Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church
Preparing The Way For The New Chruch
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Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Staunton, VA prepares for a new life in 1888 with a new building.

Preparing The Way For The New Chruch

 

            The old Church building and lot, a few articles of furniture of the former being excepted for the sale, were sold to the Young Men’s Christian Association for $12,000 on April 9, 1887 and the lot for a new church building on Lewis St. was purchased from Dr. Wayman for $1,740.  The plans for the church building, drawn by Architect S. W. Foulk of Newcastle, PA (which was submitted to the dying pastor Riser, on his death bed and approved by him) were adopted and Capt. David Bucher was chosen Supervising Architect.

            The new church is brick with stone trimming.  One broad expanse of roof covers both Church and Sabbath School which are on the same level and connected by several doors.  The exterior view shows on the front the words in stone, “Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church” a new name adopted by the congregation January 6, 1889, in place of the old name “Central”.  Under this inscription is seen a stained glass window 12x16 feet in which represented the scene of Jesus taking little children in his arms.  At the north corner is a tower 89 feet high, midway in which is an open belfry, with the old bell (this is the bell that was in the original church and the original town clock).  At the base of the tower is the main entrance to the church.  Entering, the visitor sees an auditorium 46 ft. 6 in. by 52 ft. 8 in.  As he stands in the vestibule under the heavy brick arch which forms it, he sees an amphitheater of pews in semi-circle, on a descending plane.  At the end of that plane the visitor sees an adjustable pulpit of walnut made in Boston after the Lutheran style.  On the left of it is a handsome reading desk of walnut.  In the center is the communion table of the same wood, and standing in front of all is the Baptismal font of walnut lined with brass.  The pulpit furniture consists of three handsome walnut chairs upholstered in plush.  The pulpit, reading desk, communion table, the furniture and two Bibles were all contributed by the Ladies’ Aid Society of the church. 

            The recess which contains the pulpit is an arched semi-circle, frescoed in blue with white pillars.  On the left of the pulpit is the organ with a raised space for the choir railed in.  Around the walls run a wains-coating of oak four feet high.  The auditorium is lighted with four stained glass windows on each side in addition to the large illustrated stained window in front.  The walls are frescoed in panels and the ceiling is an unique one.  It is of boarding, covered with heavy sail-cloth, frescoed, and studded with brass nails.  The ceiling has series of irregular panels enclosed by heavy molding, and above the large gas reflector in the center there is a panel representing a Maltese cross.  The side gas lights of the church are shaded with ground class.  Attached to each pew is a book rack of ash, neatly finished.

            The Sabbath School is entered by a short vestibule on the south side of the church.  It has windows of clear centers and stained glass borders.  The seats are of irregular size and have cast iron frames.  The entrance doors are all self closing.

            The financial results of the erection of the new church is most creditable to the Building committee, the Supervising Architect, the Contractor and all hands.  The congregation was assured the erection of the building should come within the $12,000 on hand for the purpose and the feat was accomplished with a few dollars on the credit side of the account.  An extra indebtedness was incurred as follows:  new organ $1,500, carpet $200 and gas fixtures $100 making a total of $1,773.

            The Common Service was adopted Jan, 6, 1889.

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