office:  (717) 225-6357

e-mail: stpaulsstoverstown@comcast.net

Pastor Martin e-mail:  pastorstpaulsstoverstown@comcast.net

About Us

Our Mission Statement

We gather together as a family of faith to share God’s love by:

·         Inviting and welcoming all people of God’s creation,

·         Worshipping and praising God,

·         Teaching and preaching the Good News, and

·         Caring for the needs of one another, the community, and the world.

Why I Love St. Paul’s

To me, it has always felt like the hands that built St. Paul’s left behind the light of their love to shine on our congregation.  When I am here, I feel that light.  When I look at the faces that come here to worship, I see the light in them; and I am glad to be  part of it.  This church means so much to me because God obviously shines his light within this church and its congregation.
Christine Stough

St. Paul’s is like one big family to me. They always ask how my week was, or my softball games went. They are so loving and caring and come together in times of need. –Kira Hull

St. Paul's has been a place where I have a family of believers that supports me in my faith journey and provides me with opportunities to worship God and serve others by following Christ's example. –Joyce Kain

Pastor and Staff

Pastor Dave Martin

Our Pastor, Dave Martin, began serving at St. Paul’s UCC in 2015. Prior to serving at St. Paul’s UCC, he served UCC churches in western New York and southern Illinois. He is a second career pastor, having originally worked in the computers industry in Massachusetts for over a decade. His faith journey has taken him through several different denominations and churches and periods of questioning and doubt. For him, the local church is most vital when it is a place where God’s welcome and love are palpable, where people work hard to stay in relationship with one another because they trust God’s love abounds, where people seek to grow in Christ’s ways of love and justice and peace, and where people are equipped to serve others and share God’s love. St. Paul’s is a vital church that aims to grow even more vital, and Dave is grateful for the opportunity and challenge to serve as its pastor.

Dave has been married to Bonnie for 27 years. They have two children: Karen, who just graduated with an engineering degree, and Tim, who is a college sophomore, also studying engineering. In his free time, Dave enjoys reading gardening, hiking, and skiing.

Dennis Hall, Administrative Assistant

A member of Dover UCC, Dennis has served St. Paul’s UCC as its Administrator since the beginning of 2015. Dennis works part-time, and is available in the church office on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings.

Joy Gobrecht, Choir Director

A science teacher at Spring Grove Middle School, Joy has been passionate about singing and music since her childhood, especially music that brings others closer to God. She enjoys many different styles of music, and working with children, youth, and adults.

Darlene Hoover, Organist

Darlene has many decades of experience playing the organ and piano, and of supporting our choirs and congregation in singing. She also takes time each week to teach the children those classic and simple songs of faith that the children may remember for a lifetime.

Nancy Miller, Organist

Nancy also has many decades of experience playing the organ and piano, and of supporting our choirs and congregation in singing.

Fay, Linda, and Sharon, Caretakers

These three ladies, along with Hondo, can be found in the church throughout the week as they keep things in ship shape condition.

     

Our Organization

We are organized to support our mission.

·         Our Outreach and Fellowship Committee helps the congregation grow in hospitality.

·         Our Worship Committee helps shape our worship life and music ministry, as well as our devotional life.

·         Our Christian Education Committee organizes our formal efforts to nurture and grow the faith of children, youth, and adults.

·         Our Stewardship and Mission Committee guides the congregation both in caring for the needs of one another, the community, and the world and in providing the resources to care.

·         Other committees in our congregation, such as our Consistory (church council) and trustees help set the priorities, allocate the resources, and maintain our facility, so that the congregation grow in faith and serve the wider community and world.

Our History

In the late 1870’s members of the Lutheran and the German Reformed denominations lived and worked side by side in the Stoverstown area. Recognizing that the Reformed and Lutheran traditions were sisters in the faith, and being practical about the cost of constructing and maintain a church building, the early settlers from both these traditions joined together to build a Union Church.

The two groups met together before the church was built. The present Sunday School first met in the Stoverstown School House on Sunday mornings, so the Sunday School predates the construction of the first church building by several years.

The original church building was dedicated on November 21, 1880. In 1904 the building was remodeled with the addition of a bell tower and narthex. A major renovation of the building took place in 1935 when it was encased with brick, Sunday School rooms were added, and stained glass windows and a new heating system installed. The newly remodeled structure was dedicated on October 25, 1935.

On August 6, 1940 the church was struck by lightning and completely destroyed. The rapid and whole-hearted response of church members to this crisis marked the beginning of a time of renewal and recommitment to sharing the Gospel in the community. Within two years, a new church structure was constructed and was dedicated on February 22, 1942.

On July 9, 1978 our congregation held its first 8:00 A.M. worship service. Following this first worship service, the Lutheran and UCC congregations alternated worship times every other Sunday between 8:00 A.M. and 10:30 A.M, with a joint Sunday School held in between. On June 23, 1979 the Mabel Gunnet property was purchased and used as a parsonage. The Church remained a meeting place for both the Lutheran and UCC congregations until the early 1980’s. With both congregations growing it was decided to dissolve the Union Church. The Lutheran congregation stayed in the current church and the UCC congregation built a new building at the corner of Stoverstown Road and Short Road on land purchased from John and Rachel Lau. On April 10, 1983 ground was broken for the new church. The church building was largely built with volunteers from within the congregation over the course of a year. The cornerstone was laid on July 31, 1983. The first service was held on April 15, 1984 and the dedication of the building took place on June 10, 1984 with Dr. Horace S. Sills delivering the sermon.

The Lutheran and UCC congregations still engage in a number of covenant events together such a community Easter Egg hunt, Vacation Bible School, an evening Thanksgiving worship service, and mid-week Lenten worship services.

Some highlights of our recent history include the following:

·         2002 Two “daughters” of the congregation, Jacquie Church and Barbara Brenneman, were ordained.

·         2005: Hosted GROUP Work camp for the first time, then in 2008, 2010, 2014, and 2016. At each of these GROUP Work camps, hundreds of youth and adult volunteers provided needed home repairs for scores of elderly residents in York County.

·         2006: Safe Sanctuary Policy initiated to reduce the risk of child abuse during church programs and events.

·         2006: Agape’ Band started with guitarists, percussion, keyboard, and saxophone players. The Agape’ Band plays blended traditional and contemporary music for worship services on the first Sunday of each month.

·         2009: Biannual fall weekend congregational retreats to Hartman Center church camp began

·         2012: Youth aged 13 and up allowed to vote in congregational meetings

·         2013: Bi-weekly Lifetree discussion groups begin

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Stoverstown, currently has 182 members and is led by Pastor Dave Martin who began serving on October 1, 2015.

Our Clergy “Daughters”

Rev. Phyllis Baum

Rev. Jacquie Church-Young

Rev. Barbara Brenneman

Our Stained Glass Windows