Where we have come from…… That Was Then….
by Barbara Weaver.
The logo for St. Paul Evangelical Church is an intriguing one. Why are there four church steeples enclosed in a circle? They represent a congregation with conviction, courage, faith and vision: conviction that the needs of the congregation and community must be met; courage that those needs can be fulfilled; faith in God to overcome all obstacles; and vision to see into future service to God
The beginnings of St. Paul Church go back to Salem Lutheran Church of Kissel Hill, which was founded in 1823. The community of Lititz, a Moravian community, allowed only Moravians to own land and businesses; as a result, any Lutherans in the area had to travel to Kissel Hill or Brickerville for worship. By 1855 the restrictions against non-Moravians were lifted, and by 1885 a number of Kissel Hill members became determined to develop their own congregation. A group of fifty-two persons laid the cornerstone of the first building on September 13, 1885, a red brick church located on South Spruce Street built at a cost of about $6,000.00 and dedicated on February 14, 1886. The middle steeple in our logo is that church.
Salem Lutheran, our "Mother Church," also spawned St. Peter's in Neffsville, PA, and continues to hold worship at its original location.
As time passed, St. Paul Church continued to grow and prosper and the need for expansion became obvious. On June 26, 1905, at a cost of $4,300.00, the site at Broad and Orange Streets was purchased; but it was not until February 11, 1911, that the decision was made to build a new church. The cornerstone was laid September 3 of that year and the building dedicated December 8, 1912, with the cost about $55,000.00. The logo shows that steeple on the right.
During this time several congregations were sharing a church located in Old Warwick on the corner of what is now Front and Water Streets: Mennonites , Roman Catholics, and Lutherans of the General Synod. In 1918 thirty-nine members of St. James Church transferred to St. Paul and later that church merged with St. Paul. St. James remained a Roman Catholic Church until the congregation built on Woodcrest Avenue. The steeple of St. James is represented on the left on our logo.
By the 1950's the congregation realized that our building was no longer meeting their needs; and after much prayer and discussion, a tract of land on West Orange Street, about eight acres, was purchased from the Moravian Congregation. The cornerstone for the Christian Education building was laid September 11, 1960. By 1966 further plans were needed, and on April 2, 1968, the ground breaking service for the church structure was held and the church building was dedicated September 21, 1969. The easily-recognizable slanting roof forms the fourth steeple in the logo.
The circle that surrounds them all? That circle represents the unknown future - a future that will always involve the tradition at St. Paul that everything we do is to the glory of God.