Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site: Honoring Swedish roots in Philadelphia

Gloria Dei Church National Historic Site: Honoring Swedish roots in Philadelphia

Founded by the Swedes in the mid-1600s, this church boasts one of the oldest continuous congregations in the U.S. By Karen Langley / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette PHILADELPHIA Before there was Pennsylvania, there was New Sweden. In the 1600s, Sweden was one of the powers of Europe, and when dissatisfied members of the Dutch West India Company suggested that Sweden launch its own venture in the New World, the nation’s leaders were receptive. In 1637, the New Sweden Company sent two ships to North America, where they arrived at the Delaware River and established an outpost where Wilmington, Del., now stands. Their colony lasted fewer than two decades, from 1638 until 1655, when it was overtaken by the Dutch. But the settlers left their mark on the land that is now the United States, says the Rev. Kim-Eric Williams, a descendant of Swedish settlers who has served as a Lutheran pastor and taught the Swedish language at the University of Pennsylvania. Read the rest of the story – click...

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