St. Paul's holds service to celebrate anniversary

As part of the luncheon program, nine members who had attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at its original location at the corner of Baltimore and Centre streets are recognized. Front row, from the left, are Joy Douglas and Sabra Isom. Back row, Glenn Kline, Linda Zeller, Ed Ayers, John Beegle, Mitzi Robinette, Gerald Arthur and Dave Christopher.

CUMBERLAND — St. Paul’s Lutheran Church marked its 225th year as a congregation with a special service and celebration on May 12, 225 years and one day after the congregation was formed in 1794.

The program recognized nine members who had attended St. Paul’s since it was at the corner of Baltimore and Centre streets, which was the site of the initial church, and two subsequent buildings before the congregation moved to the corner of Washington and Smallwood streets in 1958. Two retired St. Paul’s pastors were also in attendance, the Rev. Dr. Marsha Bell and the Rev. Donald Sause.

The service began with the ringing of a bell that has hung in all four churches, starting with the 1794 log building that housed the Lutheran congregation and several other Protestant congregations as they were forming in the early days of Cumberland. The Rev. Steve Haptonstahl, interim pastor, led a recognition of the congregation’s generations.

A luncheon program listed historical highlights of both Cumberland and St. Paul’s in 25-year increments, up to 1994, the church’s 200th anniversary celebration. At that point, items that had been placed in a time capsule for opening on the 225th anniversary were unveiled. The time capsule included numerous photos, a newspaper and news magazines, church publications and other items.

A slide show featuring historical photos and articles that was shared can be viewed at www.stpaulcumberland.org/history.html.

St. Paul’s will continue its recognition of the 225th anniversary with activities through the end of October, wrapping up with a Reformation Sunday service on Oct. 27.

For more information, call 301-722-6604.

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