In the late 1920s, Lutheran residents of Amityville proposed starting a church in the village so that they would not have to travel to Farmingdale, Lindenhurst, or Central Park (now known as Bethpage) to worshp in a Lutheran congregation. The pastor of St. Paul’s/Central Park, The Rev. Theodore Brunn, embraced this proposal and did a canvass of the neighborhood. Thirty households expressed interest in having a Lutheran church in their community. Pastor Brunn advertised an initial service to be held at First National Bank and Trust, at the corner of Greene and Broadway, on October 26, 1930 (Reformation Sunday). The initial service drew 43 people. A week later, on November 2, Sunday school lessons were begun, and a few days later the Ladies’ Aid was founded. Pastor Brunn was now serving as the shepherd of two congregations!
A parcel of land on Park Avenue was donated to the fledgling church in 1931. The church building was dedicated on November 22, 1931. In 1932, St. Paul’s/Amityville called Pastor Brunn to be their full-time pastor. He served until 1940, when he accepted a call to a church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Eventually he became president of the Eastern District). The Rev. Theodore Bushman was called to Amityville to replace Pastor Brunn. After three years, Pastor Bushman left, and in 1943 The Rev. Edmund Bohm became pastor of St. Paul’s in Amityville. Brunn served the church for 28 years (the longest-serving of St. Paul’s pastors).
In 1952, St. Paul’s joined The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. (Even though the church had been served by Missouri Synod pastors since its inception, it did not embrace full Synodical membership). It thus became fully a part of the church body that has nurtured such luminaries as Dr. Seuss and Lyle Lovett!
In the late 1950s, the church building underwent numerous renovations. The building was significantly expanded. The narthex window (“Christ in Gethsemane”) and the altar window (“Christ Knocking on the Door of the Heart”) were added.
Pastor Bohm retired in 1971, and St. Paul’s called The Rev. Arthur Lesslie to be the pastor. His pastorate saw many changes, including the introduction of acolytes and a through-the-Bible study.
St. Paul’s conducted its first Vacation Bible School in 1990, thus inaugurating one of its most popular programs. The church also hosted an annual weekend retreat sponsored by the Evangelism Commission; this later evolved into the Day with God.
The Rev. William Carney was called as assistant pastor during the Lesslie years. Pastor Lesslie fell ill in the spring of 1992 and was taken home to Christ after giving his last sermon on Easter Sunday. Pastor Carney was called to the pastoral office.
Pastor Herbert Kern, recently retired from the ministry after many years at Calvary Lutheran Church in East Meadow, was called to St. Paul’s to serve as assisting pastor. Pastor Kern was called to glory on August 24, 2019; St. Paul’s cherishes him as a great man of God who reminded us continually that we are “blessed to be a blessing”.
Pastor Carney took a call to Lockport, New York, in the spring of 1995. After almost two years of vacancy, Pastor David Anglin was called to be pastor at St. Paul’s in the spring of 1997.
The Atlantic District established the Lay Deacon program shortly after Pastor Anglin’s arrival. He taught in the diaconate program, and several members of St. Paul’s trained to become Deacons.
A popular spiritual renewal program, Alpha, was conducted several times at St. Paul’s. The series of videos by Nicky Gumbel from Brompton, England, helped members grow in their faith, and also brought new people to the congregation.
When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and nearby areas in 2005, St. Paul’s began a series of mission trips to help rebuild the area. In a total of six missionary journeys, St. Paul’s people cleaned out and refurbished homes in the Crescent City, and built new homes in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The congregation was able to employ hurricane recovery skills learned on the Gulf of Mexico to help in our own backyard when Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012. About 50 households in our church were affected by the floods. Besides assisting with clean-up, St. Paul’s amassed a large amount of money that was distributed to help with storm recovery.
In December 2014, the church presented its first Living Nativity program, enacting the story of Christ’s birth using live animals. This has become one of the congregation’s most beloved programs.
Over the years, St. Paul’s worship life has branched out beyond Sunday morning. There are now regular Saturday and Wednesday evening services; a Thursday service is added in the summertime.
For many years, the congregation has held a sunrise service at the Amityville beach. This service is always well attended and is another much-loved aspect of St. Paul’s ministry. Recently, the church experimented with summertime Saturday evening services, which also were well attended.
St. Paul’s continues the original vision of almost 90 years ago—of a Christian community where God’s people gather to worship Him, and to share His love in Christ with everyone! We invite YOU to be part of that community!