York Town Square

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‘Painting pastor’s’ work survives devastating southeastern York County blaze

In 1949, the Rev. Dr. C. Guy Stambach works on a painting that now hangs in Dallastown’s Bethlehem United Methodist Church. A similar painting survived a devastating fire at Shenberger’s Chapel, another United Methodist congregation, in Chanceford Township in southeastern York County.(See below for more photos on the fire and the painting.) Background posts: People of varying religious groups founded York County and York’s worst blaze struck 150 years ago.

In inspecting their burned out church, chagrined Shenbarger Chapel members are marveling that a painting behind the pulpit survived the blaze.
The painting of Jesus is one of many brought to area churches via the hand of pastor/artist C. Guy Stambaugh.
Coincidentally, the York Daily Record/Sunday News (1/30/09) had run a feature on the Rev. Stambaugh just last week… .

This is a closeup of the Shenbarger chancel painting that survived the blaze.

The Stambaugh painting that survived the blaze can be seen in devastated chancel area, background.
In the 1950s and ’60s, the late Rev. Dr. C. Guy Stambach made headlines around the country as the “painting pastor,” Melissa Nann Burke wrote.
Here are the rest of her lead paragraphs:

Today, the York native’s art continues to hang in more than 28 midstate churches. More of his works decorate sanctuaries and narthexes in churches across 15 denominations in other parts of Pennsylvania and the world.
Some local churches might have Stambachs and don’t know it.
“He usually had his name down in a corner,” said Stambach’s surviving son, the Rev. Dr. Paul E. Stambach of Spring Garden Township.

The story goes on to tell how many churches are cleaning and restoring the aging paintings.
Shenbarger church members had a similar plan.
In fact, they still do and plan to execute it.

For the full story on the painter/pastor, click here.
For more on the devastating Shenbarger fire, click here.

Also of interest:
Filey’s fire: Why are so many family names attached to York County churches?