Mar 28, 2023

Zion Liberty Bell Dilemma

In a recent editorial, Sara Brace threw the  Liberty Bell Museum Board under the bus, to help some local liberal causes.  Her dance was very complicated, because she was head of the museum board before her resignation, and her husband was a principal of Zion Church, and is a county commissioner to boot. 

Now, if this all sounds confusing, it certainly is. Normally, the Morning Call wouldn't publish such contradictions, but a local liberal dilemma developed at the Liberty Bell church.

Because Gregory Edwards was raising the rent from $1 a year, to $1000 a month on the Bell Museum, some people were thinking less of the pastor.  Some people were thinking less of the Zion Church board which didn't safeguard the museum,  putting county commissioner Geoff Brace in an awkward position, considering his role at the church.

Sara defends the increase, and suggests that the state should come forward with some $moolah to save everybody's face.


  1. Sure, get some money from the state or federal governments. As if those kind of funds are any different from OUR money. My suggestion is to simply move the display into the Americus Hotel if the owner is willing to host it.

  2. Thanks for linking to the editorial. While it does add context, it also raises more questions than answers.

    So Sarah Brace now believes it’s wrong for one nonprofit to subsidize another nonprofit, and that the “museum board could not move beyond the past and look to the future for innovative ways to boost the museum’s status in the community, which brings about new grant opportunities and sponsorships.”

    Yet Sarah Brace is identified as a former EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of the museum. Shouldn’t she have done these things when she was in that role?

    You mention that her husband is a county commissioner. Doesn’t he also work for a local democrat PA representative? Why would Sarah Brace now expect the current museum board to be able to bring about “new grant opportunities and sponsorships” when she was apparently unable to tap into her (and her husband’s) political network when she was Executive Director?

    As to Zion’s church and its leaders, one would ask why the Board offered the building to Resurrected Life Community Church for only $1, without making it clear that the existing lease with the Liberty Bell organization would be an untouchable condition for getting the building at that cost. And if Resurrected Life couldn’t accept that, then why not look for other takers, including for profit or private organizations? Wouldn't that have been the "innovative" thing to do?

    My suspicion is that the liberal leaders of both churches might want to alter the story of the Liberty Bell to something that better serves today’s woke, liberal agenda. Why do I think this? In the editorial, Sarah Brace mentions that “Resurrected Life will tell the whole story of liberty and freedom in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley.”

    The WHOLE story? I’ve been to the museum many times over the years, and the museum did a great job telling the WHOLE story. Unless church leaders now want to add in some liberal talking points and alter historical facts.

    Apparently, despite the liberal influence on all the organizations involved, it sounds like there are still a majority of members on the museum board who are putting the museum first and trying to enforce the existing lease. But I have no idea if they'll prevail.

    As much as I hate to see the Liberty Bell replica (which I think is owed by the Museum) moved from Zion’s Church, I think it’s clear that this is what might need to happen. Like the original, the Liberty Bell replica is now in danger from those who want to do harm to our nation.

  3. Hey! What's new here? Nothing! This is how Allentown's leadership operates, it's all self service all the time masquerading as public service. This is obvious to anyone with their eyes open and/or a lick of common sense, sadly Allentown is populated by people lacking both. By the way, the op-ed is laughably bad, but again, what's new. The usual arrangement, the corrupted write and the corrupted pint it.

  4. Off topic but yesterday on NPR ATC Hermano Twerk was whining about how much he hates Billy Joel's "Allentown"

  5. I guess we see how important the future of the museum is to residents of Allentown by the four responses this blog generated. Sad, but most of the history of Hamilton Street has been wiped clean already. The generations that cared about such things are gone. I suspect that Zion was most interested in getting the building into suitable hands without having to pay for more repairs before the deal could be sealed. The museum was collateral. While we’ll be sad when the replica bell is moved, saving it for third graders isn’t likely. If you weren’t in the pews, and putting cash in the plate, you’re opportunity has passed. The ex director editorializing this late in the game is just sour grapes.

  6. Anybody know if the museum has looked into Pennsylvania landlord/tenant law? Was listening to a call-in legal show on the radio and it seems that in California at least, a buyer of real estate inherits (and consequently has to honor) an existing lease. Would be interesting to know if it's similar in Pennsylvania.

    1. That is true here as well but the legacy lease was technically only for a small portion of the museum footprint. The rest of the space was given via handshake over the years. That is what the church is using as leverage.

    2. That's too bad. Thanks for the info.