If you have memories or comments about St. Paul that you would like to share, please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When I was around 4 years old, I went with my parents to the wedding of Dad's brother Henry Papendorf at St. Paul Church. I remember some of the reception held in the St. Paul basement. I can remember my aunt in her beautiful white dress with my handsome Uncle Henry. It is a precious memory I have of the church, my aunt and uncle, and the St. Paul community.
No matter how many times I visit St. Paul, I am always uplifted by how beautiful, peaceful, and inspiring it is.
My father, Rev. John Meiller, was a minister at St. Paul United Church of Christ from 1928 to 1934. I will always cherish the memories of this beautiful and special church, and the visits we have made there over the years. My sister and I were both born there while Dad was a minister in your church. May God bless all of you in your endeavors to restore this historic landmark, and keep this beautiful church standing and still beckoning travelers to come in for a visit and a prayer!
I am a granddaughter to Rev. John Meiller, who pastored St. Paul United Church of Christ in the late 1920's. I have visited the church several times and I absolutely love it! It is so beautiful and seems to just invite visitors in to enjoy the beauty and memories of those who gave so unselfishly to establish the church.
One Sunday, when he was a young boy, my husband and his cousin (Rev. Scholze's son) were sitting on the back row at church with their pockets full of marbles. I don't know if they were playing with them or if they just fell out, but all the marbles came rolling loudly down the aisle toward the front of the church. They were not allowed to sit on the back row any more.
We were invited to an evening event at St. Paul. This was about 85 years ago. Our daddy had been working in the field all day. He was tired and didn't want to go, but we pestered him until he said okay. We rode in a wagon, and my brother and I were scared because we didn't usually go out at night. When we got there, they gave all the kids a sack with an apple and some candy and a penny in it. We thought that was great!
Some of my earliest memories are from the annual church picnics. The first one I can remember attending was held under the oak trees in Lehmann's meadow just down the road and across Sandy Creek from St. Paul. The picnics always included metal coolers with Nehi soft drinks (orange, grape, etc.) that were ice cold - what a treat! Later picnics were set up behind the church. I remember the long wooden benches, a farm trailer for a stage, and games for the children. And Uncle Bill Grube always seemed to have a stick of gum in his pocket just for you!
Every December when it was time for the children to start practicing for the Christmas pageant, we would excitedly wait for the costumes to come out of the storage barrels in the closet at the back of the sanctuary. The older boys would be fitted as wise men and shepherds while the little girls eagerly volunteered to wear the angel wings and halos!
For a couple of years, I think in the late 1960s, we staged "live" nativity plays in the parking lot on several evenings in December. Mike Dragoo read the nativity story over loudspeakers from the west church window while youth fellowship members and some adults enacted it for the audience who sat in their cars. We had a wooden stable with a live cow, herd of sheep and even a donkey for Mary to ride. We also used a large wooden camel, but I can't remember how we got it. Sometimes it was so cold if a "blue norther" was blowing, but we always had such fun.
I have many fond memories of this church. My grandfather told of helping to dig the church basement. He was born in 1898. I remember spending Saturdays with my grandparents cleaning the church for Sunday service. My father was Sunday School superintendent. I was the only person in my confirmation class in May 1961. Rev. George Fuchs did not want me to have to answer all the confirmation questions myself as was the tradition. He had me give a message from the lectern to the whole church. It was titled "This I Believe." I remember the Christmas Eve pageants and having to pack all the costumes and stage curtain away before we could go home for our family Christmas. To me, St. Paul church has been a "church's church", with its tall steeple and beautiful windows. It has been what churches of history looked like. Best of everything and prayers for a successful restoration campaign.
When I was young, we put on a Christmas play each year and re-enacted the manger scene. One year I was thrilled that I was chosen to play Mary. I felt so holy on stage representing the mother of Jesus and imagining how she must have felt!
I remember my grandfather singing hymns. He had hearing loss and was a little off key, but he sang with a beautiful, strong, deep voice. He sang with lots of feeling, like he was singing to the Lord.
I remember Watch Night on New Year's Eve. We would eat and then the adults would play dominoes in the basement while the kids would play outside. At midnight they would ring the church bell and we would have a short service. I had lots of colds as a child and my mother always wanted me to stay inside instead of playing with my friends because it was usually freezing outdoors. Of course I wanted to go out and play. She was right though! I caught a cold every time.
My family lived in Marlin when my children were young. Even though we had to leave Marlin many years ago and even though we were active members of another church, we all have fond memories of your church. It makes a beautiful, peaceful appearance as you are driving by on Hwy. 6. We want to share in preserving it as a major part of Marlin's history.
I remember sitting in Sunday School with sweet Mrs. Grube. I also remember one Easter when I was very small. I had a new Easter dress, and I was so excited because the children were going to hunt for eggs at St. Paul! I was so little, though, that I couldn't compete. The bigger, faster kids were filling their baskets before I even spotted the eggs across the big lawn. Then one of the older girls saw me and took my hand to help me hunt. She probably never guessed that I would remember this small act of kindness 55 years later.
Your church is very special to us. Our daughter and her family live in College Station, and we have 4 grandchildren going to A & M. Over the last 25 years, we have made many trips to College Station and passed by St. Paul. On one trip, the sky was blue and the church stood out like a great tribute to God. Every time we travel Hwy. 6, the church is more striking. We are so grateful that you are so faithful to take care of God's house.
When I travel on Hwy. 6, St. Paul always catches my attention, beautifully lit at night against God's dark blanket and twinkling lights.
So many wonderful memories of over 18 years! Sitting there looking at those beautiful windows, sweating and fanning with the cardboard fans, making trips out to the outhouse, Christmas plays, Christmas fruit and nut bags, going to quilting with Mama, the Women's Guild, and so many other sweet memories! Many weddings including my own, yearly church picnics, confirmations, christenings, the pump organ, sitting with my Papa on the second row on the right side of the middle section, or with Mama farther back. I could go on and on!
Every Sunday Daddy would give my sister and me a nickel to put in the offering plate. One Sunday I had a new red purse and I was so excited that I couldn't stop playing with it on the way to St. Paul. But when the offering plate came around and I opened my purse, the nickel had fallen out! I was afraid my daddy would be mad that I lost my money but later when he asked me if I had put it in the plate, I told the truth. It's a good thing I did, because he had found my nickel on the back seat of our car!
Your building off Hwy. 6 has brought me many moments of joy and peace while driving from Ft. Worth to Houston.
From the time I was a little girl growing up in Bremond, the sight of your church has lifted my spirits. After I married, my husband and I both appreciated the beauty of St. Paul as we traveled Hwy. 6. We stopped once to take pictures. May the Lord bless your congregation.
Hooray for your decision to restore your beautiful, bright, graceful, and grace-filled church!