Zion Reformed Church UCC paid its annual rent for its buildings and grounds recently on Sunday, June 14.
Zion, located on South Main Street, is one of three Chambersburg churches sharing a unique history when it comes to paying the rent. The other two are the Presbyterian Church of Falling Spring and First Lutheran Church. All three pay their annual rent to Chambers’ descendants each year in June.
One single rose, grown on the church grounds, highlighted Zion’s ceremony June 14. Interim Pastor Rev. Bob Mcfarlane presented the red rose to Chambers descendants Katie and Maggie Gartenberger. Katie is a seventh-generation Chambers descendent. Maggie is a ninth generation descendent.
The Chambers‘ deeded the land on which Zion church and its cemetery stands to that church’s congregation in 1780.
Both deeds stipulates that each year the congregation gives “a single rose in perpetuity” to a Chambers family descendant as payment of rent.
Falling Spring Presbyterian Church paid its annual tribute with a rose grown on the church grounds June 7. The rose was placed on Col. Chambers grave in the cemetery behind the North Main Street church. Watch a video of the ceremony here. Benjamin and Jane Chambers gave the land for the church to the Presbyterian congregation in 1768.
First Lutheran Church did not return messages last week about their Rose Rent service.