St. Paul Lutheran Church – Pomaria, South Carolina
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St. Paul Lutheran Church was established in what is now Pomaria by the Reverend Joachim Bulow in 1761. The church is believed to have one of the oldest Lutheran congregations in Newberry County. The first house of worship for St. Paul was a log cabin built near this site shortly after the church’s organization. It burned in 1786 after serving the church for 25 years.
The cabin was replaced with a frame building following the fire and yet a larger frame church in 1830, which would house the congregation for more than 100 years. The churchyard was established in 1865 and is the resting place of the church’s longest-serving pastor, the Reverend J. A. Sligh, who ministered here from 1865 until 1912.
The congregation once again outgrew its building in the twentieth century, and a new church was built to accommodate an expanding membership in 1938.
The exterior of the Gothic-Revival sanctuary was constructed of local blue granite. The edifice was designed by Willie Koon, brother of the Reverend S.P. Koon, who served St. Paul from 1916 until 1934.
Sadly, the stately sanctuary suffered the same fate as the original church when it burned in the early morning of January 10, 2013. One parishioner who witnessed the fire claims to have heard the church bell ringing as the steeple toppled from its base.
The congregation is hoping to salvage the sanctuary, though its education building was permanently destroyed. Until the church is rebuilt, St. Paul has been worshiping in a neighboring vacant school building. The cause of the fire is unknown.
UPDATE: As of August of 2015, the church’s restoration is nearly complete. Thank you to Jim Jenkins for the below photo of St. Paul Lutheran Church showing the progress made as of August 15, 2015. The church was able to preserve the walls and facade of the church while constructing a new interior and rear of the sanctuary as well as a new education building.
St. Paul Lutheran Church Info
Address: 2496 South Carolina Highway 773, Pomaria, SC 29126
GPS Coordinates: 34.242256,-81.454096
St. Paul Lutheran Church Map
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