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 Centered in Christ

Called to Serve
Member ELCA -  Evangelical Lutheran Church in America St. Paul's Third Luthern Church

St. Paul's Third Lutheran Church
2561 Newburg Road
Easton, PA 18045
610-258-0875

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A Brief History


Summary
History
1868 The naming of St Paul's Third
  • In 1868 there were two Lutheran churches in Easton, St. John's and Christ Church. As a result of a meeting held on April 17, 1868, St. Paul's became the third Lutheran church in Easton. On August 31 the Rev. Joseph H. Barclay, D.D. accepted the call to become St. Paul's first pastor.


January 1870 Dedication of St Paul's Easton
  • Land for a new building was purchased on North Fourth Street, and the new church was dedicated on January 8, 1870.

June 1870 St Peter's on College Hill
  • In June of 1870, the trustees of St. Paul's were authorized to accept, in trust, two lots on College Hill. The mission station established there became St. Peter's Lutheran Church.

1959-1963 Relocation to Palmer Township
  • As early as 1950, the Rev. Dr. Edward Turbach expressed interest in creating a chapel, and during his tenure, the Rev. William Rappold stated that it would be wise for St Paul's III to consider moving to Palmer Township in the future. But it wasn't until the Rev. James Laubach's pastorate that the dream materialized.
  • On December 8, 1958 the Church Council approved, in theory, the relocation of St Paul's III to an area in Palmer Township north of the Thruway. A Study committee was engaged to create a recommendation for possible sites and costs involved.
  • On June 7th, 1959 a first vote on the relocation failed to gain the necessary 2/3rds vote needed from the congregation. Council was asked to have a reconsideration of the question at a later date on another site.
  • On July 19th, 1959 a second vote on the relocation was taken on a six acre tract of land on Newburg Road. The vote was 132 for and 27 against the relocation of St Paul's.
  • On November 11th, 1959 the site was purchased from Dr. & Mrs. George A. Moore for a cost of $9000.
  • In March of 1960 a formal Building Committee was set up by Church Council, which presented its plans for employing Lovelace and Spillman, Bethlehem, as architects for the building project.
  • On May 13, 1962 a special congregational meeting was held to vote on "establishing and constructing a Parsonage-Sunday School on the Palmer Township site." It was approved. The Parsonage-Sunday School was dedicated on November 4th, 1962 and the first service and Sunday School classes were held there on November 11th. On January 14th, 1963 final plans were approved for the Sanctuary, known as the first unit of construction. The plans were originally to use this as a worship space but to later convert this to a fellowship or classroom space when a larger worship space could be built later that would be closer to the road.
  • On March 24th, 1963 a Ground Breaking service was held for the first unit. It was attended by 156 people.
  • On September 22, 1963 the closing service was held at the old St Paul's III location at 70 North Fourth St. This location was eventually sold to the Easton Parking Authority in 1966, which dismantled the building to make room for a parking lot. At this time,
  • On September 29th, 1963 services were held in the Parsonage-Sunday School due to the fact that the new building construction was slightly behind schedule.
  • On October 6th, 1963 the first services were held in the new Sanctuary at 8:15 and 10:45.
  • During the week of November 24th through December 1st, an Open House and services of Dedication, Reunion, Thanksgiving and Holy Communion were celebrated throughout the week.
Origin of bronze bell and stained glass windows
  • The bronze bell from the original building was brought to the new site. The many stained glass windows given as memorials for the original building in 1915 could not be moved because of the high cost involved, but the window from the entrance was removed and saved to serve as a representative of all of them. The stained glass window which currently hangs at the main entrance of the church was installed, along with the cornerstone and the bronze bell which are at the front of the church.
Origin of Baptismal font
  • The baptismal font in our sanctuary is constructed from pieces of wood from the Mount of Olives in Palestine which were given to St. Paul's by our first pastor, Rev. Barclay, who brought the wood back with him from a trip to the Holy Land.
Time Capsule
  • In 1968, on the 100th Anniversary of St Paul's III, a time capsule was created and stored behind the cornerstone of the building with the intent that it be reopened in 50 years.
1973 Education Wing is built
  • Our congregation flourished in its new home, and in 1973 the educational wing was built to accommodate the growing needs of our Sunday School.
August 1994 Sanctuary renovation begins
  • In the eighties, the increasing size of our congregation and our commitment to serve the community growing around us made it apparent that we needed more room in our Building. The people of St. Paul's pledged generously of their time and their finances, and in August of 1994, ground was broken for the renovation and enlargement of our sanctuary.
  • This project included the addition of a narthex, improved access for people with disabilities, and placing our altar away from the wall to allow our Pastor to easily face the congregation during the celebration of Holy Communion and to provide us with a table around which we could gather to receive the Lords Supper.
  • Thanks to the generosity of our members we were also able to add a new organ to our sanctuary, and to crown our new structure with a steeple and cross, declaring to all who pass that we are a church of Jesus Christ.
April 1995 Completion and dedication of new sanctuary
  • We celebrated our first Sunday in our new sanctuary on Easter Sunday April 16,1995 and held a service of dedication on Sunday April 23, 1995 with Bishop Harold Weiss of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod presiding.
  • With the addition of a new Narthex space, the time capsule was reburied in the front of the church, on the left-hand side as you enter the Narthex, just to the left of the concrete pad.
Continuing Commitment
  • During the first decade of the 21St century St Paul's III experienced deep turmoil within the congregation that caused many of our members to join other churches or to simply stop attending. Attendance dwindled to the point where the congregation began exploring options to merge with another congregation or close the doors entirely. Thankfully, through the guidance of Synod staff and through the dedication of a core of leaders and volunteers, the heart of the congregation continued to beat. During an extended period without a permanent pastor, Interim Pastor Don Billeck and Regular Supply Pastor Stan Trout, helped the congregation to heal and to prepare to move ahead into the future.
  • In June, 2011 the congregation took a chance on bringing in a seminarian as their part-time pastor. The relationship between them grew strong and in January 2013 Pastor Chris Druckenmiller became their full-time pastor. Since then we have seen many old relationships being renewed and many new relationships being formed. Together we celebrate the past 50 years that have brought us to this place and we look forward to continuing the ministry of St Paul's III in this place, and beyond the walls of this building, serving God and our neighbors to the best of our abilities.
  • St. Paul's is moving toward the future grounded in our commitment to serve God and humanity as the living body of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
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