Among the earliest supporters of this faith at Shamokin were William and Reuben Fagely, and through their efforts the Rev. J. P. Shindel, of Sunbury, was induced to institute occasional services at the Central school house about the year 1840. Several Mormon missionaries were endeavoring to proselyte at the little mining town, and the immediate object of the Fagelys in introducing Lutheran worship was to counteract the influence of their work. It had the desired result, without, however, affecting anything immediate or definite in the way of Lutheran church organization. The Reverend Alleman, of St. Peter’s and St. Jacob’s churches in the Shamokin valley, partially effected an organization in 1842, and regular services were held under his administration and that of his successor, Rev. Philip Williard.
On the 11th of October, 1854, the church was fully organized under Rev. C. J. Ehrhart as pastor. His incumbency was principally noticeable in view of the educational project undertaken -the erection of a college, now the Academy school building – which was not a success, and depleted the resources of the congregation to a serious extent. Mr. Ehrhart also conducted a private school of an academic grade.
Mr. Ehrhart was succeeded, October 11, 1857, by Rev. J. F. Wampole. Under his administration services were held in the Presbyterian church one year; in 1858 a room was fitted up in the Odd Fellows’ hall by the Lutheran and Reformed congregations, and used by them on alternate Sundays for divine worship. Rev. J. B. Keller became pastor in 1865, and in the summer of that year a project for the erection of a church edifice assumed tangible form. C. S. Wetzel was the architect, and Jonas L. Gilger the contractor.
The corner-stone was laid with appropriate ceremonies on the 8th of October,1865, Rev. H. Zeigler, D. D., officiating, assisted by the pastor. The basement was first occupied for public worship on the 20th of January, 1867, and on the 11th of August, 1867, the completed edifice was dedicated, Rev. A. C. Wedekind, D. D., preaching the dedicatory sermon. On this occasion the contributions aggregated two thousand dollars.
On the following Monday the Susquehanna Conference of the church assembled here. Since the resignation of Mr. Keller in 1869 the following clergymen have served as pastors: Reverends J. R. Williams, S. Domer, D. D., H. C. Haithcox, P, S. Hooper, J. A. Flickinger, L. D. Wells, and C. F. Steck:, the present pastor, who assumed charge in the autumn of 1889.
The church edifice is a substantial brick structure on Sunbury street. It was originally fifty by seventy-five feet in dimensions, and in 1884 an addition of twenty-five feet was erected at the rear. Steam heating apparatus was provided in 1887, and in 1891 a fine pipe-organ was secured. The height of the tower is one hundred eighteen feet.