The evolution of the English and German-speaking Lutheran congregations in Harrisburg resulted in the establishment of a number of churches that has helped to enhance the city's fabric of sacred architecture and history. From the oldest site at which religious services were conducted in Harrisburg, at Chestnut and S. Third Streets where the German Reformed congregation built Salem Church in 1822, would emerge the Zion Lutheran congregation which built its original church on Fourth Street in 1814. Salem was German Speaking, and Zion was not, and members of the latter, who desired a German-speaking service and chose not to rejoin Salem, moved on to found their own congregation of St. Michael's in 1843. A year later, the first St. Michael's church was erected on the east side of S. Second Street. It stood until 1905 when the church and the remainder of the block were acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad for the construction of the Railroad's freight depot where the Mulberry Station residential community now stands. In 1906, the second St. Michael's church was completed at its present location, the same year that the present Capitol Building was dedicated just up the street. The strength of St. Michael's German heritage is Particularly understood as its services were spoken in the native tongue as late as 1940. Among the church's treasures are a German Bible presented by Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany in 1906 and another German Bible autographed and presented by Field Marshall von Hindenberg in 1925. St. Michael's, through the beauty of its stained glass windows imported from Munich, Germany, and restored pipe organ dating to 1894, continues to serve the community from the foundation of its rich heritage.
Circa 1910 postcard view with St. Michael's at far left looking up State Street toward the Capitol.
Pre-1926 interior view of church sanctuary.