History and Architecture

frontThe founders of the Lutheran Churches were of German descent who settled in eastern Cabarrus County. Some of the settlers came via Pennsylvania while others came through Charleston, SC. They were in search of good soil, a mild climate, and a new way of life. Upon arriving in the area, many of the settlers worshiped with other settlers in eastern Rowan County and eastern Cabarrus County (originally part of Mecklenburg County).

 The first Sunday in June, 1843, Rev. W.G. Harter and a large number of Lutherans from Coldwater Church withdrew and organized St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church. Through the years, church facilities have served as worship centers as well as education centers for young children. Since its beginning, the members have worshiped in several buildings.

The first church was a square frame structure. According to the custom of the day, it had separate entrances for men and women as well as slaves. The original church bell was purchased from Bernhardt, Philadelphia and shipped to Charleston where it was then hauled by horse and wagon. The original bell is still ringing in the current church today.

Around the year 1880, the property was purchased and the plans constructed for a new church at the corner of Union and Corban Streets. This church would serve as the basic architecture for the current church today. The brick church was used by the congregation for nearly 50 years. In August of 1927, the current church was demolished due to the fact that poor street grading had left the church sitting in an awkward approach for the handicapped and elderly. Later, expert examiners declared the church unsafe for public gatherings.

In October, 1927, a special service was held to lay the cornerstone of the third church. On September 2, 1928 the brand new three-story sanctuary, chapel and large assembly room hosted its first service. In 1965, the congregation approved a building project which included the construction of a new education building. This building would be largely used for Sunday School classes. Today, this building is home to not only our Sunday School but is also used as a preschool during the week.

At this present time, the church sits as the cornerstone to Downtown Concord. Its recent changes have been mostly cosmetic. Our most notable change has been the exterior church cleaning and preservation. The members of the congregation have come and gone over the years, but one thing stands true: "The church's one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord..."