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St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church
12 N. Sixth St., at Market St.
Wilmington, NC 28401

(910) 762-4882

Responding to the growing number of German Lutherans in Wilmington, the North Carolina Lutheran Synod organized St. Paul's in 1858. Services began in 1861 as the Civil War began. Construction came to a halt when German artisans working on the building volunteered for the 18th North Carolina Regiment and became the first local unit in active duty. The building was occupied and badly damaged by Union troops after the fall of Fort Fisher in early 1865. Horses were stabled in the building and its wooden furnishings were used as firewood. The completed church was dedicated in 1869, only to burn in 1894. It was promptly rebuilt. There have been several additions and renovations since. Today, the building is remarkable for its blend of austere Greek Revival massing: entablature, pediments, and pilasters with Gothic Revival detailing: slender spire, clustered interior piers, and large lancet windows. Also notable are its color-patterned slate roof and copper finials and the gently arcing pew arrangement. The removal of paneling during renovations in 1995-96 uncovered beautiful stenciling on the ceiling panels and ribs in the vestibule, nave, and chancel.


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