Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran
Church of Luthersburg PA

 

 


 

 

 

 


St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran of Luthersburg PA

St. Peter's, Luthersburg, is the senior member of the faith communities which make up the DuBois Area Cooperative Lutheran Ministry. During the 1820's and '30's, Lutheran settlers in Clearfield County Pennsylvania were served by traveling missionaries sent by the Pennsylvania Synod during the summer months. Rev. George Reichart preached in Luthersburg and Troutville in 1822, but lay leaders such as Jacob Kuntz worked to have a pastor called to this area.

Rev. John Wilcox arrived in 1840, but his year for pioneering ministry was hampered by his inability to preach in German, for he reported: "there are many European Germans in that county." St. Peter's was among the five congregations organized during his ministry, but no Lutheran churches had yet been built.

Pastor Wilcox' successor, Rev. John George Dormeyer wrote, "When I came to the county in 1843...I had to preach in schoolhouses, dwelling houses and barns, but I found many warm-hearted Christians scattered among the unconverted, prejudiced people." He encouraged the building of churches, among which was St. Peter's, a house of worship, "forty feet square, built in a plain, but very beautiful and comfortable style."

From the beginning, the pastor at Luthersburg was also occupied in serving Lutherans in other communities. By the late 1850's, the parish included St. Paul's, Troutville, Paradise, and Grube, with occasional preaching at Rockton as well. In 1873, Frederick K. Arnold donated two lots in Luthersburg, on which a parsonage was built in that year. It cost $1,500 and is a plain and solid house with a wonderful divided stairway. In earlier years, many couples were married in the parsonage parlor.

On May 1, 1882, a young pastor, Wilson Selner, came. He and his family would occupy the parsonage for 42 years of fruitful service. On May 23, 1883, the cornerstone was laid for a new church building, a frame structure 38 by 60 feet, which cost about $5,000. Originally topped by a 94-foot steeple, this was struck by lightning in the 1920's and replaced by a shorter one.

Improvements have been made to the building over the years. Most recently, a ramp was added to the front entrance in 1985, followed by excavation of a ramp into the basement in 2002, making the church handicapped-accessible.

St. Paul's, Troutville, closed in 1965, many of its families having moved out of the area. Most of its remaining members joined St. Peter's.

The 1918 History of the Allegheny Synod recorded of St. Peter's: "The congregation, though three-quarters of a century old, never stained its record by a single church fight." That spirit of being able to have honest differences, but to work things out together, remains to this day. This numerically small family of faith is large in spirit and ministry through Jesus Christ.

We are a member of the Allegheny Synod ELCA

and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

Any questions or comments about our website,
please e-mail Sandra at
organist925@yahoo.com