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The Moravian Church Northern Province announces that Moravian College will take over ownership of the Moravian Book Shop

For immediate release

BETHLEHEM, PA., April 27, 2018: Today, the Moravian Church Northern Province announced that they will transfer day-to-day operations management and ownership of the Moravian Book Shop in Bethlehem, Pa. to Moravian College, effective mid-June, 2018. This mutually-beneficial agreement between the Church, the College, and the Book Shop will allow the church to remove itself from this retail business operation and continue to focus on its core mission to support its 85 congregations. In addition, the new management arrangement is expected to bring additional Moravian College students to Downtown Bethlehem and have a positive impact on other Main Street businesses.

“We are grateful that Moravian College has agreed to take on ownership of the Moravian Book Shop from the Northern Province, and we are particularly happy that we are able to keep this treasure in the ‘Moravian family’,” commented the Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller, president of the Moravian Church Northern Province.  “Our values as organizations are so closely aligned, we’re confident the Book Shop will continue to be part of the fabric of Downtown Bethlehem for generations to come; serving students, visitors, church members and residents alike.”

“The Moravian Church are founders of the college and seminary and owners of the college charter,” said Bryon Grigsby, president of Moravian College. “It makes perfect sense that the sixth oldest college in the country be chosen to continue the mission of what is known as the oldest continuously operating bookstore in the world, and we’re honored that the Northern Province has entrusted us with this legacy.  We look forward to seeing it thrive and continue to serve the Bethlehem community for the next 273 years.”

The College plans to maintain the iconic book section while offering additional items that will be of interest to students, regular customers of the Book Shop, and visitors to Historic Bethlehem.   

The Northern Province includes more than 21,000 members in 13 states and two Canadian provinces. The Moravian Book Shop was founded in 1745 when the Moravian Church appointed Samuel Powell of the Church’s Crown Inn on the south side of the Lehigh River to operate a bookstore. After operating at several different locations around the city, the Moravian Book Shop was moved to its current site near the Central Moravian Church on Main Street in Bethlehem in 1871.

Media contact:

Moravian College:
Michael Corr, director of marketing and communications,, 610.861.1365.

About the Moravian Church
The Northern Province of the Moravian Church in America, headquartered in Bethlehem, Pa., counts more than 21,000 members in 93 congregations in 13 states in the U.S. and two Canadian provinces. The Southern Province, headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., includes nearly 16,000 members in 58 congregations, which are located primarily throughout the Southeast. Moravian congregations can be found in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington D.C., along with congregations in Alberta and Ontario, Canada. The worldwide Moravian Church consists of 19 provinces with more than 1 million members, half of which live in Africa. Visit to learn more.

About Moravian College
Moravian College is a private coeducational liberal arts college, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees. For more than 275 years, the Moravian College degree has been based on a liberal arts curriculum where literature, history, science, cultural values, global issues, ethics, artistic expression, and the social sciences are infused with multidisciplinary perspectives. Visit to learn more about how the Moravian College liberal arts curriculum prepares its students for life-long success.