Tri-County Heritage Society

Ensuring a Future for Our Past...






St. Thomas Episcopal Church

Morgantown, Berks Co., Pa. 

stthomaschurch

History

Originally a church was built just south of what was to become the village of Morgantown on a 1-acre plot left specifically for this purpose in the will of Thomas Morgan who died in 1742.  Church records indicate that this new church was opened in 1765 and was called St. Thomas’ Chapel. By the 1780's this Building had become inadequate and the location increasingly inconvenient so the Church Wardens and Vestrymen sought to move the Church to a more convenient location. An Act of the Legislature in 1786 approved the move and incorporated the congregation. One of the Church Wardens, Col. Jacob Morgan, son of Thomas Morgan, designated Lot #32 in “Morgan’s Town” as the new site for the church and today, almost 200 years later the church continues to occupy the site. The present building is the third building on the site. The first was replaced by a one-story stone structure in 1824 to which a second story was added in 1860. Destroyed by fire in 1918, this building was replaced by the present building in 1923.  

Also on this property is the former St. Thomas School. Built by the congregation in 1827, seven years before the enactment of the public school law. Records show that a public school was maintained by the church possibly as early as 1765 in the building erected for use as a church in accordance with the will of Thomas Morgan. When the church moved into the village, the school moved with it. After enactment of the public school law, the building was rented to the Caernarvon School Board for continued use as a public school.




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Updated 2/23/2009