A BRIEF HISTORY OF CHRISTIANA EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH — ORGANIZED 1871
Christiana Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized January 22, 1871 in the home of Nathan Brown. This home is located on Old Hwy 80 (S. Main St.) across from the Christiana Cemetery. The organization of Christiana in this community seems to have been the outgrowth of a very definite need for a more centralized place of worship and the dedication of seven families. Harsh winter weather and poor roads made it hard to make the long trek by horse and buggy to Organ, St. Peter’s, St. Matthew’s, Union or St. John’s Lutheran Churches.
The Rev. Simeon Scherer, pastor of Union Lutheran Church, organized the congregation with the following persons and their families listed as charter members: Nathan Brown, Henry Brown, Daniel Frick, Moses Lingle, Charles Lyerly, Adam Miller and Milus Miller.
On March 24, 1871 R. L. Brown, then a licentiate of the North Carolina Synod, was given permission by the President of the Synod, the Rev. Whitson Kimball, to supply the congregation, complete its organization and build a church.
Five and a half acres of land were given by Nathan Brown, his wife Jane and his mother Amy Brown. The record of this deed can be found in Deed Book #45, page 673 on file in the Rowan County Court House in Salisbury, North Carolina under the date of March 27, 1871.
The cornerstone for the new church was laid July 25, 1871 by President Kimball, assisted by the Rev. Samuel Rothrock, the Rev. Simeon Scherer, and the Rev. R. L. Brown. The dimensions of the building were 53 feet long and 35 feet wide. It was completed in 1874.
In 1898 a second church building replaced the original structure. This building was 65 feet long and 50 feet wide. It was dedicated by the pastor, Rev. C. A. Brown, on January 1, 1899. The sermon for the occasion was preached by the President of the North Carolina Synod, the Rev. L. E. Busby.
On May 11-15, 1904 the North Carolina Synod met at Christiana.
The addition of two transepts which contained 10 Sunday School Class rooms were added to the building in 1925. Then on March 11, 1945 this wood sided building completely burned to the ground. A monument in the current cemetery marks where the Altar was.
The congregation replaced the burned structure in a different location on its property with a brick structure that is currently in use by the congregation. It was dedicated debt free on April 17, 1949.
In 1953 a Fellowship Hall was built. In 1960 the congregation dedicated its new Educational Building which is also currently in use. An elevator was added in 2003 making the Sanctuary and Educational building handicap accessible.
Since 1871 Christiana has been served by 25 pastors and 4 seminarians. The current pastor, the Rev. Carl M. Haynes began serving in January 1992.
On September 28, 2010 Christiana became a member of the North American Lutheran Church.
The disciples at Christiana are currently involved in bringing into reality a $2.2 million building that combines an outdoor pavilion and a fellowship hall w/kitchen both under one roof. We are calling it the Beacon Center as it will be primarily used as a community outreach facility. It will include adding more parking spaces and redoing the road between the church and cemetery are also in the plan.
Christiana Evangelical Lutheran Church seeks to minister to all people proclaiming God’s love in word and deed. Through a new discipleship program the pastor and discipleship team members are training to teach the congregation how to do life2life discipleship. The goal is to be more intentional in carrying out the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20.
Nathan Brown House
Christiana Lutheran Church
Christiana Lutheran Church
1949 - present