Christiana Lutheran celebrates 140 years

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 21, 2011

Christiana Evangelical Lutheran Church in Granite Quarry will celebrate its 140th anniversary on Sunday. All are invited to attend, especially former church members and their families. In lieu of Sunday school, festivities begin in the basement assembly hall at 9:15 a.m. There will be food and fellowship until 10:30 a.m., when the celebration continues during worship.
Compiled by the Archives Committee, chaired by Gladys Doyle in 2010 and Saundra Fesperman in 2011, the assembly hall will be adorned with displays of artifacts from the congregation’s past, such as the original church membership register. A short play reenacting the founding of the church will be performed, and pictures of sons and daughters of the congregation and selected pastors will be displayed. A short reel-to-reel clip of the church’s 1941 homecoming, filmed by Lexington’s H. Lee Waters, will be shown continuously. Waters travelled to over 100 towns across the state (including Salisbury, Spencer, Rockwell, and China Grove) filming everyday activities. His collection of films has been donated to Duke University for archival preservation and restoration. DVDs of this clip may be ordered at the event or through the church office. A slideshow of old and current photos will be shown and the church will unveil “Precious Memories,” its collection of videotaped interviews with current and former members, including recently departed 104-year-old Pauline Iddings, whose husband, the Rev. J. White Iddings, pastored the congregation during the 1940s.
The worship service will begin with special recognition of descendants of the original charter families, as well as other recognitions.
Christiana has been served by 25 pastors in its 140 years. The Rev. Simeon Scherer, pastor of Union Lutheran, organized the congregation in the historic 1850s Nathan Brown House, which sits behind the cemetery and is being restored as a museum centered around farm life during that time. Scherer served from Jan. 22, 1871 until March 24, 1871. The Rev. R. L. Brown, a son of the congregation, was the next pastor, serving from March 25, 1871 until April 1884. The current pastor is the Rev. Carl M. Haynes, who came to the church in 1992.
Seven men and their families helped organize Christiana. They were: Nathan Brown, Henry Brown, Daniel Frick, Moses Lingle, Charles Lyerly, Adam Miller and Milus Miller. The land (5.5 acres) upon which Christiana first built was given by Nathan and Jane Brown and Nathan’s mother, Amy.
During its 140 years, Christiana has been a member of the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and recently became a member of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC).
Christiana is located on Hwy. 52, five miles east of I-85 across from the Old Stone Winery. For more information visit .