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Most of the members of St. Paul's Church belonged formerly to Zion Church at Blain, some few to the congregation at Loysville, and other places.  As they had a considerable distance to the nearest church, they concluded, in 1855, to organize themselves into a congregation and erect a church in their midst.  The members united heartily in this good work.  The congregation was regularly organized early in the spring of 1855, by the

Rev. Reuben Weiser,

when the following brethren were elected and installed as the first board of officers of the congregation:

Jacob Arnold, Jacob Kunkel; Elders.

J. B. Zimmerman, Samuel Arnold; Deacons.

George Hohenshilt, Henry Wolf; Trustees.

The corner-stone of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church was laid on the 27th day of May, 1855, when the Rev. Daniel Sell, the only minister present on the occasion, preached a suitable sermon from Isa. 28:16.  At this time, Rev. R. Weiser, the pastor, was absent on a visit to Texas.  The church-edifice was reared speedily and successfully.  In September, 1855, Rev. Weiser resigned the Loysville pastorate.  The charge was then vacant about eights months.

Consecration of St. Paul's Church.

The church was dedicated to the service of the Most High on Sunday, the 22d of December, 1855.  Rev. Messrs. J. Evans, M. J. Alleman and P.P. Lane, were present on this occasion and conducted the exercises.  The meeting commenced on Friday evening previous and closed on Sunday evening.  The Sunday morning exercises were introduced with a prayer-meeting, after which Rev. Alleman preached in the German language from Rom. 5:1, and was followed in the English language by Rev. Evans, who preached from Psalm 42:1, 2.  The Rev. Lane attended then to the liturgical exercises, and consecrated the church by the distinctive title of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The church-edifice is of brick, neat and substantial, forty by fifty feet in size.  It has a vestibule, and is surmounted by a steeple and sweet-sounding bell.  The internal arrangement is tasty and judicious.  The entire cost of erecting the building was about seventeen hundred dollars.  The church is located in Madison Township, about five miles west of Loysville, and on the main road leading from Loysville to Blain, on a tract of land originally located by John Crawford in 1766, but now owned by the Messrs. Clarks.  The site is eligible and in every way convenient.

Rev. Philip Willard

commenced his pastoral labors here, in connection with the Loysville charge, on the 25th of May, 1856.  Soon after he had entered on the discharge of his ministerial duties, he commenced instructing a class of catechumens, and here, as well as in the other congregations of the charge, the Lord blessed his labors to the edification of Christians and the conversion of sinners.  On the 25th of October, 1856, the following persons were admitted to full communion by the rite of confirmation:

Jacob Clausert; George A. Shuman; Andrew Hohenshilt; Catharine Loy; Mary A. Loy; Ellen Loy; Mary J. Beaston; Catharine Baldozer; Mary Ernst; Amanda Reed; Elizabeth Seager; Lydia A. Seager; Mary Stahl.

During the early part of 1857, the Lord poured out graciously his Spirit upon the congregation.  A number professed to have realized a change of heart during this season of refreshing from on high.  These were carefully instructed for a few months, and on the 23d of May, 1857, the following were confirmed:

John A. Garber; Franklin D. Baldoser; John Bergstresser; Sarah J. Seager; Amanda H. Bergstresser; Mary A. Zimmerman; Elizabeth Beistlein; Susanna Burrel; Mary M. Ewing; Sarah A. Garland; Elizabeth Shatto; Mary A. Moyer; Sarah Koon.

In the charter of incorporation, dated August 7th, 1857, among other matters not necessary to state, we find the following item of general interest:

"Article 5.  Whatsoever is not otherwise specially provided for in this Constitution shall be regulated according to the Constitution, form of government, discipline, rules and usages of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Central Pennsylvania and of the General Synod of the Lutheran Church in the United States, " &c.

Trustees:  Daniel Ernst, Samuel Shope and Michael J. Loy.

On the 14th of March, 1858, the following persons were admitted to full communion by confirmation:

Thomas Messimer; John Calhoon; Catharine Calhoon.

On the 6th of September, 1858, James Clark and Ann his wife, and Andrew M. Clark, made a deed to Daniel Ernst, William Zimmerman and Samuel Shope, Trustees of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madison Township, conveying to said Trustees one acre and fifty-nine perches of land, strict measure, for the consideration of sixty dollars. See Record-Book, Letter R., p. 200.

In October, 1858, this congregation and that at Blain withdrew from the Loysville charge, and united in the formation of the Blain charge, and in November following Rev. P. Willard resigned.  The Blain charge, just formed, was vacant about four months.  Having received and accepted a call,

Rev. John T. Williams

commenced his pastoral labors in this charge on the 1st of April, 1859. He preaches here once every two weeks, alternately in the German and English languages.  After having attended lectures on the Catechism for some time, on the 14th of April, 1860, the following persons were confirmed:

Daniel Garber; Daniel Beistlein; Samuel Koon; John W. Smith; Samuel A. Smith; Henry Hohenshilt; John Roush; John H. Briner; Anna E. Zimmerman; Sarah J. Stroup; Catharine M. Koon; Caroline Loy; Anna E. Roush; Jane E. Beistlein.

Thus fourteen more were added to the membership of this congregation.  May we not hope that they will be useful in their day, and afterwards be received to glory.

"Lord, we accept, with thankful heart,
The hope thy gracious words impart;
We come with trembling, yet rejoice,
And bless the kind inviting voice.

"Dear Savior, let they wondrous love
Confirm our faith, our fears remove;
O sweetly influence ev'ry breast,
And guide us to eternal rest."

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This page was last updated on:   03/03/2009

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