The Growth of Our Worship Community

Since 1853 St. Paul’s has welcomed worshipers with the good news of God’s grace for us in Jesus. We are a church in which the past, presence and promise of God’s love and grace are celebrated and proclaimed. Today we are a gathering of God’s forgiven people with over 650 members committed to bringing the life-giving message of God’s love and light to our community, our nation and our world.

Rev. Dr. John Gottlieb Morris
In 1851, the Rev. Dr. John Gottlieb Morris, his brother Charles S. Morris and Dr. Benjamin Kurtz, believing in the importance of higher education for women bought a tract of land from what was once the Northhampton estate of Mr. Charles Ridgely to build a college. They also laid out a town to be built on the same tract of land and called it Lutherville in honor of Martin Luther. Some of the streets of Lutherville are named for leaders of the Protestant Reformation, including Melancthon Avenue, named for Philip Melancthon, Luther’s right hand man and the author of the Augsburg Confession.

The college was soon established and incorporated as the Lutherville Female Seminary. This was the first such school for women south of the Mason/Dixon line. After 100 years of service in 1952, the college finally closed its doors and reopened as the College Manor Nursing Home.

In short time, recognizing the need for a church to serve the school and the community, the founders donated the site on which the church building now stands. In 1853, with the Rev. Charles Martin as its pastor, a congregation was born.

First church
During the first three years of St. Paul’s existence, there were no buildings on the site in which to worship. On July 19, 1856 the cornerstone of the first church was laid and the new church building was dedicated the following year. For the first 16 years of St. Paul’s existence it was a non-denominational church and was frequently served by non-Lutheran pastors. During many of these early years, the president of the college was also the pastor of the church. One of these men, the Rev. William Heilig, built the famous Octagon House of Lutherville.

During the pastorate of the Rev. Richard Ehrhart, two especially significant events occurred. Early in 1949 the congregation voted to build the first story of a separate Parish Hall. In addition, in 1952, St. Paul’s began its Christian kindergarten. The weekday school has grown and continues today with programs for 2-year-olds through pre-K. Led by our Weekday School Director and gifted teachers, the school is a mission of our congregation through which we seek to provide an excellent pre-school education within a Christian setting.

During the pastorate of the Rev. Donald Sanner, St. Paul’s congregation and the surrounding community grew considerably. In 1956, the second story addition to Parish Hall was begun and completed. In 1961, land adjoining the church property was purchased for a parking lot and additional educational space. In late 1969, the building now known as Spangler Hall was completed and dedicated.

Rev. John C. Naegele
The Rev. John C. Naegele was called as pastor in December 1970, beginning a 21-year-ministry at St. Paul’s. Under Pastor Naegele, a number of significant events and ministries took place. In 1974, a major renovation, designed by church member Richard Foose, of the church building was undertaken, which included incorporating the overflow room into the main part of the church.

Rev. Mark A. G. Huffman
In November, 1992, the Rev. Mark A. G. Huffman was called as pastor and served St. Paul’s through November 2013. During his 22 year tenure, the stained glass windows were added in 1994 and the renovated area is now fully integrated into the worship space. The church also underwent a significant building project in 2007 to renovate the Parish Hall building for our Preschool ministry, which also added a connecting breezeway to the Sanctuary Building and provided accessible restrooms.

In June, 2015, the Rev. Dr. Edward N. Kay was called to serve as the pastor of St. Paul’s, after 5 years of serving as an Assistant to the Bishop in the Delaware-Maryland Synod, ELCA.

St. Paul’s Timeline – Pastors and Special Events

1853 The Lutherville Female Seminary was established. A building to house the seminary was built on part of the Northhampton estate of Mr Charles Ridgely of the Hampton House. (Currently the College Manor at 300 Seminary Rd.) A congregation for the Seminary and for the community of Lutherville was set up in Oct.

1854 The Seminary opened in its building Oct 2.

1856 The cornerstone was laid for a church building for the congregation on July 19. Rev. Charles Martin became the first pastor.

1857 The church building was dedicated. The building was used by the Union Christian Association Church, with Lutherans, Methodists and Episcopalians worshiping there.

1858 Rev. Martin left. Rev. William M Heilig became pastor.

1862 Rev. Heilig left. (Or after Sept. 1866) Rev. Dr. Benjamin Sadtler became pastor.

1867 The house at 300 Morris Ave was built. This house actually fronted on Webster Ave. Webster Ave may have existed only on paper, but it does show up on maps as late as 1915.

1869 The church severed its affiliation with the seminary and was incorporated as St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church on Oct.20. St John’s Methodist was built in 1869 for the Methodists. The Episcopalians continued to hold services at St Paul’s until 1888 when the Episcopal Chapel of the Holy Comforter was built. Prof. James Nussear began being organist and choir director.

1876 Rev. Sadtler resigned Nov. Rev J. R. Dimm became pastor Dec. Or Jan. 1877.

1878 Rev. Dimm left at the end of Dec.

1879 Rev. John Gottlieb Morris became pastor Jan 12.

1889 Rev. Morris left Sept. Rev. Andrew S. Fichthorn became pastor Oct 13.

1890 Rev. Fichthorn left due to failing health during March. Rev. Morris became interim pastor. Rev. William A. Sadtler became acting pastor Oct.

1891 Rev. Sadtler resigned May 1891, but preached through Oct 25. We had various pastors Nov. through July 3, 1892.

1892 Rev. D. Stuart Hoover became pastor July 10 or August 1.

1895 Rev. Hoover left. Rev. S.P. Hughes became pastor Oct.

1896 Rev. Hughes left. Rev. John Fielding Crigler became pastor in Sept.

1898 The church building was in need of costly repairs and had become too small for the congregation. The decision was made to demolish the church building and build a new one. This is the present church building. On Oct. 1 the cornerstone for the new building was laid.

1899 The new church building was competed. The dedication took place on May 21. The back room of the church was used for the Sunday School.

1909 Prof Nussear left as organist/choir director. Evelyn R. Nussear began as organist/choir director.

1915 Rev. Crigler resigned. His last service was Jan 31. Rev. Dr. Paul F. Bloomhardt PHD became pastor in May. He was installed June 13.

1917 Rev. Dr. Bloomhardt left on Dec. 23 to become a chaplain in the Navy, serving in World War I. During the years 1918-1922 Dr. Joseph B. Wolf, Rev. Dr. Edward Morgan and Rev. Robert S. Miller served as supply pastors along with many others. Even secretaries of the Church Boards served in the pulpit.

1922 The difficulty in finding pastors who would serve at St. Paul’s was solved by building a parsonage at 201 Morris Ave. The property for the parsonage was given to the church by Bertha W. Wack as a memorial to her husband Henry E. Wack. Rev. Dr. J. William McCauley became pastor on April 30. He was installed around June 28.

1923 Rev. McCauley moved in to the parsonage by Oct. 3, 1923.

1927 Rev. McCauley became part time July 15 and left Sept.15. Rev. Dr. John Moncure, a Baptist minister and President of the Maryland College for Women (the former Lutherville Female Seminary) became pastor on a part time basis in July and a full time supply pastor starting Oct. 25.

1928 Rev. Moncure continued as supply pastor through Feb 28. Rev. Henry R. Spangler became pastor on March 1, and was installed on March 25.

1930 Jane B. Weisbrod was organist briefly.

1931 A 75th Anniversary celebration was held for the first church building on Oct. 4.

1932 Additional Sunday School rooms were needed. Plans were to convert the basement to school rooms, add on to the existing school room or build a separate Parish Hall building.

1936 Plans for a Parish Hall/Sunday School building ended May. A new roof was put on the Church building.

1938 A senior choir was restarted under Mrs Walter Weisbrod who also had the Junior Choir.

1941 Miss Woods and later Jean Duncan conducted the Senior Choir.

1942 Mary Leiedich became choir director .

1943 Plans for a Parish Hall building were revived, Jan. A 90th Anniversary celebration was held for the congregation Sept. 26 through Oct. 3. Jane Crawford began a new Junior Choir.

1945 William Groff replaced Mary Leiedich as choir director.

1947 William Groff resigned June 16 with Miriam Ehrhart becoming choir director.

1948 On Jan. 25, Rev. Spangler came to ring the church bell. He discovered a small fire in the church sanctuary which was put out by the Lutherville Volunteer Fire Company with which he was a member and for a year its President. Rev. Spangler’s last service was held June 27. A reception was held for him June 23 at the Maryland College for Women. (The former Lutherville Female Seminary.) Rev. Richard Ehrhart I became pastor Aug. 7. The church council voted Nov. 6 to build just the first floor of the Parish Hall/Sunday School Building. The second floor would be built later.

1949 Groundbreaking occurred on July 24 and the cornerstone was laid on Oct. 2. A temporary roof was placed on the building. Rev. Ehrhart I was ordained May 25. Vacation Church School began. This was later called Vacation Bible School. A 50th Anniversary celebration was held for the current church building Oct. 16.

1950 Parish Hall phase I was dedicated on May 21.

1952 The Christian Preschool and Kindergarten began Sept.

1953 A 100th Anniversary celebration was held for the Congregation was held from Sept. 27 through Oct. 4. Rev. Ehrhart I left on Nov. 29 to serve overseas in the Foreign Mission Board. William Groff who had been choir director off and on left for good Miriam Ehrhart left this year too. (She was Rev Ehrhart’s wife)

1954 Rev. James Lee Shealey became pastor on Feb. 15. A Moeller pipe organ was installed Feb. Mrs Waters became assistant organist in April.

1955 Rev. Shealey left in April 19. Rev. Donald Wayne W. Sanner was called as pastor July 31. He was installed Sept 11. Evelyn R Nussear resigned as organist. John M Schaffer filled in July until October.

1956 A petition was filed to close Webster Ave. in Nov. This was a street most likely on paper only. One landowner objected and so the street was not “closed”. Virginia Mountney became Organist/Choir Director Jan 1.

1957 The Parish Hall was enlarged by adding to the first floor and adding the second floor. Groundbreaking occurred on March 31. The cornerstone was laid Oct. 13, followed by the dedication on Nov.17.

1959 Virginia Mountney resigned June. Gene G Tallou began as Organist/Choir director Sept.

1961 The property and the house at 300 Morris Ave. was purchased on Feb. 12. The deed was signed June 30. The house was named Spangler Hall and was used for the Sunday School. The parsonage at 201 Morris Ave. was sold to fund Spangler Hall. A central parking area was laid out. John/Jack M Schaffer began as Organist/Choir director.

1962 Spangler Hall was ready for occupation Feb.

1963 A Lutheran Church Women’s Group was set up June 18. A new modern church building was proposed Aug. This was later rejected.

1964 Grace Lutheran Church proposed moving into the area. This was opposed by St Paul’s. The church was built with groundbreaking occurring on April 4, 1965. John Victor “Jack” Trautwein was installed as Assistant Pastor June 21.

1965 The parking lot was repaved in May and was lined off for 53 cars. To build on Webster Ave. full title to the entire street was necessary. The church already owned half of the street. Notices were sent to the landowners without much success. Landowners who lived in the area were visited but still refused to give up title to the street. Attempts to gain full title to the street, which may never have physically existed, were abandoned Sept. 1967.

1966 A Master Development plan was drawn up which would have a Youth Building for educational and administrative uses. Spangler Hall would be renovated and converted to Administrative use only and a new Church built.. The old Church would be used for classrooms.

1967 Assistant Pastor “Jack” Trautwein left Feb. 1.

1968 Since it was too costly to maintain and repair Spangler Hall, the decision Jan. was made to demolish it and build a new Spangler Hall. The old Spangler Hall was demolished around Dec. 16, with groundbreaking for the new Spangler Hall on Dec.15.

1969 The cornerstone for the new Spangler Hall was laid on April 13. The new Spangler Hall/Recreation Hall/Education and Fellowship Building was dedicated Sept 28. John M Schffer left April 6. He was replaced as Organist/Choir director May 9 by Joan E Pasterfield.

1970 Spangler Hall II was opened to full use Jan. Rev. Sanner left July 31 to begin a Clinical Pastoral Education Program. Dr. Richard Oscar Carlson served as interim/Vice Pastor. Rev John C. Naegele became Pastor Dec. 2, 1970. Joan E Pasterfield left June 1. About Oct. Wesley Huber became Organist/Choir director.

1971 Rev. Naegele was installed as pastor Jan 3. Wesley Huber left Oct 31, and was replaced by Dr John Craft on Nov.7.

1973 A new roof was placed on the Church building. Dr John Craft left Feb 4 and was replaced as Organist/Choir director by Audrey Moose who was replaced by Miss Susan V Gross Mar 18.

1974 The interior of the church was renovated during the summer and early fall. Member Richard Foose was the designer. The overflow room (originally the Sunday School room) was incorporated into the church sanctuary, by removing the folding doors and partitions. These renovations were dedicated Nov 24. During the renovations, services were held in Spangler Hall.

1975 A new roof was placed on the Parish Hall. The Daughters Group was disbanded. It had started as early as 1947.

1977 A ramp for those with disabilities was first proposed.

1978 The Baltimore County Dept. Of Aging started sponsoring a Senior Citizens Center in Spangler Hall. Meals on Wheels began using the kitchen of Spangler Hall in Dec. A 125th Anniversary celebration of the Congregation began Oct 1. A connector between Parish Hall and the Church was first proposed. Mrs Susan V Gross became Mrs Susan V Vromans Feb.

1979 A Homecoming Sunday was held on June 4. The 125th Anniversary celebration concluded with a banquet Sept 22. The Spangler Hall Mortgage was burned Feb 11.

1981 A ramp for those with disabilities was dedicated on May 3.

1982 Mrs Susan V Vromans left as Organist/Choir director June 13 and was replaced bu Martin L Burch June 20.

1983 A new ceiling replaced the old one in Spangler Hall.

1984 The Lutheran Church Women’s Group voted to disband on Oct 1. Martin L Burch left as Organist/Choir director and was replaced Marie A Gore Aug 1.

1986 A new roof was placed on Spangler Hall. The church was repainted.

1987 Marie A Gore left Aug 16 as Organist/Choir director and was replaced Mrs Jeanne Mortenson Nov 29.

1989 Air conditioning was installed in the church building. Meals on Wheels ended use of the Spangler Hall kitchen when they starting using a centralized kitchen in the area.

1990 Rev. Naegele went on Sabbatical from June 25 until Sept 22.

1991 Rev. Naegele left due to a disability. His last service was on Nov 17. Rev. Robert W. Lowden became interim pastor on Dec 1.

1992 Rev. Mark A. G. Huffman became pastor Nov 29. A new roof was placed on the church in Dec.

1993 Rev. Huffman was installed as pastor Jan 10. The overflow area of the church sanctuary was redesigned.

1994 Stained Glass windows replaced the clear glass windows in the overflow area of the church. Asbestos was removed from the first floor of Parish Hall July 5. The Stained Glass windows were dedicated Dec 11.

1995 A new roof was placed on Parish Hall during April. A restoration of the Stained Glass windows in the church sanctuary began. Mrs Jeanne Mortenson left Mar 19 as Organist/Choir Director and was replaced by Mrs Elaine Lindsay Aug 27.

1997 The idea to enlarge Parish Hall was first proposed.

1998 The Senior Citizens Center moved to the former Cockeysville Elementary School.

1999 The Contemporary service was first held in Spangler Hall Jan 24. William E (Bill) Shappell became leader of Spirit Song. Since the flat roof of Spangler Hall was prone to leaks, a pitched roof was placed on it. It was completed in May. A 100th Anniversary celebration of the current church building was held May 23. The main parking lot was enlarged around Sept 1.

2000 Planning started to enlarge Parish Hall and to add a breezeway between Parish Hall and the Church.

2002 The restoration of the Stained Glass windows was completed except for the onion shaped windows.

2003 A 150th Anniversary celebration of the congregation was held Sept 14.

2005 William E Shappell left as leader of Spirit Song. Steve Dooley became the group leader which was renamed Praise Team.

2006 The Stained Glass windows on the west side of the Martin Luther panel and those over the Good Shepard Panel were restored by May 1. Rev. Mark A Bringman became Associate Pastor Sept 17.

2007 Groundbreaking for the Connector and the addition to and renovation of the Parish Hall was held April 22. The restored Stained Glass windows were dedicated Dec 2.

2008 The renovation of the Parish Hall was dedicated on April 13 and a celebration was held April 27. Rev. Huffman went on a sabbatical to Germany from April to July.

2009 Rev. Bringman left as Associate Pastor in Feb.

2010 The Connector a.k.a. The Breezeway and the addition to and the renovation of the Parish Hall were dedicated August 1. Also dedicated were various Named Rooms and paving bricks.

2012 A new roof was placed on the Church during the Spring.

2013 Rev Huffman left Nov 3. The last Sunday he served as pastor was Nov 3. Rev. Sandra Carlson Alexis became interim Pastor Dec 9.

2014 The interior of the church was renovated July.

2015 Rev. Edward N. Kay was called as pastor in June. His first Sunday as pastor was Aug 23. He was installed Oct 25.

2016 Rev. Kay became Rev. Dr. Kay in May, receiving a Doctor of Ministry degree from Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN).

2018 The playground was updated during Aug.

2019 New roofs were placed on Spangler Hall during Jan.

2020 The last indoor worship services were held March 8 before they were suspended because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Beginning March 15 one service was held online. Beginning July 19 a service was held outside on the lawn outside of the church building. Because of colder weather a service was held on the parking lot with people sitting in their cars beginning Nov 8. The service was broadcast on a radio frequency from the lawn of Spangler Hall.

2021 Starting April 1 worship services were resumed on a limited basis in the Historic church building. Mrs Elaine Lindsay resigned as Organist/Choir Director. Her last service was on June 13.