Reaching, Teaching, Serving, and Sharing Christ

History1On January 21, 1950, a group of seventy-two persons gathered in the home of Leslie Frick and voted to become an independent Lutheran congregation. These were members of union churches and wished to form a separate Lutheran congregation in Forks Township. They wanted an all-Lutheran church instead of continuing in the long-established “joint” congregations of Reformed and Lutheran, occupying the same church buildings, conducting their respective worship services on alternate Sundays, Sunday school and choirs were conducted jointly.

A call was to be extended to the Reverend George Cressman as soon as the congregation should become legal. Pastor Cressman was the Lutheran pastor of the Arndt’s and Forks Churches and was very much in sympathy with the desire for one all-Lutheran church.

Not having offering plates, Mrs. Frick provided a large wooden bowl, which was filled to overflowing by the assembly. This bowl was donated to the congregation after the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Frick and is still being used.

On January 23, a meeting was held in the basement of the Lewis Cooper Apartments on Route 115. Mr. Cooper offered the basement as a regular meeting place. The group readied it for Sunday worship. At this same meeting it was decided to make another effort for LCA recognition. The name Christ Community Church was proposed since it was not permissible to include the name Lutheran in the title. The members donated and built necessary furnishings.

In February the Allentown Conference of the LCA turned down the group and the Rev. Cressman could no longer act as the pastor. When a pastor was not available to them, the group conducted a lay service.Coopers

The council took steps to incorporate the church, and became legal April 3, 1950. With incorporation, election of officers was held, choirs organized, and also a ladies Mission Society which later became the LWML.

An attempt to associate with the Evangelical Lutheran Church was not successful. Their first birthday saw them still without a pastor of Lutheran affiliation. A number of members became discouraged at this time and left.

In 1951 the group first wrote the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, who promised to investigate the possibility of accepting the new congregation. In September 1951, the Rev. John Gall of Bristol, Pennsylvania, recently returned from the mission field in India, accepted a position of temporary pastor until a permanent one could be found. After several unsuccessful calls, the one issued to the Rev. Clarence L. Roth, Trenton, New Jersey was accepted. With the prospect of affiliation with the Missouri Synod, under the supervision of the Rev. Gall, a constitution and by-laws were adopted, which were then submitted to the Eastern District for approval.

GroundbreakingPastor Roth was installed in January 1952. A parsonage was built the same year. On March 23, 1952, Christ Community Church became Faith Lutheran Church. In 1953, with a total membership of 68, an average attendance of 62 at worship services, and 61 at Sunday School, it was decided to build.

The Faith Lutheran Church building was dedicated November 18, 1956.

On December 17, 1989, Faith Lutheran Church was decorated and ready for Christmas, just a week away. At 7:00 p.m. that evening a fire was discovered in the basement of the building, and though the fire did not completely burn the structure, it suffered much heat and smoke damage. The congregation worshipped for the next several months at Arndt’s Lutheran Church while damage was repaired and alterations were made. On Palm Sunday 1990, worship was held again at Faith in a makeshift setting in the sanctuary, which was under construction. In September the completed sanctuary was rededicated. Much renovation was still to be done to the remainder of the building, and on Palm Sunday, 1991, the congregation approved the concept of the renovations and new addition.

The Rev. Otto G. Struckman was installed on July 21, 1963.

The Rev. John A. Castellani was installed on October 14, 1973.

The new Allen organ was dedicated in 1978.

The Rev. Charles F. Bunzel served as supply pastor from March 1984 to June 1986.

The Rev. Joe C. Fairchild was installed June 15, 1986.

The Rev. Clarence L. Roth served as interim pastor from December 1989 to September 1990.

The Rev. William E.D. Barlow was installed on September 9, 1990.

The Rev. Clarence L. Roth served as interim pastor from November 1997 to June 1999.

The Rev. Gregory S. Tafel served as pastor from July 1999 to March 2010.

The Rev. Mark Ruppert served as pastor from March 2010 to November 2011.

The Rev. Christopher Crume served as pastor from April 2013 to July 2020.

The Rev. Robert O. Bartz, Intentional Inteirm Ministry, serving as of May 1, 2022.