Our History

Witnessing to the People of Robeson County Since 1951.

The Beginning

In June, 1951, the United Lutheran Synod of North Carolina sent Ted Goins, a Lenoir Rhyne College student, to Lumberton to make a survey in the interest of starting a mission here. About 35 interested people were found, only a few were Lutherans. Services were held every Sunday during the summer in the chapel of Stephens Funeral Home.

On November 1, 1951, the Rev. E. R. Lineberger was called to this field as Mission Developer, under the direction of the Synod and the Board for American Missions. Pastor Lineberger's first service on November 4 was attended by 11 persons: Mr. And Mrs. Ertle Allen, Miss Shirley Hoffman, Mr. And Mrs. T H. Johnston, Clara and Jean Johnston, H. J. Kite, Doris Williams, and Rev. and Mrs. Lineberger. This faithful little band grew, and soon formal organization was in sight. After months of determined effort, the required number of prospective members were found.


On June 6, 1952 St. Mark's Lutheran Church was officially organized with fifty members. The sermon for this occasion was preached by Dr. F. L. Conrad, President of the Synod. This service was held in Stephens Funeral Home where the congregation continued to meet until June 1954.

The rest of 1952 and 1953 saw a continued increase in membership and attendance. St. Mark's began dreaming of its own church building. After many conferences and much planning, a contract was finally awarded. The dream was to become a reality.

Ground Breaking

The ground-breaking service was held Sunday, December 13, 1953, on the lot purchased at the corner of 24th and Barker Streets. In spite of the rain, mud, and the inconvenience of raincoats, overshoes and umbrellas, approximately one hundred members and friends gathered for this happy occasion. Dr F. L. Conrad delivered the message. Greetings were brought from the Brotherhood by Allen Fritz, from the Women's Missionary Society by Mr. Ray R. Fisher, from the Luther League by Miss Sue Culp, by Mayor R. A. Hedgepeth, and by Dr. Robert F. Sloop, President of the Lumberton Ministerial Association.

Construction began in January 1954. Members and friends eagerly watched the work progress. Every step from the laying of the foundation to the erection of the spite and completion of the building brought joy and pride to their hearts.


"My church, my church!

June 6, 1954, marked the third year since the mission work began. It marked the second anniversary of the organization of the congregation. It marked the opening of the church for the first service. Truly a happy and glorious day for St. Mark's! 

Picture of church exterior.

We continue to lift our hearts in prayer, praise and, thanksgiving to God. “Unless the Lord build the church, they labor in vain who build it.” St. Mark’s is the house of God. We shall continue to love our church, hold it in reverence, worship here, and serve the Lord more faithfully and earnestly than ever before.

Close up of altar area.

Oral History Recording

To listen to an oral history of the church given by one of the original founders and life-long member of St. Mark's, Ms. Mary Virginia, please click on the player at right.

Best on desk/laptop.

On iPhone/iPad listen in Chrome not Safari.

Verbal History by Mary Virginia.mp3