ABOUT GRACE CHURCH
The Historic Grace United Methodist Church is the direct successor of the first Methodist society in Harrisburg which was organized with 5 members in 1810. By 1820, the congregation was strong enough to build the first small church on Second and South Streets, and by 1839 they had grown so large they needed yet another church, where they continued worshiping until they, once again out-grew the space.
In 1873, the first stone was laid on the current location on State Street, where it sank from sight in the swampy ground. However, this was no omen for what was to become. A second cornerstone was laid and the building began under the design of Baltimore architect, Frank Davis. The structure is of the Gothic Revival style, with its Gothic arches, buttresses, and soaring 226 foot spire constructed of limestone, slate, and copper. Throughout the next century and a half, the church earned her title "Mother Church of Harrisburg Methodism."
When, in 1897, the Pennsylvania Capitol Building burned to the ground, State authorities requested the use of Grace Church for legislative purposes and the answer was yes. The main sanctuary housed the House of Representatives, and subsequent rooms housed the other branches. If the congregation had not offered up this church, the State Capitol was planned to be relocated back to Philadelphia. Because of this, the news papers of the time have referred to Grace as the Savior of The Capitol.