On October 5, 2014 Reverend F. Mark Walters was called as Pastor of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church. He is the fourth full time pastor called to serve St. Andrew’s in our first half century of ministry. He brings demonstrated skills of leadership and consensus building in both the religious and secular arenas.
1956-1958 Founding of St. Andrew's
Seeds for a United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) congregation in Dover, Delaware were sown in 1956 and 1957. The Board of American Missions of the ULCA called the Rev. Raymond Carl Best to be Mission Developer in the Kent County, Delaware mission field and purchased a new house in Dover to serve as parsonage and headquarters for the mission endeavor. On the first of February 1958, Pastor Best, his wife Tillie and infant son Andrew moved to 149 Orchard Avenue, Dover.
May 18, 1958 was CHARTER DAY at St. Andrew’s. Attendance at The Service was 78 and at Sunday School 53. The membership roll was opened for the first time and signed by 41 adults. This Charter roll was kept open for additional signatures. These whose names were on it were to be received as members on Organization Sunday.
One CHARTER DAY the Rev. Orval C. Hartman, S.T.M., Director of Home Mission for the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium (synod) of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States of the United Lutheran Church in America preached the sermon.
The formal Organization of St. Andrew’s occurred on October 26, 1958 in the V.F.W. Building. Officials from the Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States who participated in The Service of Organization were: Dr. Karl S. Henry, speaker; Roy L. Winters, PhD., liturgist; and the Rev. Orval C. Hartman who conducted the Order of Organization. In the congregation were representatives of the following local churches: Christ Episcopal, Peoples Congregational Christian (presently Peoples United Church of Christ), First Baptist and the Presbyterian Church (USA).
The Constitution and By-Laws had been adopted and members of Council elected at the first congregational dinner meeting on October 25, 1958 at the Grange Hall. The Charter had been signed by 75 adults. (Received by Baptism – 1, Confirmation – 16, Profession of Faith – 15, Letter of Transfer – 43). Also on the rolls were 53 baptized but not confirmed Child members.
Attendance in Sunday School prior to the Organization Service was 67 plus 22 children in the Nursery. At 11;00 a.m. 113 persons attended The Service where $55.00 was received in offerings. At this time the Building Fund totaled $430.86. (Bear in mind that, in the economy of 1958, one gallon of regular gasoline cost 28 cents).
Dr. Roy Winters, Secretary of the Board of American Missions of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States presided over the first meeting of the Congregation Council and Board of Trustees held at the Murphey School at 2:00 p.m. on October 26th. Elections of officers were conducted. Members were: Ruth Schwartz; ED Vahl, v. pres; Charles Vibrock, Marion Wagner; Bernard Forcey, financial secretary; Don Mackes; Garland Meyer; Glenn Vidt, treasurer; Robert Baylor, secretary; Don Diffenbaugh; Paul Goeppel and Howard Row, president.
From the seeds that were sown hopefully and nurtured faithfully emerged, by the Grace of God, St. Andrew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, a mission congregation of the United Lutheran Church in America, on October 26, 1958.
Excepts taken from a history compiled by Jean Row