St. Paul’s United Church of Christ (UCC) Built: 1957
During the pastorate of Reverend Jacob B. Landis, the Reformed congregation was granted a charter and adopted its own constitution on February 15, 1919. A parsonage at 121 West Arch Street was purchased. Reverend Landis initiated: use of duplex envelopes; observance of the communion service four times during the church year; observance of the rite of Confirmation annually; establishment of a building fund.
Reverend Wilmer H. Long followed on January 1, 1930. The Young Friends Society became a reality in 1930 and the Daughters in 1931. Two women were elected to serve on the Consistory for the first time in 1933—Mrs. Marie Knoll and Miss Ella Hoffman. The following year two more women were elected: Mrs. Uriah Fisher and Mrs. Stella Kieffer. From that time to the present four women serve as deaconesses on the Consistory of the church. In 1934 the Reformed Church in the United States merged with the Evangelical Synod of North America and became an organic body known as the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
On December 30, 1935, the congregation purchased a lot on the northwest corner of Franklin and Arch Streets to be used as the site of the new church. In 1936 tentative plans crystallized for the new church; the Holy Communion was served at the seats for the first time; and the Churchmen’s Brotherhood was organized. The Fellowhip Cabin was built on the church lot in 1937 and served as the center of all social activities until the new church was built. In 1958 it was opened to the Boy Scouts—under the sponsorship of the church.
Reverend J. Paul Kehm was installed on December 7,1943. Under his guidance the Christmas Candlelight Service at 11:00 P.M. was inaugurated; the giving of “White Gifts to the and General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches of the United States of America were united and became the United Church of Christ.
On Sunday, March 9, 1958, the new church, contemporary in architecture, simple in detail, yet rich in design and warm in atmosphere, was dedicated. On Community Night, local ministers brought greeting from their congregations; on Wednesday, March 12, Sons of the Church Night was observed; Reverend Daniel E. Schaeffer, D.D., of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and his brother, Reverend Charles E. Schaeffer, D.D., delivered the sermons; Reverend Lee Adams, pastor of the First Methodist Church, Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, and Reverend Leonard Frey, Ph.D., Professor of Religion, Memphis, Tennessee, were the liturgists.
Reverend Kehm preached his first sermon in the new church on Sunday, March 16, 1958. The final dedication service was held in the evening when Reverend Kehm’s twin brother, Reverend C. Harry Kehm, Pastor of Grace United Church of Christ, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and his brother-in-law, Reverend Howard Kosman, Pastor of Zion’s United Church of Christ, Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and Reverend Delas Keener, Pastor of First United Church of Christ, Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, were the guest preachers.
The first Men’s Communion Breakfast, November 8,1964, was so successful that it is now an annual affair with 160 to 185 men usually in attendance. Donald Heffley is in charge of preparing the menu and of securing interesting speakers.
For twenty-three years Reverend Kehm was the supply pastor of Becker’s St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, Fleetwood, R. D. No. 2, Pennsylvania. In October, 1966, that congregation sold their part of the church edifice to the Lutheran Congregation and united with St. Paul’s United Church of Christ of Fleetwood. Following the modern trend of the minister today, Reverend Kehm built his own home on East Jackson Street. The parsonage was sold in 1967.
January, 1968, marked the first publication of the monthly newsletter—The normal Unique Chit Chat which is sent to all members of the congregation at home and in the Armed Forces.
Shenk and Seibert, Architects, and Howard Deisher, contractor, planned and erected an addition to the church consisting of classrooms, a conference room and offices for the secretary and pastor. A parking lot was added in 1969 on the east side of the annex and on November 15, 1970, the Dedication of the annex was held.
On Reverend Kehm’s twenty-fifth anniversary as pastor of St. Paul’s, the congregation surprised him with a special service. He and Mrs. Kehm were presented with a monetary gift which resulted in a trip to Europe in September, 1969.