742 Vintage Rd, Christiana
The building currently used by Chestnut Street Chapel is located at 866 Chestnut Street, Gap, PA 17527. It was built by the congregation of the Methodist Church at Gap. This congregation was begun in 1821 as the Asbury Methodist Episcopal Church along the current Simmontown Road in Sadsbury Township. When that building was in need of repairs, the congregation under the Rev. F.R. Merrill decided to move to Gap where more people lived.
Land on the corner of Chestnut Street and (what is now) Bridge Street was purchased from George H and Annie Rutter for $650. A building committee was appointed consisting of B.P. Livinston, W. Robinson, Sam’l R. Linville and S.O. Linville. The new Methodist Church with its beautiful stained glass windows was dedicated on February 6, 1876. Two windows at the back of the pulpit have names of seventeen early leaders of the congregation. The larger windows along the sides of the building have scenes portraying Jesus as well as the names of prominent members of the church. This society congregation was conneced with the Georgetown Methodist Episcopal which together constituted the Georgetown & Gap circuit begin- ning in 1873. It was part of the Susquehanna District. The first pastor was Rev. J.R. Merrill. He was followed by Rev’s W.M. Douney, A.J. Amthor, J.A. Cooper, E.C. Yerkes and L.D. McClintock.
In May 2000, the Gap building was sold when the Atglen and Gap congregations joined together and moved to the Atglen location. In 2003 a new congregation formed and began meeting in this building which is now called Chestnut Street Chapel. When the Rutter house next to the church was sold, the church was also able to acquire this. Improvements to the church building include new carpet, new heating system and air conditioning.
Thank you to the Historical Society of Salisbury Township, as well as the Christiana United Methodist Church, for the information in this article.