Side A: Designed by their leader, Joseph M. Bimeler, the Meeting House is the second house of worship used by the Society of Separatists of Zoar. Men and women entered through separate front doors: men used the right door and women the left. Bimeler and his successors gave “discourses” (not sermons) from a table located between the doors. The Meeting House has been in continuous use since it was built in 1853 and as of 2011 houses the Zoar United Church of Christ.
Side B: The Zoar Separatists were so called because they left the established Lutheran church in their native southeastern Germany. As Pietists, their faith was based on the Bible and centered on a mystical and direct relationship with God. They also believed in Christ’s imminent return to earth and in individual spiritual rebirth, the Wiedergeburt. Worship services included the singing of hymns, accompanied by musical instruments and, after 1873, an organ that is still in use in 2011. The dissolution of the Society in 1898 also ended the Separatists’ religious practices.