Our History

Saint Paul Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Our roots go all the way back to the beginning of organized Lutheranism in Catawba County, as we were originally a part of the Old Saint Paul's congregation that was organized around 1759.

In 1905 a portion of the Lutheran congregation at what is now Old St. Paul's decided to move and to build on this site in Startown across the street from the new Reformed church. The old wooden structure built here in 1905 burned down during a worship service in 1922. In 1924 the brick structure that is still used for our sanctuary was completed. The educational wing was built in 1956 and renovated in 1990.

We currently find ourselves in a period of rapid transition and growth. In response to these changes, we have broken ground on our mission property with plans for a picnic pavilion, a walking trail and a volleyball court. As the community around us grows, we at Saint Paul are committed to Growing in Grace and Service by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our ministry is centered in a strong worship life that serves as a springboard for witness and service in and to the community and the world.

The members of Saint Paul are the ministers of this congregation. Called and empowered through God's Word and the sacraments through which we receive God's grace and forgiveness, we are then sent out into the world to share the love, acceptance, and forgiveness that only Christ can give. Each of us has a different background and different gifts, but we are all partners in the same ministry.

God loves you and accepts you, too. We invite you to be a part of our ministry as we go boldly into the future that promises plenty of challengers and obstacles to the proclamation of the gospel. We know not exactly where that future will lead us, but we do know that the future belongs to God, and through our baptism into Jesus Christ, so do we.

Pastors who have served St Paul Lutheran Church - Startown

Pastor's Name Years Served
Samuel L. Sox 1929 - 1932
J. C. Dietz 1932 - 1935
Paul L. Miller 1936 - 1944
Glenn A. Yount 1944 - 1948
Hugh Kepley 1949 - 1955
Ernest W. Ridenhour 1955 - 1962
Robert Q. Beard 1963 - 1973
G. Dwight Conrad 1973 - 1979
Jimmy L. Bruce 1980 - 1985
Timothy M. Smith 1986 - 1993
Peter M. Brown 1994 - 1999
Richard T. Carter 2000 - 2001
Chris Christopher 2004 - 2010
O. Ralph Kraft, Jr. 2012 - present