Remember St. Paul's 150th Anniversary with a Cat's Meow version of St. Paul's
Each piece is about 6" tall, 4 1/2" wide.
They will be $10 each for congregation members and $15 for non-members.
They will be available for purchase September 1st in the Kammerer room.
Each piece is about 6" tall, 4 1/2" wide.
They will be $10 each for congregation members and $15 for non-members.
They will be available for purchase September 1st in the Kammerer room.
ST. PAUL'S EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
LITTLESTOWN, PA - 150th ANNIVERSARY
LITTLESTOWN, PA - 150th ANNIVERSARY
These Historical Facts of St. Paul's will be noted through out this year in our weekly bulletins & announcements.
- On April 2, 1866, after three years of planning, the present site of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was purchased and the church built within the newly incorporated borough of Littlestown for a cost of about $16,000.
- The cornerstone for St. Paul’s church was laid on September 6, 1866. Adam Slagle of Hanover was architect and contractor. The editor of the Hanover Spectator, in his account of the October 13 dedication services, noted that his design was similar to that of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Hanover, which had been dedicated two years earlier in September of 1865.
- The dedication service of the new St. Paul’s Lutheran Church was held on October 13, 1867, with at least six pastors participating. The two main speakers were Rev. James A. Brown, chief professor at our local seminary and Rev. John McCron, pastor of the Lexington St. Lutheran Church in Baltimore. An excursion of five filled train cars attended from Hanover.
- High standards of industriousness and dedication were exhibited in bringing the church from start to completion in little more than a year. They were apparently equaled by expectations of high morals in service to church as well as in personal life. Church Council reprimanded its members for such immoral acts as appearing in places of ill repute and other deeds unbecoming a Christian, by suspension – in one case for eight months. Failure to attend Church or Council meetings brought a visit from a Council committee to discuss the situation. Evidence suggests church members were also disciplined for various causes.
- The first minutes recorded on October 31, 1867, set forth the Articles of Organization of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Littlestown, noting this as being the 350th anniversary of the Reformation. Thus 1992 is the 475th anniversary of the Reformation, as well as the 250th anniversary of the arrival of Henry Melchoir Muhlenburg, in PA to help establish the Lutheran church in America. Therefore, this should be a year for Lutherans everywhere to celebrate their heritage.
- On November 2, 1867, only two days after signing the Articles of Organization of St. Paul’s, those signers met to select officers of the new congregation – two trustees, four elders, and six deacons. Among them were names still familiar to us here today: Weikert, Krumrine, Mehring, Miller, and Basehoar. Others were Keller, Diehl, Geiselman, LeFevre, Colehouse, and Seiss.)There were installed the very next day.
- With the new St. Paul’s church completed and dedicated in October 1867, and Council installed early in November, the neighboring congregations of St. Luke’s, White Hall, and St. Mary’s, Silver Run, MD, unanimously agreed to join St. Paul’s as a Lutheran charge. On November 25, a call was extended to Rev. Samuel Henry, then at St. John’s, to become pastor of the newly organized church at a salary of $650 and free house rental. He accepted and served until 1869.
- In the summer of 1868, a committee collected enough money by subscription to purchase an 1100 pound bell and install it in the steeple. Council directed that the bell be rung by the sexton twice before each public service, the first to ring one hour previous to the appointed time for worship, the second to commence ten minutes before said time and continue until the minister arrived at the church. One ringing would be sufficient for all other services, such as Lecture, Bible Class, and Sunday school. The bell would also be tolled to announce the death of any person, of any denomination for when requested, free of charge, for a period of one year.
- One item of business in beginning the year of 1868 was to determine the “order of Public services.” Council resolved that this would consist of two German Day services to one in English, and all evening services in the English language. By September of that year Council voted in favor of abolishing all afternoon Services or Preaching.
- On Sunday, January 19, 1868, the Church Council met to arrange some plan for renting the pews of St. Paul’s Church. The following plan was adopted: ten pews would be rented for $20 each, ten for $15 each, eight for $10 each, eight for $7.50 each, and as many of the rest as could be rented for $5 each. As scheduled by Church Council, the congregation met the following Saturday afternoon when the pews were rented for one year beginning December 15, 1867.
- In April 1868, Church Council directed that the front yard be covered with sod. At the same time, plans were adopted for erecting a fence around the church. Brick posts were considered, but they decided on wood, probably due to cost. A “parking lot” was also included in the plans, consisting of three rows of Post and Rail to be put up for the purpose of hitching horses.
- The 44th Annual Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of West Pennsylvania gathered September 16 – 21, 1868, in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, although it was not yet a year old, nor yet a member of the Synod. However, St. Paul’s did vote to unite with West Pennsylvania Synod at their Council meeting on Thursday, September 17. The last order of business before adjournment of the third session, according to Convention minutes, was the resolution to receive St. Paul’s congregation into the Synod.
- After serving the St. Paul’s/St. Luke’s/St. Mary’s charge for a year, Rev. Samuel Henry advised St. Paul’s church Council of his need for a $120 raise to a salary of $900. They were given three days to make their reply. The three Councils met and agreed upon a maximum salary of $800 plus free rent; they regretfully accepted their pastor’s resignation.
- Following the resignation of Rev. Samuel Henry, effective December 15, 1868, the immediate concern of St. Paul’s Council was whether St. Luke’s and St. Mary’s would remain with us in securing another pastor. Committees of one deacon and one elder were appointed to visit each of the two churches before the December 10 Council meeting. Both churches resolved to remain with us to secure and support a minister. St. Mary’s did express the fear that St. Paul’s would eventually unite with St. John’s and they (St. Mary’s) be cast from the charge. They nevertheless affirmed that were we to share a pastor, they would also consider it their duty to aid in the payment of any necessary parsonage rent.
- On December 31, 1868, councilmen J. H. Hiller and John Deihl were appointed to ascertain interest of Rev. M. J. Alleman in becoming our minister. At the same time, they were given an equally or perhaps more urgent duty: to have pews repaired which were damaged by fire caused by the falling of one of the chandeliers.
- Rev. M. J. Alleman accepted St. Paul’s call to serve the three-church charge beginning May 1, 1869. In August, the Council met by request of the pastor to organize a Sabbath School for both children and adults. In June of 1870, Council voted to accept the first candidates for confirmation at St. Paul’s: Luther Howard, Keller Hanes, Solomon Mehring, Samuel Palmer and David Sickle. In addition, Augustus Mehring and wife were accepted on certificate and Mrs. Susan Colestock on profession of faith.
- Pastor Alleman and Council met to plan a Congregational Festival for Thursday, August 18, 1870, for all members of St. Paul’s Church and Sabbath School. A committee was appointed to arrange for “religious exercises” 9:30 – 10:30 and 2:30 – 3: 30. A group of ladies would arrange for dinner at noon and supper at 5:00. Families would provide the food, but all would eat at a common table. It was to be held in a grove near the Conewago Bridge on the Littlestown Railroad. Members were to meet at the church to process to the railroad cars which would transport them to and from the grove, complete with a Marshall of the Day.
- 1870 – 1872 was a very trying time for St. Paul’s financially. Not only were they concerned for some $8900 in debt to banks, etc. on the building, but they had a two year deficiency in current expenses of about $450, including a year’s parsonage rent and back salary to the pastor and sexton. They changed the method of pew rentals to bidding, but had trouble collecting the rents. They tried apportioning the debt over the congregation, but with little effect. So with Council’s approval, Pastor Alleman installed a new system for a year. Collections from the four Communion Sundays and Harvest Sunday would go to Benevolence; all others would go directly to him, and he would take care of light, fuel, sexton, etc.
- In April 1873, as Pastor’s contract was nearly expired (it ran May 1 to May 1), the subject of salary was again addressed. Rev. Alleman stated the arrangement of the current year had worked tolerably well, but he disliked taking the penny collections and the care of the church finances. He proposed to continue preaching for another year, but on these terms: the congregation would have the collections to pay the sexton and run the church, except as required for missionary purposes. Pastor would receive contributions direct from members as each chose to pay him. At the end of the year he would read off every member’s name and payment “whether much, little, or nothing at all.” This arrangement was accepted unanimously by Council.
- In the summer of 1873, the Children’s Missionary Society was organized with 19 boys and 16 girls. At the same time Council took disciplinary action against several members of Sabbath School and church in response to rumors of behavior contrary to Christian character or indifference to attendance to church duties. These tasks of Christian discipleship being fulfilled, it was decided to have a Christmas Festival on Christmas evening. But with year’s end approaching, they had to again appeal for liquidation of the church debt and asked that a special collection for that purpose be made on Sunday December 23.
- Apparently St. Luke’s church rejoined St. John’s as a charge in 1869 or 1870. Early in 1874 St. Paul’s invited the Councils of St. John’s, St. Luke’s, and St. Mary’s to meet with them to discuss uniting into a four church charge. All were in favor, agreeing to pay a combined $1300 a year and share St. John’s parsonage. After much discussion, however, they concluded that it was entirely too great a demand to make of one minister. Rev. Alleman agreed to preach for St. John’s charge only if they could not find a pastor, as their minister was leaving. In November, Rev. Alleman “withdrew” as our pastor, and all four churches were now “pastor-less.” Uniting the four was again discussed, but resolved that St. Paul’s and St. Mary’s would remain one charge.
- Despite continuing efforts being made to collect subscriptions for the church debt, Council suggested in the summer of 1874 getting new stoves for the church. A committee of two was appointed in August to get “the best and the cheapest new stoves” for the church. In September, the entire Council was appointed to solicit subscription money, each one separately, to pay for the stoves and coal, as well as pay the remaining balance on 1873’s church expenses.
- In 1875, after preaching a trial sermon, the Rev. John W. Lake of New Chester, was unanimously elected to serve as pastor of the charge of St. Paul’s and St. Mary’s. He was extended a call which he accepted effective March 14. The men who were chosen by lot from those nominated to more the pastor were paid $5 each for their services.
- Collection of pew rents to cover the pastor’s and sexton’s salaries, fuel and other church expenses continued to be a problem for St. Paul’s Council. It apparently at least contributed to claiming yet another pastor in August of 1877. Council also found it necessary to find another house to rent for a parsonage. That proved easier than finding a pastor. In fact, they even had difficulty finding a supply pastor, so for much of the time from August 1877 through that winter, there simply was no preaching. Finally in March of 1878, Rev. E. D. Weigle agreed to serve as supply preacher, at the expiration of study at the seminary until meeting of Synod.
- In August 1878, Council determined to pay the church organist, Miss Vinia Mehring, $25 for playing for church services, retroactive to April 1 of the previous year. It appears there was either no monetary compensation prior to that, or if so, that it was considered inadequate. She was agreeable to the $25 yearly salary.
- Upon suggestion of Pastor Weigle, Council resolved in October of 1878 that Sunday School make an effort to collect money to buy an organ for the school. Teachers collected money from their classes, totaling $95 the first week. The committee was unable to buy an organ for that amount. When it was reported to the school that $15 more was needed, they at once responded with $16.30 before dismissal. The committee proceeded to buy the “class organ” from member L. T. Mehring for $110.
- Toward the end of 1878, the pew rent committee again met with difficulty in collecting back pew rents. By February of 1879, they had received only $5 outstanding from one family. It was now agreed that 20% be added to each pew holder to meet the deficiency of the past year. Pews were to be rented for 1879 on Easter Monday afternoon. In preparation, these resolutions were adopted: that ALL pews be available to rent to the highest bidder; that all parties holding pews jointly pay their specified amount not to each other, but directly to Council for accurate record keeping; and that no pew-holder be permitted to add anyone else into his pew or transfer renter-ship without consulting Council. The committee was still attempting to collect rents from the past two years.
- As the end of 1878 approached, it was again necessary to find a suitable parsonage to rent. The committee could come up with nothing better than two rooms which they rented for six months. This situation prompted the decision to try to buy or build a parsonage. In February, Dr. Stephen Gettier agreed to sell his property on Frederick St. for $1000 which seems to have adjoined St. Paul’s lot at that time. After purchasing the property, the old house was put up for public sale, apparently for razing, as the brick and stone were to be reserved. However, 40,000 bricks had also been purchased to begin the project. Thus in 1879, St. Paul’s acquired its first parsonage on what is now King Street.
- Although no mention is made of St. Mary’s in Silver Run separating from St. Paul’s in January 1880 they asked to be reinstated to St. Paul’s charge. After obtaining details as to contributions for rents, etc., it was learned they also applied to St. John’s for the same purpose. St. Paul’s declined to act on the matter till a decision was reached between St. Mary’s and St. John’s. In April the matter was put to a ballot vote, which failed to accept St. Mary’s into the charge.
- In the fall of 1881, with St. Paul’s 15th anniversary approaching, the building was given a facelift inside and outside. The exterior was painted red, the steeples and trim painted – the bricks “lined” – in white. In the ‘audience chamber’ the altar banister, pews, and stair railing were varnished in walnut, and the pulpit area modernized in walnut. The pavement in front of both church and parsonage was also repaired. Start of the work was dependent upon raising an initial $600 toward the cost. When the work was completed, the church had a reopening service on Christmas Day, and in the evening a Sunday school anniversary program was presented.
- Rev. Weigle was authorized by council to organize the young people of the church into an association for Mutual Improvement to be named the Lutheran Union. Some time later, envelopes were distributed to the country folks for the purpose of contributing to the Lutheran Union. Also, each ‘Sunday School Scholar’ was presented with the child’s Life of Luther.
- Rev. E.D. Weigle who had begun his ministry at St. Paul’s, was the first pastor to reside in the new parsonage built in 1879, and saw renovation and improvements to the church building in our 15th year. Records indicate an increase in membership from 370 in 1880 to 415 in 1884. After serving our congregation well for nine years, he received a unanimous call from First Lutheran Church in Altoona, PA, which he accepted. His beginning salary was $750, raised to $850, then to $1000 in 1884. When Rev. Wire was contracted to fill our pulpit, council also resolved to change the method of obtaining funds for pastor’s salary from pew rents to envelopes, 12 per family or member. Each would be assessed $1 per month, payable monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually, in advance.
- 1888 indicated finances somewhat improving. Early in the year, Rev. Wire’s salary was raised to $1000. A room was added to the parsonage. The privy and coal shed were moved, and fence replaced. The basement rooms were to be improved and the Sunday school rooms rearranged. A partition was replaced with a glass partition which could slide up to convert two rooms to one. A side door and window “switched places” to provide separate entrance to each section. All benches (pews) were removed and replaced by chairs, small ones for the “Infant Room.” Total cost of the Sunday school room improvements was about $850. The pews plus a lot of lamps and lamp fixtures were sold at public sale for $20.94.
- Rev. Blint continued to serve St. Paul’s through 1905. The end of the century saw many changes to the church facilities. The choir and organ were moved from the gallery to the upper left corner of the nave. A new Mohler organ was purchased in 1898 at a cost of $1450. A recital on the new organ including 2 vocalists from Lancaster was held: admission was 20 cents for adults and 10 cents for children under 12. A boy was paid $1.00 to pump the organ the night of the program. Later, a water motor was purchased to pump the organ. In 1898, electric lights were installed. And in 1899, by unanimous vote, the church switched from the use of a chalice to individual communion cups.
- Improvements were made to the parsonage in 1902: a heating furnace and bathroom were installed. Renovations continued in the church proper as well. In 1904, extensive improvements to the nave included frescoing and painting, new pews and floor plan, a circular heating system, book racks in pews, hymnal boards, and a ventilator in the ceiling for a total cost of $2000. New carpet was purchased for $568.75. Former pastor Rev. Weigle, returned for the dedication in 1905. After serving St. Paul’s for over twelve years, Rev. Blint resigned to accept a call in Leechburg, PA, and Rev. John J. Hill of Roaring Springs was called in February of 1905.
- At a meeting held in May of 1907, it was reported that pew rentals from the annual auction held on Easter Monday amounted to $933. In 1910, all male members were asked to pay at least $1.00 annually and female members 50 cents towards the Pastor’s salary. The Duplex Envelope, to eliminate and replace pew rentals, was adopted in November 1912. The official vote on free or rental pews was taken in March 1913: 195 votes for free pews and 46 votes to continue renting.
- In October 1911, a cross was placed on the steeple of the church. The two hot air furnaces were replaced with a steam heating system at a cost of $697.60. The first telephone was placed in the parsonage at a cost of $18.00 annually. Rev. Hill resigned as pastor in November 1916, and Rev. W. K. Fleck of Fairfield accepted our call in 1917 at an annual salary of $1000.00. That salary was subsequently increased to $1200.00. In 1917, a new pavement was laid at the parsonage, and a new furnace purchased. After serving for 13 months, Pastor Fleck resigned his pastorate in March of 1918.
- The Rev. H. Clay Bergstresser, of Lalona, PA, was called in 1918. In view of the splendid service rendered by Pastor Bergstresser, his salary was increased from $1200.00 to $1500.00 annually. Communing membership was 530. A new slate roof installed in 1918 cost $1552.55. In the early 1920’s, upgrades continued: the exterior brick was stuccoed, the church interior and exterior were repainted, a bulletin board was installed, and wood work at the parsonage was also repainted. Former pastor Rev. Blint was speaker at the rededication service held in January 1924.
- Pastor Bergstresser resigned in 1924 to accept a call in Hazelton, PA. The Rev. David S. Kammerer was called and began his pastoral duties on March 15, 1925. In 1927, the interior of the church was once again renovated and a 40 foot addition to the Sunday School Room with a basement was erected on the rear of the building. Allen Feeser of Taneytown was awarded the contract for excavating and building at a cost of $6,106.00. I. H. Crouse & Sons of Littlestown did the remodeling of the nave. Stanley B. Stover was given the electrical contract, and Rider & Yingling did the plumbing. In addition, a new Mohler pipe organ was purchased for $3500.00. Rededication services were held the first week in January 1928.
- Rev. Kammerer continued to serve through the 30’s and 40’s. In 1934, Church Council decided to have Elders assist the pastor with communion services. Church bulletins were printed for members, plus 600 self-denial envelopes were printed. In 1941, the basement was renovated and repairs were made to the interior walls of the Sunday school rooms and stairway. In addition, an oil burning furnace was installed. In 1942, there is no mention of a 75th Anniversary observation, but that year chimes were installed in the bell tower to honor congregational members serving in the Armed Forces. An entire new front entrance was constructed, and a complete brick facing of the two side walls of the church and Sunday school rooms was done for a total cost of $22, 000.00.
- By vote of the congregation in February of 1956, a second floor was added to the Parish House (Sunday school addition) and the basement was modernized with a social room and a kitchen. The cornerstone was laid on September 9, 1956 and the dedication service of the addition took place July 14, 1957. After 33 years of service, Rev. Kammerer submitted his formal resignation in 1958. Pastor and Mrs. Kammerer were given a trip to the Holy Lands. His last official act was the confirming of the 1959 Catechetical Class.
- Rev. Lawrence H. Roller began his ministry to St. Paul’s in 1959. At his suggestion, Pastor Kammerer was conferred the title of Pastor Emeritus. The parsonage at 30 West King Street was purchased; the Gettier property adjacent to the church on the west side was purchased and made into a parking lot. The first Christian Kindergarten program was started, taught by members of the church who were professional elementary teachers. Kneeling benches and new carpet were purchased. Fire extinguishers were placed in the nave of the church and the Sunday school rooms. On October 31, 1961, the mortgage to the parsonage was burned at appropriate services. Pastor Roller submitted his resignation in June of 1963.
- Rev. Graham Rinehart accepted our call in 1963. In January 1964, a new Constitution adoption stipulated that a layman would be president of Council instead of the pastor. In March, an Altar Guild was organized. 1964 also saw the new LCA church school curriculum put into operation. In 1965, Rev. Rinehart was the first minister to occupy the new parsonage at 365 Glenwyn Drive. Confirmed membership at St. Paul’s was 683 while Sunday school enrollment was 383. Communion changes included the congregation kneeling at the chancel rail for the Eucharist and pouring wine into each member’s cup instead of providing filled cups. In February of 1967, Rev. Rinehart submitted his resignation.
- In 1967, St. Paul’s celebrated its 100th anniversary, and the Rev. Robert Camac began his ministry. Girls began serving as acolytes, and women were finally elected to Church Council although they were not permitted to serve communion. In 1970, the Littlestown Joint School Board rented the first floor Sunday school for kindergarten classes which continued for three years. Five octaves of hand bells were purchased, an elevator lift chair was put in, and the brick cross garden was installed at the front of the church. In 1975, the portrait of Christ above the altar was moved and the Rose window was installed, dedicated to “all children of St. Paul’s in God’s Eternal Kingdom.” In addition, the passing of the peace was first observed. In 1986, our community involvement included membership in the Littlestown Food Pantry and holding the Community Bible School program at St. Paul’s.
- The Lutheran Church of America merged into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1987. In 1988, Rev. Camac resigned and the parsonage was rented while Interim Pastor Douglas McCaulely was appointed. The congregation voted to sell the parsonage and invest the proceeds to provide income to defray housing costs of the new pastor. The Rev. Clifton J. Suehr accepted our call in 1989. He was the first pastor to chant the liturgy. The music department had four vocal choirs and three bell choirs at this time. A new grand piano was purchased for the sanctuary. Communion was held more frequently, both continuous altar and intinction. The adult Sunday school room was renamed the Kammerer Memorial Room in honor of Rev. Kammerer’s service. In 1992, St. Paul’s celebrated its 125th Anniversary. A youth representative was added to Council. Two morning worship services were scheduled with Sunday school. Rev. Suehr resigned in 2000 to accept a call in western PA.
- The Rev. Dr. Gerhard Roggenkamp was appointed as Interim Pastor in 2000. The old town clock from the bell tower was sold and rebuilt in a Texas Courthouse. In 2003, a full size elevator was built; the Luther Ritter trust and Arter money was used to cover most of the cost. In 2004, St. Paul’s extended a call to Rev. Thomas Stellhorn. Renovations included painting the church nave, a new roof on the Sunday school wing, and a new sound system in the sanctuary. The confirmation program was revamped to include a week at Camp Nawakwa with area confirmands. From 2010 through 2012, the Mohler pipe organ was refurbished and upgraded at a cost of $134,346.00. Most notably, the chime pipes were moved into the nave above the choir loft.
- Pastor Stellhorn submitted his formal resignation in 2012, and Rev. Sandra Mackey was appointed as Interim Pastor. Under her leadership, the congregation discussed its mission interests. A new heating boiler was installed in 2013 using Edwin Duttera trust monies. In mid-2013, Rev. Alex Martini began his ministry at St. Paul’s. In conjunction with other Littlestown Lutheran churches, 5th Sunday Service was established for joint worship. The congregational mission interest was developed into the community supported Ruth’s Harvest, a weekly supplemental food backpack program for Littlestown Area School District elementary children. An Easter Vigil service was incorporated into our Holy Week observances. Pastor Martini resigned in 2016 to accept a call in Mechanicsburg, PA.
- The Rev. Richard Michael was appointed to be Interim Pastor at St. Paul’s in 2016. Music programs remained strong with Chancel choir, youth choir, 5 octave hand bell choir, and numerous instrumental and vocal soloists. In August of 2016, the congregation unanimously voted to replace the existing air conditioning system “at a cost not to exceed $75,000.” The year 2017 is significant as both the 500th anniversary of Lutheranism and the 150th Anniversary of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Littlestown. In July of this year, St. Paul’s called Rev. Christopher Thomas to ministry. His move from the Chicago area was facilitated by church family and friends.
- As St. Paul’s concludes its 150th Anniversary year, we continue to do God’s work with our hands. We are active with many outreaches such as the Ruth’s Harvest backpack program, the New Hope Angel Tree at Christmas, the local food pantry, and the Heifer International Project. Our facilities are used by Girl Scout troops, the Littlestown Area Municipal Band, the Garden Club, and we host the annual Crop Walk.