St. Paul's Lutheran Church is located about 4½ miles south of Salisbury on St. Paul's Church Road just off of Old Concord Road. The present spacious modern building with the Educational Wing was not the first building. St. Paul's was an outgrowth of the "Holshouser Church" in which several denominations worshipped: Lutherans, Reformed, Presbyterians, regularly; and Methodists and Baptists, occasionally. The "Holshouser Church" was so named because Mr. Andrew Holshouser gave the five acres where the church was built "near the large white oak tree on the side of the cemetery towards the woods." Mr. Holshouser's first gift of five acres was near the "Heilig's Mill," but since one group wished to leave and build a church in Faith, the site was moved. (Heilig's Mill was on Crane Creek off of St. Paul's Church Road near the housing development of Oakridge Estates.) Rev. John Lentz organized St. Paul's Lutheran Church with 17 members. By 1866, the church was no longer a "union" church, but completely Lutheran.
In 1868-72, a new brick building was erected just in front of the present sanctuary. The bricks were made in Allison Misenheimer's brick yard (formerly belonging to Frank Rimer and Allen Heilig) just off of the Old Concord Road to the left approximately ¾ mile south of St. Paul's Church Road. In 1893-94, the brick building was enlarged and remodeled with a seating capacity of 450 at a cost of $1,000. The auditorium was redecorated, ceiling, and lighting changed in 1953 for $4,500. The Educational Building with a final cost of well over $100,000 was completed in 1955. Repairs to the main sanctuary in 1960 were made for $3,119.45, and renovations costing $130,000 in 1967.
Spacious, well-landscaped grounds surround the beautiful building. The church owns approximately 50 acres. These were acquired by gifts or purchases.
St. Paul's has a large picnic shelter including a kitchen which was built for fellowship and fun. A well-kept cemetery with graves dating from early times is on the east side of the church. The original cemetery had a rock wall built in 1857, but was removed in 1908; and much of it was used in the building of Old Concord Road.
St. Paul's and Lutheran Chapel in China Grove shared a pastor from 1855 to 1882 when St. Paul's and Bethel were put into one charge. In 1916, St. Paul's asked if they could become self-supporting, but there was no other church nearby to be in the charge with Bethel so this relationship continued until 1939, when St. Paul's became self-supporting.
St. Paul's has had 188 years of life in the community, and has received and given much during this time. She stands today as one of the outstanding rural churches in the North Carolina Synod with 552 baptized members and a budget over $490,000. St. Paul's has not been afraid of change if it makes her better able to serve Christ by making him real to her people. She has known 37 pastors during her 188 years and has given 21 sons to be pastors.
• March 30, 1830 – Holshouser Church, the union church where Lutheran, Reformed, Presbyterian, worshiped monthly; and Baptist, and Methodist worshiped when a pastor was available
• 1865 – Disbanded union church; Reformed left to form Mt. Hope Reformed Church and Presbyterian gave up rights to the Lutherans.
• 1866 – Holshouser Church became fully Lutheran as St. Paul's Lutheran Church
• 1868 - 1872 – New church constructed near cemetery
• July 21, 1872 – New church dedicated
• June 1893 - 1894 – Church remodeled and enlarged
• 1917 – Parsonage built
• October 1, 1921 – Two rooms and cellar added to parsonage
• July 1923 – Question to congregation to build new church ($25,000) or remodel old church ($10,000). Congregation voted to
build new church.
• May 1924 - 1926 – New church built (present church)
• July 6, 1926 – New church dedicated
• November 26, 1925 – Old church dismantled, torn down, items sold to finance new building
• June 28, 1934 – Parsonage struck by lightning and burned. If church records were destroyed, it was probably this fire since history book says library in house completely destroyed. Pastor probably had office in parsonage with records being kept there but there is no way of knowing, so this is just an opinion.
• October 1934 – Pastor and family moved into a new parsonage
• Summer 1939 – Basement finished in church
• 1952 – New ceiling and lighting in church
• 1953 – Church redecorated, new light fixtures, floors refurbished
• December 1954 – Approval for Educational Building
• January 1, 1955 - September 1955 – Construction of Educational Building
• October 2, 1955 – Educational Building dedicated and in use; all rooms furnished as memorials
• 1964 – Parsonage renovated with new carport, another bathroom, closets added, house insulated
• 1966 – Church balcony, new organ, new pews, free-standing altar, cross on wall; old alter moved to basement to form a chapel area
• 1975 – Stained glass windows repaired, storm windows added
• Spring 1979 – Air conditioning added to sanctuary
• 1989 – Chapel renovated
• May 26, 1991 – Picnic Shelter dedicated
• July 2007 – Major remodeling of church. Pews removed from nave and transepts, carpet removed from narthex and entire church area, and all items from walls of church. Ceilings, walls of nave, narthex, transepts, sanctuary, choir loft, and other areas painted. All light fixtures cleaned and repaired, hardwood floors refinished and covered with three coats of polyurethane. New carpet placed in areas where it was located before; St. Paul's Women bought new pew cushions and kneelers. Organ pipes moved out front and cloth screed removed, new grill installed to front of pipes; front doors of church repaired and hardware refurbished.
• March 1 - April 30, 2021 – After renting it for decades, major remodeling of parsonage was done, with so much of the labor by members of the congregation and all of the contractor oversight provided by the St. Paul's Property Brothers, including demolishing the kitchen and two bathrooms to studs and floorboards, replacing floors, plumbing, and wiring, lighting, drywall, and ceilings, kitchen backsplash, installing new tub, new shower, new sinks, trim repairs, new kitchen appliances, cabinets, and granite countertops, moving HVAC to central area of housing in the basement, relocating cold air return from basement steps to hallway, removing old ducting and replacing with insulated ducting, adding moisture barrier to crawl space in basement, painting entire interior, and installing ceiling fanlights throughout. This project was completed at under $50,000. Susan and Pastor Ryman moved in on June 1, 2021.
Thanks to Gina Barringer for making this video of so many fond memories.