In 2017 St. James is celebrating 50 years of ministry! 
St. John's Union Church ~ St. James Lutheran Church

 

The beginnings of St. John's Union Church were typical of all mission work. For some years prior to the organization of the Lutheran and Reformed congregations, an active organized Sunday School gathered families together. Their numbers increased, and a Christian Aid Society was organized. The need was felt for a local church building. In 1889 the cornerstone was laid, funds were gathered, the building progressed until dedicated on June 21st, 1891.

 

The earliest history of St. John's Church begins with the Coopersburg Union Sunday School which was officially organized on April 3, 1850. Some records go back to 1845, and the Sunday School met in various locations. Upon its incorporation in 1891, the Coopersburg Union Sunday School moved into the church and officially changed its name to Saint John's Union Sunday School.

 

The ground for our present building was given by Tilghman Cooper and Mrs. Matilda Cooper in 1884. Work on the building was started in 1886 and the cornerstone was laid in 1889. The building was first used on July 27, 1890, and was dedicated on June 21, 1891. From the beginning it was a Union Church serving the needs of both St. John's Reformed and St. John's Lutheran congregations.

 

St. John's Union Church was not strong enough to have its own pastor, so for many years in was part of a three-point charge, being yoked with St. Paul's (Blue) Church, and Friedens, Friedensville. The Union Church was dissolved in 1962.

 

St. John's Lutheran was renamed St. James Lutheran Church (two brothers among Jesus' disciples were James and John -- the new name signifies the long relationship between these two congregations). St. John's Union Church was renamed St. John's United Church of Christ, and shared the building with St. James Lutheran Church until Easter Sunday, March 26, 1967. After a successful building fund campaign held in April and May of 1965, ground breaking ceremonies held on March 13, 1966, St. James moved to a new location in 1967, and St. John's continues to use the building which has served it for over a century.

 

After a joint service at St. John's, the Altar Book and Sacramental Vessels were removed from the Altar, Pastor Wolf and the Church Council started the procession bearing the Sacramental Vessels. Rick Mayer carried the Altar Book. The march followed St. John's east to Linden Street, turning east on Station Avenue to 4th Street, north to E. State, north on Route 309 to Oxford Street. We entered the church on the Oxford Street side.

 

remember the sabbath window


The first service took place Easter Sunday, March 26, 1967, after members of the congregation walked from the old church on Thomas Street, Coopersburg, to the new building on Route 309. The stained glass windows (shown right) are located in the nave, and depict symbols of the Ten Commandments. The two in the sanctuary represent the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. The large window in the narthex is the Saint James window(pictured below). A vertical cross-hilted sword and an escallop signify pilgrimage and martyrdom.

 

The Shields of the Apostles, found on the reredos (on either side of the cross), are hand-carved in wood and finished in gold. The symbolism on each one represents one of the twelve apostles.


Sword Stained Glass with jagged border

 

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