Lord’s New Church Which Is Nova
Hierosolyma
The Lord’s New Church Which Is Nova Hierosolyma was
founded in 1937 by former members of the General Church
of the New Jerusalem under the leadership of Rev. Theodore
Pitcairn. The ideas leading to its formation can be traced to
writings of a Dutch layman, H. D. G. Groeneveld, who began
the periodical De Hemelsche Leer (The Celestial Doctrine) in
1929. Emanuel Swedenborg, whose writings form the distinctive
body of material used by the General Church of the New
Jerusalem, proposed the idea that the Bible had, in addition to
its planned material meaning, a spiritual meaning that had
been revealed through the communications between Swedenborg
and the angelic realm. The General Church placed great
authority on the writings of Swedenborg, but Groeneveld went
further and proposed that Swedenborg’s writings, like the
Lord, Maud E. Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed.
936
Bible, also had an inner spiritual meaning. The Lord’s New
Church was founded after the General Church rejected Groeneveld’s
perspective.
In the United States, former General Church minister Theodore
Pitcairn emerged as an early champion of the new perspective,
about which he wrote The Book Sealed with Seven Seals
in 1927 to present the idea to the American church. In 1937
he led in the formation of two congregations, one in Bryn
Athyn, adjacent to the General Church headquarters, and one
in Yonkers, New York. As of 1997, there were three North
American congregations, one in Charleston, South Carolina,
Asheville, North Carolina, and and Byrn Athyn, Pennsylvania.
Eventually, support was found among Swedenborgians in Holland,
Sweden, South Africa, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
The Lord’s New Church can be reached at 1725 Huntingdon
Rd., P.O. Box 465, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009-0465. Website http
www.novahierosolyma.org.