St. Paul's Evangelical
Originally: Evangelical Reformed and Lutheran Church of Howard County
Source: The Church Narrative 2014
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 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.
A few years ago, the congregation was once again given the opportunity to expand. When our long time neighbor decided to sell nearly 20 acres of land, our congregation knew that it must not pass up this opportunity. We have been able to add a pavilion and playground to this land but know that it will be there when our congregation finds new and exciting uses for it.
1871-1872 Rev. John H. Mengert
1872-1876 Rev. Ernest C. Ide
1876-1877 Rev. Martin Kratt
1878 Rev. G. H. Brandon
1879-1897 Rev. Ernest C. Ide
1897-1901 Rev. Richard A. Salzwedel
1901-1904 Rev. H.A. Wegner
1905-1907 Rev. C.F.W. Hartlage
1907-1911 Rev. H.F. Richards
1911-1942 Rev. Laurence P. Propst
1943-1948 Rev. Aaron A. Anderson
1949-1953 Rev. Robert F. Hein
1954-1960 Rev. Theodore L. Menter
1961-1965 Rev. Alvin Floyd Burns
1965-1968 Rev. Ronald F. Christian
1969-1977 Rev. Gerald E. Scheck
1977-1989 Rev. Johannes Skarsten
1989-present Rev. Rodney L. Ronneberg