Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church History

The First Lutheran Church in Shamokin was formed around 1850 and was named Trinity Lutheran Church.  Many members wanted to change the service from a German speaking service to an English speaking service.  A large group wanted to keep the German speaking service tradition alive and started meeting at Seiler’s Hall in Shamokin on West Spruce Street.  It was here that the congregation was officially organized as Grace Lutheran Church on October 31, 1885.

In February 20, 1955, the church was destroyed by an arson fire. The loss of the church and property was valued at $125,000. The church was rebuilt purchasing some properties near the church ane the new church was dedicated on October 20, 1956, just 20 months after the devastating fire.

The first pastor was Rev. Henry Weicksel who serve from 1884-1887. Subsequent pastors were:

  • Rev. William Weicksel, 1887 – 1891
  • Rev. Jacob F. Wampole, 1891 – 1907
  • Rev. Carl J. Streich, 1907 – 1917
  • Rev. Elias H. Gerhart, 1918 – 1937
  • Rev. Marlin M. Enders, 1937 – 1943
  • Rev. Rollin Shaffer, 1937 – 1948
  • Rev. John W. Harkins, 1949 – 1954
  • Rev. Robert M. Arentz, 1954 – 1959
  • Rev. Charles A. Souders, 1960 – 1986
  • Rev. Garhard H. W. Roggenkamp, 1986 – 1990
  • Rev. Everett R. Arnold, 1990 – 1999
  • Rev. Ronald Shellhamer, 1999 – 2007

Our 14th and current pastor is Rev. David M. Byerly who began serving in 2008.  At our church we share council meeting with St. Paul’s Lutheran church, Gowen City, and do projects together such as the spring and fall Evangelism breakfasts and the Anthracite Heritage Festival of the Arts where we run our food stand at the festival.  We also have our summer picnic out at Odd Fellows Grove with St. Paul’s and Trinity Lutheran churches which is a great time and fellowship between the three churches.

We are a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We strive together to do God’s work with our hands.