Digital Collections Spotlight #51: Tremont Terrace’s 172nd Anniversary

Posted April 26, 2024 in Digital Access

Digital Collections Spotlight #51: Tremont Terrace’s 172nd Anniversary

Happy 172nd anniversary to Tremont Terrace Moravian Church, founded as “Second Moravian Church” on April 27, 1852. It has its origin in the Moravian Church’s Home Mission Society and was initially part of efforts to minister to newly arrived German immigrants.

Constitution of the “Home Mission Society of the United Brethren’s Church at New York,” with signatures and pledge amounts from financial supporters, undated | Records of the New York Home Mission Society, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA

Originally worshiping in Manhattan, the congregation ultimately relocated to the Bronx in 1906, where it has remained since. Like many congregations, the history of Second Moravian / Tremont Terrace is documented in a wide variety of collections preserved here in the MAB. In this Digital Collections Spotlight, we’d like to show you just a few of the many items in our collection that might be studied by those interested in the history of this congregation.

Records of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, funerals, and other pastoral acts are recorded in church registers of the congregation.[1] Speaking to the congregation’s early roots in attracting German speakers, newly arrived in New York City, here is a sample marriage entry from 1861, recorded by the pastor, P. F. Rommel, in German.

Under the heading of marriages for the year 1861, we read (translated): “April 7. Mr. Kasper Fair (aged 30 years) of Bergtheim, Kingdom of Bavaria, with Ms. Barbara Uhl (aged 25 years) of Erzberg, Kingdom of Bavaria. Witnesses were Tomas Höhlein and Joseph Rehmann.” Excerpt from the church register of Second Moravian Church, New York, vol. 1, part 1 | ChReg 181, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA

Here is a sample baptismal entry from 1886, recorded by the pastor, William Henry Rice, again in German.

In the baptismal entry above, we read (translated): “June 5, 1886. Elsie Lang. Parents: Charles and Elise (née Mueller) Lang. Born November 25, 1884, in New York. Baptized June 5, 1886, in the Moravian Church at 636 6th Street. Act of baptism was administered by William Henry Rice, Pastor.” Excerpt from the church register of Second Moravian Church, New York, vol. 2 | ChReg 96, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA

In addition to church registers, the MAB preserves twenty boxes (14 linear feet) of records from Second Moravian / Tremont Terrace. Series include church diaries, bulletins, meeting minutes, Sunday school records, and much more. Below is a sample diary entry, recorded by pastor, Robert K. Stansfield, documenting the celebration of the congregation’s 100th anniversary on April 27, 1952.

“27th [April]. 100th Anniversary of the Congregation. The Easton, Pa. Trombone Choir came to help celebrate with their music. [The sermon was over] ‘Our Ebenezer’ 1 Sam 7/12. Rain. Att[endance] 90.” Excerpt from the diary of Tremont Terrace Moravian Church, date range | Records of Tremont Terrace Moravian Church, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA

The Moravian Archives also preserves a large collection of drawings, prints, photographs, and other visual materials. In the sample below, you can see a set of plans preserved in our Drawings and Prints Collection, which are from 1964 and show the design for an addition to the current church building, intended to house the parsonage and class rooms.

“New Sunday School and Parsonage Addition to Tremont Terrace Moravian Church,” 1964, drafted by Herbert C. Struppman, 24 sheets | DP f.106.2.a-x (here DP.f.106.2b), Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA

Another interesting visual item is this photograph from the Oversized Photographs Collection that is labeled “Tremont Terrace Old Church.”. While it is undated, we can be reasonably confident that it shows the previous church at the current location, which was a remodeled mansion formerly belonging to the Ferris family that the congregation used from 1923 until the current building was built in 1930.

Tremont Terrace Moravian Church (old church), Bronx, New York, original photograph, 8 ½ x 12” (photograph), undated (before 1930) | PhotOVR 0255, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA

Finally, there are also a few interesting items in our library collection, such as books by Harry E. Stocker on Moravian home missions and activities in New York City that include the history of Tremont Terrace, in addition to printed materials produced by the congregation itself such as a booklet, shown below, made for their 156th anniversary in 2008.

Detail from the 156th anniversary booklet of Tremont Terrace Moravian Church | Oversized Eac 270, Library Collection, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA

Another particularly interesting item is shown below, the “Historical Year Book and Directory” from 1932, which describes the congregation, its schedule of events, its finances, and includes this photograph of the first location of the congregation.


Details from “Historical year book and directory of the Tremont Terrace Moravian Episcopal Church” (1932) | Eac 258, Library Collection, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA

[1] Seven of the congregation’s historic church registers are digitized, some of which have been made available online at