Historic Church Walking Tours provide local residents and tourist alike with visits to the historic churches of Gettysburg. On Wednesday evenings during the summer months, visit the churches ad hear volunteers provide short programs about their church and how it played a crucial role during and after America's most significant Civil War battle.
When the Battle of Gettysburg ended on July 3, 1863, the two armies left behind over 22,000 wounded and dying soldiers, in the small town of only 2,400 residents. Like most of Gettysburg's buildings, churches became surgical hospitals. Churches became scenes of both tragedy and heroism.
Visitors will get to see the beautiful features inside each church, hear about its history and, in some cases, its use as a field hospital. Stories of heroic acts by brave citizens will be told through narratives and short skits. Those on the tour will see the pew that President Lincoln sat in when he visited Gettysburg, the stained-glass window given in tribute to the Sisters of Charity, plaques and engraved stones dedicated to Union and Confederate soldiers, and the original Methodist Church building which later became a GAR Hall. These and other items of interest will be explained during the tours.
Rain or shine, beginning June 13, four churches will be featured each Wednesday with a different four churches the following Wednesday. This schedule will be alternated throughout the summer with the "West Tour" starting on June 13 and the "East Tour" starting on June 20.
The West Tour churches are: Prince of Peace Episcopal, St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic, St. Paul AME Zion and Christ Lutheran. Tour dates are June 13,27, July 11,25, August 8,22
The east tour churches are: Gettysburg Presbyterian, Trinity United Church of Christ, United Methodist (GAR building location) and St. James Lutheran Tour dates are: June 20, July 4, 18, Aug. 1,15,29.
Tours take approximately less than two hours and begin in front of the Gettysburg Presbyterian Church, 208 Baltimore Street, two blocks south of the Lincoln Square. Park free at the rear of the church. No reservations are required and the cost of the tour is $5, with children 12 and under free. Tour time is 6 p.m. Tickets sales begin 20 minutes prior to tour.
For more information, visit www.historichurchwalkingtours.org or call 717-337-1718.