St. Marks Lutheran Church of Whitestown
107 South Main Street
The current church building was built in 1904 and dedicated on January 29, 1905.
This building was built of brick and trimmed in stone, at a cost of about $7,000.
The current structure replaced the one built in 1869 on the exact same spot, which was razed due to structural concerns, and to make way for the new larger church building. The land was purchased from Ambrose Neese.
It was on August 12, 1869 that a constitution and bylaws were adopted and signed by 41 charter members, and the church officially organized on a legal basis.
Prior to 1869, records indicate that a small band of Lutheran settlers coming to this area from Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Virginia first began to gather for the purpose of singing and praying in 1834. Their gatherings began on a large hill in the woods out east of town (now the Lutheran Cemetery). They would, in those earliest days, utilize small structures and cabins for their services, before finally settling on this current location.
The bell that hangs in the belfry tower of the church building was originally purchased in 1869 for the original building at a cost of $112. Some of the original seats and the organ were also reused from the original building, but in March of 1948 a new Baldwin electronic organ was installed to replace the old organ.
Sometime around 1967 a drop ceiling was installed in the worship area (for heating and cooling reasons) and much of the architectural detail would be hidden for the next 4 decades including the arched portions of the beautiful stained glass windows on the sides and at the back of the worship area. A major renovation took place in 2010 that included the removal of the drop ceiling, which restored a beauty and grandeur to the room that had not been seen in many many years.
The church has record books going all the way back to its earliest days and I've been working to scan some of those into digital files for preservation and sharing. A geneologist could have a field day with this information.
It may not be one of the modern mega churches that seem to be attracting people, but man oh man if these old walls could talk!
Some information excerpted from the booklet “100th Anniversary St. Marks Lutheran Church” dated October 1,2,3, 1948