History

At a March 29, 1998 Special Congregational Meeting it was voted to eliminate one of the regular Sunday services. Prior to the meeting, services were held at 8:15 and 10:45, with Sunday School held in between. Due to dwindling attendance, the two services were combined into a 9:00 service with 10:30 Sunday School.

A 100th Anniversary Kickoff event was held August 23, 1998 with over 200 people attending; an Old Fashioned Church Service & Picnic which was held outdoors on Adams Street. Our first (portrayed by actors) and current pastors rode in on a horse and mule (a sight to behold!).

A group of members traveled to a Native American Indian Reservation in 2005 to perform mission work. The volunteers spent 1 week building beds, cleaning up cemeteries, and other basic duties on the reservation. The trip, which occurred during the very hot summer months, was organized through Re-Member. Members held fund raisers and donated blankets and bedding supplies. All said, the congregation paid for less than half the cost of the trip. The group had such a good time they immediately began planning for a return trip in 2007.

The Rev. George Fitch, Jr. resigned in May of 2004 so that he could retire. The Rev. Lisa A. Hair (the first woman pastor to serve St. James) served as Interim Pastor.

Ministerial sons of the congregation have included: Walter F. Forker, Ordained 1945; John F. Lehr, Ordained 1972.

Among the pastors of the church have been:

  • Edwin Lenhart, 1899-1902
  • Charles F. Jacobs, 1902-1917
  • Hixon T. Bowersox, 1917-1925
  • B. Clinton Ritz, 1925-1928
  • Guy E. Miller, 1929-1961
  • Richard S. Shanebrook, 1961
  • Claude R. Baublitz, 1962-1972
  • Robert K. Shaull, 1973-1982
  • Robert E. Nale, 1982-1989
  • Gordon E. Folkemer, Vice-pastor, 1989-90
  • George W. Fitch, Jr., 1990-2004
  • Lisa A. Hair, Interim Pastor, 2004-2006
  • Sandra Mackie, Interim Pastor, 2006-2007
  • Brenda Ferree, 2007-2015
  • Larry McConnell, Interim Pastor 2015-2016
  • Darcy Reis, Current Pastor 2016-Present

Sources: “St. James’ Lutheran Church – Services of Dedication – January 20th -1957; a booklet the 75th Anniversary of St. James Lutheran Church in 1974; a compilation of history by Frank W. Zarfoss in 1990 and 1994; a publication prepared for the 100th Anniversary titled “Our First 100 Years”; Jere Carl Scrap Books courtesy of Historical Society of York County Library; various current newspaper items.