Shope, Shope's, Shoop Cemeteries
Dauphin County, PA

Notes on Shoops-Shope-Shope's Cemeteries
Submitted by Charles E. Fies

Emails may be outdated

Actually there are 6 Shoops-Shope-Shope's cemeteries in Dauphin County.
One in West Hanover Twp., one in Derry Twp., one in Lower Swatara Twp.,
and 3 in Lower Paxton Twp. I, (Karl J. Fox) will try to explain this,
starting with the Lower Paxton Cem.

The original Shoops Luthern Church Cem. seems to be the major problem.
This cemetery is still in use and is now referred to as the Shoops Cem,
under an Association. The church was located along Rt. 22. The church
was torn down and almost 400 graves were moved. The church split into
two denominations, and each has its own church now in Lower Paxton Twp.

The next is Shoops Garden of Rest.
This cemetery is an extension of the previous
mentioned cemetery on Locust Lance, close to the old Central Dauphin High School.

The third Shoops Cem. in Lower Paxton is a small private farm cemetery.

The fourth Shope's Church Cem in Derry Twp. is gone,
but some stones survive.

The fifth: The Shope Bethel Church of God Cem is in West Hanover Twp.
It was moved to the Shope Luthern Church Cem in Lower Paxton Twp
some time ago. Only a plaque shows the location. Located off of Rt. 22.

The sixth: The Shope's Mennonite Church Cem is located in Lower Swatara Twp., outside of Highspire, PA on Lumber St.
This was also named the Mumma Cemetery.
Karl J Fox, author of "Cemeteries of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania"

Nelson R. Souloff wrote:

Dr. Charles Glatfelter, in his Pastors and People, Vol. 1 (1980),
p.294-5 states that the earliest evidence for Shoops Lutheran
congregation is a register begun on April 26 1783 by Pastor
Frederick Melsheimer. At that date he included some earlier
baptisms going back as far as 1771. "On May 20, 1797 Christopher
Shoop sold to Peter Bobb, Henry Myer, John Parthimore, and
Jacob Millizer, 'trustees for the United German Lutheran and
Reformed Church in the Township of Paxton,' one acre fifty
perches in Lower Paxton Township, 'whereon the said church
now stands.' (Dauphin County Deed M-1, p. 270) In the nineteenth
century, the church was called Shoop's.

The union arrangement continued until 1924-1926, when the Reformed built their own church.

Lutheran pastors included Frederick Melsheimer (1783-1785) and
Frederick Schaefer (1786-1790). Anthony Hautz was the Reformed
pastor (1791-1797).

The Lutheran congregation is St. Mark's, 4200 Londonderry.
The Reformed is Colonial Park United Church Of Christ,
5000 Devonshire road, Harrisburg.

Sources: William Henry Egle, Notes and Queries ...., Third Series,
1:179-184, 186-191, 194-199, 202-207; also pg, 371, 377, 378,
379, 385, 386, and 387, reprinted the early parochial records."

Nelson R. Sulouff
former Lutheran pastor from Northumberland Co.,

Correctly speaking the two congregations that built Shoop's church
and shared worship in it were a German Reformed congregation and
a Lutheran congregation. Neither of these congregations ever used
the term "evangelical" as their name.

Historically the term "evangelical" appears at some times and some
places in front of the term Lutheran as an adjective and becomes a
part of the formal name of a church. However, the term "evangelical,"
when used alone as the name of a church, refers to the Evangelical
Church organized in 1922 by a merger of the United Evangelical Church
and the Evangelical Association. The Evangelical Church went through
a couple of subsequent mergers and in 1957 came into the
United Church Of Christ.

The Lutheran congregation that shared the old Shoop's church has today
become St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 4200 Londonderry Road,
Harrisburg 17109-5031 (E-mail:, a member of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church In America. The German Reformed
congregation that shared old Shoop's church is today included within
Colonial Park United Church Of Christ, 5000 Devonshire Road, Harrisburg
17109 (E-mail: )

Nelson R. Sulouff
former Lutheran pastor from Northumberland Co.,

Joan Bretz wrote:
A few further words about the old Shoop's Church. It was originally
a union church. By the time the interstate exchange was built, both
reformed and evangelical congregations had removed to more
modern structures and the old church was being abandoned anyway.
The evangelical congregation is still quite active and not too far
from the old location, as St Marks.

The old cemetery is no longer extant. Any likely remains were
removed in 1958 and placed in a number of vaults under a single
memorial marker (no names given); however, there is a listing
of burials in the old cemetery.
The marker is located in the current large Shoops Cemetery,
which I do not believe is church affiliated, which stands where
the old church was located. As you come off I83 at the Colonial
Road north exit, you wind around the edge of the cemetery.
When you get on the straightaway toward Colonial Road, there
is a yellow sign on a pole for a curving road - directly to the
right of the sign, all alone, is the memorial marker.

Just beyond that road sign, up on a rise are some pine trees -
it is my understanding that the old church stood where those
trees are now. I did find what appear to be a few original
graves at what would probably have been the rear of the church.
But the old cemetery was apparently on the north side of Route
22 and is not marked in any way. I have been unable to discover
definitely what happened to the gravestones from the
old cemetery, but I believe they were buried in the vicinity.
Regards, Joan Bretz

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