St. Paul's Wilhelm Church
The St. Paul's Wilhelm Church was organized
on October 26 and 27 in 1860 under the direction of Rev. A. B. Koplin, pastor
of the Paradise Charge, in the Union Mennonite Church at St. Paul.
The church had twenty-nine members and in three years time the membership
had grown to fifty-nine, when the congregation began talking of building
a new church.
In the spring of 1868 the work on the new church was started. The cornerstone was laid in June of the same year. In the cornerstone was placed a copper box which contained a copy of the Reformed Church Messenger, county papers, a number of coins bearing the date of the year, a Testament or Bible and a hymn book. The contract for the building was given to Ambrose Breig of Salisbury. The building was dedicated in October, 1869. The spire rises about one hundred and twenty feet about the ground.
When the building was near completion, someone pointed out to the Wilhems that a pipe organ would be a desirable addition to the equipment. the organ was purchased at a cost of $900.00. It was the first pipe organ in the county. In 1950 a new Wurlitzer electronic organ took the place of the original organ but the church has preserved the old organ and it is still used on special occasions.
During the pastorate of Rev. E. S. Hassler some changes were made to the chancel and choir loft. Then when Rev. S. C. Stover was pastor, the old high pulpit was removed, and the altar, pulpit, lectern and chairs took its place. In 1925 during the pastorate of Samuel Lobach, the basement was excavated, and an outside furnace room and new chancel rail, with enlarged choir loft, were added. During the year 1946 art glass memorial windows took the place of the old ones.
CHURCHES OF SALISBURY AND SURROUNDING AREA