St Paul’s after World War II

The War is over!   America won!   The GIs came home and Levittown homes sprung up like dandelions.   Shortly thereafter, the “Baby Boom” generation was born!   This period is considered one of the “happiest times” in American history.

“Man lives not only in the present, but also with a sense of what has happened in the past, with a lively hope for the  future; and with a feeling that we belong to something that did not begin with us and will not end with us.  This is the Church fellowship of believers that has nurtured and sustained us.”
~ Reverend C. Frederick Billmyer – 1971 ~

On December 12, 1948, Reverend C. Frederick Billmyer began a pastorate which exceeded Reverend Shepley’s in length by ten years.

In January, 1950, the basement below the auditorium was excavated by hand with wheelbarrows by the men of the Church, in preparation to equip a Recreation Room.  The room was declared a memorial to the late Rev. James R. Shepley.

On October 14, 1951, the “Social Room” was formally dedicated in memory of Rev. James R. Shepley.

On October 26, 1952, the Sanctuary was re-dedicated. New carpet and improved lighting were installed at a cost of $15,000.00.

On September 1, 1955,  Robert L. Swartz began service as organist.  He served as the organist at St. Paul’s until his death in 2005.

1957 – The Evangelical & Reformed Denomination merged with the Congregational Christian Church to give us a new name, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.

By now the “Baby Boomers” were ready to attend St. Paul’s Sunday School and as with the case of many educational facilities during this time, a larger facility was needed to hold them all!  On May 7, 1959, The Architectural firm of Wolf and Hahn, Allentown, were commissioned to prepare preliminary drawings and specifications for renovations and facilities for the Sunday School, Kitchen, etc.  On August 16, 1959, at a Congregational Meeting, the Building Program was approved by a standing vote at $215,000.00.   On June 25, 1961, a service of dedication was held for the Christian Education addition

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On October 4, 1970, the congregation voted to purchase a Custom Rodgers Organ at a cost of $27,140 to replace the pipe organ which had been rebuilt 24 years earlier and had been in service for 66 years!

The One Hundredth Anniversary Services were held on Sunday and Tuesday during the week of March 28, 1971.

December 26, 1982  was Rev. Billmyer’s last Sunday as pastor upon his retirement.

On New Year’s Day, 1984, Reverend George H. Schmidt began his twenty two year pastorate.  A few months later on May 27th, the Office and Pastor’s Study were dedicated.

1997 – Furnace meltdown
1999 – Bell Tower reconstructed.
2000 – Jim Frantz Dedication Award established
2003 – Installation and dedication of new organ
2004 – God Is Still Speaking initiative undertaken

December 31, 2006,  was Reverend George H. Schmidt’s  last Sunday as pastor upon his
retirement.

On New Year’s Day, 2007, Reverend Patti Thomas began her pastorate.  “Pastor Patti” is the first woman pastor at St. Paul’s

Further Reading

For more about the history of St. Paul’s, view the We Are Family Album (2006) 17 MB
For more about the history of Sellersville, visit the Sellersville Museum

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