St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church
12095 Blades Road, Cordova, MD 21625
1908: A congregation of German immigrants formally organized and chose the name of St Paul's. They decided to build Church 26'x36'x18' and a Sunday School room 14'x19'x10'. It cost $814 to build the church. Each member was asked to pay $135, and to donate 1,450 board feet of framing lumber to help start the building. All members gave time and talents.
The first Pastor was Rev. Lauritz Ries. His salary was $175 per year.
1909: May 23 Church was Dedicated
1910: One year's rent paid for pastor's home: $137
1911: Church bell purchased for $98, with donations from members.
1912: Rev R. F. Pheifer became Pastor.
1913: Rev. C.F. Freudenreich became Pastor.
1921: Sold the church chairs for $110 and bought benches for $250.
1922: Rev. Carl Horst became Pastor. His salary was $720 per year.
1923: Rev. Herman Drews became Pastor.
1925: Mrs. William Hahn received $15.00 per year to play organ.
St. Paul's had 16 members.
1926: Ludwig Behrens received $.50 to build fire on Sundays
1928: Pastor Karl Schled came to us in 1928. He was a student in seminary at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia PA.
1931: Rev. Henry Ellenberger became Pastor.
1932: New roof installed at cost of $131. Church repainted at cost of $99.
1933: Parsonage rent $14 per month.
Celebrated 25th Anniversary. Service was in English led by Rev. Meirmich. German services were also held.
1934: Ludwig Behrens, Sr. was allowed to till the church property for $3 per year.
1936: Pastor Ellenberger conducted his last sermon in German on April 19, 1936.
Rev. Carl Zeigelbrier became Pastor.
1943: Rev. Wilbur Newby became Pastor.
1946: Received estimate of $125 to wire church for electricity. During the discussion on wiring the church, the Pastor made it quite clear that he, "Didn't think it worthwhile to spend the money for lights which would probably only be used once a year."
1947: Rev T. Painter Hanson became Pastor. Church interior painted: side walls were pale green, ceiling was white. Church was wired.
1951: Rev. C. Philip Seltzer became Pastor.
1952: April 27 No church service—Pastor forgot Daylight Savings Time.
1953: Installed a hot air system for $884 and removed wood stove.
1954: Rev. Preston Dusman became Pastor.
Church benches were covered.
1955: Church started envelope system for weekly offering. Church roof and steeple replaced.
1956: Congregational voted to put an addition on the church. Fred Behrens reported at the Council meeting that there were 20 trees promised for the new addition that would amount to about 7,000 board feet of lumber.
1957: New front doors for the Church were built, designed and installed by August Behrens.
Congregation approved construction of a parking lot for $315.
1958: Esther Cooper completed 50 years as Church Organist.
1959: New hymnals adopted (Red)—90 books ordered
1960: Rev. Bryce Shoemaker became Pastor.
At a joint council meeting, St. Paul's was notified by Grace that they no longer desired to continue as a joint congregation and that they wanted to be independent. It was agreed to sell the parsonage for $12,500.
1962: Another addition to the Sunday School room was completed. This addition was 40'x15', at a cost of $4,170. A new Baldwin Organ purchased for $2,000.
1969: Interior of church painted for $810.
1971: Rev. Daniel Hoy became Pastor.
1973: Lorraine Burr became first female acolyte.
1977: Rev. Barron Maberry became Pastor.
1978: Rev James Slingluff became Interim Pastor.
1979: Rev. Matthew Schenning became Pastor.
1980: Dinner committee established.
1981: St. Paul's held the first annual Fish Fry, open to the public.
1982: Rev. George Schutte became Interim Pastor. Interior and exterior of church repainted. Pews refinished and covered. New carpet installed. Altar and pulpit refinished.
1983: Rev. Robert Shaull installed as Pastor.
Tri-County Ruritan began holding monthly dinners at St. Paul's.
Celebrated the 75th Anniversary of St. Paul's.
1987: Fay Sauca became parish secretary.
1988: Former American Lutheran Church (ALC) and Lutheran Church of America (LCA) merged to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) of which our congregation became a member.
1989: Rev. Donald McClean (1989-1999) became Pastor.
1990: Soup & Sandwich program started benefiting needy, elderly, of the local congregation and community.
1991: Air conditioning was installed in the church.
1992: A 39'x24' addition was added for Sunday School and other large functions at a cost of $19,778, thanks to Paul Lawrence, a major donor to the project.
1998: Youth group placed a time capsule along the rear fence of the cemetery to be opened in ten years.
1999: Rev. Bernard Coates became Interim Pastor.
2000: Rev. John Miller and Rev. Amy Godshall-Miller were called as Pastors to the Talbot Lutheran Parish. They were the first clergy couple to be pastors at St. Paul's, and Pastor Amy was the first female pastor called to St. Paul's. St. Paul's 5th organ, a Rodgers, was purchased.
2001: Began offering communion to children who are 10 years old or in 5th grade. Ashes were imposed for the first time on Ash Wednesday. Congregation voted to commission stained glass windows for the sanctuary.
2002: The first stained glass window, The Manger, inscribed "She laid him in a manger" Luke 2: 17, was dedicated. The window was given in loving memory of John E. Miller 1931-1992 by his family and friends. The second stained glass window, The Holy Scripture, inscribed "Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly" Colossians 3:16, was dedicated. It was given in honor of Ann M. & Donald "Tinner" Spies Sr. by Margot M. & S. Taylor Spies Sr. & Sons and by Nancy B. & J. Wayne Sailers.
2003: The third stained glass window, A Miracle, inscribed "He blessed the loaves and fish and gave them to the crowd" Matthew 15:36, was dedicated. It was given in memory of William "Bill" Davis September 7, 1933-September 8, 2001 by his family and friends. A building study committee was formed to study the feasibility of expanding the church.
2004: The fourth stained glass window, Worship, inscribed "O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker" Psalm 95:6, was dedicated. It was given in memory of Sophie Dorothea Lindeman Heinsohn 1906-2001 by Jeffrey & Monica Heinsohn and Eric & Stefanie Heinsohn and friends. Building Study Committee met to study the financial feasibility of improvements to the church facility. The fifth stained glass window, The Passion, inscribed "And they crucified him" Mark 15:24, was dedicated. It was given in memory of Richard H. & Pauline G. Sump by their loving family. The congregation voted to move forward with the renovation and expansion of the sanctuary. The Capital Campaign Kick-Off began at Oktoberfest with a theme of "Building for a new century."
2005: The sixth stained glass window, Good Works, inscribed "Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works" Matthew 5:16, was dedicated. It was given in loving memory of Lillian Behrens Burr and her parents Fred and Lucie Behrens by their family and friends. St. Paul's received a written Grant of Special Exception and Variance for the building project from the Talbot County Board of Appeals. The Talbot County Health Department did not approve the perk test necessary for the expansion. St. Paul's began the process of making the changes necessary to receive approval.
2006: Rev. George Evans became Interim Pastor.
St. Paul's received a letter from the Talbot County Health Department stating that we would need an engineered septic system on property belonging to Robert and Garland Swann, next to the church. Purchased a 12'x34' building to replace the existing shed. The building would be used for the Senior High School Sunday School class and storage. Interim Pastor George Evans received the Muhlenberg Award for exemplary service and congregational and campus ministry as exceptional dedication to preaching and teaching the Gospel faithfully. St. Paul's congregation voted to dissolve the Talbot Lutheran Parish and exist independently. Congregation voted to purchase .855 acres of land from Robert and Garland Swann for the engineered septic system at a cost of $16,234.
2007: In September Rev. Emily Hollars-Leitzke was installed as new Pastor. Bible Study gatherings began on the first and third Fridays of the month. The seventh stained glass window, The Eucharist, inscribed "Do this in remembrance of me" Luke 22:19, was dedicated. It was given in loving memory of the Behrens Family by Bill & Susan Behrens and Gordon & Naomi Behrens and their families. The eighth stained glass window, The Baptism, inscribed "The one who believes and is baptized will be saved" Mark 16:16, was dedicated. It was given in loving memory of Our Brothers and Sisters in Christ whose names are displayed in the Narthex by Friends of St. Paul's Lutheran Church. St. Paul's established a website: www.stpaulscordova.com
2008: St. Paul's received the building permit to expand and update the building. The sanctuary expansion and building renovation project began. During worship, the installation of the church bell was recognized. Each child present in worship received a small bell to ring during the Lord's Prayer. A Strawberry Festival was held. The time capsule buried by youth ten years ago was unearthed. Construction workers discovered St. Paul's original cornerstone buried under the front narthex of the church. It was determined that the inscription on the cornerstone is "L. Behrens Plasterer Aug. 12 1908. The hymn board had a crack repaired. During its repair the carpenter discovered an inscription written in pencil underneath the bottom section of trim. It reads, "All furniture in this church is given free by Henry H. Huntemann April 26, 1908 Cordova MD" On Aug 17 the new cornerstone was unveiled at a special ceremony following worship. It was unveiled by Walter and Richard Harmsen, grandsons of Ludwig Behrens, who placed the original cornerstone. On Sept. 7 the newly renovated sanctuary was used for the first time for worship. To celebrate the event 169 members and friends of St. Paul's participated in a Ribbon- Cutting and "Carrying-In" ceremony where worship furnishings and new hymnals were ceremonially carried into the sanctuary for use in worship. Oct. 3-5 St. Paul's celebrated its Centennial Anniversary and the dedication of the new sanctuary in a weekend-long celebration. On Nov. 2 a traditional German language service was led by Rev. Otfried O. Arndt from Baltimore as part of St. Paul's Centennial celebration.
2010: Mike Hiner served as president of the church council. Annual events for the year included Shove Tuesday, a fish fry, a ham and chicken Valentines dinner, soup and sandwich outreach, crab feast, and Oktoberfest. The St. Paul's window was dedicated and donated by Gunther & Regina Schivey. St Paul's youth participated in an Easter Egg hunt, Vacation Bible School, a skating party, and a synod retreat. Rev Wolfgang D Herz-Lane was elected as Bishop Maryland/Delaware Synod and conducted a service at St. Paul's with a separate service in German. The congregation celebrated debt free with the payment of the construction loan and mortgage. This was accomplished with donations from the congregation and a separate donation from the estate of Dieter and Inga Zerrer. A new website was constructed www.stpaulscordova.org. Initiated the first Sunday Outreach Ministry and hosted the Talbot Interfaith Shelter for the homeless.
2011: Mike Hiner served as council president. Annual events for the year included Shove Tuesday, a fish fry, a ham and chicken Valentines dinner, soup and sandwich outreach, crab feast, and Oktoberfest. Initiated a program to help the residents of Cordova, Alabama which was devastated by tornado. St. Paul's dinner committee donated new tables and chairs for the fellowship hall. Five confirmands completed confirmation requirements and were welcomed as adult members of the congregation. Hosted a special Christmas program, "Jumpin Family Christmas" with Monte Lester contemporary songwriter and musician. St Paul's first Sunday donations totaled over $4,000 with a large sum of additional food donated to local relief agencies. Hosted the Talbot Interfaith homeless shelter.
2012: Diana Hurd served as president of the church council. Annual events for the year included Shove Tuesday, a fish fry, a ham and chicken Valentines dinner, soup and sandwich outreach, crab feast, and Oktoberfest. Special events included vacation bible school, Talbot Interfaith Shelter, and the blessing of the tractors. Four youth and five adult chaperones attended the ELCA youth gathering in New Orleans. They participated in the water challenge which raised funds to support 100 new water wells in impoverished areas of South America. Rev. John D. Ranney served as interim pastor during Pastor Emily's maternity leave. Special recognition was given to the St Paul's dinner committee for their work in support of the church. Began a winter coat drive which collects lightly used coats, sweaters, gloves, and hats for local charities. St. Paul's volunteers began assistance in support of Crisfield, Maryland where extensive flooding from Hurricane Sandy damaged many homes in the Crisfield area.
2013: Diana Hurd served as president of the church council. Annual events for the year included Shove Tuesday, a fish fry, a ham and chicken Valentines dinner, soup and sandwich outreach, crab feast, and Oktoberfest. Special events for the year included a youth Easter egg hunt, vacation bible school, Talbot Interfaith Shelter, and a picnic service at Tuckahoe State Park. Pastor Emily Lietzke leaves St Paul's after serving since 2007. New interim pastor, Thomas Sinnott, begins at St Paul's. Julie Lawrence joins St Paul's as choir director. A new automatic restaurant grade dishwasher is installed and funded through donations of cash and labor by the congregation. Don Davis led this $10,000 capitol project. Held a celebration for the retirement of organist Edith Roe. She was the organist since 1955. Church council adopts a new mission statement as part of the strategic planning process.
2014: Robert Saathoff served as president of the church council. Annual events for the year included Shove Tuesday pancake supper, a fish fry, soup and sandwich outreach, and Oktoberfest. Special events for the year included church worship picnic at Tuckahoe State Park, barn service at the Talbot Ag Center, launching of the Sunday School year with worship and picnic at the Talbot Ag Center, and volunteers for the first of each month at the Talbot Interfaith Homeless shelter at their new permanent location in Easton, MD. The Dinner Committee served meals for the Tri-County Ruritan each month, supplied paper supplies for the church, provided snack for the Sunday School classes, and hosted a delegation from China. Four confirmands completed confirmation requirements and were welcomed as adult members of the congregation. Julie Lawrence assumed the organist position along with choir director. Initiated a new program to collect instant drink packages and sent over 1800 packages to oversea military units. Youth chocolate Easter Egg sales totaled $1593 including matching Thrivent funds. Started consecration Sunday program as a way to grow spiritually by supporting the mission and ministry of the church, started the Angel Tree Program as a way to purchase Christmas gifts for the needy youth and elderly in the community.
2015: Robert Saathoff served as president of the church council. Annual events for the year included a fish fry, soup and sandwich outreach, cake wheel at the Talbot County Fair, coat drive, and Oktoberfest. Special events for the year included church worship picnic at Tuckahoe State Park, barn service at the Talbot Ag Center, launching of the Sunday School year with worship and picnic at the Talbot Ag Center, and volunteers for the first of each month at the Talbot Interfaith Homeless shelter at their new permanent location in Easton, MD. The Dinner Committee served meals for the Tri-County Ruritan each month, supplied paper supplies for the church, provided snack for the Sunday School classes, and hosted delegations from North Africa and Brazil. The second annual consecration Sunday program was held as a way to grow spiritually by supporting the mission and ministry of the church, continued the Angel Tree Program as a way to purchase Christmas gifts for the needy youth and elderly in the community. Rev. Dr. Flavia Skilbred answered the pastoral call beginning her ministry at St Paul's in June.
2016: Fred Meers served as president of the church council. Annual events for the year included Shrove Tuesday pancake supper, fish fry, and soup and sandwich outreach. Support of the Talbot Interfaith Homeless shelter continues on the first of every month. The Dinner Committee served meals for the Tri-County Ruritan each month, supplied paper supplies for the church, provided snack for the Sunday School classes, and hosted a delegation from Cuba. Social ministry collected items to support the Backpack program in Talbot and Caroline County schools which provided food and personal items to students in need.
2019: Rev. Robert White answered the pastoral call beginning his ministry as our pastor. Michael Hiner was called as St Paul's Deacon and was consecrated by Bishop Bill Gohl on April 7, 2019.
2022: Pastor Jonathon Moyers began his shared ministry as pastor for St. Paul's and Grace Lutheran.