Location: Lebanon, PA
Date of founding: 1811
Average Sunday worship attendance: 341
Worship service: Sunday School – 9:00 am
Worship Service – 10:00 am
Pastor: David R Martin (pictured with wife Karen)
One day about a year ago, one of the grandmothers from Krall’s Mennonite Church was on her way to visit her siblings in Lancaster County. She was carrying six loaves of freshly baked of bread, and she was singing as she drove. When she looked in her rear-view mirror, she was surprised to see the blue and red flashing lights of a police cruiser. She pulled over and waited for the officer. When he stepped up to her door, he saw the loaves of bread on the passenger seat and said, “What are those?”
Our grandmother said, “They’re loaves of bread I baked. Would you like one?”
He politely declined, while stating that her speed had been slightly over the limit. After receiving a warning, she drove on without a citation. (Read on for the rest of the story.) That incident exemplifies the demeanor of our church – not the speeding part – but the fact that we are a friendly group of people with a lot of warmth!
Each September, we hold Friendship Weekend when we turn over our parking lot at no charge to community folks who set up tables for a yard sale. Once a month after worship, we hold potluck fellowship meals featuring the best home-cooked food in all of Lebanon County! Every July we schedule a church retreat at Camp Swatara in Bethel, Pa. And we know how to have camp fun. At the 2017 retreat, marauding Krall’s members hoisted high up between two trees Pastor David Martin’s favorite Pittsburgh Steelers chair! Every spring we head to Ephrata for a bowling night, concluded by snacks and fellowship at the home of one of our couples. In short, we’re a church that enjoys the warmth of fellowship.
Souls are warmed Sunday mornings with heartfelt devotions during our fellowship time, lively Sunday school discussions, and worship in Spirit and truth. Renewal services are held every spring, featuring a different guest speaker each year. Three years in a row, three separate speakers told one young couple from our church that they should minister overseas. After the third such remark, they became full-time servants for Christ in Russia.
In January 2018 our pastor and his son, Tim, were able to visit them and their four children. In our 2018 renewal services, the congregation was called to be engage our Muslim neighbors with relationships for Christ.
Much of Krall’s is devoted to warming others outside our walls. Our monthly Sewing Circle meets to knot quilts for overseas distribution by Mennonite Central Committee. One church member, recently called to heaven, assembled over a lifetime more than 30,000 cloth bags for health and education kits that were sent all over the world.
Krall’s is part of the Heidelberg Area Churches Ministerium, which serves weekly free lunches and hosts advent services, summer concerts in a nearby park, and a Christmas concert each year.
As for our sister pulled over for speeding: when the officer told her she was not getting a fine, she smiled, grabbed a loaf of bread, and insisted, “Here, have a loaf of bread!” This time he received the bread – and some of Krall’s warmth!