The Congregation Council is a group of individuals elected by the congregation to serve as leaders. Each of these individuals either serves as an officer or as a liaison to a particular ministry.
If you have any questions about a particular ministry at St. Paul, contact the church office for information on reaching a council officer or member.
|Lead Pastor: Pastor Robert Moore||Finance Committee: Don Thomas|
|President: Dave Boyles||Property Committee: Barry Parks|
|Vice President: Barbara Woods||Social Ministry Committee: Jody Hafner|
|Secretary: Carol Woods||Stewardship Committee: Steve Lindberg|
|Current Account Treasurer: Sherman Hendrix||Witness and Outreach Committee: Pastor Moore|
|Benevolent Account Treasurer: Joyce Hemminger||Worship and Music Committee: Dana Gelinas|
|Christian Education Committee: Cynthia Christenson||Youth Ministry Committee: Celia Christenson|
|Fellowship Committee: Heidi Kaufman|
The History of St. Paul Lutheran Church
Saint Paul’s roots are in the German community and German language. It began in 1854 as a “break off” of First Evangelical Lutheran Church so that they might continue to worship and study in German (First had changed its primary language to English).
The first building was not at our current location but at South Bedford and East Pomfret Streets. Saint Paul was located there until 1895 (and during that time was served by 16 different pastors!).
The congregation remained small and on Easter Sunday of 1896 there were only 22 people in worship. It was then that the leadership knew that something different needed to happen if they were going to be a viable congregation. After time of discernment and prayer, the congregation called seminary student Harry Stock to be their pastor. He accepted only if the following changes would be made:
– Only English would be used for worship and study
– The name of the congregation would be changed (it was originally Duetsch Evangel. Luth. Kirche).
– The congregation would relocate (to our current location)
– Use grape juice for Holy Communion
Those changes were made and the congregation began to see significant growth. A “chapel” and Sunday School building was constructed at our current site. It was a church in the round (officially called an “Akron style unit”). It included a gathering area for opening worship and small classrooms around the first and second floors.
This building is actually still part of our structure. It is located where the current library, hallway, Room XXX (Pastor Bowman’s old office), and choir room are located.
It soon became apparent that the new building was not large enough. In 1904, the congregation purchased the property at the corner of West and Louther Streets and soon began building a new house of worship. That structure was completed in 1907, including furnishings and the new pipe organ.
Jumping ahead to 1943, the old Gobin Armory, built in 1881, was purchased by the church for use as a fellowship hall in 1946. When Pastor Stock in 1946 after serving his entire ministry at Saint Paul, the fellowship hall was dedicated to his honor and named Stock Hall.
From the mid 1940s to the mid 1960s, the congregation continued to grow. Saint Paul became known for its large and active Sunday School program, its youth programs, and a strong music program. By the mid 1960s, Saint Paul was one of the largest congregations in the Carlisle area.
The final expansion to our facilities came in 1970. That was the addition of the Educational Unit (what is now the church office, lead pastor’s office, nursery and Sunday school rooms, and the New Parlor). This new two story structure was dedicated to the memory of the Rev. Dr. Elmer Truchses.
The 1980s and 1990s was a time of steady ministry. It was during this time that Saint Paul became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1988. It was also a time when the congregation was served by Pastor Ruff (who served as lead pastor for 25 years) and a variety of gifted Associate Pastors.
In 2004 the congregation celebrated its 150th anniversary. The celebration included special services with the return of several previous pastors as guest preachers.
From 2005 until 2012 Pastor Tim Sadler served as the lead pastor. Under his leadership, the congregation began to focus on growing its outreach and social ministry, something that is still a critical part of the ministry of Saint Paul.
Now Pastor Rob Moore serves as lead pastor after being called by the congregation in 2014. Under his leadership, there is a new (and renewed) level of excitement in our ministry.
Saint Paul has had a wonderful past as God has blessed us with the gifts we have needed to do God’s ministry in this place. Now we look to what God is doing today at Saint Paul.
What’s Happening at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Carlisle
Our congregation has gone through an exciting time of exploring what God’s vision is for Saint Paul. We began with a congregational gathering, a time of fellowship and prayer and Bible study and sharing ideas. The leadership of Saint Paul took all that information and condensed and channeled it into a new vision for our congregation. We believe that God’s vision for Saint Paul is to Boldly Share God’s Word and Unconditional Love with All.
In addition, we now have six Guiding Principles. These Guiding Principles are now being used whenever we make decisions at Saint Paul. These Guiding Principles are:
– Growing spiritually as disciples of Jesus.
– Welcoming and accepting people where they are.
– Giving generously to be a part of God’s work.
– Caring genuinely for one another with the love of Christ.
– Serving joyfully as Jesus’ hands and feet in the world.
– Inviting others to join with us in the body of Christ.
As Saint Paul strives to Boldly Share God’s Word and Unconditional Love with All, we are becoming well known in the community and the Lower Susquehanna Synod for its extensive outreach ministry to those in need.
A shining example of that is the dinner held each Wednesday evening for the people of the community. For some individuals and families, it is sometimes the only decent meal they get all week.
Much of our outreach ministry is under the leadership of Dr. Holly Hoffman. She currently serves at Saint Paul as a Diaconal Minister. (She completed her Masters Degree in Ministerial Studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg in 2009 and was consecrated as St. Paul’s Diaconal Minister on Sept. 19, 2010.) She leads much of the congregations social and outreach ministry, including our partnership with the Christ Lutheran Health Ministries Prenatal Clinic in Harrisburg, the Living Water Dental Health Clinic, and the Emmitsburg Council of Churches Kenya Mission.
The Rev. Carol J. Bowman was called as an Associate Pastor in 2010. She served as Associate Pastor and Saint Paul was blessed with her leadership in Christian Education, Youth Ministry, and Visitation.
Several other ministries are growing at this time. Our music program, under the leadership of Bill Hemminger, continues to be an excellent ministry at Saint Paul. He leads the senior choir in providing outstanding music for our traditional worship service as well as bringing a new level of excitement and excellence to our growing contemporary service.
Greg and Laura Guenther, serving as our Young Adult Ministers, have been hard at work building a community among the young adults. This group now meets regularly for fellowship and service projects as well as being a support system for each other during the transitions of life that are a part of the lives of young adults.
Moses Robson-Kavishe is our congregations Youth and Family Minister for our youth group – BOLD. Under his leadership, the group has grown significantly. But Moses does not just bring the youth together for fellowship – he teaches core values and skills to the youth of Saint Paul.
Saint Paul is currently one of the few growing congregations in the Lower Susquehanna of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). We have reversed the decline in worship attendance and membership and are now a growing congregation. We understand that our vision is to Boldly Share God’s Word and Unconditional Love with All. And we accomplish this by not only growing the outreach ministries of the congregation, but by growing ourselves as disciples of Jesus.
We have looked at the vital ministries of the past. We have looked at the wonderful things that God is doing at Saint Paul in the present. Now let us look to the future.
The Future of St. Paul Lutheran Church
The future of Saint Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church is in God’s hands. But we also understand that God primarily works through God’s people – us. As the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) states – “God’s Work, Our Hands.”
Recently the people of Saint Paul have been called not just to be members, but disciples. As we have heard on Sunday mornings that there are seven traits or characteristics of a disciple. They are:
A Disciple –
– Reads the Bible Daily
– Prayers Daily
– Worships Weekly
– Develops Christian Friends
– Serves Others
– Gives Joyfully of Ones Time and Talent
This is an exciting time in the life of Saint Paul. If you would like to be a part of a ministry that serves others, reaches out to the community, grows its members as disciples, and HAS FUN – Contact us. We’d love to have you be a part of our future.