Tales from the Archive

Tales from the Archives is a presentation from the Archives at St. Paul's

Contributions of items of significance to the Church History or contributions of stories are welcome and encouraged. Please submit by the 20th of the moth for publication the first Sunday of the following month. It is the goal of the Archive to preserve the church history and make selected portions of it known to the congregation from time to time.

May 26, 2020

May happenings in the Archive

150th Anniversary of St. Paul's

Memories of St. Paul's

This month I will be featuring memories from Sandy August.

I want to encourage everyone who is so moved to contact the church office st.paulfulon@gmail.com and send in their thoughts in whatever form, best suits you.

These stories will help pass our time of isolation with fond and special memories. 

My St. Paul Story

The year I joined St.Pauls, 1978,  was the same year that I became a mother so I thought today was an appropriate day for me to share. 

I was born Lutheran in Illinois and  I attended Lutheran Elementary School from kindergarten to Grade 8.  I would have gone to the Lutheran High School but it was too far away from my town.  But then I went on to attend Concordia Lutheran Teachers College in River Forest Illinois and became a Lutheran Elementary School teacher.  My first position was to a school on Long Island in NewYork.  After two years of teaching my contract was changed to a call and I was installed as a Teaching Minister at that church.  In addition to teaching,  my duties then included Nursing Home Ministry, Youth Ministry and assisting at Sunday morning services among other things.   

In the fall of 1976 I was set up on a blind date with the cousin of one of my student's parents, who was from Maryland.   The rest, as they say, is history and in August of 1978 I married my Maryland man who had two sons, and moved to Clarksville.  Instant mother.

While looking for a church home we visited Lutheran churches in Columbia, Olney and Ellicott City.  Then we came here.  The boys, who were in 3rd and 9th grade at the time, saw kids here that they knew from school ---so that was it.  We found the neighborhood church and would make it our church home.   

That was early December, and just after the holidays Pastor Skarsten called me and asked if he could come to our house for a visit.  At that visit he asked if I would be interested in taking the job as the church secretary.  I wasn't sure about that.  I was a teacher, not a secretary.  I wasn't a typist,  and didn't know how to use office machines.  He assured me that it was a pretty quiet non stressful office, and that he was a very non-stress kinda boss.  So I took the job for the mad money, and something to do four mornings a week.  I didn't have much to do and didn't know many people yet.  That meeting, that day, changed my life again.  

St. Pauls, our new church home, my new job, changed everything for me.  This was the first place that I was Sandy August, not Barry's new wife.  I met my own new friends here and really started my Maryland life here.  I very quickly got involved in one of the ladies Bible study groups and met Adeline Oehlke.  Her story was similar to mine, arriving here from Wisconsin to start a new marraige with Norm, and we became great friends.  She and Norm invited us to their Square  Dance club and we met another group of wonderful people who are our great friends and travel buddies to this day.   Some of you may remember Sue Wimsatt who attended here.  We became friends and she invited me to her County  Homemakers Group and those have become lasting friendships too. 

Some of you may remember that before the renovation, the church office was downstairs in the two rooms where the nursery is now.  Right across from it was a little room where the archives items were kept.  On quiet days in the office I would sometimes get the old registry books and read through them.  I found out so much about the history of our church there.  I read about all the founding families and started to get an understanding of who was related to who and how.  I read old lists of baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals. I looked at old bulletins and flyers on past events and activities.   Then I would stroll around the cemetery and try and put the families in order in my mind.  It was my education into the history of this church and in many ways my introduction to Howard County.   I felt even closer to St. Pauls and to so many of the people whose relatives created this church.  I met some of the old timers as they visited the office, like Dody Renn, George Walter, Ellsworth Iager,Irene Burns,- and Albert Iager, Frank and Elaine Bentz and so many others.  I heard their stories and learned so much about the church from them.


Since my love and education was teaching, I  soon got involved as a Sunday School teacher and ultimately I was on the Church Council as Christian Education Chair.  Through the years I directed the Sunday School,  led Vacation Bible School, produced Christmas Pageants, and created some chancel dramas for Youth Sundays and Christmas.  I felt fortunate to be able to use my education and experience to be part of the Christian Education program here.  Through with years I was involved with Mother Daughter banquets and youth activities and other special activities for the children and youth.  Barry and I were memeers of the 1st of the Month Couples Club and had lots of great times with that group too.

I left the job as church secretary just a week before my daughter was born in 1983 and then took some time to be a new mom yet again.   About the time she was old enough to sit in the congregation with other friends, I joined the choir, another lifelong passion.   I had been in choirs since I was a child and I was eager to return to that.   It was in the fall of  1990 which makes me the  longest serving current choir member, coming up on 30 years.  Talk about feeling old!  Since then I served on the Church Council as Worship and Music Chair twice.   In the last few years I tried my hand at the Bell Choir, and that too has been a wonderful experience. 

One Sunday from the choir seats, which were where the pastors and the acolytes sit now,  I was looking at a  banner that seemed  a little worn and thought that maybe it was time for a few new ones.  I spoke to Pastor Rod and June Pickett who prepared the banners, and began to make new banners for the front and the side walls.  In the past 25 plus years I've had the pleasure of creating about half of our current inventory of banners,  like the cross series for the side walls during Lent, the candles for Advent, the newest last year for Christmas, and the seasonal banners that hang up front.    

Through these past almost 42 years, St.Pauls church has centered me.  No matter what else was going on, I could always come here to services, choir rehearsals,  a meeting, an event and be part of this community.  My children shared experiences here in Sunday School, Confirmation and Youth Group and have created lasting friendships.  I'm fortunate to have my grandson Maddox here now to learn and sing with the other children.  For those who don't know him, he's the youngest of the acolytes and the guy who sits up on the top step and asks the pastors some great questions during the Childrens Sermon.  


Lutheran church is my roots, it was my education, and  it was my first and second real grown up job.  St. Pauls has fulfilled my need to be involved, to teach, to sing, to worship, to volunteer.  Our beautiful building, our reverent cemetery, our long and rich history, along with prayerful and exuberant worship here mean so much to me.  It has been my pleasure and blessing to be part of St. Pauls' story. 


Sandy August

More stories click here

St. Paul’s Picture Day

I wanted to let everyone know that our time slot with Lifetouch in July was canceled by Lifetouch due to COVID-19. They will be sending their staff out again in August. It has been tentatively re-scheduled for October dependent on conditions to be safe to do so at that time.

So please plan to be a part of this moment in our history.

Jack Frost volunteered to help with this endeavor. If you have an idea or would like to join the Directory Team, please let me know?



Respectfully Submitted


Kerry Griffin

PS keep watching for more information about the 150th Anniversary in the coming months!

Another couple married by Pastor Ted Menter

Website: stpaulslutheran.info

Member Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/438901092851824/ 

Public Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsFulton

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stpaulsfulton/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stpaulsfulton (@stpaulsfulton) 

Latest addition to Archive

Featured Items

Elise Wessel Original Painting

Painting of the original wooden church that stood on the property in the 1870's. Now a Real Estate Office in Savage, MD.

J. Santini Painting from Wessel Room or Youth Room.

Painting of the "stone" church from earlier in our history.

John Santini was a member and a builder of homes in the area. Believe to be during the late 50's and 60's.

Chalking the Door

January 2020

Our Original Church

From a postcard sent out to the congregation. Which came came to me by way of Patrick Thompson.

Celebrating 150 years of Service in 2020

Join us this year as we plan for next year's events to mark 150 years of service to the community.

Watch this space and the website for developments

1870 Bible now add to the Archive Collection

Donated by Charles and Judy Iager in September 2019

1870 Bible

Front Cover

St. Paul's Original Building

August 6, 1871 - The "new" (today know as the wooden ) church was dedicated by Pastor Mengert and Dr. Wiliian Ebeling of Catonsville. From this date forward the congregation became known as, 

"St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church."

The "wooden" church was moved (I believe it is still in use a Real Estate Office) to Savage, MD from our present location on Rt. 216 and the stone church we have today was constructed during 1932 and dedicated on January 1, 1933.

Bell Tower Re-dedication 1958

Bell Tower Rededicated in 1958 and the cornerstone was placed in the Parish Hall wall with a “time capsule .”

The Parish Hall was completed that year.

How many couples were married that year?

My parents were among the first to have a reception in the new Parish Hall.. If you know of a marriage that year, please let me know the story?

See Mother Daughter Program Below


St. Paul's "Last Supper"

St. Paul’s version of the “Last Supper’’. Our version executes some of the traditional elements. However, notice in this version the table is semi-round in the Jewish tradition and there is nothing on the table as in Leonardo’s and there is a faint image of an altar as well as a suggestion of foot washing in the lower left corner. It is fittingly located beneath our Trinity Stained Glass window.

C. Ellsworth Iager (Charles Iager’s father) bought the picture around 1980 and it is an original depicture of the “Last Supper” done by an artist. C. Ellsworth and Mary Elizabeth Iager (married 49 years) donated it to the church and took a lot of pride in giving it and having it hung up.  They were very humble about it and very proud of finding it because they loved it.   

C. Ellsworth was President of the Church Council several times. Building the parsonage and the 100th Anniversary took place while he was President.  Ellsworth sang in the choir for many years.

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The Banners of St. Paul's

A Brief History and Inventory of the Banners at St. Paul's Lutheran Church

The purpose of this photo Gallery is to document the variety of banners that enhance our worship here at St. Paul's through countless hours, talent and treasure of all those who have contributed to make them possible.

The banners contained here in take us through the Church year: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Pentecost and the sacraments of marriage and baptism as well as the rite of confirmation.

Although Church banners are not new to the St. Paul's they do more than just decorate, many are based upon passage's from the Bible and God's creation and remind us of His word and the beauty of creation as well as marking important milestone in St. Paul's congregation's life.

Most of St. Paul's banners are hand sewn and one their creators, Sandy August is particularly fond of adding a ribbon. Make note of the special fabric used in some of them, such as the Advent banners. The photos may not do them justice but they have an unusual impression in them similar to a watermark on paper.

Please browse by clicking the forward arrow ">" or the backward "<" arrow on the image below.  There are at present about 60 in the collection.

The Stained Glass of St. Paul's

I happened upon a 2009 Booklet about the Stained Glass of St. Paul's and the meaning of each of the various windows at St. Paul's written I believe by Prue Ronneberg and I was inspired to re-do the booklet in a larger format and update it to present 2017. Below is the resulting story.

St. Paul's Today

Come and check out our various vibrant ministries and fun and engaging groups including: Monthly Youth Activities, Monthly Men's Group, Monthly Women's Group, Monthly Seniors Lunch Group, Handbell Ringers, Traditional Adult Choir, Contemporary Youth Band, Weekly Adult and Children's Sunday School and many more ministries...

Elsie and Benny Bassler Wedding Photo

Elsie Mae and Benny Bassler’s Wedding taken at Clifton Park Baptist Church.

Left to Right, Rev. W. Millar (Clifton Park Baptist Church), Elsie Mae Bassler, Benny Bassler and Pastor Ted Menter (St. Paul’s, Fulton)

Let me know if any one else would like to share a wedding picture performed by Pastor Menter?

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Gerry & Betty Griffin

Pastor Menter officiating at Gerry & Betty Griffin's Wedding August 31,1958


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Menter Family

Top: Meg and Ted on their 66th Anniversary

Bottom: Grand Daughter Pastor Emily ordained the same day as Grandfather and Grandmother Menter's Anniversary

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Gallery of 150th Items

On display in Parish Hall. On loan from Charles Iager

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My Memories of St. Paul's

St Paul’s Lutheran Church has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. My Mom would take us to attend Sunday school, rain or shine and we would walk if not able to use the family car. My sister Joan and I were baptized  and confirmed in St Paul’s. I remember sitting in the pews with my Mom and sister and trying my best to not wiggle too much. As I grew up, I sang in the choir.

Before I was born, my Dad would go early to St Paul’s, before the congregation arrived and start to heat up the church for service, either coal stove or wood.

I used to love helping to serve meals at St Paul’s.

Pastor Burns married David and I in 1965. David and I attended bible study classes in our early years of marriage. We had two children, Heather and Ross and both were baptized, confirmed, attended Sunday School and grew up singing in the choir and playing bells.

St Paul’s Cemetery holds many of our relatives and family. Today, I am honored to be part of Altar Guild at St Paul’s.

Being part of St Paul’s Lutheran church has been a blessing and gift in my life. It has been a lifeline for me to stay connected spiritually as well as physically and

emotionally. Sharing prayer with people to provide support through highs and lows helps to maintain balance in my life.

What does St Paul’s mean to me? Home!                 


Carole J. Manges

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My Memories of St. Paul's

St. Paul’s has always been the hub of family life for my family and the community. My earliest memories of attending St. Paul’s were as a child. It was a special treat to spend the night with Grand Pap, Grandma Miles and Aunt B. (Ed & Ethel and Bertha Bassler). We would have “hot cakes”, and King thick maple syrup made by Pap-Pap. Then we would go to St. Paul’s for Sunday School. I remember those Bible Comics which are fun to read.

Then it would be time to attend service in the same pew we still set today. I remember being in awe of the Gethsemane window. (A gift to St. Paul’s by the Sunday School around a $100 of noisy offerings. No gift is every too small to make a difference.) Not to mention the peal of the bell calling all to worship.

Later, I would learn that the present stone building was not the first on the grounds. My grand father Miles’ grandfather Martin Iager was one of the builders of St. Paul’s. He used a draw knife to shape the cedar shingles for the roof.  (This building would become a Real Estate building in Savage, MD which I believe still stands today.)

St. Paul’s is such a central part of family life, so much so, that My Grandmother (a life-long member) missed no more than two Sunday’s for 36 years and taught Sunday school. You may have noticed the pin that I wear on my lapel. My Aunt Bertha attended for Sunday School for 40 years. Not to mention, the honor of attending the Father and Son Banquet with my father and grandfather.

I am also privileged to have the lapel pin that was Grand Pap Miles wore for many years to St. Paul’s. He was originally Methodist and went to “Frog Pond Church”. (Liberty Grove United Methodist in Burtonsville) before he became Lutheran upon marrying my Grandmother Miles.

While not a founding family, so many of the extended family went to St. Paul’s and are buried in the cemetery. Such as, George and Katherine Dieker who immigrated from Germany and were among those first worshipers at St. Paul’s. Not to mention the many on the Bassler side of the extended family, Such as Christian Bassler. Who I am fortunate to have a copy of his Last Will and Testament. (He received a $100 and horse from his father.)

A very rich a full legacy of special memories and time-honored traditions of which St. Paul’s has been a part of our family. A circle of events which flow from month to month as the calendar rolls by season upon season.

What does St. Paul’s mean to me, “extended family and home”.

Kerry Griffin


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April Temple Talk

Bret Hassel 4/26/20 The Role of St.Paul’s in my spiritual journey


First some background: my early childhood exposure to church was in a Presbyterian congregation. My attendance declined sharply in my early teens when my father’s belief that ‘God is perfectly fine with us spending our Sundays on a tennis court’ took hold. Thus, actual commandments, such as ‘honor thy father’, became mixed with secular adaptations such as ‘thou shalt not commit a double fault’. While I was never able to find that particular commandment in any version of the bible to date, I have found that the integration of spiritual and secular aspects of one’s life is a healthy approach to strengthen the whole. St.Pauls has facilitated this interface through important milestones in my faith journey and I will describe a few of those now.


Fast forward to graduate school where I met my wife Judy, a lifelong Lutheran, and our plans for marriage. Since John McEnroe was not known to perform nuptuals, we began searching for a Lutheran church home for our wedding. In an impactful twist of fate, our first visit to St. Paul’s in July of 1989 was also Pastor Rod’s first Sunday as the new pastor. Judy and I were immediately taken with St. Paul’s church and with Rod’s engaging demeanor. We began the membership process and Rod performed our wedding ceremony later that year. A second event that occurred on our first visit to St. Paul’s was meeting Frank Bentz Jr., whose family had a long history at St. Paul’s and who would ultimately have a major influence on my life - more on this later.


Fast forward again: after our careers took us to Ohio for four years, we returned to St. Paul’s in 1995. With one-year-old Neal to show for our time in the Buckeye state, our first visit back to St. Paul’s revealed a newly renovated parish hall and AC! We were particularly excited to learn that families from our new members’ class had been ‘productive’ in our absence and had children that were Neal’s age. Keen to share experiences and learn from other first-time parents, we started the Active Christian Parenting study group that was fondly known as the ‘Back Pew Club’. This name referred to our preferred seating location that allowed us to quickly exit when the little ones were acting up and discretely return when they had regained composure. Ever wonder why those back pew seat cushions are covered in vinyl instead of fabric? I will leave the rest to your imagination. This group of young families sponsored many St. Paul’s activities including Easter-egg hunts and softball teams; indeed, the parents, and many of the children, have remained close friends over the years.


Now I will return to the topic of Frank Bentz. Frank was among the first St. Paul’s parishioners to introduce himself on our first day at the church, he and his wife Elaine invited us to dinner and served as our new member sponsors but most importantly, Frank was a fly fisherman. Frank’s father was one of four founders of an internationally renowned fly fishing organization known as the Brotherhood of the Jungle Cock. The Jungle Cock refers to the Asian pheasant and its feathers are prized for fly tying (as opposed to other possible interpretations of that name). Based in Thurmont MD, each spring the BOJC teaches over 200 boys about conservation, fly fishing and respect for our environment in a program that spans six years. With Franks support, the BOJC has been an important part of my life for the past 25 years. Graduates of the program, including our son Neal, are eligible for scholarships and return to camp as instructors to live out the BOJC creed and pass on the inherently Christian values of the program to the next generations of anglers.


The last example of an intersection between my spiritual and secular lives came in the context of my work. At a particularly critical juncture in my days as an early stage faculty, I first prayed and then bargained for a work-related outcome, promising that I would make a significant service commitment to St. Paul’s if said outcome materialized. As always, God came through so I kept my end of the bargain by serving multiple terms as Social Outreach Ministry leader on church council. But apparently God had more in mind than service on council as the end of my time on council coincided exactly with a series of opportunities at work that would transform my professional responsibilities from pure research to education, training and community outreach. Since that time, I have had the privilege of helping to develop a STEM education pipeline that begins with middle school students from disadvantaged West Baltimore neighborhoods and continues through undergraduate studies and professional school. This program, known as UMB CURE, is now a model for other programs around the country.

In closing, I want to remind you of the first 150th anniversary temple talk by John Murphy in which he eloquently described his youth at St. Paul’s in a time when the church was a central component of the community and a unifying element in the lives of its parishioners. While we no longer live just a short walk from church and our lives have grown increasingly complex since that time, I believe that the church can still play an integral role in our lives today. I hope that the examples from my life have provided evidence of the good that can come from listening to God and working towards this balance. I am grateful for the role St. Paul’s has played in my faith journey.


Bret Hassel


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My St. Paul Story

When I was a little girl, going to kindergarten was optional. So, I didn‘t go. I think it’s because mom prayed so long to have a little girl she wanted me with her as long she could before I had to go off to school.

Anyway, Mom (Lillian Kerwin) would go up to church on Friday mornings to practice the organ for Sunday’s services. And she had to take me with her.

I would bring a coloring book and some toys but soon got tired of them. Sliding on the floor under the pews in the church was much more fun. Mom would yell from the organ “Where are you?” and I would pop up between the pews and say “Here I am.”

Mom loved the pipe organ and especially playing the hymns. She started playing in church when she was 18 years old and continued for over 50 years. Only stopping for a few years to have 3 children.

It wasn’t just the music of the hymns, but also the words that meant so much to her. She didn’t just play the notes on the page but the meaning of those words. She played with feeling. And this has been such a big part of my life growing up. Listening to her play.

Many years later handbells entered in my church life.

One day (circa 1985) I was asked by the chairman of the worship and music committee if I wanted to be handbell director.

Eiizabeth Iager was donating a set of handbells in memory of her husband, Ellsworth Iager and they were looking for someone to start and direct a handbell choir. “You sing in the choir. You know music. Would you like to?”  “Ahhhh…okay, I guess?” I think I replied.

I had never seen, heard, held or rang a handbell. When they arrived Vicar Jeff Bishoff showed me how to hold one and ring it. I was hooked. I went to festivals & workshops and stayed just one step ahead of the bell choir. I dare say the love of hymns that my mom had is probably why today most of the music the Lutheran Bells play is related to hymns.


Betty Kerwin