Brooke Grubb and Mary Brooke Grubb presented the Hope Church property to the Diocese of Pennsylvania. Prior to that year, the church had been supported entirely by the Grubb family.

A major expansion...

A pamphlet titled “A History of Hope Church”, indicates that the information came from the Diocesan Record, November, 1900 . . . 

St. Luke’s Day was a very joyous day at Mount Hope, and it is safe to say that never before were so many people gathered together in the little village. At 8:30 a.m., the beautiful church was reopened, and, notwithstanding the fact that it was crowded to the doors, the church yard, too, was filled to overflowing with those eager to be within hearing of the services.

On this day, the parish was reopened for all to see the new chancel, narthex, sacristy, and the renovations to the 1848 church building which became the nave of the new church.

In addition to the construction of the church, individual members of the Grubb family donated many items to furnish the new church . . .



Silver Communion Service

E. Jennie Grubb

Brass Alms Basin

Grandchildren of Clement Brook & Mary Grubb

Bishop’s Chair

Harriet Grubb Irwin

Carved Caen Stone Pulpit

Charles Brook Grubb

Baptismal Font

C. Ross Grubb *

Eagle Lectern (Florence Italy)

Sarah Grubb Ogilvie

Pipe Organ

Daisy Grubb

Altar, Reredos and East Window

Daisy Grubb

*In Memory of his brother, Isaac Parker Grubb, who died at the Battle of Petersburg in 1864.

From the Manheim Sentinel, Friday September 23, 1912 . . .

Wednesday, Ember Day, was a red letter day in the history of Hope Episcopal Church, at Mt. Hope, when the Rev. Charles C. Kelsey, rector of that church and of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, of this Borough, was ordered priest.

Next to the consecration of a Bishop, the ordination of a priest is the highest honor that can be conferred upon a parish, and Mt. Hope deserved this honor, as a crowning tribute, when one bears in mind what Hope Church has done for the Episcopal Church in this part of the state. She is the mother of churches. St. Luke’s Lebanon, St Paul’s of this borough as well as the missions in Quarryville and Middletown owe their existence to the energy of Hope Church.

Hope Church was erected in 1848 and admitted into the union with the convention of the Diocese of Pennsylvania in 1849. The growth of the Parish is due to the energy of the Grubb family who have supported it most generously.

Hope Church is the pride of the Diocese . . .

A new organ...

The Wicks Organ Co. of Illinois replaced a portable pump organ with an electric pipe organ, with its elaborate set of large pipes dominating the one corner of the congregational seating area.

And a new parish house...

Across Mountain Road from Hope Church is the Parish House, which was financed by the congregation and completed in 1966. The two-story building houses the church office, a priest’s office, a small meeting room for the Vestry and committee usage, as well as multi-purpose dining and meeting room with kitchen facilities, a nursery and living quarters. Sunday morning coffee luncheons were started in 1979 by Father Robert Whitmore and continue to this day. 

Hope's 150th Anniversary

Hope’s 150th Anniversary was celebrated by the congregation with Bishop Michael Creighton and Reverend John A. Naegele III presiding over the service. Father John was later honored with the title Rector Emeritus.

A hurricane...

Hurricane Lee flooded the lower level of the Parish House which had been the dining hall. While lower level renovations were underway, the church quickly converted the main room on the mid-level into a dining hall. The former dining hall on the lower level was later renovated and converted into a nursery/Sunday school area.

A major restoration of the pipe organ...

Restoration of the organ was completed in 2016 by Brunner & Associates LLC, Mount Joy, Pa., thanks to the generosity of the late Glenn Edwin “Ed” Dunlap and the late Paul B. Stohler, who were – and continue through their generosity of the Dunlap Stohler Trust to be – faithful friends and benefactors of Hope Episcopal Church. Ed had been the organist at Hope Church for many years and was in the process of rebuilding the organ himself prior to his death. In addition to the Trust, Ed also left the church five acres of land across from the church on East Mount Hope Road.

And new committees...

In 2019, two new committees were established to better manage the business aspects of the church (Finance and Buildings & Grounds) and a third, the Outreach Committee, to focus on our ultimate mission – “helping our neighbors in need”.  We also celebrated our 170th anniversary.

Kitchen renovation, a retiring priest, COVID-19...

2020 saw the beginning of a renovation of the kitchen mostly done by parish volunteers!!

Although Covid-19 slowed progress, the project is now nearing completion.

New flooring, countertops, appliances, cabinets, lighting, and more . . .

Father Tim Small retired after ten years of service to a packed church and a rockin’ Mardi Gras celebration.

COVID-19 forced the church to find a new way to worship together with Zoom services led by Father Jim Rinehart who became our newest priest in August of 2020.