St. Luke's early days


St. Luke's in 2007


The following information was taken from a bulletin commemorating the church's Fiftieth Anniversary.  Any updates, corrections, or additional information are welcome and appreciated.

The First Council and Congregation
Former Pastors
Moments in History
The Church Building
More History

The First Inspiration

In the early 1890s, a group of citizens in Noxen, Pennsylvania realized the need for a church in their community.  This idea came about after a group of children which used to gather in the home of Mr. and Mrs. George K. Mosser became too large to fit comfortably in the couple's living room.  Soon they began meeting in the Noxen Tannery.  The Sunday School sessions there inspired the idea of a church.  Organizers invited ministers and theologians to conduct Lutheran services regularly.  This service grew and they decided to call a pastor.  The first pastor, the Rev. H.F.J. Seneker, preached his first sermon at the "Noxen Mission" on June 10th, 1894 to the Lutherans still meeting at the Tannery.

On May 19th, 1895, the group agreed to hold a meeting, set for June 1st, to organize into a regular congregation.  At this meeting, "it was moved by Frank S. Horlacher and seconded by Adam D. Kresge that the Lutheran Congregation of Noxen be known as 'St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church.'"

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The First Council and Congregation

The first church council consisted of:
George K. Mosser, Treasurer
Frank H. Weinsheimer, Secretary
Adam D. Kresge
Frank S. Horlacher
The Rev. H.F.J. Seneker.  

The congregation was organized with 22 charter members, including:
Adam D. Kresge
Julia A. Kresge
Frank S. Horlacher
Emma S. Horlacher
George K. Mosser
Ida I. Mosser
John Conrad
Ada Conrad
Wilson Smith
Ida Smith
William Reinhard
Sarah Reinhard
Edward Haney
Alice Haney
Alice Eckelberger
Diana Dienstel
Mamie Horlacher
George Rowe
Josiah J. Ealer Jr.
Peter Frailey
Charles F. Weinsheimer
Frank H. Weinsheimer

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Former Pastors

The church has been served by the following pastors:
The Rev. H.F.J. Seneker - June 1894 - May 1896
The Rev. Christian Krahmer - November 1896 - September 1897
The Rev. J.I. Miller - November 1897 - October 1902
The Rev. O.F. Ettwein - January 1903 - April 1916
The Rev. Luther B. Scheehl - September 1916 - August 1917
The Rev. W.W. Kramlich - 1918 - 1919
The Rev. Edward E. Stuckert - 1920 - July 1922
The Rev. Levi W. Yiengst - 1923 - February 1931
The Rev. Harold G. Deisher - June 1931 - February 1936
The Rev. John R. Albright - June 1936 - September 1943
The Rev. Henry C. Kraft - February 1944 - 1957
The Rev. Louis V. Rogers - June 1957 - May January 1959
The Rev. Wesley K. Kimm - April 1960 - June 1965
The Rev. Finck
The Rev. Jacob Victor
The Rev. Schafer
The Rev. David Williams - Retired 2003

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Moments in History

During Pastor Seneker's pastorate, he baptized 14 people, the first of which were Albert and Lottie, children of Charlie and Mary E. Dotter, on June 24th, 1894.  The first confirmation class consisted of four members: George J. Remmell, Frank Horlacher Jr., Charles Allender, and Myrtis Dimmick.

The first communion service was conducted by Pastor Christian Krahmer on December 13th, 1896 and included 30 people.  On January 4th, 1897, a new set of by-laws was adopted.  Pastor Krahmer was installed at a special service February 28, 1897.  Speakers for the occasion included Rev. Weiskotten and the previous pastor, Rev. H.F.J. Seneker.  Rev. Krahmer baptized 15 children.

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The Church Building

The first mention in the records about a church building was made at a meeting held April 17th, 1899.  A subscription list for the building of a new church was circulated among the members by the pastor the week after April 24th.  On June 14th, a motion was made by George K. Mosser and seconded by Frank S. Horlacher that a church be built.  The records don't show when the construction began or was completed, but according to the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, the new church building was dedicated on November 26th, 1899.  This happened during the pastorate of Rev. J.I. Miller.  The building committee consisted of "Schooley, Horlacher, Mosser, and Dr. Miller."  The records do not show the cost of building the church.

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More History

Many improvements were made during the Rev. O.F. Ettwein's pastorate, the longest of all pastorates.  A new altar, pulpit and lectern were purchased and consecrated.  New cushions were purchased for the pews.  Fifteen classes of young people were confirmed, consisting of 107 people.  Twenty-eight adults were added to the membership by letter of transfer and adult baptism.

Pastor Luther B. Scheehl came to Noxen in September 1916 and left to become pastor of St. Pauls, Johnson City, New York on August 31st, 1917.  During his pastorate, the church purchased a new bell, which was rung the first time on August 19th, 1917.  Thirteen people were confirmed, 10 children baptized, three marriages were performed and two burials were held.  

During the Rev. W.W. Kramlich's pastorate, 11 people were baptized, 6 were confirmed, and 7 burials were held.

The Ladies' Society was organized on January 5th, 1921, during the pastorate of the Rev. E.E. Stuckert.  The first panel of officers included Mrs. J.E. Turrell, President; Mrs. E.E. Stuckert, Vice President; Mrs. Fred Osborne, Treasurer; and Mrs. James Murray, Secretary.  This society has remained active ever since, raising thousands of dollars over the years to fund repairs to the church.

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The first occupants of the parsonage, which was built and given to the church by Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Turrell, were Pastor Yiengst and family.  The Rev. Yiengst baptized 46 people, confirmed 34, and conducted 15 marriages, and 9 burials.  He left Noxen to become pastor of St. Luke's, Archbald, Pennsylvania.

During the pastorate of the Rev. Harold Deisher, the interior of the church was painted, a new carpet was laid, new chancel lights were installed, and a missal stand and altar service book first came into use.  He conducted 57 baptisms, 16 adult baptisms, 39 confirmations, 6 marriages, and 26 burials.  Also during that time, the church celebrated it's 40th anniversary.

During the pastorate of the Rev. John Albright, two dozen common service books were acquired, as well as an altar cross, altar linen with lace edging, brass vases for the altar, and violet pulpit and lectern hangings.  The exterior of the church and the parsonage were painted, and the Primary Sunday School room was equipped with small chairs and tables.  Pastor Albright conducted 58 baptisms, 12 adult baptisms, 56 confirmations, 17 marriages, and 30 burials.

In 1945, during the pastorate of the Rev. Henry Kraft, the church celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary, and dedicated the leaded art glass windows.  The altar vases were consecrated during this time, and several new items were dedicated, including red and green pulpit and lectern hangings, a Bible for the pulpit, and National and Christian flags.  Also, the  parsonage kitchen was refurnished, and a new oil furnace was installed, along with a gas range, water heater and new cupboards.  The basement was concreted and the Luther League planted yews and shrubs around the church building.  During his pastorate, the Rev. Kraft conducted 120 baptisms, 53 confirmations, 37 marriages, and 48 burials.

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During the Rev. Louis Rogers' pastorate, the church acquired a new organ, new Service hymnals, a new heating system, and a new sign for the front lawn.  He administered 10 baptisms, confirmed 13 members, performed 14 marriages, and conducted 9 burials.

The last full time pastor was the Rev. Wesley Kimm.  During his pastorate, the interior of the church was painted, new ceiling lights were hung, and new carpeting was installed.  Restroom facilities were added by annexing a building and providing access from the primary room.  Sidewalks and steps were replaced or repaired and an attractive protective wall was placed on the corner of the front lawn.  The basement also saw extensive improvement including new entrance steps.  During his term, the Rev. Kimm conducted 24 baptisms, 24 confirmations, 10 marriages, and 22 burials.

Since Pastor Kimm's departure, the church has relied on volunteer help, supply pastors, neighboring pastors, and other sources.  Over the last 30 years, the church has seen even more changes, including a new organ, a fresh coat of paint, a new furnace and oil tank, new vinyl siding and front doors, new basement doors, new sidewalks, and blacktopping for the parking lot plus a new lot across the street.  More improvements include track lighting, new carpeting, and cupboards in the Sunday School room.  The parsonage has also seen improvements, including new paint on the inside and vinyl siding on the outside, plus foam insulation, new windows, and new doors.  Parish hall improvements over the last 30 years have included a new furnace, lowered ceilings, insulation, paneling, ceiling fans, and new lighting.  The kitchen was remodeled, new doors, awnings, and vinyl siding were installed, and the parking lot was improved.  In 2000, new carpeting and new pews were installed in the church.

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