A Few Treasures Survived York’s St. Paul’s Lutheran Fire
Good Shepherd window at St. Paul’s
My last post included my recent York Sunday News column on the great St. Paul’s Lutheran Church fire of 1939. A few treasures saved from the ruins can be seen at the present St. Paul’s at the corner of S. George St. and Springettsbury Ave. St. Paul’s congregation is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year.
The most important relic from the first church is probably the altar cross. It was recovered, along with the candlesticks. All three items have been restored and are in use today on St. Paul’s altar, as can be seen below.
St. Paul’s altar cross and candlesticks
The most spectacular remnant of the old church is the Good Shepherd window, seen above, as it is beautifully displayed in the office wing of the present church. The newspaper accounts of the day after the fire lamented the loss of the “costly stained glass windows, crashed by tons of water to keep the fire within the walls.”
How did the Good Shepherd Window escape?
It wasn’t located in the main sanctuary with the rest of the stained glass windows, but in the primary room of Sunday School building, where it had been placed in 1901 by the Christian Endeavor in appreciation of Caroline (Callie) Fischer. There it escaped the brunt of the fire and the million gallons of water used to control the blaze.
St. Paul’s historian, Carol Woodbury, shared the label below; it is displayed beside the window.