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St. Paul's Episcopal Church

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The first St. Paul's Erected c. 1702,
Bell Tower added 1745.
The second St. Paul's Erected 1850
Stood until 1952
The current St. Paul's Erected 1900
9th & Madison Streets
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Marker commemorating St. Paul's 300th Anniversary in 2002 on the site of the original church in a part of the Old Swedish Cemetery.
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Interior view of the current St. Paul's
9th & Madison Streets

9th & Madison Streets
Chester, PA 19013

Former Rectors  |  Church History  |   Membership Directory

Former Rectors The Rev. Evan Evans, (occasional), 1703-1704
The Rev. Henry Nichols, 1704-1708
The Rev. George Ross (one month), 1708
No minister, 1708-1711
The Rev. George Ross, 1711-1714
The Rev. John Humphrey, 1714-1724
The Rev. John Talbot, (occasional), 1724-1726
The Rev. Richard Welton, (occasional), 1724-1726
The Rev. Samuel Hesselius, (occasional), 1726-1728
The Rev. Richard Backhouse, 1728-1749
No minister, 1749-1751
The Rev. Thomas Thompson, 1751-1753
Provost Israel Acrelius, (occasional), 1753-1758
The Rev. Eric Unander, (occasional), 1753-1758
The Rev. George Craig, 1758-1783
No minister, 1783-1788
The Rev. James Conner, 1788-1791
The Rev. Joseph Turner, 1791-1793
No minister, 1793-1796
The Rev. Levi Heath, 1796-1798
No minister, 1798-1804
The Rev. Joshua Reece, (8 months), 1804
No minister, 1804-1812
The Rev. William Pryce, 1812-1816
No minister, 1816-1818
The Rev. Jacob M. Douglass, 1818-1820
No minister, 1820-1822
The Rev. Richard U. Morgan, 1822-1831
The Rev. John B. Clemson, 1831-1835
The Rev. Richard D. Hall, 1835-1837
The Rev. Mortimer R. Talbot, 1837-1841
No minister, 1841-1842
The Rev. Greenbury W. Ridgely, 1842-1849
The Rev. Anson B. Hard, (associate Rector), 1844-1849
The Rev. Charles W. Quick, 1849-1851
The Rev. Lewis P. W. Balch, D.D., 1851-1853
The Rev. Nathaniel S. Harris, 1853-1855
The Rev. Daniel Kendig, 1855-1859
The Rev. Mortimer R. Talbot, 1859-1861
The Rev. Jonathan P. Hammond, 1861-1863
The Rev. Henry Brown, 1863-1893
The Rev. Francis M. Taitt, 1893-1929
The Rev. Stanley V. Wilcox, 1929-1945
The Rev. George C. Anderson, (Locum Tenens), 1941-1943
The Rev. Peter C. Van der Hiel, Jr., 1945-1950
The Rev. John H. Hauser, 1950-1959
The Rev. Stuart A. L. Thomas, 1960-1967
The Rev. Warren A. Shaw, 1967- June 1998
The Rev. George Master, interim Rector
The Rev. A. Kenneth J. Phillips, September 30, 2000-March 2002
The Rev. George Karney, Priest in Charge, September 2002-March 2007 - 1
The Rev. Timothy E. Kroh, July 8, 2007 - Present - 1


Church History

See also St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1702-2002, compiled by Nancy Crossman

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, located since 1900 at the corner of 9th and Madison Streets, is actually in its third location since its founding on St. Paul's Day, January 25, 1702.  The original building, containing 24 pews, was located in the heart of the city close to the Delaware River waterfront.  We know that in January 1762 an advertisement appeared for a lottery for the purposes of funding the glebe and a dwelling house for the minister.

St. Paul's was one of the original founding churches of the Diocese of Pennsylvania at a meeting held in Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA on May 24, 1785.

The burying ground associated with St. Paul's preceded the erection of any church edifice by many years.  The old graveyard on which the old church formerly stood was, in fact, a burying place belonging to the Swedes.  We know that they had one on this site as early as 1684-5.  The remains of this cemetery, now enclosed by a low brick wall, can be seen at the foot of the Avenue of the States between Front and 3rd streets.  John Morton, PA Signer of the Declaration of Independence is interred there as are David and Grace Lloyd.  The Lloyds were removed to St. Paul's after the Quaker Burying Ground on Edgmont Avenue between 6th & 7th streets was removed to make way for new retail construction in October 1959.

In 1835 extensive repairs were made to the original building, a belfry was added and the old detached belfry was torn down.

Until the year 1850, St. Paul's and St. Martin's Episcopal churches (Marcus Hook, PA) shared the same ministers.

stpaulschurch.jpg (72437 bytes)   In 1850 a new church building was erected on the north side of Third Street (northwest corner of 3rd & Welsh), and during the winter of 1872-73 the new church was altered and enlarged to a capacity of 750 persons.  A new steeple and belfry were also built at that time.

This second building was still standing in August 1952 but was razed in 1952 for a city parking lot. In August 1939 the old bell from St. Paul's was purchased by Sen. Sproul for his farm in Lapidea (now Sproul Estates, Nether Providence).

With the growth of the city of Chester during the latter part of the 19th century, the decision was made in 1895 to again relocate to a larger building in a more central location in the growing city.  A 12th-century English gothic-style building was constructed of "Baltimore" granite with doorways and windows of "Indiana" limestone.  The corner stone was laid on June 1, 1899 and the new building was completed by Easter Sunday 1900 at a cost of approximately fifty thousand dollars.  In February 1900 the Chester Times reported that the church "is fast nearing completion.  The memorial windows are expected to be delivered soon."*

The bell was removed from the belfry of the old church at 3rd & Welsh streets to the new building in April 1900.  Cast on it are the words, "Roger Rice, Chester 1743."**

StPaul_Small.jpg (11355 bytes)  (The present St. Paul's, 9th & Madison St.)

A more detailed history of the early years of St. Paul's can be found in John Hill Martin's 1877 Chester (and its Vicinity), Delaware County in Pennsylvania with Genealogical Sketches of some old families, fully indexed by John A. Bullock III.

*Delaware County Daily Times: "Other Times: 100 Years Ago" by Len Casterline 2/26/2000
** Delaware County Daily Times: "Other TImes: 100 Years Ago" by Len Casterline 4/7/2000

Many thanks to the following for contributing additional information for this page:

1 - Nancy Crossman, Accounting Warden, St. Paul's Episcopal Church

2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007 John A. Bullock III.
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This page last updated 07/09/07