Happy Anniversary

I wonder...does anyone know what the traditional gift is for a 130th Anniversary? I mean the first year is paper, the fifth wood, the twenty-fifth silver, fiftieth gold...and the furthest I know is stone for the ninetieth.

130 years ago, if you Google ‘Wilmington 1888,’ you will see we were cleaning up from ‘The Great Blizzard.’

In March.


I do hope snow is not the traditional gift for 130 years.

However, blizzard or not, St. Stephen’s turns 130 years young...and it seems to me that God still has some work left for us.

But let’s look back a bit...did you have a chance to check out the chapel filled with historical artifacts and a lovingly created timeline about our 130 years of ministry? How about some of the Throwback Thursday pictures on Instagram and Facebook?

I’m sure folks were not concerned about parallel parking on Sunday mornings in 1888.

We started out as a mission church situated on Tatnall Street for a little over 30 years. The story I have been told is we were the English speaking church and Zion was German speaking.

In 1895 we called Pastor Doerr, there is a letter on one of the displays offering him the call to St. Stephen’s with a $700 a year salary - which was pretty good when an average worker made $200 - $500 a year.

The congregation moved in the 20’s constructing the St. Stephen’s we all know and love today. In fact, there is a picture of the laying of the cornerstone in which you could see a young girl - Eleanor Davis (who recently passed away) pictured in the foreground.

What I find to be most important are the stories. Pastor Susan Nagle will be joining us Sunday. Her family has a rich history with St. Stephen’s, she was child of the congregation and contemporary of Bill Sperati. I look forward to her stories.

I look forward to your stories - and how St. Stephen’s is part of your faith journey. Join us for a beautiful champagne reception on Sunday as we hear stories about St. Stephen’s, ourselves, and how God is still so very active within and amongst us all. Perhaps that’s the greatest gift for 130 years.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Jason

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St. Stephen's 

Lutheran Church

To Love, To Invite, To Serve


1301 N Broom Street Wilmington, DE 19806

302-652-7623  office@ststeph.org

As a Reconciling in Christ congregation of the ELCA, we believe that the gospel is God's gift to all people, shared unconditionally and without regard to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic or family status, age, physical or mental abilities, outward appearance, or religious affiliation. We seek to live the truth written in Ephesians that Christ breaks down the dividing walls between us and makes us one.


© 2021 St. Stephen's Lutheran Church. All rights reserved.

St. Stephen's Lutheran Church

1301 N Broom Street, Wilmington, DE 19806

302-652-7623 office@ststeph.org


We are a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Delaware-Maryland Synod.



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