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Justice & Advocacy - an affiliate website of The Lehigh Conference of Churches

Lehigh Valley Congregations
New Life for Church Properties

  • First Presbyterian Church, Bethlehem – affordable housing development on the church campus
    • Three site plan concepts and a survey are posted at bit.ly/4b3M8h2.
    • Contextual information – discussed so far at two congregational meetings – about the proposed development is here.
  • Life Church, 9th & Walnut, Allentown – the church is planning to build affordable apartments on it’s property: “Walnut Square Apartments”
  • Greater Shiloh Church, Easton – has created several housing projects of the past 30 years
  • St. Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church, Allentown – has tentative plans to allocate church land for affordable housing (no details yet)
  • Zion’s Reformed UCC , Allentown – when this congregation closed in 2023, the property was donated to Resurrected Life UCC to be used as a community center for inner-city youth programs.
  • Emmanuel UCC , Allentown – when this church closed in 2023, the property was donated to Ripple Community Inc (RCI) which plans to renovate the building for housing and related supportive services for low-income and homeless people. RCI is currently facing pushback from neighbors for some aspects of project, however.
  • St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran Church , Allentown – in 2012, the St. Stephen’s congregation merged with Christ Lutheran Church a few blocks away, and the St. Stephen’s building became St. Stephen’s Outreach Center to serve neighborhood residents. Several years later, Ripple Church began meeting there and last year purchased the property at a bargain price. So it is now the home of Ripple Church and still a neighborhood community center.
  • Dubbs Memorial UCC, Allentown – in 2015 the congregation merged with St. John’s Fullerton UCC in Whitehall, and the building was sold to the Lehigh Conference of Churches to be preserved as a community center and new headquarters for the LCC.
  • Amid a Housing Crunch, Religious Groups Unlock Land to Build Homes

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