Spreading God's Word

SINCE 1871

In the early 1870’s, a group of settlers, many of them German, were meeting in each other’s homes to hold worship services. It was while they were in the house of Johannes Damm that they decided to officially form a congregation, construct a building and call a pastor. On April 20, 1870, “one acre more or less” was sold for $75 to the Evangelical Reformed and Lutheran Church of Howard County. This group would become known as Saint Paul’s Evangelical Church on August 6, 1871 when they dedicated their first church building. In 1929, the idea was first proposed to replace the wooden church with a large stone church. The congregation, on July 3, 1932, approved this idea – during the middle of the Great Depression. Less than one month later, members of the congregation showed up with horse-drawn scoops, picks and shovels to excavate the basement for the new church building next to the original church site. On January 1, 1933 the new church building was dedicated, complete with a stained ~ 4 ~ glass window depicting Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane over the altar. The original church building had been sold the day before to a church in nearby Savage, Maryland. Although the building is no longer used as a church, the original building is still standing today. After purchasing property next to the church in October 1952, the congregation voted in 1954 to build a stone parsonage that would match the church. By December of that year the parsonage was habitable. This construction was followed up next with the idea to expand the current church. The expansion would increase the seating in the sanctuary, give more room for Sunday school classes, add a fellowship hall, and give the Pastor a study. This new addition was dedicated on November 30, 1958. In December 1988, a committee was put together to explore the idea of renovating the church. On November 17, 1991, after nearly three years of work by the committee, ground was broken for a new addition to the church. In November 1992 the new addition, which includes a narthex, chapel, restrooms and church offices, was dedicated. This addition made our church and restrooms wheelchair accessible.

Our Beliefs

St. Paul's Lutheran Church sees itself, first of all, as a Christian community; secondly, as a local expression of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church; and thirdly: Lutheran in its Biblical and liturgical identity. Since its founding in 1870, this congregation has always sought to be faithful to the Lutheran expression of its faith. St. Paul's Lutheran Church was a member congregation of the American Lutheran Church prior to the 1988 merger which formed the ELCA. As a member of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ELCA, the congregation supports the work of the church regionally and nationally through its many and varied ministries and agencies.

We at St. Paul's chose the closing verses of Matthew as our expressed mission for our Constitution: "Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even to the end of the world." We are a caring Lutheran congregation, with roots as a rural, immigrant agricultural community that has been transformed into a landmark church in an expanding, multicultural bedroom community. We have baptized 5th generation descendants of the original founding families as well as new adult believers and babies of young families. Our congregation gives continuously, in many ways. For example, just some of our gifts are: meals at a nearby shelter, building a pavilion for community events, and a longstanding sponsorship of various Social Outreach Ministries. We strive to be constant Christians, strengthening our own relationship with God through worship and service to others, living out Jesus' Great Commandment.