THE GROWTH OF OUR WORSHIP COMMUNITY
Since 1853 St. Paul’s has welcomed worshippers with the good news of God’s grace for us in Jesus. We are a church in which the past, presence and promise of God’s love and grace are celebrated and proclaimed. Today we are a gathering of God’s forgiven people with over 650 members committed to bringing the life-giving message of God’s love and light to our community, our nation and our world.
In 1851, the Rev. Dr. John Gottlieb Morris, his brother Charles S. Morris and Dr. Benjamin Kurtz, believing in the importance of higher education for women bought a tract of land from what was once the Northhampton estate of Mr. Charles Ridgely to build a college. They also laid out a town to be built on the same tract of land and called it Lutherville in honor of Martin Luther. Some of the streets of Lutherville are named for leaders of the Protestant Reformation, including Melancthon Avenue, named for Philip Melancthon, Luther’s right hand man and the author of the Augsburg Confession.
The college was soon established and incorporated as the Lutherville Female Seminary. This was the first such school for women south of the Mason/Dixon line. After 100 years of service in 1952, the college finally closed its doors and reopened as the College Manor Nursing Home.
In short time, recognizing the need for a church to serve the school and the community, the founders donated the site on which the church building now stands. In 1853, with the Rev. Charles Martin as its pastor, a congregation was born.
During the first three years of St. Paul’s existence, there were no buildings on the site in which to worship. On July 19, 1856 the cornerstone of the first church was laid and the new church building was dedicated the following year. For the first 16 years of St. Paul’s existence it was a non-denominational church and was frequently served by non-Lutheran pastors. During many of these early years, the president of the college was also the pastor of the church. One of these men, the Rev. William Heilig, built the famous Octagon House of Lutherville.
During the pastorate of the Rev. Richard Ehrhart, two especially significant events occurred. Early in 1949 the congregation voted to build the first story of a separate Parish Hall. In addition, in 1952, St. Paul’s began its Christian kindergarten. The weekday school has grown and continues today with programs for 2-year-olds through pre-K.. Led by our Weekday School Director and gifted teachers, the school is a mission of our congregation through which we seek to provide an excellent pre-school education within a Christian setting.
During the pastorate of the Rev. Donald Sanner, St. Paul’s congregation and the surrounding community grew considerably. In 1956, the second story addition to Parish Hall was begun and completed. In 1961, land adjoining the church property was purchased for a parking lot and additional educational space. In late 1969, the building now known as Spangler Hall was completed and dedicated.
The Rev. John C. Naegele was called as pastor in December 1970, beginning a 21-year-ministry at St. Paul’s. Under Pastor Naegele, a number of significant events and ministries took place. In 1974, a major renovation, designed by church member Richard Foose, of the church building was undertaken, which included incorporating the overflow room into the main part of the church.
In November, 1992, the Rev. Mark A. G. Huffman was called as pastor and served St. Paul’s through November 2013. During his 22 year tenure, the stained glass windows were added in 1994 and the renovated area is now fully integrated into the worship space.
The Reverend Sandra Carlson Alexis then acted as the interim pastor, serving until the Rev. Edward N. Kay was installed as pastor on October 25, 2015.
OUR COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
The church has been used in service for a number of programs. In December of 1978, Lutheran Social services established a Meals on Wheels kitchen that continued preparing and delivering meals to the homebound of the surrounding community until early 1989, when it was decided these satellite kitchens should be replaced by a central kitchen.
In March, 1978, the Baltimore County Department of Aging began sponsorship of a Senior Citizens Center in Spangler Hall. Every Tuesday and Thursday for twenty years the senior center offered a wide variety of programs and services to seniors. The center closed in 1998 when a larger full-time facility opened nearby.
In the 1980s, ecumenical efforts with churches of many denominations were established. Today, the Lutherville Ecumenical Group sponsors a number of opportunities for fellowship and worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, including our Lenten midweek supper and worship program, hosted each year by different churches of various traditions.
OUR WORSHIP AND TEACHING
Music is an important part of worship at St. Paul’s. St. Paul’s liturgy and song is supported by a Moeller pipe organ installed in 1954. The Chancel Choir brings together the talents of many of our members. Led by our Director of Music, Elaine Lindsey, and at times combined with special instrumental music, the choir serves and enriches our worship. The Contemporary Worship service is led by a dedicated group of musicians and vocalists called Spirit Song, who are directed by our Contemporary Worship leader, Steve Dooley.
One of the recent significant developments at St. Paul’s is the introduction in January 1999, of a contemporary worship service in addition to our two traditional services. Faithful to the essentials of Christian worship, yet with more contemporary music and words, the contemporary worship has been well received by the congregation and the community.
Sunday School is held on Sunday mornings during the school year for children age three years and older. Some of the highlights of the Sunday School year include our annual Advent Workshop, the children’s Christmas program, and the Easter Cross flower decoration. A one-year intensive Confirmation ministry led by the Pastor is offered for young people in ninth grade and older.
St. Paul’s has a vital youth program. We have two youth groups—one for middle school age youth and one for high school youth. In addition to various activities, the groups meet once a month for fun, faith and service. A flea market is held annually in August by our youth. The proceeds from the flea market are split between the youth program and another service program such as Habitat for Humanity or Lutheran World Relief.
Every summer a week-long evening Vacation Bible School is held for children of the congregation and the community. Each evening begins with a family dinner time followed by music, crafts, and classroom time focused on sharing and communicating the stories of God’s love.
Ongoing adult studies are held throughout the year. There is a Sunday morning class that covers a range of topics from Bible study to church history to prayer to contemporary issues of faith. Twice monthly from September through June, Pastor leads a noontime Brown Bag Bible study discussing one of the books of the Bible. Other Bible study and contemporary issues classes are held throughout the year. St. Paul’s also sponsors a “Prayer Chain” that regularly prays for the joys and sorrows of our family of faith.
Other programs for adults include a yearly adult retreat for those who wish to enjoy a weekend away with fellow members and friends of St. Paul’s to renew our relationships with God and one another amidst the beauty of God’s creation. St. Paul’s Women’s Group meets quarterly on a Monday for fellowship, study and service. Several groups open to all members of the church have grown out of the Women’s Group including St. Paul’s Quilters and our Book Club. Occasional adult socials are organized offering varied activities such as a crab feast held around Labor Day and Moonlight over Maui, featuring dancing, music and a Hawaiian luau.
CHURCH LEADERSHIP AND COMMITTEES
A number of committees under the direction of our Church Council provide a variety of ways to serve God’s purposes in and through our congregation.
Some of our regular ongoing committees include the Social Ministry Committee, which helps the congregation respond to God’s call to help our neighbor in need, our Property Committee, charged with the care and maintenance of our church property, and the Worship and Music Committee, which oversees and coordinates the worship life of our congregation. Other committees include the Evangelism Committee, concentrating on inviting and welcoming new members to our family of faith, the Stewardship Committee, lifting up God’s call to give of our time, talents and treasure to the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ, the Christian Education Committee. working with our Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and adult education efforts to communicate the stories and meanings of our faith to one and all, the Weekday School Committee, serving as a school board for our weekday school, the Spiritual Growth Committee, which seeks to initiate small groups in the congregation, and the Youth Committee, which oversees our youth program, guides our cradle roll programs and manages our college student ministry.
St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is a congregation rooted in the past, growing in the present and rising toward God’s future. We are a church in which the past, presence and promise of God’s love and grace are celebrated and proclaimed. As we celebrate more than 160 years of God’s love, we look forward to the new and transforming possibilities for mission and ministry God calls us to.
St. Paul’s Timeline - Pastors and Special Events
1853 The Lutherville Female Seminary was established. A building to house the seminary was built on part of the Northhampton estate of Mr Charles Ridgely of the Hampton House. A congregation for the Seminary and for the community of Lutherville was set up in Oct.
1854 The Seminary opened in its building October 2
1856 The cornerstone was laid for a church building for the congregation on July 19. Rev. Charles Martin became the first pastor.
1857 The church building was dedicated. The building was used by the Union Christian Association Church, with Lutherans, Methodists and Episcopalians worshiping there.
1858 Rev. Martin left. Rev. William M Heiling became pastor.
1862 Rev. Heilig left. Rev. Benjamin Sadtler became pastor.
1867 The house at 300 Morris Ave was built. This house actually fronted on Webster Ave. Webster Ave may have existed only on paper, but it does show up on maps as late as 1915.
1869 The church severed its affiliation with the seminary and was incorporated as St.Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on Oct.20. St. John’s Methodist was built with the Methodists attending there. The Episcopalians continued to hold services at St. Paul’s until 1888 when the Episcopal Chapel of the Holy Comforter war built.
1877 Rev. Sadtler left. Rev. J. R. Dimm became pastor.
1879 Rev. Dimm left. Rev. John Gottlieb Morris became pastor.
1889 Rev. Morris left. Rev. Andrew S. Fichthorn became pastor.
1890 Rev. Fichthorn left due to failing health. Rev. William A. Sadtler became pastor.
1892 Rev. Sadtler left. Rev. D Stuart Hoover became pastor.
1895 Rev. Hoover left. Rev. S.P.Hughes became pastor.
1896 Rev. Hughes left. Rev. John Fielding Crigler became past in Sept.
1898 The church building was in need of costly repairs and had become too small for the congregation. The decision was made to demolish the church building and build a new one. This is the present church building. On Oct. 1 the cornerstone for the new building was laid.
1899 The new church building was completed. The dedication took place on May 21. The back room of the church was used for the Sunday School.
1915 In January Rev. Crigler left. Rev. Dr. Paul F. Bloomhardt PHD became pastor in April.
1917 Rev Dr. Bloomhardt left on Dec. 23 to become a chaplain serving in World War I. During the years 1917-1922 Dr. Joseph B Wolf ,Rev. Dr. Edward Morgan and Rev. Robert S. Miller served as supply pastors. Even secretaries of the Church Boards served in the pulpit.
1922 The difficulty in finding pastors who would serve at St. Paul’s was solved by building a parsonage at 201 Morris Ave. The property for the parsonage was given to the church by Bertha W Wack as a memorial to her husband Henry E. Wack. Rev Dr. J. William McCauley became pastor on May 1.
1927 Rev McCauley left. Rev. Dr John Moncure, a Baptist minister and President of the Maryland College for Women (the former Lutherville Female Seminary) became pastor on a part time basis in July and full time starting in Oct.
1928 Rev. Moncure left. Rev. Henry R Spangler became pastor on March 1.
1931 A 75th Anniversary celebration was held for the first church building on Oct. 4.
1932 A Parish Hall building was first proposed.
1936 Plans for a Parish Hall building ended.
1943 A 90th Anniversary celebration was held for the congregation Sept. 26 through Oct. 3.
1944 Plans for a Parish Hall building were revived.
1948 On Jan. 25, Rev Spangler came to ring the church bell. He discovered a small fire in the church sanctuary which was put out by the Lutherville Volunteer Fire Company with which he was a member and for a while its President.
Rev. Spangler left in the spring. Rev Richard Ehrhart I became pastor in Aug.
1949 The church council voted to build just the first floor of the Parish Hall. The second floor would be built later. Groundbreaking occurred on July 24 and the cornerstone was laid on Oct. 2.
Vacation Bible School began.
A 50th Anniversary celebration was held for the current church building in Oct.
1950 Parish Hall phase I was dedicated on May 21.
1952 The Christian Preschool and Kindergarten began.
1953 A 100th Anniversary celebration was held for the Congregation Sept. 27 through Oct. 4.
Rev. Ehrhart I left on Nov. 29.
1954 Rev. James L. Shealey became pastor on Feb. 15.
A Moeller pipe organ was installed.
1955 Rev. Shealey left in April. Rev. Donald Wayne W. Sanner was called as pastor July 31. He was installed Sept 11.
1956 A petition was filed to close Webster Ave in Nov. This was a street most likely on paper only. One landowner objected and so the street was not “closed”.
1957 The Parish Hall was enlarged by adding to the first floor and adding the second floor. Groundbreaking occurred on March 31 followed by the dedication on Nov.17.
1961 The property and the house at 300 Morris Ave. was purchased on Feb. 12. The deed was signed June 30. The house was named Spangler Hall and was used for educational space. The parsonage at 201 Morris Ave. was sold to fund Spangler Hall. A central parking area was laid out.
1963 A Lutheran Church Women’s Group was set up June 18.
1964 Grace Lutheran Church proposed moving into the area. This was opposed by St Paul’s. The church was built with groundbreaking occurring on April 4, 1965.
John V. “Jack” Trautwein was installed Assistant Pastor June 21.
1965 The parking lot was repaved in May and was lined off for 53 cars. A new modern church building was proposed and rejected. To build on Webster Ave. full title to the entire street was necessary. The church already owned half of the street. Notices were sent to the landowners without much success. Landowners who lived in the area were visited but still refused to give up title to the street. Attempts to gain full title to the street, which may never have physically existed, were abandoned September 1967.
1967 Assistant Pastor “Jack” Trautwein left Feb. 1.
1968 Since it was too costly to maintain and repair Spangler Hall, the decision was made to demolish it and build a new Spangler Hall. The old Spangler Hall was demolished about December 16, with groundbreaking for the new Spangler Hall building on December 15.
1969 The cornerstone for the new Spangler Hall was laid on April 13. The new Spangler Hall / Recreation Hall / Education and Fellowship Building was dedicated September 28.
1970 Rev Sanner left July 31 to begin a Clinical Pastoral Education Program. Dr. Richard Oscar Carlson served as interim Pastor. Rev John C. Naegele became Pastor Dec. 1970.
1971 Rev. Naegele was installed as pastor on January 3.
1973 A new roof was placed on the Church building.
1974 The interior of the church was renovated during the summer and early fall. Member Richard Foose was the designer. The overflow room (originally the Sunday School room) was incorporated into the church sanctuary, by removing the folding doors and partitions. These renovations were dedicated Nov 24. During the renovations, services were held in Spangler Hall.
1975 A new roof was placed on the Parish Hall.
1978 The Baltimore County Dept. Of Aging started sponsoring a Senior Citizens Center in Spangler Hall. Meals on Wheels began using the kitchen of Spangler Hall in Dec.
A 125th Anniversary celebration of the Congregation began Oct 1.
1979 A Homecoming Sunday was held on June 4. The 125th Anniversary celebration concluded with a banquet Sept 22.
The Spangler Hall Mortgage was burned Feb 11.
1981 A ramp for those with disabilities was dedicated on May 3.
1983 A new ceiling replaced the old one in Spangler Hall.
1986 A new roof was placed on Spangler Hall. The church was repainted.
1989 Air conditioning was installed in the church building.
Meals on Wheels ended use of the Spangler Hall kitchen when they starting using a centralized kitchen in the area.
1991 Rev Naegele left due to a disability.
Rev Robert W. Lowden became interim pastor on Dec 1.
1992 Rev Mark A. G. Huffman became pastor November 29.
A new roof was placed on the church in Dec.
1993 Rev Huffman was installed as pastor Jan 10.
The overflow area of the church sanctuary was redesigned.
1994 Stained Glass windows replaced the clear glass windows in the overflow area of the church. They were dedicated Dec 11.
1995 A new roof was placed on the Parish Hall.
A restoration of the Stained Glass windows in the church sanctuary began.
1998 The Senior Citizens Center moved to a larger facility built nearby.
1999 A Contemporary service started in Spangler Hall Jan 24.
Since the flat roof of Spangler Hall was prone to leaks, a pitched roof was placed on it. It was completed in May.
A 100th Anniversary celebration of the current church building was held May 23.
2002 The restoration of the Stained Glass windows was completed except for the onion shaped windows.
2003 A 150th Anniversary celebration of the congregation was held Sept 14.
2006 The Stained Glass windows on the west side of the Martin Luther panel and those over the Good Shepherd Panel were restored by May 1.
Rev. Mark A. Bringman became Associate Pastor September 17.
2007 Groundbreaking for the Connector and the addition to the Parish Hall was held April 22. Parish Hall will be renovated.
The restored Stained Glass windows were dedicated Dec 2.
2008 The renovation of the Parish Hall was dedicated on April 13 and a celebration was held April 27.
Rev. Huffman went on a sabbatical to Germany from April to July.
2009 Rev Bringman left as Associate Pastor in Feb.
2010 The Connector a.k.a. The Breezeway and the addition to and the renovation of the Parish Hall were dedicated August 1. Also dedicated were various Named Rooms and paving bricks.
2013 Rev Huffman left Nov 3. His last Sunday he served as pastor was Oct. 20.
Rev Sandra Carlson Alexis became Interim Pastor.
2014 The interior of the church was renovated July.
2015 Rev Edward N. Kay was called as pastor in June. His first Sunday as pastor was Aug 23. He was installed Oct 25.
2016 Rev. Kay became Rev Dr. Kay in May.