About Friedland Moravian Church

Friedland Moravian is a member of the international Protestant denomination called the Moravian Church. For over five centuries, the Moravian Church has proclaimed the gospel in all parts of the world, ministering to the needs of people wherever they are.

As one of the oldest Moravian congregations in North America, Friedland Moravian Church has encouraged all who are willing and wanting to experience a personal relationship with God, as well as in fellowship with others. Keeping love as the center of our faith experience has been practiced principle for our entire 240+ year history.

As part of the worldwide Moravian Church, we experience God in relationships with each other and keeping love as the center of our faith experience.

Friedland Moravian Church Candlelight Service


All are welcome to attend Friedland Moravian Church, and we invite you to “come as you are” and to participate at your own comfort level.  Our sanctuary is wheelchair accessible, and we have a convenient passenger drop-off point at the western side of the building.

All are welcomed by greeters who will answer your questions, and ushers are available if assistance is needed.

Come in FAITH

We bring people who are seekers together to grow in their faith as a community. Through worship, music, prayer, and service to one another and the broader community, we grow as individuals and as a church family.


We continue live streaming our services.  We have Sunday School for all ages at 10:00 am every Sunday, and our traditional worship service is at 11 am.

Live God's Love in COMMUNITY With Others

Acts of service in our local community and gifts to the broader Moravian church and mission work connect us to our neighbors in need and help us to live God’s love in a tangible way.


We invite you to become part of our community and to be as involved as you want to be. Our intention is only that your relationship with God and His son, Jesus Christ, thrives.

Friedland Moravian Church Star Logo


As a Moravian Church, we are steeped in several traditions that encourage us to grow our faith and community.

Friedland Moravian Church Lovefeast


A simple meal as an act of celebration of community and the presence of Christ in the church. Originally an ancient Christian practice, Lovefeasts were revived by Count Zinzendorf in the 18th-century Moravian Church, as a way to promote community and encourage relationships in Christ.

Advent & Christmas

Beeswax Candles – At the Friedland Moravian Christmas Day service, beeswax candles with red paper frill are distributed to worshipers to bring the light of Jesus into their lives and hearts. An 18th-century Moravian tradition, these candles represent the purity of Christ and his gift of light into our hearts.

The Moravian Star is a classic symbol of the Moravian Church. Featuring 26 points, the Moravian Star and can be found throughout the Winston-Salem community in celebration of Jesus’ light shining brightly in our world. A large star illuminates our sanctuary during Advent and Christmas.

Moravian Star

Picnic Shelter

The Friedland Moravian Church Picnic Shelter is a wonderful location for fellowship and family events. Contact us for shelter reservations.

Lent & Easter

Lent and Easter are important times during the church year for Moravians.
Holy Week readings walk us through each evening during Holy Week from Monday onward as Jesus walked closer to the cross. Maundy Thursday is a time to remember Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and his gifts of his body and blood, the bread and cup, for us to remember him and his witness. We celebrate Holy Communion in this remembrance service. A Good Friday service remembers the day that Jesus died.

Easter Sunrise Service welcomes the new day with the promise of Christ’s resurrection and the possibility of a new life for all of his followers.

Friedland Moravian Church Communion

Rites & Sacraments

Friedland Moravian observes the rites of the Moravian Church, including Confirmation, Marriage, and Ordination. Celebration of the rites follows a liturgical form set forth in the hymnal. They are a means of affirming the Christian faith and of dedicating oneself to a way of life consistent with that faith. The clergy are trained and set apart to administer these rites as servants of God and ministers of the Church. The Moravian Church recognizes the sacraments of baptism and of holy communion.

Through baptism, the individual receives a pledge of the forgiveness of sin and admission into the covenant of God through the blood of Christ. The Moravian Church does not try to define the mystery of Christ’s presence in the communion elements but recognizes that the believer participates in a unique act of covenant with Christ as Savior and with other believers in Christ.

The Moravian Seal

The seal of the Moravian Church dates to the sixteenth century. In the center is the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei), a favorite symbol of the early Christian Church. The Lamb, who represents Jesus Christ, holds a staff, and from the staff waves the glorious banner of victory. On the banner, a cross is clearly displayed. The uniqueness of the lamb symbol for Moravians is the inscription attached (in a circular band): Vicit Agnus Noster, Eum Sequamur, “Our Lamb Has Conquered, Let Us Follow Him.” The seal focuses on the triumph of Christ over death, sin, and the power of evil through His sacrificial death. It combines faith in Christ with active discipleship in following His path of love and service.


The Rev. John G Rights, Pastor

John G. Rights was born and raised in Winston-Salem, and is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and Moravian Theological Seminary. He was ordained as a deacon in the Moravian Church in 1996, and consecrated as a presbyter in 2003. During his ministry he has served the Fries Memorial, Mizpah, Trinity, New Philadelphia and Kernersville Churches. He has also been active in provincial ministries, including the Board of Cooperative Ministries, and especially in youth ministry at Laurel Ridge and with the Regional Youth Council. John’s wife, Brandi, is an elementary school teacher, and they have two children, Matthew and Emma.

Sandy Sisk, Administrative Assistant

Sandy Sisk grew up in Browns Summit and attended Monticello United Church of Christ with her grandparents. She moved to Greensboro in 1984 and went to Baptist churches there until moving to Kernersville in 2007 after meeting her husband, Mike, thru a mutual friend.  They have 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren.  Sandy has been a member of Union Cross Moravian Church since 2010, has been the treasurer there since 2013 and is a member of their Hospitality Committee. She worked in medical billing for 36 years before becoming the administrative assistant here. Sandy enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing with her dogs and being involved in church activities.

Nancy Sawtelle, Director of Music

Nancy Sawtelle was raised in the Moravian faith in Kernersville, NC. Following her graduation from Meredith College with her teacher’s certification in music, she earned her master’s degree in education from UNC-G. Nancy joined the Friedland staff to serve as Director of Music in August 1994. She is also a music teacher with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Nancy is married to Butch Sawtelle and they have three children — Michael, Kathleen and Thomas. In addition to listening to a wide variety of music, Nancy enjoys reading, watching athletic events and spending time in the mountains.

Robbie Alphin, Band Director

Robbie Alphin is the director of The Friedland Band. He is a lifelong member of the church and a band member for over 40 years. Robbie is active in many provincial music groups and serves on the board for the Moravian Music Foundation.

Elsa Heckman, Organist

Elsa was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania into a very musical family and started playing piano and organ in church during high school. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she taught vocal music to grades 7-12 and continued serving as organist in several churches. After moving to Melbourne, Florida in 1998 she became a fulltime Director of Sacred Music until 2018 when she decided to move closer to her son and enjoy beautiful Winston-Salem. She especially loves learning about the history and traditions of the Moravian Church.

Karen Strausser, Handbell Director

Karen was born in Pennsylvania but was raised in North Carolina.  She discovered handbells in 1982 and hasn’t looked back.  Karen has been involved with groups in the Winston-Salem and Charlotte areas.  She enjoys solo and ensemble ringing.  Karen has served on the Handbells Musicians of America Area 3 board.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, camping and gets to the beach as often as she can!  Karen is married to Dave, and they have 3 adult daughters, one son-in-law and a grandbaby on the way.